This Week's Topic:
What SNI were you psyched to work on, but discovered it was too close to something already done?
So, I'm going to go about this the exact opposite way of what was intended. I have a strong faith in the New Historicism (as Elodie talked about in her response :D) and honestly, I don't think I have the same view on things as a lot of other YA writers do (Re: romance mainly) (And also not the same political views if the horrible primaries news is representatives of Americans in any way. Please, please let it not be.). So if you gave five YA writers a plot, a set of characters, and a setting and said "go," you'd still end up with 5 different books.
In fact, while I was trolling the absolute write forums, looking to share my awesome critiquing skills, I came upon one query letter that sparked something in me. It was about a girl, who's mother had just been left by her father and was responding to it by going out on the town and pressuring the girl to get a boyfriend. The girl gives in to the pressure. The boyfriend turns out to be abusive. And then there was a subplot about a band or something that I didn't exactly understand.
Basically, it sounded like a book I probably wouldn't want to read. It didn't even have much to do with the query. It was just not my type of book.
But that first moment, the one where the girl has to deal with a mom who suddenly doesn't want to be a mom but wants to be who she was before she got married, that stuck with me. I liked it. Then I thought, hmm, let's give the girl a little more agency. Say, instead of giving in to the pressure, she tries to get her mom to stop harassing her about boys by convincing the new wild-girl to be her fake girlfriend.
But even though I blatantly thieved it from someone else's hardearned WIP, if I ever finished it, and they got their hands on it, I really doubt they would even recognize the idea. Execution is everything. And, well, putting in more lesbians is always a way of making sure your idea really doesn't look like most of the other ones out there.