I am trying my hardest to upload some old vacation photos onto this blog, simply to vary things a little. I am not having success. This is not my fault. I am doing everything the directions say to do, and it's not working. Hmm.
Okay, another post about "Dirty Sexy Money." I watched on Wednesday and was dismayed--nay, aghast--at a plot twist of theirs. It is exactly the same plot twist as I had in my own moneyed-world script. In a panic, I sent an email to my screenwriters' group and asked if I should change the twist, if I ever indeed get back to rewriting that script. (I will. Just not in the coming few months.) Unanimous consensus: No. Plot similarities are the only rule of the writing universe: if you have an idea, odds are good that someone else has that idea too. I learned this the hard way: in my undergraduate years, I took a screenwriting class and took way too long developing an idea into a script. I hadn't quite figured out where the whole plot would go before I started writing, and 'round about page 60, it started going way wrong. I turned it in, because I had to, and abandoned it.
Two years later, "Duplex" comes out. The plot wasn't exactly like mine, but pretty darn close.
Now, I did not say, "They stole my idea!" Odds are good they'd never heard of me or my idea, and with the movie time frame, they were probably already in some stage of production (ie, the script was already written) two years earlier, when I was writing mine. The lesson I took from that was, If I don't write it, someone else will.
I could say the same thing with my Daughters of Fortune script and Dirty Sexy Money. I originally finished the thing in 2002. I sat on it. Fast-forward five years, and I resurrect it...right in time for Dirty Sexy Money to go on the air. Say I rewrite the thing in six months, finish in two, and start shopping it around. Eight months from now, people won't say, "Hey, that's a plot twist that happened with the Darling Family!" And say, through some divine stroke of luck, it gets purchased and, with even more luck, made. The process will take about two years; even more likely that no one will make the connection. So I will keep it as is. The world is full of rich people and their stories, and as the rich get richer, their stories get more entertaining.