Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Once upon a bandwagon . . .

There are a limited number of plots for stories. I can’t remember if it is seven or nine plots, but the bottom line is that’s it – no more. So we know anytime we write a story the plot will be the same as someone else’s.

Clichés all have an element of truth. That is why they are created. But, are our stories based on clichés of dozens of other authors?

I loved the first dozen or so stories I read about Amish girls trying to reconcile their place and their faith with the world. Now, I cringe when I see a book cover with a picture of a girl in an Amish wagon.

How many heroines struggle to escape their abusive athlete/lawyer/soldier/doctor/movie star husband, gain their freedom and are in love with a new athlete/lawyer/soldier/doctor/movie star at the end of the book?

How many women are “not even 100 pounds soaking wet?” How many men are strong, muscular, with wavy hair and ice-blue eyes? And, why is it only a man who looks like this can solve all a woman’s problems?

Why do a man and woman who grew up hating each other always get thrown together, discover they actually love each other, and live happily ever after?

Here’s my suggestion. Let’s jump off the bandwagons of clichéd stories, grab some material and tools, and build our own bandwagons which take these basic stories and give them new twists with well motivated characters.

Hummmm. I see a large woman teaming up with a scrawny geek. They work together to solve the problem at hand. I think I need to stop blogging and start a new novel.