Sunday, September 9, 2012

You gotta have a gimmick.


"You Gotta Have a Gimmick"- Ethel Merman

When it comes to writing there's pantser and plotters. There are the people who start with an idea and others, like myself, who start with a character who has a problem.
I spent twenty years in theatre, my BA and MFA are in theatre, and for me writing is like creating a play. In media res means you have to choose where to start and stop the story and for heavens sake don't start it at the beginning. And not too close to the climax,either. There has to be time for the readers to get to know the characters and care.
Do you have a flash fiction piece, a short story, novella or novel? Or a novel series… Many short stories wind up as novels.
Are you going to go first person point of view, second person, third or *gulp* omniscient? In my debut novel I did both first person and third. And half the story was in the past and one half in the present, switching between chapters until the past caught up with the present. I didn't plan this, I'm a pantser. I did try having a linear time sequence and it didn't work.
Was it a gimmick? Did it work or alienate the reader? So far no complaints, but then some people might have stopped reading and not told me.
It seems to me that there are rules being created and getting ignored all the time in both genre and literature.  The important thing is to be open to risk.  Don't be afraid to be different.
So do you have a system? What's your Gimmick?
Leave a comment and share your tricks.