Friday, August 3, 2012
Gayle's post yesterday left me wondering…
If there is an entire cadre of tropes (look at Gayle's post if you want the definition), then what are the notes that are fresh? What themes or devices excite you as a reader?
In Red Tide I had a pill-popping FBI agent who 'took the cure' during the story. Tropish, but readers seem to love him. The detective in the story I'm working on now loves to listen to jazz. It's not overdone, but it's there. Jazz and Twizzlers. And story number three features an emotionally wounded man who suffers bouts of depression. (L.J. will be happy to know that number three does not involve a serial killer plot.)
But if those are staid and tropey, what engages readers today?
Could it be something related to the main protagonist's career? Reporters and lawyers are a dime-a-dozen, but what about neurosurgeons or trash collectors? Could the clerk at your local Walmart find herself embroiled in something messy that doesn't involve a wretched collection of strange looking shoppers via an email? (Or maybe it could.)
Would a physical challenge present as new and fresh? Maybe the main character is blind or has muscular dystrophy. Maybe he's eighty-nine years old.
Anything 'new and fresh' will one day fall out of disfavor due to overuse. But right now I'm curious (and maybe a little desperate)… what unique protagonist characteristics are sending you over the moon? What attribute do you want to see that's missing in your current reading choices?