Somewhat against my will, I’ve been following recent developments in the Twilight saga. I vaguely recall the big hoofara when someone leaked part of “Midnight Sun”, a retelling of Twilight from a different character’s POV, a while back. I can certainly understand Stephanie Meyer being ticked about having a messy first draft released. I can also understand her being mildly irritated at someone’s poorly-written fanfic based on her story turning into a massive bestseller. But apparently now no one’s going to get a properly-edited POV-character shift of Twilight because there’s going to be a POV-switched “50 Shades of Grey”. Instead, fans will have to make do with a different rewriting of Twilight with genders swapped.
But here’s the thing. None of these things – rewriting a book with a different POV character, or swapping genders, are ideas, exactly, are they? I mean, yeah, in the broadest sense they are, but they mostly sound like writing exercises. I’ve rewritten parts of books in different POVs just so I have a better idea what’s going on, but I never thought of saving that stuff to publish later. So it seems peculiar to get all wrapped ’round the axle about someone “stealing” something that isn’t much of an idea to begin with. And I can’t help but feel that everyone would be better off finding some other book to write, like my idea about S&M vampires in the old west. None of you are allowed to use that, by the way.