Wednesday, January 3, 2018

IWSG: Doppelgangers

Today is the first Insecure Writer's Support Group event of 2018. Happy New Year. For those visiting here for the first time, IWSG Day is a monthly event where authors in the blogosphere can share about insecurities and other stuff going on in their lives...or in my case sometimes, just general thoughts on various subjects.

Recently, I came across an entertaining article on my news feed showing people photographed near their "doppelganger" in a museum painting. Certainly, at first glance, most of the images appear to show that the person's face has been duplicated in the painting beside them. Peering closer, I might spot subtle differences between the person and the subject in the painting. Perhaps the shape of the person's face is slightly wider than the one in the art, for example. Still, these people feel connected enough to the image in front of them to be photographed with it as if to announce "I found me!"

For many readers, that can be the appeal of reading a book (or watching a movie, TV show, etc...) where there's a character they can somewhat relate to, even if they're not exactly the same.

From a writer's perspective, when I come across a story another author had written with elements that mirror my own story, I can respond internally in two ways. One, I might think, Someone else gets it! Yay! Or two, I get insecure. Now people would think I'm biting off this work if and when mine gets published. Or my work might not even get published because industry folk would point to that other story and say, there's already a story like that on the market.

And still, I continue to write on.

Have you ever come across art that made you go, "That's me!" How do you feel when you come across another writer's work that's similar to what you're working on?