Writers often ask if their idea for a novel is good enough or strong enough. In this video I wanted to go over some misconceptions about novel ideas and what it takes to get published.
Comment Question: What are some of your favorite novels that don’t have a highly original premise? What do you like about them?
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5 thoughts on “How to Tell If Your Novel Idea is a Good Idea [Novel Boot Camp 8]”
Several times I have started an outline from an idea but as I try to move the story along, I find that the story doesn’t move forward. I have several ideas started but none finished. With my present story i kept pursuing an ending. I filled in several gaps with funny/dramatic scenes. This story I feel really good about. Do you suggest outlining before writing?
The most recent novel I read was Atlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig. The premise would narrow down to “a badass teenage girl takes on the evil townspeople and wins.” Nothing exceptionally unique or enthralling about that – you could describe Wonder Woman very similarly. But the protagonist was so vividly drawn, the voice so strong, I couldn’t put the book down. I find the premise of a novel is what piques my interest, but it’s definitely the writing and plot that make it a story I decide to read, keep reading, and remember that I’ve read it.
Thanks for the distinction between premise and plot – really useful!
Awesome as always, Ellen. Thanks so much for your expertise!
Great video, Ellen! As somebody who struggles with thinking he always needs to start with some amazing high concept premise in order to attract a publisher, this was exactly what I needed to hear. (All your videos are great by the way. Super helpful and much appreciated!)