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I am a part semi-professional writer. I usually write articles/column for newspapers, stories for magazines and blog posts on websites. I have also written and published a fictional novel that I started years back as a teenager (didn't do to well in the market though).
I recently started a young adult novel with a plot that I derived from some real life incidences. However, as I neared my conclusion, I realized that a novel with an almost similar story and plotting already exist in the market. Surprisingly the stories are so identical!
Now, I am very much concern about it. I mean I have invested so much of my time in achieving 40k words and scrapping it away doesn't make sense. Neither can I ignore the fact that its publication won't benefit me much monetarily and more than that, I am not sure of its legal implications.
Am I at a deadlock?
EDIT: please note that I am not talking about using exact same words. I am simply talking about an astonishing similarity in the story structure and plot. OKAY I AM ADDING SOME MORE SENSE IN MY QUESTION : I wrote a book about a a guy who hails from a poor family. He couldn't get his degree due to financial restraints. But he becomes a software engineer (self-taught). The same thing happens in the other story. In my story the Guy loses his faith in God and refuses to credit God. Same happens in the other story. My character falls in love with a well educated woman but the relation doesn't work because the guy is realistic while the woman believes in religion. Same goes there... In the end, the guy dies living a full 80 years of complete and happy life with enormous success, survived by a beautiful wife and four children. Happens the same in the other ...... Most astonishing is the fact that My character gives an almost exact reason for his disbelief in God and is well regarded by many, even some religious leaders, as it happens in the other BOook!!! (charater names and ages differs though)