Two books recently got me thinking about the odd coincidences and similarities you sometimes find in different books or even between published books and...gulp...YOUR book! And I'm not just talking about big ideas here like angels, or secret schools of magic, or a story about a girl who is the supernatural creature--not the boy.
I mean like...you discover that important information in your story is conveyed through a stained glass window and then you see important information is conveyed through a stained glass window in another book and you are pretty darn sure that the whole important information conveyed through a stained glass window thing was your idea...but there it is...in another book! What? How? Huh?
What about that guy who wears a watch on his right hand and has two ear piercings in his left ear? Or the fact that your two characters have their first kiss in the boys bathroom after a fight? How many times have you come across a seriously odd, specific characterization/plot twist/plot element/name/backstory/etc and realized...crap, maybe my idea isn't as original as I thought it was?
Sometimes I wonder about books that many people deem as "copy cats" or when writers try and accuse others of plagiarism when really the supposed "copy cat" book was written before the other more popular book and the plagiarism case is just...ridiculous.
It's kind of fascinating to me how ideas work and how certain ideas can show up in more than one place at the same time--even with big things like angels --seriously there's no CEO of publishing who had a board meeting and decided...Angels...yes Angels...are the next big thing--everybody write about angels. Writers just were doing it...on their own...and around the same time...
So what do you think?
And what's the craziest thing from your own writing that you found somewhere else?