Tropes, Stereotypes, and Clichés
When I wrote The Terasrael Chronicles , I knew I wanted to use a different mold than what has been used before .
Mold # 1 : The Evil Emperor
In every book I've ever read , and every movie I have ever watched , the Emperor is always evil . Sometimes you will see a good Empress , but good Emperor ? ? ? Unheard of many say , perhaps some might even say superfluous . I say why not ? Why use the same mold when you can create a new one ?
Mold# 2 : Royal Garb and Palaces
In every story royalty wears , well . . . royal apparel and live in royal estates . such as a castle or a palace . Don't get me wrong , there are some kings who do live in these things in real life , but , That being said , there is something to say about an Emperor who lives in a triple wide modular home instead of a palace or a castle . Instead of wearing royal robes , Wolfmauser wears the uniform of a common soldier . Black cargo pants and a gray shirt with black sides on it and a black coat with gray sleeves and hood .
Mold # 3 Surrounded by servants
Wolfmauser and Cherish both dress themselves and prepare their own meals completely lacking the need for servants . They do however have officers and Non commissioned officers who aide where they can in running the day to day affairs of Terasrael
The point I hope will be taken is that I could be considered a nonconformist when it comes to my story ideas and that suits me fine !
It's not a matter of doing something others haven't done, because long before the reader comes to those gimmicks you will have to have made them want to find out what happens next. Fail that and you lose the writer of page one and they never find out your tricks. He's a different kind of reader? So what? Tell me he's a more entertaining character because of that and you may have something. Not trying to put your idea down. Just pointong out that the writing is what makes the reader turn pages, not the detail.
So write a bit and post an excerpt. It doesn't matter what you intend because intent dribbles from the words at the keyboard. It's what your wordchoice and placement mean to a reader that matters.
At the risk of making waves, let me tell you that when I browse bookstores, or my beloved library sales, I read at three randomly selected spots, I give it three chances to wow me with the prose style. I don't care that an emperor is a good emperor, etc. To me, that's like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. It's the quality of the writing that sells me. Often a snippet hooks me with seductive characterization and true-to-my-ear dialogue.
You tell me you have a good emperor, he wears plain dress, etc. This is a breakthrough? Show us a sample of your writing, we may applaud your tweaks. But our focus will be on the integrity of the storytelling. What I fear is that you are focusing on the wrong things.I may be wrong. Show me that I'm wrong.
--edited by Mimi Speike on 2/10/2015, 6:45 PM--
When I look at recently published work, particularly in the literary fiction realm, I have to wonder how it got through the rigid definitions of good writing perpetuated by bloggers, agent Q & A columns, and even comments on sites like this. I just finished An Unnecessary Woman, which I found utterly iconoclastic, plotless, and yet old-fashioned in the sense that the character of this plotless story made me feel less alone. I had much in common with this elderly Beiruti woman. I don't know how the author got through the modern literary gatekeepers and through that very narrow gate that demands an exciting plot on page 1, but I am richer for having read this book, despite my annoyance that the author is published for breaking ALL the rules as they are declared in all of the above sources and more.
What is a "good book" anyway? That's the million dollar question, and since so many published & promoted books defy the common wisdom of today's "good book," then common wisdom can only get you so far.
--edited by RCGravelle on 7/25/2015, 4:52 PM--