clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Give 'Em What You Want

At left: meat.

I'm a content guy. I like plots. I love a nice piece of meat.

It's not enough. For every great plot I compose, I need even greater characters in the story.

Telling a story in a bar: that's plot. Making the pitch to investors: that's character.

It isn't enough that superbauble is the first like it on the market and will revolutionize the widget industry. Investors want to know your team has what it takes to move from the idea of superbauble to the actuality of market domination at a price point yielding maximum profits.

Readers are investors. You get to give them whatever you want.

You give them plots, they'll buy it for the airplane. Maybe.

You give them character and plots, they'll buy it for bedtime reading. They'll be evangelists. They'll tell their friends how great it was, buy all your other books, and be fans (i.e. buyers) for life.

You get to decide what to give the reader. The answer is you get to put out whatever you want.

Plot alone: maybe you get lucky with a high-concept hit. People pay to see Bruckheimer movies. I love a good explosion before, during, and after a car chase. I miss some of these films when they come out, though. Most of them, actually.

What I won't miss is every Hitchcock playing at the Michigan Theatre this spring. Hitch will give me character. I go for that.

Concept is great. Character is essential. You can succeed with marginal concept and great character. It's a crapshoot with great concept and marginal character. Might get lucky; but, it's a bet.

I invest my time after doing homework. I back character. I just need to write some.

I'm going to give the reader what I want to put out. I want that to be character.

Off to write some. You should do the same. Bank on it.

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