Editors and agents see lots of manuscript each week. Readers see lots of newly self published books each week.
So, how do you make yours stand out? How do you take a plot that everyone’s seen hundreds of times before and put a new spin on it?
One easy way to give your readers something different is through your characters or even just one character.
Okay, let’s start with a short exercise.
Think of a book you read that did have a common plotline.
Now write down a few reasons why you bothered to read it.
I’m guessing most of you are going to mention characters.
Put a unique character inside a hackneyed plot and you’ll still win over the reader.
Think about ways you can make the character stand out so the reader is focusing so much on them they won’t think, I’ve read this plot so many times before, I’m tired of it.
Maybe they have a unique profession.
Maybe they have a strange fear or phobia that complicates that done too many times plot.
For example, someone trying to prove their innocence for a crime they didn’t commit has to fly to another country to gather evidence. However, they have a fear of flying because they were once in a plane crash or their parents died in a plane crash when they were a child.
Can you see how you could play up the fear and even use it to complicate the plot even more.
People do remember good plots but they remember great characters a lot more.
Next time you’re working on a new plot and worried it’s been done too many times before, spend an hour or so thinking about what sort of never seen before character you can create to live it.