Mar 18, 2011

Writing Big

by Tanya Parker Mills

With all the discussion lately about whether there really are any remaining original stories or if it's possible to write a book that's original enough to rise high enough above all the others to get noticed, this story popped out at me today.

I'd encourage you to read it for yourself but, if you're strapped for time, here's the gist in a nutshell: a debut author gets her eerily prescient story, The Age of Miracles, detailing the worldwide calamitous effects of a catastrophic earthquake as seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old girl, auctioned for 600,000 British pounds and $500,000.

Again, I couldn't help but recall Dave Wolverton's presentation at last year's Storymakers Conference about how to write a bestseller. This author covered all the bases, of course. Interestingly, she's someone who works in publishing, helping to choose what gets picked up and what doesn't.

The lesson for us? Think big and write big. A typical love story, mystery, etc. won't suffice anymore. If we want our stories to stand out in an ever increasing deluge of queries, we've GOT to think not only outside the box, but way beyond it. As the recent horrific events in Japan have shown us, truth is often stranger than fiction...and we're seeing so much strange truth lately that nearly anything will be believable.


  1. Good post.

    Truth stranger than fiction- did you know Japan moved 8 feet.

  2. Great information adn interesting article. I acutally am looking forward to reading it.

  3. That's crazy! I wonder if the author feels conflicted about her stroke of luck arriving on the back of this tragedy.

  4. I'm with Kami I'd feel very odd indeed.

  5. I'm sure she can't help feeling conflicted. I would imagine she contributed a tidy sum for earthquake relief out of those signing advances.

  6. Fascinating. Sometimes fiction is much easier to believe than facts. Why is that I wonder?

  7. I can't help thinking about those movies, though, that are so big as to be completely unbelievable. I think if we go too big, the reader can't suspend their disbelief long enough to get into the story.

    However--I agree that the climate right now is the bigger the better. I guess I've read some bad books and/or watched some bad movies that have made me a cynic.


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