Hello, my name is Frank Phillips, and I am in an utter state of turmoil. Be warned, this is a rambling post.
You see, I write horror stories and post them on the Wikia. I've been doing so ever since I simultaneoulsy discovered the wonders of CreepyPasta and Edgar Allen Poe in the year of 2013 in the midst of the dark and Hellish days [daze] of 8th-grade.
It's been 5 years now, and while I've never gained any kind of infamy in the community, I've been faithfully pumping out and rewriting stories that I plan on publishing one day, with mostly positive reception. But there is a turmoil in my mind that I have never spoken about aside from a couple of close friends. And I am only writing this now as a way to release this frustration, because just a few minutes ago I experienced the last straw.
What is this turmoil, you might ask? Well, it is this: I keep coming up with ideas, thinking they are completely original and get excited about them and then run off with them into the dark. Only later, I will find that I've accidentally ripped somebody off!
The most obnoxious person who I seem to have similar ideas from is none other than Stephen King. I admittedly have not read much by him, though I respect him greatly, because the man is so goddamned influential that I keep stealing his ideas not knowing he had the ideas before me!
The first instance was when I decided that I would place all of my stories into a cohesive timeline, and use character references and fictional towns to connect otherwise unrelated stories, along with some that tie intertwine directly together. Then I learned after I'd begun the process that Stephen King did exactly that himself, with his famous fictional towns of Derry and Castle Rock. This didn't disturb me that much, nobody could possibly accuse me of being a Stephen King rip-off just by creating my own personal mythos for my writing.
But then, back in 2014, I came up with an idea for a short story called "The Phantom of Ourselves." This was originally intended to be a sequel to the first story I wrote, "The Journal of Sullivan Jones." I never posted the story, however, and the original version was lost. But then in 2015 I returned to the idea of the story, and decided to make it isolated from "The Journal of Sullivan Jones" (before I underwent the task of rewriting all my writing to fit it together in the same universe) and called it "The Book of Agony." I was quite pleased with it, and decided that the story should be continued, and ended up turning a separate story idea I had into a sequel to the first part. I got about halfway through the second part when I decided to read Stephen King's novel It. Note this was long before the new movies were announced, and I'd never seen the one with Tim Curry.
But to my utter horror, the antagonist in the stories, "The Nameless," might as well have been a shitty Pennywise. Because the antagonist, an entity called "The Nameless" took the form of frightening people, would latch onto somebody, feed off of their fear for a while, and then take them to a place to be tortured. I was devasted.
I put the project aside for about three years, and now I'm returning ot it, though I had to make some changes to the antagonist in order to not make him like discount Pennywise.
A later incident that affected me much less was when I had a dream about this old house in the wild west where all sorts of monsters resided, and I would have a character go in and traverse it, where realms of evil would centralize into it. Luckily I never got around to writing it, because then I learned that the original concept had similarities to The Dark Tower. Blast! Stephen King beating me to it once again!
I know there have been a couple of more instances, I think Stephen King being the culprit as well as Clive Barker on another occasion (actually Barker was with "The Book of Agony" and his novella The Hellbound Heart), but I can't recall them at the moment.
But this.... This is the last straw. Stephen King better damn well just cut it out before I get really upset. Because I'm not even just ripping off of him by accident. No, I'm ripping off two entire mythos from two other authors that Stephen King mentioned. And I never even knew it!
I'll explain further. I recently bought a copy of Night Shift by Stephen King, a collection of some of his short stories. Today I finished reading the first story, "Jerusalem's Lot," which is a semi-sequel to his novel 'Salem's Lot (which I have yet to read). In it, there is a kind of cosmic horror entity reffered to as "The Worm." And I won't place any spoilers, but the small glimpse you get of it is a large ring of teeth.
And THIS is why this is the final straw. Because over the past two years now, I have been carefully planning and plotting the course of my fictional multiverse, and a very, VERY large pillar of that multiverse lies on a cosmic interdimensional monster that I called... drum roll please....
How dare he! Damn you, Stephen King! I unknowingly stole the same blasted name, except I replaced the "o" with a "y" to make it look more archaic and terrifying. And sure enough, it is revealed that the ring of teeth is part of some massive worm monster. Well... guess what my own "creation," the Wyrm looks like? A big black slug with a ring of teeth! In fact, I even wrote an entire 27,000 word NOVELLA based entirely around this stupid monster! Hell, it's even in the name of the fucking story: "The Summoning of the Wyrm." And I've referenced this monster throughout several of my stories and it's even an element in my current project, which is almost the length of a novel. So what the hell am I supposed to do? Completely rewrite the beast, painfully comb through every story I've mentioned him, rewrite my novella and repost it, and overhaul the design of it? Or am I supposed to just hope that whenever I start publishing, nobody will ever ever ever notice?
To make matters worse, it's not just Stephen King with this. The Wyrm rips off an entire mythos and string of outside references! The Worm was originally created by author Robert Bloch, who ties a fictional book into this creature called De Vermis Mysteriis. This book is also referenced in Stephen King's short story I read, too. In fact, it's been used by many people, including H.P. Lovecraft, who was a close friend of Bloch's and incorporates it into his own mythos. And there's a whole wikipedia page about the fictional big with a giant list of everything piece of media the book has appeared in.
My delusions of originality are shattered. I don't know what to do. Should I just ignore it and let people say I'm stealing the monster without giving credit? Should I rework two years of meticulous planning in the name of originality? Or should I say FUCK IT and embrace this newly found mythos and just throw in the damned book somewhere and say that the creature exists and does evil in my own multiverse (which would be lore-possible, since my own universe is technically an infinite multiverse.)
You know what the funniest part is? I didn't even remember it until now. My Wyrm has been fermenting and ruminating in my head for so long that I have to remind myself of this detail on occasion when I forget it. When I forget the origins of the Wyrm in my own writing.
The Wyrm wasn't even completely original to begin with. But it wasn't inspired by any work of literature or mythos. The Wyrm was originally inspired a couple of years ago by Marilyn Manson's concept album Antichrist Superstar, which follows the story of a mysterious evil creature called the Worm that takes over a boy's mind and turns him into the antichrist. This is actually the basis for a novel I plan on writing surrounding the Wyrm and a character that I will momentarily introduce in my current project by the name of Andy Grast, who under the influence of the Wyrm becomes my universe's equivalent of the Antichrist. (Andy Grast? Antichrist? Say them aloud and you'll hear my little pun int he character's name.)
So in addition to all these authors, I've also ripped off Marilyn Manson. Though atleast I knew I was directly inspired by Marilyn Manson. A lot more solace can be taken when you know what's inspired you instead of what you find out after the fact has already been done by somebody else and that you're not as original as you thought.
If you've read this far, I commend you. I wouldn't even read this shit-spew of words. I'm off to go sulk and angrily smoke cigarettes now. be well, and for God's sake if you are a regular writer here, start to read published horror. You may find you've been ripping somebody off yourself. It took me too long to get around to it, an now I'm paying dearly for it.
DAMNIT! AGAIN! Not even ten minutes after I posted this, Stephen King did it again! I looked up Stephen King's multiverse and read that he has a universe where cell phones reduced people to zombie-like states. The EXACT concept I had for later down the road in my timeline, where terrorists develop protists that feed off of cell tower radiation and cause zombie-like symptoms that results in a global outbreak. When will it end!?