Has this ever happened to you? Do you worry that it might, one day?
Does it haunt you? The thought that maybe, one day, you could accomplish your dream, get published and then...DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN...someone calls you a thief?(Didn't till now? Whoops...my fault...)
Okay, so, unless you consciously are a thieving liar, then I doubt you'll ever have to worry. But what about when you're busy writing a book, editing you book, or submitting it and someone comes along and publishes that idea, close enough that you just *facepalm*?
Do you keep going? Do you quit? Try something else? Break stuff and insult the authors mother?
Me (it happened a little over a year ago) I finished off the novel and put it in a drawer. I quit it...and used some bad language against someone who is probably a very fine person and not at all what I said nor did the things I suggested they do. (tempers.)
BUT, my version blew in comparison. It was a smidgen too generic and the other guy wrote it better. I'm the kind of person that knows when to let go and not regret it. (JNCO's, let 'em go. Wearing 12 necklaces at once, Let it go((oh...high school...)) Diets, let 'em go)
So, if faced with that situation, you just have to use your best judgment. If your judgment sucks, ask a friend. But either way, it's up to you if you give it up or keep it alive.
Here are some questions can ask yourself: Is my idea better? Is my idea stronger? Is my idea different enough? Am I good enough to make this work? Do I love it enough?
If you answer "yes" to any of them, see where you can take it! And don't lose heart.
Also: Did you get your copy of Wither yesterday? This gal did. Hazzah!