April 29, 2021– As we wrap up pushing the envelope in our writing, I hope that you’ve enjoyed the theme of this month. Be sure to join us in May as we begin our next topic, Writing Kid’s Books; you don’t want to miss it! Today we’ll be chatting about 3 ways you can push the envelope in your writing by choosing an epic plot that is unexpected.
- Rags to Riches to Rags-Rags to riches is a pretty common theme in novels and movies, but taking it one step further will help push the envelope in your writing. I know you’ve heard me say this before, but it’s worth repeating; not every story has to have a happy ending! If you’re going to do a classic rags to riches story, where your character pulls themselves out of poverty and lands in a big pile of money, be sure to throw in a plot twist where they lose it all and end up with nothing. Many people have experienced this in reality, and we should be writing, so it reflects that. Think Cinderella after she doesn’t end up with Prince Charming and has to spend her life cleaning for her stepmother and stepsisters or Robin Hood stealing from the rich and giving to the poor only to be caught and sentenced to hard labour for the rest of his days. Take the norm and flip it upside down.
- The Quest-Sending your character on a quest to find something of value is pretty normal in most adventure books; think Indian Jones or National Treasure as good examples. But what if in your book, the character dies at the end while never completing the quest or ever finding what they were looking for? Or better yet, that they got within arms reach and failed. We don’t always succeed in life or win, but the point is to never give up. Push the envelope and give your reader something unexpected.
- The Rebirth-We can speak about this plotline in literal and figurative terms. We could write characters that are ‘reborn’ after an accident (a brush with death or losing their memory and beginning their life again) or ‘reborn’ after some kind of enlightenment (they found religion or have had an experience that completely changed their life). An example of the first type of rebirth would be Still Alice or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The second type of rebirth includes examples such as Heaven is for Real or The Shack. Push the envelope in your writing by combining both types of rebirths. Put your characters in situations that will forever change them but not always for the better.
We’ve got one more post coming up tomorrow to wrap up our theme of pushing the envelope in your writing! Then we’re moving on in May to Writing for Kids! I’m so excited, and I hope you are too. Check out my number 1, best selling book for more advice on what publishers want: Advice from a Publisher (Insider Tips for Getting Your Work Published!): Bakker, Lacey L., Goubar, Alex: 9781989506141: Books – Amazon.ca