You Stole My Story

(Disclaimer: I now illuminate the sarcasm warning, the spoiler warning, and feel the need to assure you that I love Gillian Flynn because clearly, girl’s got some good ideas. Author Bashing is never excusable.)

 

Alright Gillian that’s enough.

Stop reading my notes.

Stop reading my thoughts.

And for goodness’ sake. . . stop stealing my stories!

*breathes menacingly for thirty seconds*

I was fine with your repeated mentions of the Death Penalty. Ditto the sociopath framing someone for murder. That’s what sociopaths do, right? Heck, I just finished watching Hannibal, that great NBC show about Dr. Lecter and his pet FBI Special Agent Will Graham, and, not to give anything way, but. . . that’s what sociopaths do. Bad things they can blame on others. So you’re fine there.

I was also okay with the creepy southern towns and abandoned buildings, the Flannery O’Connor vibe, distant mothers and challenging views of women. All very reasonable things that do not upset me.

But I just got to the part in Dark Places were Diondra rubs her belly and says the baby’s kicking. That she’s pregnant. That her teenage boyfriend impregnated her, moments after he’s accused of molesting 10-year-olds and hours before he’s arrested for grisly grisly murder that ruins his life.

What gives, eh? I just wrote that, like, last week. After working it out in my head for years.

It’s bad enough that your structure is dangerously close to my structure (which now I probably have to change, no thanks to you), with those chapters alternating between the day of the murders and present-day characters working to solve them. Whose idea was that, anyway? I thought I was being pretty clever with that. Printz Award clever? Perhaps, but now we’ll never know, will we?

But BABY?

That was the opening hook, the setup for the rest of the novel, my entire main character. And now you stole it. You stole my story. You stole my freaking teenage pregnancy you story-stealing, incredibly talented author-person you.

(At least I still have graffiti and Led Zeppelin. If you take those, so help me, I’m gonna go John Shooter on you. And don’t. . . don’t touch the Death Penalty. I see you eyeing it. Death Penalty’s mine. You coulda had your chance, but you put Kansas in a moratorium so there. Chance blown.)

But, really? The chapters alternating between past and present, explaining all the circumstantial evidence they used to put him away? Brilliant. If a little hard to get through and somewhat suspense-deflating. Same problem I’ve been having, so it’s good to know maybe it’s not just me.

(You no-good-story-stealing-teenage-pregnancy-ripping-idea-sucking-incredibly-talented-author-person you.)

And I’m only halfway through Dark Places. Who knows what else of mine you’ve got in there? Been kinda fun discovering it all.

(Again Disclaimer: I mean this solely in good fun and don’t plan on going John Shooter on anyone. It’s actually kinda cool she’s got some of the same ideas as me–just sucks cause she got to them first!)

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