Raise your hand if you’ve had the BEST most original idea EVER?!
It’s never been done, it’s got a HOOK that so many people will love, and it’s truly going to knock the viewers socks off once they see it. You are confident that you will go down in industry-history as the original creator of your one-of-a-kind IP (intellectual property, baby!).
Now raise your hand if you:
- GOOGLED your “unique” idea to see no less than 3,681,479 results come up
- HAVE BEEN shut down by a friend, co-worker or peer who tells you it’s been done before
- WOKE UP one day to see all over the internet that your original idea IS being done and it’s by someone biggER, bettER and more established than you
Yeah, me too…
- Give up on your idea and throw away your countless notes and documents you have previously slaved over?
- Try to mash up your “original” idea (with other ideas that have probably been done before), and hope for the best?
- Give in to your frustrated feelings, quit the business and work in the least creative job you can think of?
You don’t do any of that.
What you need to do– and will do— is pick your crying, whining, screaming self up off the floor, dry your eyes, QUIT FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF, put away that awards speech you’ve been practicing — and… reignite your idea.
Because THIS IDEA is YOURS and yours alone. It was created and formed from your brain based upon your personal passions and daily inspirations. It’s an extension of so many things you stand for and care about — otherwise you wouldn’t have come up with the idea in the first place.
So, you go back to your notes.
You pull out all your documents — every single thing you can find on this idea– and you push the RESET button.
You USE the knowledge that your idea has been done before that it will cause you to practically explode if you don’t get to tell YOUR version of this story. You owe it to yourself (and to the world) for everyone to hear your story.
What makes your story unique is that it’s yours to tell. Plus you can work in tandem with the other story. Make it work for you — not against you.
Here is my real life “omg did that really just happen and what can I do to keep my head above the water” story:
Back in 2013, my lightbulb moment occurred when I decided that I wanted to create the very first body positive plus-size female superheroine that had ever existed.
I immediately googled the internet countless times to see if there was anything like this that had been done before in comic book superhero history — and not surprisingly (with the exception of a handful of larger characters that were portrayed more as a joke)– I came up with nothing. As far as I could tell… I was the only one who had come up with this specific concept.
Being a naturally reactive and excitable person, I wanted to go public and shout from the rooftops how elated I was to have such a groundbreaking idea! This long awaited character would be a literal superhero, in that she could save females of all ages, shapes and sizes from the stereotypical-male-gaze-inflected-fantasy TO: kick ass, save the world and (if she chooses) get the man (or woman) she wants.
BUT THEN — I was quickly brought back down to reality when after I told my ingenious idea to my mentor (my Obi-Wan) he said, “Great. Now how much do you know about the superhero universe? Or comic books? Or superhero origins for that matter?”
I admitted to him, not much. At a very young age I was already well aware of the dominant male superheroes tied into the cliche of saving helpless females… and because I did not find them very relatable, I had little interest in them.
I asked my Obi-wan: I already have the idea, wouldn’t the superhero origin thing just take care of itself?
He performed a jedi mind trick on me and said, “ You WILL do homework, learn about this particular genre ad nauseum, and create a really strong, original story with amazing characters… or else you WILL get pulverized by the comic book fan and superhero geek world before your first episode launches”.
I put away my pre-meditated excitement and settled down for much schooling in superhero tropes, comic books, and fantasy sci-fi style writing. I’m just now in the place where the REAL writing begins.
Now that a new, similar project (to mine) that is slowly leaking out to the news and media right now — I’m taking my own medicine– and USING IT to force my hand into opening up to TALKING ABOUT my project at the same time I am creating it.
Sometime in October a friend of mine sent me a pm to ask me if I saw this:
Marvel has (wisely) decided to take a character that was previously featured in Valiant’s “Harbinger” series and spotlight her in her own upcoming miniseries set to debut in January 2016. Faith is being touted as “the first body positive full figured superheroine of all time”. (hyperlink: https://hellogiggles.com/faith-superhero-valiant/)
So, there you have it.
Not only is there a body positive superheroine debuting before my body positive superheroine, but it is by Marvel, which I alone am in no way, shape or form remotely anywhere near when it comes to IP, exposure, money, talent or skill.
Do I let this affect me in a negative way, hang my tail between my legs and call it a day? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I go forth with my game-plan and I continue to work tirelessly on getting my project completed without taking shortcuts.
I hope my story has inspired you to do the same — if you’ve had this happen to you, too.
I’m proud to say I have a female character I feel very strongly about, an empowered voice that needs to be heard and a very different character and story than the one that Marvel is telling. It’s great that Marvel is going forth with promoting a full figured powerful character and I am so excited to buy the first issue come January.
In the following months I’d love it if you could join me in this amazing journey as I share with you the steps on how to create an original character and story and what it takes to get it to final stage on a screen. Without further adieu, here is a glimpse of my work in progress, my fictional muse, my main inspiration for why I get up everyday and hustle as hard as I do. Meet Rennie, the first full figured superheroine of MY grassroots universe called GIRL+. :