1. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    How To Make A Book For Everyone

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CrystalDreamer59, Aug 28, 2014.

    Sorry I haven't been on here for a long time, but I've been having trouble with coming up with an idea for a story until now. I have decided now to go with this idea I've had for a very long time about a series of fiction educational books about nature and how we can protect it. Although I have planned that the main characters will be teenagers about 13 years old I want this series to appeal to and be appropriate for readers of all ages since I think it's important for everyone to learn about and take care of the environment. I'm thinking to make the series more appealing to all readers to have some older characters as well as younger characters. Also I'm thinking of maybe making the books at an intermediate reading level so that it won't be too hard for younger readers, but also not too easy for advance readers. Another idea I have is to make a whole separate series all together but with the same idea of teaching about nature, for younger readers, while having another series for slightly older readers. Also I'm a little unsure if this is even a good idea for a story especially since people now a days would rather read romance novels (which I just can't stand to read or write by the way) then something that has educational value to it.
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Write what you feel passionate about. But watch that it doesn't turn into a soapbox or too didactic. Kid's and adults want to have fun reading - especially fiction. Keep focused on the characters - maybe let there passion for the environment speak to the reader. This is not an odd idea in fact it could be quite cool and interesting - think of Indiana Jones and his passion for relics - sounds dull but the stories are exciting and probably got a lot of kids interested in new places and antiques.
     
  3. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    Thank you. I was kind of having doubts that this would be a really bad idea. Maybe by writing this series I will get people especially teenagers a little more interested in important things like protecting our environment then stuff like sex and celebrity worship.
     
  4. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    something I noticed when I was making and selling jewelry: completely regardless of materials, price, craftwork, or any other consideration, if you make something purple with cats on it, it's guaranteed to sell instantly. so now, any time I consider whether something will be popular or successful, it's always in terms of "can I make it purple and put cats on it?" if the answer is yes, you have a winner...
     
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  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm struggling to see how this could work. Making an educational book appeal to kids is a challenge. Adding fiction to it would reduce its appeal. Requiring it to appeal to all age groups takes the challenge to the point that it seems pretty much impossible.

    Edited to add: I would suggest choosing an age group, and either making it pure educational without fiction or, if you go with fiction, abandoning any specific education. Trying to inspire a generally positive feeling about nature in fiction can work, but teaching specifics doesn't seem plausible.
     
  6. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    Yeah even though I really want to go with this idea I just think that making an educational book series geared toward teens in particular would be too hard. Teens and adults especially seem to hate anything educational. I feel like I'm the only adult who likes to read to learn most of the time rather then for enjoyment.

    Edit: Sadly it looks like I'm going to give up entirely on this idea and eventually go on to something else.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  7. Canopyvine
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    Canopyvine Member

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    You could make a super fun adventure novel with strong environmental themes, I think. As long as you can write it in a way that doesn't make your readers feel lectured, it could work. But maybe it would be better if you focus on a certain audience, because I believe that "jack of all trades" approaches in the end remove from the end result and make it not true to itself. You need to be extremely capable in order to avoid it being too watered down for older readers and too hard for younger ones at the same time. I mean how do you find the golden line in this?
     
  8. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    The strongest way to say "DON'T READ THIS" is to be preachy.
     
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  9. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ok picture this. In the year 2022 two young celebrity couples steal away to a private exotic island, to escape pollution and overpopulation, doing nothing but having sex and playing in the sun, that is, until a new corporation decides to buy the island when they discover it has oil. Will the four celebrities be able to gain enough public attention to save the island and resume their sex games and sunbathing? Swinging and environmental awareness ensues.
     
  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    How To Make A Book For Everyone

    Step 1: Don't.
     
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  11. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    Any story can be told. It's just in the telling of it that's the trick. Overall though the general wisdom of writing is....

    - Write for a specific genre. Several reasons for this, the first one being it's makes it easier for publishers to accept it. Another reason is when you have a clear target your focus is much better and the story becomes stronger. Don't worry too much that having a juvenile character will limit the books audience. Plenty of adults read Harry Potter. But I think you do need to be clear on whether this is purposeful fiction or perhaps non-fiction educational. You seemed to be wavering between the two.
    - Write what interests you the most not what you think is hot right now. Passion in writing shows, so does boredom.
    - There's nothing wrong with fiction for entertainment purposes, just as there is nothing wrong with fiction with another purpose. The other general rule of fiction is that it shouldn't moralise. That didn't stop Paulo Coehlo's The Alchemist becoming a bestseller though. Every rule is made to be broken, but it's a rare work that successfully breaks it. Rules, or guidelines will serve the vast majority of writers well.


    It sounds an interesting premise and I'm sure you'll develop the story concept into something that works for you. Best of luck.
     
  12. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    Soo...just guessing you are writing The Purple Cats Of Penzance? :rofl:
     
  13. Wynter
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    Wynter Active Member

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    I think it's impossible to make something for 'everyone'

    Themes would skip over a 5 year olds head, the characters will be unlikable to others. No work has ever truly been made for 'everyone'. Harry Potter may be the one exception to the rule.
     
  14. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Moralising via fiction is like giving medicine to dogs: some will eat it regardless, but you're best off covering it with enough peanut butter that few will spit it out.

    In terms of 'appealing to everyone', I concur: not possible. But in reaching the widest audience possible, my thought process was "Most little kids want to grow up, most adults want to be young again... so aim for big kids", for what it's worth. I suppose that ties in with the Harry Potter consensus.
     
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  15. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Making a book for everyone is less of a theoretical challenge and more of a pragmatic challenge.

    We could theorize all day about what constitutes popular appeal, but at the end of the day, we would probably be no closer to an accurate prediction of the public's reaction to a book than we would be to an accurate forecast of the weather for the next month. It is just not possible to know what people want until you actually show something to them and see how they react.

    Therefore, the best you can do for now is to avoid things that obviously alienate readers (like preachiness) while writing a rough draft of whatever you feel like writing. Then show it to a wide range of beta readers, young and old, conservative and liberal, outdoorsy and indoorsy, etc. Implement the changes they suggest, then have them read it again (or different beta readers). Keep doing that over and over again until you can improve it no more.

    Since you seem concerned more with doing a good thing than with profiting from sales (which I admire), you might even want to post your drafts on public websites and crowdsource feedback.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
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  16. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    From what I can see, you made two mistakes with your OP. The first was that you didn't have a firm idea about what and how you wanted to write before you posted your idea for comment. The second was posting it for comment, seeking validation.

    If you're so willing to give up on an idea because it wasn't validated on a forum of wannabe writers (and I include myself), then you weren't very committed to it in the first place. OTOH, I don't believe that's the case. So, sit down, or go for a walk, or swim, or do yoga - whatever you do to clear your mind of distractions and focus on a problem - and decide what you want this to be. A nonfiction work of dangers posed to the environment aimed at teens? A YA novel to arouse passions? A novel aimed at adults? Remember, there are no wrong answers, here. You have to write what your passion drives you to write. BTW, don't worry about aiming at "everyone". There is no "everyone" when it comes to writing. Besides, there have been lots of YA works that have been embraced by adults.

    Then, if you haven't already done so, read Ibsen's An Enemy of the People. Not to imitate, just to see a dynamic you might not have considered.

    Finally, DON'T worry about what anyone thinks of your idea. Just go write it - the very best you can make it.

    Best of luck.
     
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  17. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    I joke about it sometimes, but it's always in the back of my mind... that if I really want to get rich and famous with writing, I have a pretty good idea of the formula to follow, and I'm pretty sure I could make it Purple With Cats enough to make it work. but every time I think about it something in my soul cringes. >__< have you ever read the "Black Jewels Trilogy"? it's terrible, just--mere words cannot express the depths of how awful those books are, and yet I read them avidly. I knew they were terrible, but they were ridiculously engaging. if I could figure out why they were so engaging, I'd be a bloody billionaire.
     
  18. Poet of Gore
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    Poet of Gore Member

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    do not write for money. write what moves you.
     
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  19. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I feel you're approaching this as if it's a school assignment or something: Write a story that will appeal to all ages based on environmental issues. Turn it in by next Friday.

    To some extent, you're putting the cart before the horse. Write the story that's itching to get out. Get as involved in it as you can. Care about your characters, make them as real as you can. Give them difficult problems to solve. Whether they succeed or fail is up to you to decide. Nobody is judging you as you write, so give it as much welly as possible at this stage. And see what you end up with.

    My only caution, given your choice of subject matter is: Don't Preach. That seems to be the consensus of opinion on this thread as well. Instead, make us care deeply for what your characters care about. These issues will then become part of our own lives ...and we won't even realise that we've been 'learning' till later on, when we think about it.
     
  20. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Money moves me.
     
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  21. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Don't give up the day job, then...
     
  22. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I got told that a long time ago. An English professor warned me that most of the top authors in this country didn't make a living with their writing and still needed a day job.
     
  23. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Sadly, true. But I expect it's always been thus, especially for any writer who doesn't deliberately pander to the general public.
     
  24. HoraceCombs
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    HoraceCombs Member

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    It is a great idea to make a book for every age group peoples. This type of book needs more hard work to maintain all environments.
     

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