Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Being Too Creative Can Be A Bad Thing

All writers have heard the same thing. Try to be unique. Bring something new to the table to wow those editors and agents. We all want to be on the cutting edge of something new. But there is a word of caution here. Sometimes, being too creative and too different may be the one things standing in the way of that next contract.

I was working with a client a couple of days ago and we were talking about her latest Work In Progress. As we talked about some approaches, we came up with some pretty exotic and different approaches. Some really stepped away from the standard approach. These were some pretty AMAZING ideas. In the end, however, we tossed those ideas out.


The approaches were too different.

Now, I know what some of you might be thinking. This is why you self-publish. You don't have to be tied to ridiculous stereotypes and molds. You want to be free. And, while this idea may sound great, authors also have to remember that the readers are also expecting certain things.

When your book buyers pick up your novel, they are expecting certain things. They expect a particular voice. They expect characters to do things that other characters in that genre would normally do. They expect pacing and plotting to be similar to other novels. Throwing them a curve ball runs a huge risk. It will either be an epic hit or an epic failure.

Let me give you another analogy. My daughter had a horse show this last weekend. During the Jumper Speed round, she decided to not push the horse as fast as he could go (He is an off the track race horse and an really book around a course if he wants to). Instead, she took the safer route, held him back a little, cleared the course and did well. Had she gone Mach 11, she ran the risk he would take jumps long or chip the jumps which would likely result in a rail down and a fault. Did she take first? No. Did she place high in the round, yes!

In other words, the safe route might be the best approach.

Just something to think about.


  1. A very cheery something to think about, I must say.

  2. One of my favorite books is Stephen King's IT. I think I first read it in the early '90's and every now and than I pick it up and do it again.

    I do not read this book to be scared. To me, this book has nothing to do with a scary clown wrecking havoc in a small town. For me the book is all about character.

    I love the way he took us deep into their minds and allowed us to see their world. Simple as that.

    Readers want to be entertained but most of all we want characters we care about. We want them to succeed. Or if their the bad guy, fail. Whatever it is, it all comes down to the character.