And then, as you start writing, fingers flying fast over keyboard, you have the odd feeling the idea wasn't as solid as you thought when you awoke inspired and full of fresh energy.
In fact, as you re-read your work, you begin to suspect your fingers have been temporarily possessed by the FrankenWriter because everything you wrote seems far less fresh and original than you'd thought.
You might discover you've sewn together a left arm from Stuart Little, a leg from Little House on the Praire. The head, you'll realize, is that of Percy Jackson, Medusalike with a thousand snaking plots slowly turning your brain into stone.
As you study it, you'll realize with all the horror resserved for monsters like FrankenWriting, you've thrown in a dash of the Hobbit and pinch of Harry Potter (hello elderly wizard character Gandalf meets Dumbledore).
Your heroine might be Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangled with a werecat and a 50 Shades of Gray kink-obsessed zombie.
I know! It's a frightening prospect. Especially for your main character.
What's the best protection against FrankenWriting? It's not garlic, holy water or staying in after dark behind tightly locked doors.
It might be found in writing groups, unbiased (although the lawyer in me struggles with how to properly verify that word) readers or the all-important marination of time.
Personally, I find time to be the truest test of my own words. Can I read them without cringing? Is the story a compilation of other ideas sewn together with string and electrical wiring that makes my hair stand on end during a re-reading?
Sometimes those are reliable methods for discovering FrankenWriting and sometimes they're not. I'm always