27 August 2007

Coming to An Imagination Near You!!!

It's happened to us all—we get that awesome, kick-ass idea for our break out novel...only to find that Hollywood is about to come out with a similar story on small or large screen. Usually this happens to me when I have a dream that is soooo out there and cool and just ultra ME that I have to write down the story idea and start plotting immediately, only to discover once story and plot are cast that "coming this fall on SciFi" or another such network will be my idea raped to the nth degree and displayed for all to see. Usually my mouth will be left hanging open at this point and I'm in front of the television slapping my forehead... "Ahhhh, they did it to me again!" Which brings me to my actual topic...the collective unconscious.

Without getting too Jungian here, is it any wonder my stories get hi-jacked if there is some unconscious mind-soup out there that might be syphoning off my ideas and selling them to someone with better more powerful connections! I don't ask for much in life...just enough time to write and develope my ideas before they become next week's new blockbuster with someone else's name on the credits. Am I going to have to resort to the tin foil headgear before bedtime to keep my mind blocked from those out to catch my brainwaves? (Oh man...as I wrote that line did I ever get hit with an inspirational thunderbolt!) I know whatever idea I get I'll take it and make it my own without it resembling something on television, because my own thoughts and experiences will be in it. However, that doesn't stop the groan that builds in my throat when I see a coming attraction and find my way-out-there concept about to line someone else's pockets.

If the collective unconscious is indeed a true concept (which I believe it is) then we are all tied together through the power of our minds and what they can conceive on a purely instinctual level. Joseph Campbell (who cut his teeth on the Jungian tradition) believed this same collective unconscious is why we find common concepts in myths and folklore that really had no way of having cross-pollenation. My husband explains this as "ideas that whirl around in space until they find the proper outlet." That's as clear of an explanation as I've ever heard.

It's kind of funny that the series I'm working on right now has all the makings of a good solid triology with potential for more books, but it has to do with dimensional travel. Not exactly an unheard of idea. Now, I've read books and seen shows on this before, and I'm not about to slit my wrists because I'm not the first out of the gate with it. I think I've done something with mine that is so different from the other stories it will be unique. Why then do I feel betrayed by the universe if someone writes a television show about a man moving backward and forward in time because it's like a dream I had a few months ago? (Of course Jason Stratham starred in my dream so it was HOT!!) The guy in the new series I refer doesn't look like sexy Jason. Too bad on that really, but the concept looks sooo incredibly close to the dream I had that I'm still wondering how, where and when the writers got into my head and plucked the idea out. It's just not possible. There has to be something more to where ideas come from that just sudden and inexplicable inspiration. For me, I'm going with the theory of the collective unconscious...but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

-Kat
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