The first Wednesday of every month, The Insecure Writer’s Support Group convenes to share struggles, insecurities, triumphs, doubts, and other odds and sods. This month, it coincides with the first day of the A to Z Challenge, so this post is going to be really short even by my standards. I actually had another post written and scheduled, but pushed it off for next month when I discovered something more pressing.
Given the subject of my alternative history, I’ve been hanging around the Alexander Palace Time Machine message boards a lot lately, though I haven’t registered yet. And so I just discovered someone else (who seems a fair bit younger than I am) is also writing a book about the rule of Tsar Aleksey II. This person also seems to have started around the same time I did.
Maybe it’s my fault for having this project on hiatus for so many years before starting over largely from scratch, but I’m still shocked anyone else has my same idea. Granted, the starting premise and storylines seem a fair bit different from mine, but I’m still surprised anyone else would even consider this premise in an alternative history. Not to be morbid or disrespectful to the dead, but a big reason this hasn’t been a common subject (like, e.g., the Nazis winning WWII) is because a lot of people think Aleksey would’ve died young anyway, or wouldn’t have been well enough to rule in his own right.
This person’s English also leaves a lot to be desired, and some of the premises are a bit questionable, like the idea of Aleksandra starting off as Regent. I’d like to think I’m not only a much better writer, but that my premises and storylines are much more historically and realistically sound. My Empress-Consort is also a morganatic princess seven years older than His Majesty, not Princess Ileana of Romania (five years his junior). I also doubt this other person has the unusual Imperial couple saving over nine million people from the Nazis.
How do you cope when you discover someone has your exact same baseline premise? I know it’s not plagiarism or any sort of copying, but I liked the idea of having a unique idea.