Monday, August 6, 2007

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.

That quote is by Helen Keller.

I don't want to be in someone's shadow. I had this discussion with a friend of mine over coffee today. I'm working on that children's novel, and this one thought keeps going through my mind: I don't want to be J.K. Rowling's shadow.

I have the unfortunate knack of writing fantasy fiction. It really doesn't matter what my audience is, that's what I'm writing. So, as I write, I keep trying so hard not to write anything even remotely like Harry Potter. I really want that worry to go away.

When you think of how you want nothing to be even slightly similar to something that, in essence is similar, its going to inhibit you. I don't need a wall in front of my story. I don't need someone (even myself) saying, "You can't do that....or that....or that...." But, how do I banish that fear? How can I just immerse myself and forget this fear? I know, in my heart of hearts, that I am not writing a spin-off or continuation or anything that I want to compare to HP. I know this, but how do I stop the fear? Its there, whispering to me in this dark voice, telling me things I don't want to hear. Help! I don't want to let go of this story; I think it will be good. Any suggestions?


  1. Sorry no suggestions other than just let it go. There is nothing new under the sun and you cannot live in the world without being influenced by it. If you badger yourself into having no similarities to anything else, you'll have a book that never gets written. I say go for it your way and your story's purity will show for itself.

  2. Thanks for that! I know you're right, I'm just having a hard time actually doing it. Maybe it will happen all on its own as I get further into the story. I did have a "Eureka!" moment last night on a question I had been considering about the story, so I suppose that's a good sign. Progress despite fear means leaving the fear behind sooner or later. 8)

  3. Don't worry about comparisons. Write what you must. By the time your book comes out, HP will be less prominent, I imagine. There is always room for new writers. Those who love fantasy--and any genre--always want more in that genre, no?

    Go for it!

  4. That's a good point. I've also come to the realization that, by the time I were to get anything published, HP will have been out for quite a while. That leaves a good deal of space for someone new. 8)