Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What Makes Your Story Stand Out?

There are a ton of writers out there. All of these individuals are fighting for those coveted places in the marketplace as well as in the yearly line-ups for the publishers. These writers are also fighting desperately for the attention of the readers out there. Regardless of whether you are going through the traditional publishing models or the self-publishing models, it is beyond essential these days to find a way to make you stand out to the public!

Unfortunately, too many writers don't!

As a writer, BEFORE you even start crafting that story, writing those great scenes, putting those fantastic characters together, and so forth, you have to begin with the premise of the story. What is the story going to be about. This goes beyond simply what the plot is about. This is the entire package. When we talk about the premise of a story it involves the theme, the message and the plot. I looked up the definition of premise this AM and there is a lot to work with here. "a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion." Although, in most cases, when we talk about the premise of something, we are generally looking at this in terms of logic, but there is something in this statement that I think stands out. It is the phrase, "from which another...follows as a conclusion." I looked at a couple of other definitions and these all were looking a the same thing. The premise is the foundation of the story.

I bring this up because far too many authors simply don't have a premise that is unique or different. In fact, when you talk to the writers, they tend to think the "foundation" of the story, or the premise is the unique character they toss into the mix. Please note that the characters are there to help convey the premise to the reader. The same goes for the plot elements, the great scenes and the dialogue. But it is the premise of the story that makes it unique.

Writers need to understand that editors and readers are looking for something unique and different, still they do want something they are familiar with. Think of burgers. We love plain old cheese burgers. These are comfort foods. But throw a spin at it. Give us something different but maintain that part of the burger we love, and you have a new premise.

I pass on far too many projects simply because that story has been done before. That premise is used up. Spin me something new!

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