"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Uniquely Unexpected


Readers hate obvious storylines and cookie cutter characters. We’ve all heard people complain “There are no original stories, everything has been done.” If that is true, why are readers still purchasing books?

Your story will automatically be unique because you as an individual are unique. You’ll create stand out characters based on your own dreams and fears. You can make them even more unique by giving them an unexpected quality, either in their appearance, abilities, or quirks.

But how do you create an unexpected ending? How do you keep the reader from guessing what will happen? Hopefully, you are creating so much tension and there is so much at stake that the reader can’t see an out for your characters. However, your ending still needs to be believable on some level.

So, how do you accomplish this?                        

1)      Write down the ending you expect.

2)      Cross it out and don’t allow yourself to use this ending.

3)      Come up with at least three alternate endings.

4)      Choose the best one or some combination for a twist.

Remember, your story will be as unique as you are, but blow it up. Make the characters and plot bigger than life. Just remember fiction readers want believability not reality. Good luck and Happy Writing!

How have you struggled with uniqueness? What have you done to make your work better?

18 comments:

Crystal Collier said...

I love the list approach. I use it when I get stuck in plotting. Nothing is better than a twist out of left field when a story is feeling "generic." ;)

Michael Offutt, "Johnny on the Spot" said...

I haven't struggled with uniqueness per se, but I'm also from the camp that thinks it's okay to rewrite storylines if they are money makers. That's just capitalism.

YVONNE LEWIS: said...

A good topic for the U word.

Yvonne.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

You can always do something in a different way. That's why books will always be read.

Julia Chiang said...

This is wonderful advice....I actually use something similar when I write my poems.....or at least I try. :)

Jan Newman said...

Good idea to cross out the expected ending and come up with others. I'm struggling with the best way to end my current WIP.

Maria Dunn said...

Hi Sylvia. I love this advice and your way to accomplish it. After editing, I try to sleep on it and go over and take out useless words again. I also pray for inspiration. Sometimes it comes only at the last minute. I think we are all unique so it is just letting it bubble to the top. Thanks for a great post once again. God bless, Maria from Delight Directed Living

MOCK! said...

Both of my children love to write! My son especially liked your 4 points for creating an ending!!

Rob-bear said...

There is only one story. Our unique understandings make that story our own. If we do it well, readers will share our joys and fears, intrigues and friendships, and want more.

Just sayin'

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting

Jessica Peterson said...

Great advice. I agree that predictability in a novel is a bit bothersome.

Have fun with a-z. :)

Patricia said...

Hey there, coming back to read your blog! I really enjoyed this entry, and I'm definitely signing up to follow now. :)

- Patricia

Cheryl said...

I like this list. I'll have to try this idea, though I can't say I struggle with it much. The more books I read and the more TV shows I watch with my kids, the more I realize the same themes continue to be popular and still attractive to readers/viewers.

Kathy Wiechman said...

Good suggestions. Thanks.
Kathy @ Swagger Writers

Swapna Dinesh said...

Good suggestion... I am an avid reader and love to know how writers work things out ..

Beverly Fox said...

I love this idea! I'm going to try it out next story I write!

Haley Wolfe said...

Ooh, forbidden endings. I don't know if I have the self-control for that, but it's worth a try!

Ann Hinds said...

Those are really good ideas. I am going to give it a try.

http://completelycalifornia.blogspot.com/

erikajean.com said...

Those are good tips! I always think "that's be a great story" and then I think... "i'm sure it must have been a movie I saw or soemthing".... ;-)

Stopping by from A-Z