New & different, but not too different
I always hear agents and editors talking about how they want something new and different.
Then, they add, but not too different.
What’s a writer to do? How do we find that line?
Obviously, I’m still working on that.
But I think, over the years of reading agent blogs (See the links for some of my favorites) I’ve come to get at least a slight grasp on the statement.
As a reader, I love seeing the common tropes I’ve come to expect from the genres I love. If I pick up a romance, I darn well want to experience the tumulus, rocky relationship, and the falling in love to their happily ever after. If I pick up an urban fantasy, I want that heroine to kick some major butt, but occasionally show the alpha hero her softer side. I also want to watch how she wraps him around her pinky–not in the way that he’s whipped, but in the way that he treats her with softness, and respect.
So as a writer, I think one of the most important things is knowing the tropes of the genre you write in. As long as you have what the reader expects, the playing field is yours baby
Q4U: What’s your take?