Yesterday, I read the first four chapters of my book. It was quite good. Except for one major problem: it wasn't my book. It was a book written just over a year ago that I came across quite by accident messing around with my Kindle. I downloaded a preview and started reading. OK, the opening scene was in a different local, the artefact was slightly different, and the first person died rather quickly. But some of the backstory that was leaked was quite closely along the lines of where I was going with my novel.
It was a bit disappointing to say the least but then I remembered the epic poem of Gilgamesh.
Written sometime around 2000 B.C. it describes a mighty king oppressing his subjects. Another man, raised by animals, challenges the king. The king puts a seductive secret agent in his way but the man avoids the trap and challenges the king to a duel. The king loses, the man spares him, and they become friends and they have a few adventures together. The man dies and the king goes looking for the answer to eternal life. He finds it but a snake steals it. The king returns, resigned to being mortal, and rules fairly, grows old, and dies.
Standard adventure stuff. In fact, every adventure pretty much follows the flow of Gilgamesh.
And therefore, my book has not been written. Yet. It will be different from that book whose first four chapters I downloaded yesterday. But will be a lot like Gilgamesh revisited. As all great adventure stories are.