HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Now that I've gotten that out of the way...
Over the holidays, I read Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope. It's a modern adaptation of Jane Austen's book of the same name. And I have thoughts. LOTS of thoughts.
When I wrote my first draft of Sway, (which, FYI is a modern adaptation of Persuasion by Jane Austen) one of the big resounding comments I got from all of my betas and CPs was that it was too close to the original. And it was. So I revised, tried to make it more my own. I still worry that it's not standing out like I'd like it to because I haven't made it wow-worthy. Look at Diana Peterfreund's For Darkness Shows the Stars, also a Persuasion redux. That book was brilliant. Beautifully written and so original yet true to Jane Austen's story. I read that book and despaired.
I liked Joanna Trollope's version of S&S, but it was EXACTLY the same. Aside from giving Elinor a job (which is barely mentioned) and giving Margaret a high school (which is almost never mentioned) it's the SAME. Almost paragraph for paragraph. Every plot point matches up, every character was included. Even every name, both people and place, was the same. She threw in a few mentions of Twitter and Facebook and iPods, a minor character ended up gay, but it was the SAME.
I guess Joanna Trollope, who's written tons of books (S&S was the first I've read by her), is allowed to do this. She already has a readership. She's an experienced writer. She can do what she wants because her fan base is already there. I don't have that luxury.
This isn't meant to be a bitter rant (I hope it doesn't sound that way), nor do I regret making the changes I made to make Sway more my own. It's just me, noticing. And somehow, it also gives me a bit more hope for this little romance book I've written that I love so much.