Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I'm moving right along with my YA thriller and having a lot of fun. You know that feeling when you just can't turn the flow off, but you don't have the luxury of locking yourself away to get it all out?? Yep, that's where I'm at right now. Very frustrating... but in a good way. :)
So my lightbulb moment occurred two different times over the last month, in regards to my MG fantasy/sci-fi story, The Keys to Nin. I really love the story, and if my betas were telling the truth, they enjoyed it as well. But something hasn't been sitting well with me and I couldn't figure out what it was exactly. I had a hunch something was off.
The other day we were watching The Narnia Chronicles as a family and I've read the books years ago (love them) and seen the films when they came out, but hadn't thought of them too much in awhile. Watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I realized how much my MG story was like it. Completely sub-consciously, mind you .... but here are a few similarities: I have a female antagonist who's on a power trip and rebelling. My MC is part of a prophecy. My MC is connected to the fantasy world in a certain way. My fantasy planet starts with the letter N.
Ouch. Hadn't even realized it. The rest of my story is entirely different from TNC, but wow. It gave me pause. How did I manage to be so cliche?
Then, a few days ago I was finally listening to a Writing YA and MG webinar with Kid Lit extraordinaire, Mary Kole, and she mentioned the dangers of having plot cliches in our stories. She gave some examples like MC who moves to a new school, MC with dead parents, MC who discovers magical powers, MC who is subject of a prophecy....
Um, yeah. That'd be me. Ouch.
Why didn't I realize that the prophecy in my story was so cliche? Well, at least it's fixable. I hope. So after I finish my WIP, I'm going back and eliminating the prophecy and maybe that will put my story back on track.
The Mary Kole webinar was back in September and I got the recorded copy and just listened to it this past weekend. It's really fantastic, chock full of useful tips on shaping up kid lit stories. I'm going to post a series of articles on what she went over, so be sure to check back for all the amazing info. Free from me! If you're not familiar with Mary Kole and you write for kids, you definitely want to head over to her blog, KidLit.com and sign up for her emails.
Have you ever had a lightbulb moment with a story? Please share ....