Monday, July 09, 2012

I think they might be missing the point...

I read an article recently that Hollywood is scouring the indie books to find more like "50 Shades of Grey" so they can buy the film rights. That reminded me of how so many of the children's and YA books that came out after Harry Potter were all about the witches and wizards, and then later, all about vampires after Twilight came out.

Now, I have nothing against erotica, witches, or vampires.  I happen to like them all. 

HOWEVER, trying to make lightning strike twice using a copycat approach just doesn't work, in my humble opinion, and here's why:

The reason I loved the Harry Potter series wasn't because it was about a boy wizard at a magical boarding school. I loved Harry Potter because of the characters, and the way the books made me feel.  I loved the fun and the mystery. The magic and supernatural elements, and the fantastic world building were all wonderful, granted - but they were still only a part of it. The real appeal for me was in the characters I fell in love with - characters I wanted to spend time with, and get to know. 

Recently, before I had even read the article about Hollywood copies, I had started looking at my own WIPs and deciding what was worth keeping and what wasn't. Thought about the books I like to read, and why.  Thought about the type of book that would make me super excited to get to the keyboard every day and keep at it until I typed "the end."  I realized that I wanted characters I would love as much the characters in my favorite books, settings that were so real I could feel right at home, and a nice dash of mystery and fun.

And guess what?  They don't have to be boy wizards or sparkly vampires or kinky guys tying people to their beds for that to happen.  :)

How about you? What keeps you excited to get to the keyboard/pad of paper?


  1. For me it's always the characters. I haven't read 50 Shades of Grey and have no desire to. It's not my type of book. But you mentioned the Harry Potter books, and at their heart is...Harry Potter. He's starts off as a Cinderella archetype. A lot of stories do really well with that archetype.

    Of course, after that, he goes into a fantastically plotted and peopled hero's journey. I think JK Rowling is a genius.

    I'm excited to get to my next book. It's my characters that make me excited. And my story idea. My last story was darker, and this will be lighter. I'm eager to start it.

  2. Finding out what happens next is the key for me. Characters are very important to me. Action is important. But what happens next? Even in writing I want to know.

  3. EDIE - You're right about the Cinderella archetype and the hero's journey. (Reminds me of the Kurt Vonnegut video you posted - I loved that!) :)

    Now I'm excited to read your new story - you do light humor very well. :)

  4. CHARLES - Your comment makes me think that maybe you don't plot the book ahead of time? Are you more of a "pantser" than a "plotter"? :)

    "What happens next" is always a good thing to have in a story, and I think you're very good at keeping that tension building in your work.

  5. Very wise, Kate! The next 'big thing' usually comes out of the blue, not from a score of imitators. I found that was the hardest thing was finding out what kind of story I wanted to write, and to have faith that other people would want to read it. I learnt a lot about myself during the process, too. Books are individual, like the people who write them. Writing by rote or imitation is never quite the same.

    Great to meet you, and thanks for the comment on Magical Musings!

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Juliet! It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one struggling to find my niche and having faith that someone else would want to read my books. I'm getting ready to go in an entirely different direction from where I've been, so I'll have to have that kind of faith.

    It also seems like you made the right choice - your book, "Eden's Garden", sounds really good!

  7. Hollywood wants what is going to make it money. Super heroes, sparkly vampires, wizards, or steamy sex...if one makes money, versions of that keep going on screen until the cash cow is dry.

    I liked Harry Potter for the same reason you do. Character is always important to me. But whether it's character, plot, setting, or what happens next...something has to grab my attention and then hold it. The great thing about reading is that I never know what is going to grab my attention. That's why I think it can be so hard for me to write.

  8. Travis, I know what you mean when you say it can be hard for you to write when so many things interest you. It can be hard to choose.

  9. I couldn't agree more. It's the characters that make me love and remember a book.

  10. Hi Cora! Good to see you here. :)

    I'm currently looking over all my characters to see who is making the grade and who needs to be fired.


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