Le Journal Illustre,
The Art Institute of Chicago.
Warning: Touchy subject.
Last week, Raine blogged about an astonishing coincidence -- not to mention flabbergasting, staggering, stupefying and stunning -- whereby the basics of the plot of an MS she had circulated later showed up in a published novel, complete with a shocking similarity of names and nick-names.
We know there are no new plots and new ideas are likewise scarce; but when this type of coincidence happens, a writer is naturally left with a number of uneasy, indignant, WTF thoughts.
One of them the fear that everyone will think they are common copiers -- even though their story had been completed long before -- since the first to be in print holds the high ground automatically.
It's a frustrating, embarassing situation.
And likely one of the reasons, besides pure ego, for that coterie of eyes-left-eyes-right writers who firmly believe that publishers -- or other writers -- are hell-bent on stealing their stories.
That belief unfortunately gains credence when an editor or agent comments, as some have, that they are always on the look-out for scenarios -- from news items, from the slush, from the net -- that they can pass on to their established clients as suggestions for novel development.
Subliminally, intuitively, or deliberately, writers likely do the same thing.
Certainly I'm not the only one who has commented on the plot-bunny potential of some news stories or has noted the channelling effect that results in similar blog topics.
Given a set of facts, the narrative mind usually follows a predictable logic -- which can result in some remarkable and alarming similarities.
And wouldn't you know it? One of Raine's heroines bore the surname St.Claire.
Further, I have noticed that an unusual number of heroines in queries and synopses I've read recently have been named variants of Lillie.
Now I could go into a long explanation of how I arrived at the name, including the legend that the lily is a symbol of the leannan sidhe. But I won't.
Somewhere out there, there must be an over-muse giggling in malicious glee.
According to Bower's The Superior Person's Book of Words, meaning to swarm like ants.
Useful in the same fashion as masticate and mensuration to discomfit the unwary.