I read the Presents first. While reading the Kimani, I burst into laughter, but not because it was funny. The scene was actually rather serious. The hero made a marriage proposal ultimatum. I laughed because the hero in the Presents I’d read the previous day had also made a marriage proposal ultimatum.The scenes were different. The reactions of the heroines were different, but they both contained the hero doing the exact same thing.
While we’re on the subject, I’d love for a guy to say to me, “I love you. Now marry me or else we’re through.” Well, probably not in reality. On paper it sounds romantic, but I don’t like ultimatums in general. I like to take my time before I make decisions and don’t appreciate being backed into a corner. But I’ve completely digressed. *Clears throat*
The point of this post is to talk about the inevitable coincidences that occur in romances. As authors, whether published or unpublished, we worry about whether our stories are original enough to stand out in the crowd. But there is only so much we can control.
My manuscript, Seducing Ms. Right, stars a hero, who first becomes aware of the heroine when he sees her on a fashion show runway. I highly doubted that I was the first to come up with this idea, but I’d never seen it in all my years of reading, so it was all good. I started this manuscript in 2002. Imagine my surprise when a year or so ago I picked up a Presents by Lynne Graham, in which you guessed it, the hero first sees the heroine on a fashion runway. My stomach dropped. I bought the book and devoured it. I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized that scene was where our plots’ similarities ended. But I learned a valuable lesson.
As writers, because of our individual imaginations and voices, even if given the same basic premise, our stories will inevitably be completely different. Obsessing about similar plotlines will only serve to encourage the onset of gray hairs. We can only write the best story possible in the best possible way. Worrying about what others are doing is counterproductive.
And readers don’t seem to mind similar plotlines. Look at the vampire craze in paranormals.
So go forth and be merry. And write.