"To be or not to be, that is the question..."
My writer's dichotomy: to write what the market dictates or to write the awe inspiring, compelling story electrified with personal passion and risk the market.
Some of my manuscripts have been safely tucked on my computer waiting for the market to realize the need. :)
On the other hand, my current WIP might complement both worlds if I added a tweak or two. Wouldn't it be nice to write the next blockbusting trendsetter of to-be-published books?
Easier said than done, I know.
How can I transform my WIP to a trendsetter?
Here are some starters:
A trendsetting book does not need to be a new idea:
Someone once said, "There's no such thing as a new story." (I'd credit the person, if I knew who he or she was.)
The 2000 blockbuster movie, Cast Away, marooned Tom Hank's character on an island for several years. So captivated by the Fed Ex agent's plight, I didn't notice this was the same story as Robinson Crusoe until someone pointed it out to me. Was this story a mere remake? Hardly. Cast Away sparked freshness, appeal, and power. It yanked viewers from their seats and plunged them deep into a gripping story.
Take a moment to think about your current WIP plot. What story is it similar to: Cinderella, (rags to riches) Sleeping Beauty, (dashing prince saves the damsel) etc.? What special barriers have you used in your plot to yank your readers from their sofas and plunged them deep into your gripping story?
A trendsetting book feels, breathes, and responds:
I'm not referring only to romance novels. Stephen King's books own these qualities as well.
Authors like King, Clancy, Asimov, Shakespeare, Blackstone, Rivers, Alcorn, and a host of others have crafted stories that pry doors open and propel readers into parallel worlds. On the other side of each door lays a golden invitation meticulously centered on a silver platter, inviting--enticing--daring readers to turn the page.
These trendsetting authors teased readers with simple temptations: come--turn the page and walk into my frightening room where fears are tested; close your eyes as you enter the murder room or prison, wash up on the shores of the uninhabited island, climb the Himalayas, plunge into the ocean, creep into the dark alley, swoosh into your true loves arms, or rest in the romantic cabin aboard a cruise ship.
Then on the last page, the last paragraph, the last line, the last word--readers will force themselves to breathe again--and wish for more.
Only a trendsetter could do this.
This has turned into a greater topic than I thought. Part II will be posted in two weeks.
Until then, what are your thoughts?
What story made you whip through its pages, desperately fighting sleep to finish another chapter, or possibly the last page?
How can your novel make future writers say, "I'd wish I thought of that?"
How have you added spices to your novel to cause readers to savor the words, characters, plot, or setting and think about them the next day?