Monday, April 21, 2014

What's Predictable in a Story?

Hi, this is Margaret Daley here. Today someone on a loop I am on asked the question what we thought made a story predictable? After all, we write romances with a happily ever after ending. What can get more predictable than the man and woman falling in love and being together in the end? Someone once said there is no story that hasn't been told. So what do you look for in a story to make it fresh and unpredictable to you?

Margaret Daley writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance books. Next month she will have Bodyguard Reunion, the sixth and last book in her Guardians, Inc Series for Love Inspired Suspense. She has also released a romantic suspense novella about a female bodyguard called Deadly Hunt this month, the first in her Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations Series.

11 comments:

Christine Johnson said...

Hi Margaret! I enjoy books that delve into something that I'm unfamiliar with. It could be a place or an occupation or fact from history. Surprising twists are always fun. Yes, I've heard the saying that there are no new stories, but with the uniqueness of every storyteller comes an infinite variety in the way those stories are told.

Margaret Daley said...

I agree with you, Christine. It's how the characters are developed and interact with each other.

Sherri Shackelford said...

I think every voice is different. We could all be given the same synopsis, and we'd all write different stories!

Missy Tippens said...

I'm really interested to see what readers say! This can be tough to handle when writing.

Leigh Bale said...

For me as a reader, I think unpredictable is when I say to myself, "Wow! I didn't see that coming." As a writer, I often wonder if I'm going to be able to deliver on that shock element because it has to "work" with the story. It's hard, but so worth it, I think.

Merrillee said...

Actually, as a reader, I don't mind predictability. I pick up a romance knowing that there will be a happy ending. I read a book once that I really did love. I loved the characters and the setting, but I hated the ending. The hero committed suicide by driving his car into a tree. He had a very good reason for doing so. It was a self-sacrifice, but still. I was angry that I had become invested in these characters only to have this twist destroy the whole story.

Keli Gwyn said...

While I enjoy some surprises, I'm with Lenora. I like happy endings, which is why I read, write and watch romance. Surprise me with setting. Surprise with unexpected plot twists. Surprise me with unique characters. But don't surprise me with a tragic ending.

Debby Giusti said...

I like a few twists and turns in the stories I read, but I always want a happily ever after! Even if it is a predictable ending. :)

Jenny Blake said...

As a reader I find sometimes you get to 20 pages to go and know thats when everything will happen and the hero and heroine suddenly will like each other. Some books seem to stall till the last 20 pages when you know all will be wrapped up.
I went through a stage where so many books had this formula but seems to have changed since then.

Margaret Daley said...

Thanks you all. It does get down to personal preferences in the long run.

Heather said...

When you pick up a book, for most people (me included) you want that Happily Ever After moment. It's satisfying. I would say that what I look for in a story is a sense of "realness."

Life isn't always perfect. People are never perfect. I know there have to be things, even the tiniest of things, that make a character unique. I like reading, and seeing characters and stories that I feel could happen to me, or to anyone.