Wednesday, October 25, 2006

One great idea (stolen)

I think it’s a pretty common fantasy that you have one great idea for a book, movie or TV show and suddenly, the whole world is interested and you get rich.

I remember when I was in the 5th grade, I wrote a hundred page story about my town a la Jo March in Little Women. I remember thinking that if I could just get that to some book publisher that the whole world would be interested in this part true / part pretend world that I captured. Of course, I came across it when I was about sixteen or so and was so horrified at what sheer crap it was that I threw it away.

But let’s assume that it was really, really good and I send it into some big shot publisher and then years later BOOM: I see my story about Shithole, Oklahoma on the best seller list.

Quite a downer, just ask this guy who alleges that FOX stole his life story (or at least the most exciting part of his life) after he sent them a manuscript in 2001.

Breaking your brother out of the big house is a pretty good story. And, while much of a TV series depends on more than the idea and a few plot points, having those things stolen must be terrible ( my guess is he really shot his wad with that idea).

You may have read a couple bloggers (Seth, Pagan Marbury, etc) even publishing excerpts from their own books, and while that's nice for all of us to enjoy, it also means that they need to be careful because you never know who is reading.


Blogger Virgle Kent said...

Yo V,

This reminds me of the time I was young and I came with this idea about a young black adolecent from the hood who get's into trouble then his mom sends him to live with his rich relatives in Bel-Air. It was based on my life... so I sent in and they rejected it. I would have been pissed if they stole my idea and turned it into a show....

12:57 PM  
Blogger V said...


Yeah, and who would ever want to write about some punk from Philly?

1:04 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

There is a woman (Sophia Stewart) who claims the freak brothers who did "The Matrix" ripped off her idea. She supposedly sent them a script called "The Third Eye" and VIOLA! The Matrix appears. As you can imagine, it's really hard to prove this kind of thing, so who knows. Also, there's the flipside of this problem. People think they have original ideas all the time, but it's actually something in their subconcious. Like when Elaine did a cartoon for "The New YOrker", but it was really a Ziggy. As they say, there's really nothing new under the sun.

2:34 PM  
Blogger KassyK said...

Could not agree more. People ask me...will you put up pieces of your novel on the blog before you get published (and I will all you naysayers :-)) and I say HELLLL no. Who knows what wacko is just jonesing for exactly what I have to say.

Hehe ok not that realistic but I agree.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Kathryn Is So Over said...

I think this is why so many blogs die early (or should): you may have two or three good posts in you, and once they're out, you just kind of flounder.

And post a baby photo of yourself with a bunch of whining about how you need a nap. Not that I know anything about that.

2:39 PM  
Blogger V said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:44 PM  
Blogger V said...

Sean: Yep, I remember my h.s drama teacher saying nothing is original anymore. Not music, not art or literature. Hacks, all of us :) Love the Seinfeld reference.

Kassy: Yep, people love to steal shit, you gotta be careful.

K: Agreed, baby picture or perhaps post on an article that everyone has read about a hit TV show, I think we're all allowed a couple :)

2:45 PM  
Blogger Patrick J. Fitzgerald said...

I agree. You won't find me spilling the beans on how I plan to BRING DICK CHENEY TO HIS HABEUS CORPUSLESS KNEES before I finish my autobiography! ;)

3:30 PM  

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