Sin #20: Same ol’, same ol’
The only one of a kind, one in a million, different from all others…not likely, but that doesn’t mean you have to fall in with the rest of the crowd. While a lot of people seem to be striving to be different, it’s pretty apparent that what they are really doing is following in the footsteps of almost everyone that has gone before them.
Some writers become disheartened by this, thinking that if there are no truly unique ideas, or characters, or storylines then what’s the point? They might as well give up now. Other writers embrace the idea and go with the flow, creating story after story of the same old stuff that’s been seen a million times before. Spewing out hackneyed and clichéd characters in a desperate attempt to jump on the success bandwagon…and let’s face it, it works for those kinds of writers more often than not.
But what about the truly individual and exceptional storylines and characters that seem to pop up once in a blue moon? The kind of character that leaves you kicking yourself and wishing you had thought of that. The ideas are not always groundbreaking or once-in-a-lifetime deals, but they are unique and that makes them interesting. It intrigues the reader and allows them to be drawn into the story as if they were reading their first book again.
Even when we really enjoy a book there will always be parts of the plot, certain characters, or some scenes that don’t surprise and astonish us. This is because we’ve read this kind of stuff before, sure the MC might not be clichéd and they might differ from other characters but they will form some kind of trope that we are all used too. Like the character trying to hide a zombie bite until they turn at the worst possible moment, or a character mentioning a fear you just know they’ll have to face late…while its possible these events will be exciting, and maybe the way the character deals with it will be interesting, the reader will know (even if its just lurking in their subconscious) roughly what’s going to happen.
The best kind of stories are the ones that stun and shock, leaving the reader flabbergasted and flummoxed. By adding a touch of uniqueness to your work it may just be possible to nudge the reader back into the realms of amazement and leave them on edge whilst reading the rest of your story.
It doesn’t have to be a nasty surprise, hell it doesn’t have to be a ‘surprise’ at all!
Just a little touch on uniqueness that separates your book from the thousand other novels they have read. A little something that will stick in their head, make them remember the book and hopefully the authors name!
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss
So have a look through your work and see if there’s any room for individuality, exceptionality and uniqueness – something that will knock the socks of your readers.