Even if you haven’t read them, you’ve probably heard of them: series like Harry Potter, Twilight, and A Series of Unfortunate Events are epidemic lately among not just teenagers, but adults as well. Quite often, the books we find most enjoyable are those that are relaxed in tone and easy-to-read — which describes the ideal young adult novel to a tee.
Suppose you want to write a science fiction novel. Ideas are brewing along with the coffee. You sit down at your computer, typewriter, or notepad, and begin to write. It’s all going very well! You have twenty pages down so you decide to take a break and read. You choose a book from your bookshelf of unread science-fiction (SF) novels and descend into horror as you realize that you’re reading the exact same plot you just began to write.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry. This is a common phenomenon in any genre: rehashing a story that feels like it’s been done a hundred times. The thing to remember when writing is that although many stories may be similar within a genre, it is the author that makes each novel unique.
Writing a romance novel may sound easy, but there is a lot to figure out before sending your book to a publisher. Writers need to consider setting, characters, how to approach plot outlines – even which parts of their stories to trash. Continue reading