Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Lucy E., Aug 21, 2008.
Not a bad idea, I'm all for it seeing what kind of genre I write for, but you should avoid using contradictions as basis of your plot. Otherwise, you might attract hostility from not only readers but also might be rejected by publishers. Don't base yourself on who did the attack - too many analogies, and only one true, and still too many groups - just on what happened, or how it affected people.
The answer is very much like asking if a general plot idea is "good". Editors are always looking for good stuff, but it comes down to two simple issues: is it written well, and will it "sell" to the public?
You're too young to remember the "Cold War" but that was a time of great public tension and paranoia about a possible nuclear war between The Soviet Union and a coalition of free-world countries like the USA, UK, Germany and a few others. Several movies and thriller novels came out during that period . . . "Failsafe" by Harvey Wheeler and Eugene Burdick comes to mind . . . these writers dared to speculate about such potential disaster. In fact, the movie in 1964 was very successful despite the frightening (or perhaps BECAUSE of it) subject matter.
So, I don't think your novel would be received critically simply by it's subject matter. Although, by its very nature, the subject matter WILL demand exceptional writing.
A thing to consider is that you'll be competing with those who have written/are writing true live stories based on their life experience of the eventl, be they books, articles, interviews, etc.
That is not meant as a discouraging statement, just a thought that came to mind as I read your post. It could also work to your advantage, as there is always room for an exceptionally written novel.
I don't think that will find much of a market, to be honest. There have been countless movies and books in America that tried to use this incident. No matter what light you cast the event in though, it appears not to sell well. That doesn't mean if you managed to publish your story, it wouldn't sell -- it might, I can't claim to know. That's just my observations though.
My best advice would be to contact certain publishers and see what they actually think. As many above me have said, different people are always looking for new things.
i can't imagine any busy publisher bothering to answer an unknown new writer's questions about whether what they may write might interest them... they have way too many actual completed mss coming in daily, that they must deal with, to waste time on such impossible to answer stuff...
the point is that ANY story idea can be either a total flop, or a blockbuster best-seller, depending on the talent and skill of the writer... no one buys ideas... and no one can tell how that idea will be developed by the idea-getter... just write what you want and then see if anyone wants it...
Mammamaia is right. It is the writer ... not the topic.
You'd have to pull it off amazingly. If you get one little thing wrong, people, probably the survivors, will go beserk. Sort of like Christians and Harry Potter, only Survivors and 9/11 Novel. No pressure though, I think it sounds great. But make sure you've got al your facts straight!
It would be an interesting concept. I don't think you'd have much of a problem getting it published, although if it ever was offered for purchase, I think there would be some contreversy.
Be careful what you research. There's a lot of conflicting and contradictory theories and "truths" and stuff like that. And, yes, take care to write it in a way that won't offend anyone. Publishers might tell you what not to do, though.
Honestly, I think it's a great idea! Just make sure your sources are reliable- actual facts, not what one person thinks he saw...
I don't think you'll have a very big problem getting the book published. I think you should start writing and see what happens. Don't worry about that right now
Yeah, a really good idea there! I'm not sure there are that many (if any) other books like it out there, could be a trend setter!
Oh yeah, don't forget to put in the most important detail: It's my Birthday
Your biggest obstacle will probably be "expectations". There're lots of people who have, wants to and will be tackling stories of 9/11, and there's likely to be a very common "theme" that everyone explores - the concept of love ones' fear of the safety of anyone in / near the WTC during the event, the panic and relieve (if they finally meet their loves ones again).
With that in mind you're faced with the challenge of grabbing the person who'll be reading your manuscript from paragraph one, page one.
I'd recommend you actually think about the essence of what your story is going to be - and try to look for something that people might not explore as such. For example, how about the complete lack of emotions someone experiences during such an event?
"When the first plane hit, uncle Graham was on the phone. I had my walkman on, taking my first ever sip of coffee, and quickly became mesmerized by dust clouds forming an image of a dolphin on the dark blue office carpet. Before I could point it out to uncle Graham, he had already got me by the wrist heading for the fire exit."
I don't know if that would grab anyone's attention or not, but I've established a clear relationship between the narrator and the uncle, I've suggested that the narrator is young with her first cup of coffee ever, and that she's more absorbed by her imagination than aware of dangers around her.
And if I were to continue writing this story from here, I'd be exploring the story with the essence of someone who's unaware of the danger around her in this major disaster. You have the advantage of "hindsight", which allows you to easily jump back and forth with the narrative to explore different part of the timeline based on the relevance of events vs Milly's background and history.
Obviously that's just an idea pulled out of the hat, I'd imagine you have your own idea of the essence and theme of the story - work out what it is first, and think of a way to bring that out from the very first paragraph - at the same time grabbing the reader's attention.
On top of all this advice Lucy, you could also look at it from the point of view "in the mind of a child". As you are still a child all be it 13, it would be less difficult for you looking at it from this angle than it would be for me a 39 year old.
This child could be say 8 years old and one who has lost their only parent to 9/11 and is living with an evil relative, who despises having to care for another persons child, whether blood relation or not.
Or you could have this child living on the streets of new york. As she has no family left and not wanting to be taken into care she runs away. Her life since then has been traumatic living on the streets, being raped beaten up and robbed of all treasured possessions that has reminded her of her parent.
Yes come to think of it, I remember reading it. All the same it could add an interesting aspect to your story.
Aside from that you could add in the hatred this child would feel towards:
The people who killed her parent
The emergency services for not be quick enough to save them
The system for letting her down
Also remember that this child will be lost, confused, alone and distraught, not being able to think straight and afraid. On top of this she could be having nightmares, reliving these events in her mind over and over and over.
so the emotional side would be wishing that she had knowing them, or getting feed back from people who did know her parents. All the same Lucy as you are the author, you know which direction you want your story to go in. Best of luck writing your best seller, and send me a free copy when your famous.
Haven't read the entire thread, so sorry if I repeat something. When you're writing a story set during something like this, you have to be very careful. I haven't looked into it, but I can just imagine how many books came out as a result of JFK being assassinated. So it doesn't look like just any book about those events, don't make it all about the events themselves. Just have it set during that time and have the events play a part in the plot but make it more about the characters. That way, it will look like an individual book.
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