Writing Wednesday: Things I Learned in Malta About Writing – 3 Be Creative

On a recent holiday in Malta I saw many things that could help me with my writing. I will be sharing one each week.
Here is point 3 I learned:

Be creative

Although the buildings are the same colours, mostly apartment blocks and all have flat roofs, every building is different. Some architectural details, especially in the balconies, make each building unique in its area. Don’t use the same old plots. There are only supposed to be a small number of unique plots, but the books that succeed are creative and find a new twist. Adapt a plot from a different genre, do something unexpected. That way your story will stand out from the crowd.

2014-09-18 16.18.33Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, the end. No, really? What could you do to change it? Boy loses girl, boy finds a better one? Boy gets girl back and finds they don’t get on?

The experts say there are only a few basic plots, though they can’t agree on how many. But don’t use that to excuse poor writing. The Harry Potter books were a basic boarding school story, but by mixing it with wizards and a really bad villain, it grabbed the imagination of millions of people of all ages.

Your initial idea for a story may be fairly simple, but as you develop it, look for ways to give it a twist and do something different. One of the questions you need to answer when you think about pitching your novel to an agent or publisher, or direct to readers if you self publish, is ‘What makes your book stand out from the rest?’ Bear that in mind while you’re writing it.

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About Ann Marie Thomas

Married since 1974, Christian since 1986, 4 children, 4 grand children, disabled with fibromyalgia but was working almost full time until a stroke in May 2010 changed my life completely. Writing poetry and making up stories since I was a child, I only started to write seriously when my children were grown. My main ambition is to write science fiction, but along the way I got distracted by local history and poetry about my stroke. Taking early retirement gave me the chance to concentrate on my writing. My book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, was published in print and ebook at Easter 2012. The success of Alina led to the publication of Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John in September 2013, and The Magna Carta Story at Easter 2015. I am still writing science fiction - a series of novels called Flight of the Kestrel. For all my author news, see me author blog at www.annmariethomas.me.uk
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