Thursday, June 3

Dare toward the unexpected

Whenever a new Nicholas Sparks movie is released, I pick up the book to see who's going to die. Because we all know someone's going down, and I just want to know if it's going to be worth the investment. Usually I decide its not. I know at this point he's a name brand and his readers expected to have their eye ducts cleaned out, but shouldn't a writer try the unexpected once in a while?

Side note: Why do male writers equate true love with death? Just saying....

I think M.Night Shymalan (The Sixth Sense) is a writing genius, but I think he's even more genius to dare to go down a different path with The Last Airbender. Shymalan built a career on the unexpected but the trouble with that is that his fans started looking for the twist before even sampling the popcorn.

Michael Crichton never wrote the same book twice (except Lost World, the not-so-great sequel to Jurassic Park) yet most of his work was enthralling to the last page. Precisely because you didn't know what was coming on that next page until you turned it.

I love the Stephanie Plum series but at this point, isn't she a tad too predictable? You know her car's going to blow up, Lula's going to be outrageous, and Stephanie's going to be torn between Morelli and Ranger. I think it's time she grew up a little, maybe even marry Morelli and deal with marriage while still being a bounty hunter. I'm not asking for drastic changes, just some growth of character.

While I understand the comfort food of your favorite authors, I want to be like Crichton. I want each book to be separate but uniquely mine. I say that now, but in my head I have like four Bix books simmering--although I have to finish and sell the first one---so you all will have to keep me honest. Even if I writer four Bix books, I promise to show growth of character and surprise you.

Strive toward the unexpected. Best unexpected moment I've ever read: Heartstone by Philip Margolin. I never, ever saw the twist coming. Special mention to Allan Folsom for The Day After Tomorrow--not to be confused with the lame movie of the same name but not same plot.

Tell me yours, I'm always up for a great twist.


  1. Do we get a vote? Because I think you have serious series potential in Bix - don't discount that! You could take him all the way through college and even beyond, then transitioning into adult fiction.....

  2. Christi,
    You are way too sweet. Of course, I'm not going to abandon Bix. And like you, I think he's got potential to see me into my old age ;) And hopefully fund it.

  3. One of my favorite twists - outside of Sixth Sense and Face Off - was one of JD Robb's books. I think it was Vision of Death? Don't quote me on that! I think I was about 5 pages before the end before I said what??? what's she doing???who??? and finished reading with my jaw hanging open.
    Of course I never saw the ending to Sixth Sense coming just get involved!
    keep bix going, everyone loves him!

  4. It's all in the execution. I love a great series, but I want to see character growth and change. I love Stephanie Plum, but I'm tired of the Ranger/Morelli/Ranger wanderings, I'd like Lula (and Stephanie) to get a clue. I think that's why I love Suzanne Enoch's Richard/Samantha series - because there is growth to each book. They aren't so twisty you need a detailed topographical may, but she does offer surprises - often!

  5. I love Bix. I never wnat him to end.
    But I also love Stephanie and Lulu the way they are. I went back and read some of Evonovich's romances with ??? I'm drawing a blank, and they were soooo good.
    I think the danger of series is that the reader expects the same book over and over. Someone who changed their character so much I quit reading was Jonathon Kellerman. I hated some of the changes so much I didn't recognize the books any more. Another one that changed, but stayed true was Hillerman.
    I thin line, I'd say.
    And when do we get to see some more Bix?