What authors can learn from American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, and the Voice.
What’s talent got to do with it?
Does the best singer win American Idol or the Voice? Is the most accomplished dancer the winner of the Mirror Ball Trophy on Dancing With the stars?
Anyone who is a regular viewer of talent reality shows knows this uncontestable fact: the most talented doesn’t always win. In fact, the most well executed dance or song, seldom wins.
What does win?
The winner is the performer who is most popular, the one who captures the hearts of the viewers with both performance and personality.
How does this relate to our writing?
It’s all about entertainment!!!
A few ways to keep your work entertaining:
1. Know your genre. Read, read, read. To entertain requires originality. If you’re afraid your plot is hackneyed, be sure to have a new twist on it. If you don’t keep in touch with others’ work, you’ll have no idea what readers are tiring of.
2. Make your characters original. We’ve all met the perfect protagonist, the one with the super face, toned and buffed body, and excellent skills. Readers want characters that they can identify with—make then real.
3. Make the first chapter exciting. I’ve deleted dozens of books I’ve downloaded because the beginning failed to be interesting. Make your first chapters pull the reader into your book and want to read the entire thing.
4. Series books - Take time to learn how to make each book worthy of standing alone. Check for either too much or not enough back story.
5. Be accessible to your readers. Have a presence on popular networking sites, broadcast your blog, and have a mailing list. Answer every personal message you get.
6. Read reviews of books in your genre. Reviews will put you on the fast track to discovering what entertains your readers.
I have to admit I watch American Idol. And Dancing With the Stars. Haven’t watched all the others regularly. It’s easy to grumble about the winners the public selects, so I gave some thought to what I could learn from the popularity factor. That is what inspired today’s blog. If you have any other ideas, please share them. I’m sure there are many more.
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