Can I be blunt here? Just to save a lot of time? No-one is going to steal your story idea. Generally speaking, people who think others are going to steal their idea, well they tend to be early-days, novice writers (if you catch my drift).
Writers fear many things of course … but they are normally things like running out of coffee, endless rejection, fear of being misunderstood, fear that the changes you spent all day doing were suddenly lost in a freak technical glitch – or running out of coffee – and so on.
As a fellow writer myself, I know your idea
will be very important to you. Something you have nurtured, nourished,
protected with lioness-like claws and teeth – it’s your baby after all – but in
its present form your idea is not that important to anyone else. Your idea is
(a) just an idea – a thought in your head and (b) it’s yours … your voice, your
thread, your concepts, your characters, your ‘treatment’, your point of view
that bring that idea to life.
Even if someone was ‘inspired’ by your idea – they would mould the story in a very different fashion to you.
You can’t copyright an idea – copyright only covers ‘original works of authorship’. However, if you are worried by such things, once you have committed your idea to paper, then you have the beginnings of a paper trail.
Many newbie writers are scared to hand over their draft manuscript to others who have the expertise to provide advice and turn those draft notes into a great story with arcs and hooks and a profound take-away message. My advice to you, if you are one of these writers – let it go … let it go.
Rest assured if you hand your work over to a professional writer, ghostwriter, editor, proof reader, designer, publishing agent or anyone else in the whole world of publishing and word-related activities – they have their own file of their own ideas. They will have a bottom drawer full of their own languishing manuscripts, their own desires, their own belief that their manuscript is the next big thing. They certainly do not have the desire or the inclination to steal your ideas.
What they do have is a wealth of industry experience. Writing is not called a ‘craft’ for nothing. Writers are constantly learning, researching, studying, working endlessly to improve and convey and communicate their innermost thoughts and feelings. They have a wealth of knowledge about narrative arcs, plot arcs, rules of genre, rules that can be broken, industry requirements, marketing, tone of voice, points of view, character traits, orphans, widows and other such technicalities. And these people are WILLING to share what they have learned over the years – just to see another writer become an author – just to see a fellow human being achieve their writing ambitions.
So, if you are one of those writers scared someone will pinch your idea, don’t hold yourself back because of ‘fear’. Fear stifles creativity, it stifles action. Getting the right people involved in your idea and subsequent manuscript will elevate your story – perhaps beyond your immediate abilities, and certainly beyond your wildest dreams.
Save your fears and energies for something else – as a writer, you won’t have your troubles to seek … lol. Sorry if that was tough love – but I promise it did come from a place of love.