Every idea that you ever have for a novel will come true and thus no longer seem like an original idea.
So you might as well pitch that thriller you were working on in grad school that had exactly this plot.
Ok, it took place in Los Angeles in my novella and there were some murders, but it's still essentially the same plot. Faithful readers recall that this has happened at least a couple of times before.
I think this is the universe telling me to type faster.
Many of the best pieces of fiction draw on and build upon real life. That great American novel, Moby-Dick, was based on actual events, and even science fiction novels have been inspired by very factual events.
The best back-handed advice on writing I've ever heard is from novelist Pat Conroy, who remarked how every one of his characters had something of himself infused in them. I think that's the essential difference between great storytelling and mere reporting - whether a soul has been laid bare in it, be it the writer's or the reader's or both.
This is very true for creating characters, less so for twist endings.
I feel like there's a twist ending in this somehow. Maybe a Batman kinda thing... the hero doesn't have to kill the villain because the hippos do the dirty work for him.
Or maybe not to worry about it. :) Never underestimate the power of mutual revelation. With as many billions of people as we have on this planet now, it's inevitable.
It's off-topic, sort of, but fits better here than anywhere else:
What did you think of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom? Most of the people I know who've read it have pre-existing biases that might influence their opinion. You, however, are a more random sample.
(An odd thing to call someone, but I mean no offense.)
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