Thursday, December 16, 2010

Give them something to TALK about!

When you write, give your readers something to talk about. That goes for books, posts, poems, stories, songs, and anything you can dig up from your creative innards.

Heck, it even goes for painting and sculptures.

The person enjoying your piece, whatever it may be, needs something to talk about.

For instance, Star Wars is nothing -- NOTHING -- without Light Sabers and Jedi. It is otherwise a cut-n-paste cowboy-space saga. It's all right, don't get me wrong, and it's a fun movie and a great story, but the things we talk about are Jedi and Light Sabers, yes?

The things that make it Star Wars are the things we talk about.

Same for any book you read or movie you see.

We repeat great quotes from As Good as it Gets and Caddyshack.

We discuss what Heinlein and Salinger meant with their rebellious books Stranger in a Strange Land and Catcher in the Rye.

We discuss spooky King, JK Rawlings's Quidditch.

We talk about that Korn song that moved us, the one called Yall Want a Single.

We ~talk~ about the good stories, the great songs, the incredible movies.

Give them something to talk about, Dear Authors.

For my part, I give you a blue-faced God, disgruntled angels without wings, and a boy in the woods with two dogs named Whiskey and Scotch. I give you androgynous test-tube warriors and drug-addict galactic leaders. I give you a chance to name anyone for death and see them die.

I want to give you things to ~talk~ about.

What do you give me to talk about? Do you write with repeatability of your story in mind?

- Eric


Roland D. Yeomans said...

I want them to talk about how Eric and Roland are on the bestseller list!

You're right. The truly memorable is what will create word of mouth which in turns will sell our novels.

I give my readers : Meilori's : the jazz club which is the Crossroads of Worlds -- where you can literally meet anyone from anywhere and do most anything ... so long as it is dangerous and supernatural.

Have a great end of week, Roland

Ted Cross said...

It can be hard to say what readers will latch onto. I guess in my world it could be the idea that a magical relic forces everyone to be peaceful. Sounds great, but what happens when that relic is destroyed and no one knows how to defend themselves anymore?

Summer Ross said...

I hope to give my readers twists. I toy with minimal comfortable then snatch them right out of the comfort and boom something really horrible is found out.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

For my genre, I probably needed a bit more of this - a bit more controversy and salacious content.
Still not sorry I didn't go that route though.

Anne Gallagher said...

I give my readers soap opera love. Name me two women on the planet who watch Days of our Lives and don't talk about it. It might not be Jedi's and light sabers, or revenants at Melori's but love is universal and who doesn't talk about love at some point.

How's the baby? Have you slept at all?

Eric W. Trant said...

Roland: I already talk about Sam McCord. I told my brother all about him.

Ted: Sounds dangerously allegorical. I always wonder how long westerners would survive without electricity and running water.

Summer: Never let them get comfortable.

Diane: Not saying it has to be controversial, just conversational. That's true even for self-helps and instructional books.

Anne: The baby's doing perfect! So is mommy. Maybe I'll post up some pictures later of the little man.

- Eric

Charity Bradford said...

Great post and point. I had to think about it and was glad I had something.

I give you an invading alien that turns out to be the creation of the MCs ancestor. Their arrival of these creatures will renew the "discussion" of which is better/safer science or magic.

Jai Joshi said...

I don't write thinking about what the reader will talk about but I do write with the readers reaction in mind. I want them to feel a certain way in a particular chapter, so I write it to steer them that way. I want them to connect to a character is a certain way so I write it to make them feel that.

Most of my writing is based on the characters and how real they are. I find that my readers respond to that and talk about it.


Jemi Fraser said...

Great post!

In my steampunk I give them new inventions to talk about - I think a few of them are pretty cool! :)

dolorah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dolorah said...

In my women's fic I give them strong characters with not so cut-and-dried decisions.

Not as exciting as new inventions or catchy phrases, but its my world . .

I have an award for you. Enjoy.


Raquel Byrnes said...

Since I write romantic suspense, I try to make the mystery of "Who Did It" something you tend to mull over...I was tortured all summer as a kid by "Who Shot J.R." and loved it.
Cool Question!
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Wine and Words said...

"Peddle sunshine somewhere else." I'll never forget it. Damn that was a good movie. One of those that is never the same the second the Sixth Sense.

♫Let's give them something to talk about. A little mystery to figure out. Let's give them something to talk about. How about love, love, love, love?♫ (Bonnie Raitt)


Jules said...

Well I thought the title was about me :) I always leave a room with something to talk about, now to find the words :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Phoenix said...



Well, not really.

I think I give people my me-ness to talk about. I don't pretend I'm anything less than what I am, and I just talk about where I'm at, because I usually have a feeling that if I'm going through it, someone else is too. I like to give people hope, and something silly to laugh at, and the feeling that maybe they're not alone.

I hope I do that well enough. I think you'd let me know if I didn't...

PS Star Wars RULES.

Wine and Words said...

I thought I would comment back over here. Merry Christmas to you too! Your comment to me was printable, and frame worthy, all pretty formatting and fine grammar :)

I'm glad you found me too, glad we're friends and that you aren't a 'careful commenter' :). Let it fly. And you've given me quite a compliment coming from a "real" writer. And the poetry...I'm so glad you get it, like it. Most times I feel I lag far behind the poets who sound so lofty and brainy (but I don't understand those either).

Have a good holiday my friend. Hunker down with your family and enjoy!

~ Annie

Phoenix said...


Your comment on my blog post pretty much made my entire year. Stop being so damn sentimental, would ya? I'm tearing up over here.

You're kind of awesome. (Oh, okay, more than kind of.)

Merry Christmas,

Nighfala said...

I think it's true that readers need to be engaged, but I think too many writers tend to get gimmicky in place of a real story.

Take the screenwriter for "Voyage of the Dawn Treader." Totally ruined what could have been a wonderful movie with his/her need for a giant, horror-movie-worthy sea-serpent-cum-alien-predator. Everyone's talking about it, but not in a good way.

So, give them something worth talking about. The light sabers and Jedi are definitely cool, but we can't all invent new universes. What we do need to do is tell a damn good story.

Happy New Year, Eric!

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Hey! How'd I miss this post? I skipped over 'cause I hadn't heard from you in a while.

Poke a hand up and let us know you're okay!

~that rebel, Olivia

Phoenix said...

I'm assuming with the holidays and baby, life's probably crazy for you.

But I thought I'd stop by and wish you a very happy 2011 and give you a virtual hug because I think you're the coolest.

::hug:: there you go!

Phoenix said...

Hello, this is your visit from the Hugs and Encouragement Fairy. Hang in there, you're awesome, and remember to breathe (and sleep).

Hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs.

Have a lovely day!

Raquel Byrnes said...

Been missing that sharp wit an keen insight of yours out here in the blogosphere. My best to you and the family...hope you chime in soon. =)
Edge of Your Seat Romance