Writing & Selling Lust: #1 The Premise
August 9th, 2018
Hallie Ephron is a New York Times Bestseller. I’ve read several books on how to make a novel. Although very informative, none of them really motivated me. Her book Writing & Selling your Mystery Novel: Revised & Expanded is an update. One of the things I wanted my book series Favor of Ares was to be a mystery novel. I wrote Lust, the first book, by using intuition and another “how to” book Book in a Month (no I didn’t finish it in a month either.) I picked her book on a whim and I read through most of it in a week. To me, this is the first book I’ve read on making a novel, that was written by somebody who has both written a novel and made the New York Times Bestseller list. So, who better than Hallie to learn from? Me? Well lets get into it the book is divided into four parts: planning, writing, revising, and publishing. Today we start with planning and chapter 11, writing the premise.
The first thing we need to understand is waiting for a good idea doesn’t happen often. Now I’m sure there have been many books or other ideas that sprung from pure imagination, but the sad truth is this. If you thought of it, it’s been done. Your goal as a writer, artist, or designer is to find a new way to make something old entertaining. Otherwise, you’re not going to have a book or whatever you may be creating. So where do you get ideas from?
Well since I’m writing a mystery book you can get ideas from newspaper articles. In fact I wrote my first comic book script (which is adapted into the second novel of Favor of Ares) I took the idea from the news. I used the tragic death of Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother, and nephew as the crime. Of course I changed names and appearances, but that’s what creating is about. Now as a writer in any genre you can get ideas from the news, from places you’ve visited, other books (just make sure you borrow the idea and translate it.) Hallie actually got the idea for her book Never Tell a Lie from when she convince a homeowner to let her see inside the house. While walking she had her idea, which became a novel, then into a movie on Lifetime.
Once you have your idea you need to translate it. By that I mean make it different. For example look at Disney’s Snow White. The basic idea here is the evil stepmother wants Snow White dead so she can be the fairest of them all. The television show Once Upon a Time took that idea and twisted it into a dramatic, urban fantasy story which then incorporated other fairy tales. Disney took the idea and changed it from the Brothers Grimm. To adapt or translate your idea, look at characters, setting, plot, and theme details. Hallie states that you want to use the words suppose, what if?, and why?.
When it comes to writing the idea, make sure you are passionate about it. I believe the reason why it’s taken me so long to rewrite Lust is because I lost my passion for it. I had too many amazing concepts from one reviewer. I needed to take a look at what I wanted and realized that too many of my ideas came from different sources. The first two drafts are essentially Men in Black, Law & Order: SVU, X-men, Ghostbusters, Fairy Tail, Anita Blake,Vampire Hunter, Percy Jackson & the Olympians, and CSI all role together. Now, again, I had good reviews from the few readers that read it, but I wasn’t passionate about when I had a reviewer said it was a dark paranormal cop story that turned into Power Rangers. Yes I agree with him because that was another point made by a positive reviewer. That’s why I’m glad I found Writing & Selling Your Myster Novel and The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing Comics. I’m passionate about superheroes. That’s what I should be writing. My mystery should involve superheroes. So what is your passion? Use that with your idea and write your book!
When I wrote Lust the ideas came from combining two villains from Dexter, The Trinity Killer and Jordan Chase. Again not happy with the idea, so now I’m changing it. To make the crime more believable I found an articles and I will show you how I translated them.
Man who forced couples into sex at gunpoint convicted of 60 crimes.
The man doesn’t remember forcing the couples into sex.
The man was possessed by a ghost?
Here is the idea I’m using for Lust.
Idea: Woman and 2 Daughters killed in connecticut home invasion
The woman and her husband and son were killed in a home invasion.
The daughter is missing?
This is my premise and I can now write a one sentence summary that will accomplish two objectives. The first is that it will allow me to stay focus on what the story is. Every chapter should be related to the story. The second objective is that it can be used when pitching your novel. If your pitch is all over the place than you don’t have a story. Period.
That’s all for today I hope you like reading. Click the like button if you did. Thank you for coming and remember to…