1. Venom.
    Offline

    Venom. Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    2

    Unconventional stories. Publish worthy? Am I alone?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Venom., May 24, 2011.

    Call me a sucker, but am I the only one to think if you read one detective novel, you've read a lot of them? I mean I've read a lot of Patterson, Grisham, King, Levinson, Steinbeck and they're all different in their own aspects but I always write unconventionally:

    I mean how many stories have you read about Zombies attacking an ASDA in Rural britain? Or a story about hanging out with your friends and getting into ****?

    Are there generally any unconventional novels out there? I mean like some that aren't really tied to a certain category?
     
  2. Ashleigh
    Offline

    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4,186
    Likes Received:
    143
    Location:
    In the comfort of my stubborn little mind.
    Definitely - in short story collections. I don't know about novels, but anthologies usually provide a great platform for quirky stories like the ones you've suggested. Have you ever heard of Bizarro fiction? Look it up on Duotrope.com - You can search for open submissions in all kinds of whacky genres, or usual ones with a twist.

    There's definitely room to be different, you just have to know where to look. ;)
     
  3. Venom.
    Offline

    Venom. Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'll definetly take a look thanks.

    I'm just sick of reading the same rehashed story forms of Patterson and such, I'd love to write a novel based on British youths against zombies or an autistic child who must escape a terrorist attack.

    I've never read anything like that... :confused:
     
  4. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Dude. No one else wants to read the same conventional stuff over and over, either. If you'd like to see a plot that's not yet been written, write it. If no one's thought of anything close to your idea, then good on you.
     
  5. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    "British youths against zombies" sounds pretty conventional. Anybody against zombies is conventional. Zombies are conventional. If you want to be unconventional, you'd do well to forget zombies and come up with some menace that is uniquely yours.
     
  6. Jessica_312
    Offline

    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Florida
    I'm waiting for that post from Cogito explaining how it's all been done before, but it's how your write it / make it your own that's what matters (of course I am paraphrasing). LOL

    But I agree with that bit of advice. It's hard these days to be entirely unique, because really, most of it HAS been done before. Even if you make up your own brand of monster, it's still going to follow some conventional "monster" story guidelines. It's what you bring to the table that matters.

    I do agree though that many writers (and for that matter, TV shows and movies) fall into the same formulaic, conventional patterns. How many procedural cop shows / courtroom dramas / hospital soaps are on TV? How many vampire novels have been written? I think it's OK to use some "convention", the bare bones skeleton of a topic, but set it in a unique environment with unique characters and unique circumstances.

    Sorry, I went off on a tangent. LOL

    I can think of many novels that were entirely unique (completely "never-been-done-before") when they first came out, but nowadays? It's hard to find.
     
  7. funkybassmannick
    Offline

    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Well, how about this idea: People want to read what they've already read before, but with a slightly different premise and slightly different characters. I mean, there's a reason all these authors have published so many books, and that's because the vast majority of the public only want to read the same story, but with a different outcome.

    For me, it's post-apocalyptic and/or dystopian future stories. I can't get enough of them. "Yeah, it's all been done before, but this one has a cyborg protagonist!" is something that I'll say to myself when I pick up a book. I'll read every book, watch every movie under the sun if it fits this genre. I don't care how similar it is to other things I've read and seen, as long as it keeps me guessing as to what is going to happen next.

    I love the TV show LOST so much, but when I re-watch it I'm dissapointed that I already know what's going to happen. A part of me wants to forget everything I know about LOST and start over again. That's kind of what it's like for me when I read post-apocalptic and/or dystopian future stories. It's like I'm reading the same story over again, but this time I have no idea how it's going to end.

    I guess the point is I'm trying to make is that it's absolutely OK to write a very similar story to a Grisham novel or whatever, but you better keep your reader guessing. The minute you become predictable, that's when your story dies.
     
  8. Venom.
    Offline

    Venom. Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    2
    Well I meant like different characters, or odd stories. I mean sure EVERYTHING is conventional but most writers just do them in the same way. I mean when I read something, there's always some ****ing protagonist with a scarred past.

    I mean we've always seen zombies in popular culture but we've seen aliens too, but I mean a film like 'Attack the Block' or 'Paul' kind of changed it a little.

    Catch meh drift? :)
     
  9. jwatson
    Offline

    jwatson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    canada
    Ezra Pound's advice is "Make it new."

    I think an original idea, written well, is and always will be a success.
     
  10. Xynith
    Offline

    Xynith New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Or in the even that you just do not feel right with renovating an existing plot/idea, twist it. Twist it so, sooooo much, that you will not even recognise what pre-existing idea you got it from.
     

Share This Page