Friday, April 8, 2016

Start With A Great Premise

The premise of your story is the foundation your novel is built on. If you don't take the time to really consider, it doesn't matter how much time you spend on the project, the end result will not be what you want.

The problem that far too many authors have is they build a story around a character, or a single setting or scene. They don't end up thinking about the project in general and the larger scheme of things. These authors might have a great voice and their writing is incredible, but that premise is going to be the downfall of the entire story. 

I always like to give a couple of movies as examples of a weak premise. Consider WATERWORLD. The premise of the story? People in search of water, living on water. The protagonist is a fish type of guy, who is a loner and no one in the movie likes him. The bad guys are chain smokers, living on a oil refinery, driving jet skis with automatic assault rifles. Yeah, this sounds like a great premise.

Consider ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. All I have to say is, "Alien Transvestites."

Now don't get me wrong. There are some funny scenes in Waterworld. The scenery is pretty amazing. The music isn't bad. And yes, I love the music in Rocky Horror and the interaction with the audience is fun, BUT...

When we look at the premise of the stories, it just isn't there. 

As you look at your story, consider if it is the premise of the story you are drawn to, or is it one of those supporting ideas such as characters, a great setting or your writing. 

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