Here’s my reply:
I don’t understand why someone would deliberately copy another author’s book. Where’s the satisfaction in that? I love to see the characters in my imagination come to life as I write about them. I wouldn’t want to be bound by anyone else’s constraints.
When I first started writing, I feared that I might be influenced by other people’s books until I realised that if I was reading a story which engaged me, I often imagined how I would have finished it or developed the characters differently. So, the chances of me inadvertently copying were very slim.
I think that unless one is deliberately attempting to copy someone else’s story, it would be very hard to produce something similar. Each month, members of my writing group are given a writing prompt and despite starting with the same idea, the stories are always completely different.
One thing that does bother me though, is that from time to time, I’ve submitted romance stories to women’s magazines and despite my stories being described as well-written and having likeable, believable characters, they are often rejected because they have ‘predictable endings’. I often wonder how many endings there can be in a love story. Either the couple end up together, they go their separate ways or the reader is left to make up his or her own mind. I don’t feel like I’m copying other people’s stories, I’m just an incurable romantic who likes a happy outcome.
If you’d like to read what the other Muse It Up authors have to say, you can go to the Sunday Musings blog here.
If you’d like to read a story which definitely hasn’t been copied from anyone else’s book, ‘Daffodil and the Thin Place’ is available here on the Muse It Up Publishing website. Some of the characters are based on historical figures and the setting, St. Nicholas Church, Laindon with Dunton, Essex, really does exist but the rest of the story is strictly from my imagination.