Marketing for Romance Writers Magazine July, 2018 Volume # 1, Issue # 7 - Page 17

JUNE , 2018


The major misconception about story ideas has to do with what they can and cannot accomplish . Let me illustrate with a cocktail party , or family barbecue , or writers ‘ event — scenario . The Author , maybe you or me , stands at edge of the crowd to maximize observation potential . We ‘ re eavesdroppers and surveillance experts after all . We know , as Nora Ephron said , that everything is copy , so we ‘ re always on the lookout for glimpses of story fodder .
Since we are also savvy Authors , our glasses contain sparkling water , diet cola , tonic with lime or something equally nonalcoholic . We know that keeping the head clear is essential to keeping the perception sharp and the memory intact for later note-taking . We are further aware that every foray into the world holds the possibility for sighting a publishing pro , and we must be ever ready to do some sober impressing . Like I said , we ‘ re savvy .
Meanwhile , a fellow partier sidles over to you , but is unfortunately anything but a publishing professional . In fact , this guy or gal is a civilian , as in not a publishing person at all , and especially not an Author . Soon he or she discovers that you however are the real thing , an actual bona fide Author in the flesh . At which point , your new-found companion from the non-pub world suggests some variation on the following .
― I ‘ ve got a terrific idea for a novel . Bestseller for sure . How ‘ s about I tell you
my idea , you write the story , and then we split the take fifty-fifty ?‖
More than one misconception is in play here . First off , this non-practitioner of the writing arts completely underestimates the writing process . Legendary sportswriter Red Smith once famously said , ― There ‘ s nothing to writing . All you do is sit down at the typewriter and open a vein .‖ Of course , your sidekick with the bestseller idea , who has now glommed onto you like an overboard sailor in search of a port in a storm , knows nothing about the bloodletting aspect of a writer ‘ s work . Worse yet , he does not understand that an idea is not a story .
An idea is only a kernel . That kernel may possess the potential to grow into the next Nora King , Mary Higgins , or Grisham opus , or it may not . Either way , tons of nurture , strain , frustration , doubt and , ah yes , bloodletting must be applied between the planting of that seed kernel and its sometimes quite long-distant future harvest . A clever idea may be a jumping off place , but , without the sweat equity required , the storyteller is in for a hard fall and a lean crop .
Let me make very clear that not only non-writers are susceptible here . I have myself experienced the exhilaration of a Technicolor idea strike . Here ‘ s how that phenomenon generally goes . A story concept , or maybe just the flash of a scene , appears unexpectedly out of the blue , like lightning in the mind . And , in that instant , I am immediately certain something entirely new and previously unimagined has been revealed .
― This is it ,‖ I cry out in creative ecstasy between heart palpitations . ― This is the story I have to write .‖
The problem is that I don ‘ t really have a story . I only have an idea , and an idea is only a beginning . A story , particularly in the commercial publishing arena where so many of us practice our craft , requires a plot with a beginning , a middle and an end . At best , my dazzling epiphany of inspiration will get me through the opening scene , maybe even the first chapter . Sadly , on the other hand , without a lot more work , the story tumbles downhill from there .
Any editor worth her blue pencil will see straight through the Technicolor bit to the lackluster follow-up . Even if she is impressed by the story ‘ s start , she ‘ ll have figured out the truth long before the probably nonexistent finish . Which did , in fact , happen to me with the proposal for a suspense novel tentatively titled Live Burial . I must admit I was as blindingly dazzled by that title inspiration as I had been by the initial idea strike . Until my then-agent leveled her critique straight at me .
― Sorry , Alice ,‖ she said , and she actually did look sorrowful . ― You ‘ ve got no second act .‖
JUNE, 2018 THE WRONG IDEA ABOUT STORY IDEAS By: Alice Orr The major miscon- ception about story ideas has to do with what they can and cannot accomplish. Let me illustrate with a cocktail party, or family barbecue, or writers‘ event—scenario. The Author, maybe you or me, stands at edge of the crowd to maximize observation potential. We‘re eavesdroppers and surveillance experts after all. We know, as Nora Ephron said, that everything is copy, so we‘re always on the looko Ёȁ͕)ѽ䁙ȸ)Mݔɔͼͅѡ̰)͕́хɭ݅ѕȰЁ)ѽݥѠȁͽѡՅ)]܁ѡЁѡ)ȁ͕́ѥѼѡȴ)ѥ͡ѡ䁥хЁ)ѕȁєх]ɔѡȁ݅ɔ)ѡЁٕ䁙Ʌ䁥Ѽѡݽɱ́ѡ)ͥ䁙ȁͥѥՉ͡ɼ)ݔЁٕȁɕѼͽ)ͽȁɕͥ1$ͅݗaɔ)ͅ)5ݡ܁ѥȁͥ)ٕȁѼ԰Ё́չչѕ䁅ѡ)ЁՉ͡ɽͥ%аѡ)䁽ȁ́٥́ЁՉ͠)ͽЁ䁹Ё)ѡȸMȁ͍ٕ́͡ѡ)ԁݕٕȁɔѡɕѡՅ)ѡȁѡ͠Ёݡ)аȁܵչɽ)ѡՈݽɱ՝́ͽمɥ)ѥѡݥ+U'aٔЁѕɥȁٕ) ͕ȁȁɔ!ߊáЁ$ѕ()䁥ԁɥєѡѽ䰁ѡݔ)Ёѡх䵙X)5ɔѡ͍ѥ́)䁡ɔЁѡ́Ʌѥѥ)ѡɥѥ́ѕչɕѤ)ѕ́ѡɥѥɽ̸1)ɥѕȁIMѠͱ)ͅUQɗáѡѼɥѥ)́ͥЁݸЁѡɥѕȁ)ٕX=͔ȁͥݥѠѡ)͕ȁݡ́܁)Ѽԁٕɉɐͅȁ)͕ɍЁѽɴ́Ѡ)ЁѡѥЁ)ɥѕˊáݽɬ]͔а́)չхѡЁ́Ёѽ)́䁄ɹQЁɹ)͕́ѡѕѥѼɽ܁Ѽ)ѡЁ9Ʉ-5!̰)ɥ̰͡ȁЁ䁹иѡȁ݅)ѽ́ɔɅɅѥՉ)̰ѥЁ)ݕѡѥѡЁ͕ɹ)́ͽѥ́եєхЁԴ)ɔٕиٕȁ䁉)յаݥѡЁѡݕ)եɕեɕѡѽѕȁ́ȁ)ɐɽ)1Ёٕ䁍ȁѡЁЁ)ɥѕ́ɔ͍ѥɔ$ٔ)͕ɥѡᡥɅѥ)Qȁɥ!ɗá܁ѡ)Ʌ䁝̸ѽ䁍)аȁ剔Ёѡ͍͠)́չѕ䁽ЁѡՔ)ѹѡѡЁ)ха$ѕ䁍хͽ)ѡѥɕ䁹܁ɕ٥ͱո)́ɕٕ+UQ́́гX$䁽Ёɕѥٔ)х䁉ݕЁхѥ̸UQ́)ѡѽ$ٔѼɥєX)Qɽ́ѡЁ$aЁɕ)ٔѽ丁$䁡ٔ)́䁄ѽ䰁ѥԴ)ɱ䁥ѡɍՉ͡ɕ)ݡɔͼ䁽́ɅѥȁɅа)ɕեɕ́ЁݥѠ)Ёа䁑鱥)䁽ɅѥݥЁѡɽ՝ѡ)͍剔ٕѡ)ѕȸM䰁ѡѡȁݥѠ)ЁЁɔݽɬѡѽյ)ݹɽѡɔ)䁕ѽȁݽѠȁՔݥ)͕ɅЁѡɽ՝ѡQȁ)Ѽѡѕȁٕܵ͡)ɕ͕ѡѽáха͡aٔ)ɕЁѡѠɔѡ)ɽ䁹ѕЁ͠])аѼݥѠѡɽͅ)ȁ͔ٕѕхѥٕѥѱ1ٔ) ɥ$ЁЁ$݅́́)鱕ѡЁѥѱɅѥ́$)ѡѥɥUѥ)ѡЁٕȁɥѥՔɅЁ)+UM䰁X͡͡ͅ)Յ䁑ͽɽݙհUe׊aٔЁ)͕лX(