Monday, April 23, 2012

That song resonates

Have you heard a song recently that you just knew would hit the charts running? My daughter played a song for me about a month or more ago, Gotye's Somebody That I used to Know.  

At the time, I think they were known in their country but not yet International stars. Well, that song is now #1 on the charts. It's a great song and the video is equally exciting.

So - are books the same way? I mean, an author can have a ton of good books but usually, there will be one that stands out, that surpasses all others in the way readers receive it.

That's what I'm going for. I think that's what most authors are going for, to have book after book reach a level of success that basically says; wow! You've arrived.

An author can do everything right in terms of craft and still have a story that's ho-hum. Sometimes an author can have the most amazing story but somehow miss the mark with craft. Which sells more books? Dunno. But - I think you raise your chances of a great novel if you do pay attention to all the craft elements. I think it's important to revisit those sometimes so here's my checklist. Feel free to add to it.

  1. Active vs passive
  2. POV
  3. Fully developed characters who have history, ancestors, background, religion, etc
  4. Internal and external conflict for both main characters
  5. An antagonist that has redeemable qualities
  6. Chapters that end and begin with hooks.
  7. Pacing
  8. HEA (since I write romance)
  9. A powerful black moment
  10. Goals, motivation and conflict
  11. A great story
So now - I want each of my stories to resonate, to ring a chord with all my readers. It's a great wish, I think.


Savannah Chase said...

You are right, every author wants to write amazing books. Those are all great tips..

Unknown said...

Great list but you might want to add Tension on every page. Even when the main conflict is good, mini conflicts are what keep us reading every word.
Tammy J. Palmer

Ciara Gold said...

Thanks Tammy. I guess I was thinking tension and conflict go hand in hand, but I can see where having tension by itself is a good thing. I personally love tension filled books. :-)