Saturday, February 1, 2014

Novelty in the Novel

It cannot be stressed enough: take your readers somewhere new. Come up with something completely original. (Try standing on your head to get ideas.) Create something terrifically fresh, customized by your own unique viewpoint. Put yourself into the story. Glean details. Add them where they paint vividly. Make them dance.

Wonder. What would we do without wonder? Twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are...

I wonder what's around the corner of that very old brick building. I wonder what's at the other end of the open field. I wonder what's down the winding path in the rocky woodlands. I wonder what kind of bird's song I am hearing overhead. I wonder if I am the only person ever to examine this wild plant. I wonder if I am the only one who ever saw that cloud formation in glowing orange as the sun sank beneath the horizon. I wonder if the other persons who saw it and liked it appreciated it as I do. I wonder if I can hit that old dead tree with this rock. I can! (Don't worry, it's my tree and I didn't hit anybody's window. Or anybody's head.)

"Plunk! She picked up a rock and chucked it. It curved to the right and sank with a hiss deep into the decomposed rubbish that blanketed the forest floor with a natural moist mulch. She tried again. This time it whizzed by the edge, removing a bit of rotten bark with its hatchet-sharp surface. Determined to improve her skill, she picked up a third rock, aimed carefully, raised her unusually muscly arm, and let it fly. The hunk of stone struck the tree dead center with a resounding smack that rattled the dead branches above, and she smiled at her own success. If she couldn't do everything, there was at least one thing she could do. Little did she know her newfound skill would later make her a hometown hero on the nine o'clock news."

All through the segment, did you wonder if the rock would strike the tree? I wonder if you did.

Write on.

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