Novelty is that wonderful surprise element; something fresh that leaves a positive impression on the reader because they find it unique, and unpredictable. Adding novel elements to your writing is an excellent way to make your work thrilling, and memorable to readers. Here are three tips to help you inject novelty into your writing:
#1. Intriguing combinations:
Being completely original is incredibly difficult/ practically impossible. Often what is truly novel in your writing, is the way you choose to combine two disparate elements. Weaving two seemingly unrelated topics together, or even stylistic elements is an excellent way to take two aspects that can be fairly common on their own, and transform them into something entirely new!
One of my favourite examples of this is in Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus trilogy in which he uses footnotes (ubiquitous in academic writing) as the irreverent inner voice of his protagonist. Now, obviously neither one of those elements is original, but the combination of the two is incredibly novel, and frankly delightful!
#2. Niche aspects:
It can be easy to default to generalizations, in an effort to appeal to as many people as possible. But this has a usual downside – by appealing to as many people as possible, you ensure that nobody really loves your work. By honing in on niche aspects of your writing, and your style, you have a much better chance of finding the readers who will LOVE your writing. These readers become your novels evangelists, and help to spread the word about your writing, through recommendations.
Finding the true core readership is important, because if you can find enough people who will buy anything you write, that is how you can make a living from this work.
#3. Surprising details:
What makes a world feel real to the reader, are the details you provide. These can be details about the character’s sensory perceptions, the ‘rules’ of the world, or if your work contains supernatural or magical elements, a unique system built around the culture, language or even transportation systems. Taking benign everyday elements and offering a unique take on them is another way to inject novelty, and ensuring that the details are intriguing enough is essential in having your readers buy into that world.
How else can you inject novelty into your writing? Tell me in the comments below!
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