You’ve heard me say that you can draw inspiration from anything. I stand by my words: if it stands under the sun, in a screen, or in heaven, then it will fit in some way, shape or form under a cover of a book. You wouldn’t believe (and maybe even I wouldn’t) the kind of stuff that goes in books these days, or even in the past.
Since Kindle Direct Publishing happened, you could publish pretty much anything you wanted. And pretty much anyone could buy it. And the biggest retail company on the planet would bind it, print it, and ship it for you. Your only concern was in writing it. You didn’t need to worry about stock, or about this or that, or even about being rejected by a publishing house.
This is both a blessing and a curse. Since it’s so easy to get your works published now, writers should rejoice! No more heartbroken writers complaining about rejection letters. No more sugarcoating publishing bosses to try and weasel your book into the works. All can be done with the simple click of a few buttons.
Even the writing bit is easier. In the old days, when you were rejected, you had to revise your work in hopes of pleasing the editor. You may not have liked the editor OR his comments about your work, but you slave away for him anyway, crafting the book that HE wants.
No more of that! Choose only those who you want as editors, and ignore whoever you want. Instead, you can get published on a large platform with a big audience with a few simple steps. No stuffy, high-and-mighty doofs who think they know what’s better for your book. Be your own publishing house!
There’s also the flip side to that. Since basically ANYONE can publish ANYTHING, there’s bound to be a lot of crap on the market. And look, I encourage any and all writers reading this to keep on keeping on, but many, MANY books are junk. If I had a dollar for every crap book out there published for free, I’d be a rich man.
But the point of this is not to decry (or bless, although it can be a good thing) KDP. Instead, I brought it up to illustrate something: There are so many weird things out there. I know you’ve had that feeling at one point: you get an idea for a book. It’s really cool, you think. Maybe it’ll sell, you think.
But then you come to a realization: it is really, really, WEIRD. Not necessarily bad, but just…weird. There’s a magic lampshade that the hero rides around on? What? And the hero’s friend is a rabbit-elk-ox-elf-dwarf? And the villain is a single germ, except as big as a planet? Seriously?
I’m exaggerating, but you probably know how it goes. Once you classify an idea as “weird” on the grounds that “people will simply just not buy it”, you shuffle it away into your subconscious, perhaps to forget it, perhaps to gather figurative dust for years to come.
I’m going to tell you a secret (Which you’ve known for several paragraphs now): No weird idea is TOO WEIRD. Sure, I’ll allow that the idea is weird. But not TOO WEIRD. The human race is incredibly diverse. Undoubtedly, without misgiving, there is someone out there who will enjoy your book.
KDP doesn’t care about weirdness. It’s a reflection of our culture right now: it just doesn’t care. When I say “No weird idea is TOO WEIRD” it should be taken with a grain of salt. When I say that, I don’t mean “too junky” or “below average”. A “weird idea” can be completely legitimate, but they can very often be bad.
Don’t ever, EVER go with a bad story idea. But I’m here to tell you: “weird” story ideas work out all the time. You think it’s weird that Hobbits speak contemporarily in LOTR? To be honest, that IS weird.
But don’t let “weirdness” hold you back. If you take anything away from this article, let it be this: give all your “weird” ideas a second chance. Use a grain of nonsense with your better judgment. Ask yourself: “C’mon, there’s gotta be an audience for this, right?”
Good luck, and happy writing!
2 thoughts on “Never Assume That a Story Idea is Too Weird”
Good advice! : )
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