Having trouble getting started on a space fantasy?
Try one of the images throughout this post as your inspiration. (They are repeated in a list at the end.)
The Space Fantasy idea is just one genre you can use for the 1000 Word Story Sprint. You are NOT limited to that today, but it’s gonna be the basis for a different contest called Space Island that we’ll be doing soon. Shh. Don’t leak that secret info.
The 1000 WORD STORY SPRINT CAN BE ABOUT ANY GENRE.
One of the images on this page may become the cover of an upcoming anthology based on a future contest about space. Got it?
(Click on image to enlarge.)
One big problem we writer types have is
we write stories and then try to see what genre, if any, they fit into. That makes for difficult marketing, which leads to lamenting our lack of sales and general moaning about sucking as a writer.
Why do we do that to ourselves?
We think using a genre’s standard tropes* is painting by numbers and requires no creativity.
* Per Wikipedia, (and I agree) the word trope has come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.
Heck, I’ve felt that way about tropes.
I wrote Poggi as “an unconventional romance” because it is an unconventional romance.
I refused to use tropes in the story or to put a six pack ab guy on the front or name it “His Italian Assistant” or some other steam-inducing trashy romance title.
covers I probably should have gone with for a sexy romance
I listened to people who may have confused cliches with tropes and gave me incorrect advice while THEY followed The Hero’s Journey outline for their novel, dutifully hitting the proper plot points at 25% and 50% and 75% of the way through their story.
You can totally see this image and the title “His Italian Assistant” on the cover of my sexy, steamy rom com – and it would probably selling a lot more books!
Poggibonsi is a great story that’s a little hard to market so far, title and cover aside, and
TROPES are the comfort food in a genre’s books. They are NOT cliches.
Try selling milk in an oil can. You won’t sell much, you’ll spend all your time explaining why there’s really good-tasting milk that’s completely safe your kids, in that very ugly container that looks like it should be going into your engine, not your human babies.
Get the idea?
That’s where I’ve been lead astray, and maybe so have you.
Sell your milk in a bottle that people expect milk to be in. Yes, that may mean cutting back on your creative art cover. You’ll live. Inside your pages is where the magic happens anyway. You have to get the reader there for them to see your story, so get them there by whatever means necessary!
READER, finishing a book: I liked that story. What’s another one that’s similar?
Well, if it has the same genre and the same tropes, a reader will try it – and THEN they can be dazzled by the author’s amazing prose.
I’ve often said I’m not shy about sharing my story ideas because we all write in different styles. If I gave you my outline for my next story (or any of the next twenty – okay, thirty) story ideas I’ve got in my files, I’d do it with no fear.What you’d write and what I’d write would be very different. My readers would like my story. Your readers would like yours. Maybe a few would cross over and like both and realize they had a remarkably similar plot – but some argue there are only seven plots anyway, so at some point they’re all gonna feel similar – except for our unique voice and storytelling style that we bring to our pages.
Write a book using tropes and a well-defined genre. It’ll be much easier to sell.
Write the next book for you, all wild and not-rule-following.
One for the market, one for you?
That would work. Your market driven people will find you and read your other stuff, and your home grown, creative-type fans, small a group as they may be, will be unhappy with you selling out, so email them or post on your blog and explain why. They’ll hang around.
Okay, where was I?
Oh, so you might not know what you should put into your 1000 Word Sprint. Aha, Dan to the rescue. Because the contest allows for ALL varieties and whatever tropes you choose to use or not. But if you need ideas, here are some visuals to help.
One of the images in this post may be selected for the cover of the anthology that results from an upcoming space story contest called “Space Island” that hasn’t officially been announced yet.
(Click image to enlarge.)
In many cases, your 1000 words for the contest will be a starting point for a cool short story you wanna write. Maybe a book.
Good. That’s kinda the point.
…once you actually start writing.
Meanwhile, check out the images below and elsewhere on this post, to tell me and others:
- Which would make a good cover for our upcoming planned space anthology?
- Make a comment about each image and give a few words about what you think the story coming from it is.
You can write that story or not, but maybe your comments will help somebody else get started.
I’ve listed all the images in this post below and numbered them to make it easier for us to talk about any that grab your eye. (The ones I am leaning toward are closer to the bottom.)
The IMAGE is BELOW the NUMBER and description.
1 Green space globe.
Not much by itself but it might be a background. Or not.
2. 2001 Looking scene with earth and moon
also a possible background, but with the right title font, who knows?
3. colorful gasssy nebula space images
Background, or cover. I can go either way. The colors are nice but it doesn’t do much else except look spacy.
4. kids with spaceship overhead
I think I’d drop in adults here. That would better represent a murder on space island – but hey, you can write a space story about kids.
5. crashed spaceship with giant roach
Maybe this astronaut crashed on the way to the island. Maybe roaches are on mars. Maybe we cut the bug out.
6 rainbow space colors and spaceship with explosion
I don’t know. It looked pretty.
7. spaceship on red space background
I like this. Red is cool, the space ship is cool. It kinda screams space story to me.
8. spaceship with planet
Also kinda cool. says space story to me, but the colors are kinda dull.
9. Green planets and space station
This one, cropped properly, could do the job. It says the right stuff, I think, but it’s also a bit blah.
10 freaky people in stardust shower
This one’s just kinda freaky.
11 space port and planet
Serviceable but dull. Has a 1950’s look to it. Also a cheap look.
12. fiery spaceship with skull
what says murder better than a fiery red skull? And it has a space ship! And red! Definitely a contender. Covers all the bases.
13 Space station against red background
But then so does this! It’s got MORE red, an obvious space station look, and, well, lots of red!
14. Fantasy cloud thing
It’s neat to look at, but it’s wrong for this project. I just like how it looks. Someone write a story about this so I can use it sometime. And by someone, I mean me.
15. Another wrecked spacecraft
Can these people not drive?
Maybe this pilot crashed on the way to the space island. At least there’s no bugs. Oh, wait… well, we can crop that little guy out.
16. asteroid, space craft, and planet
This pilot is flying to space Island, I guess. Or is that the space station?
17. space station, no background
Okay, here’s an example of a space station graphic we can use to lay over one of the cool background if we want.
18. Actual image of a futuristic space station/space island
This is probably what a space island with a rocket fixing maintenance area and a hotel would look like outside. Not as eye-catching as that red one from before, though, is it?
19 another, but better, space station
It’s better. And it says space, space station, and… not much else.
20. this is probably a satellite
Uh… what can I say? It looked spacy.
21. space island?
Is this what an actual space island might look like? It has all the elements, it’s just not very eye catching – in this format. Maybe cropping would help, or a cool title font. Definitely worth looking at and playing with.
22. Zombunny 3, Quest For Battle Space
Possible marketing tie in, or cheap plug for a terrific kids book? Get yours HERE
Enter the 1000 Word Sprint!
FIRST PLACE PRIZE PACKAGE:
A 1-Year Platinum Author Package from
The winning author will receive:
- Your own Page on our website.
- Your own Website connected to The Owl Branch with your books,
bio, and links. (Social & Book links)
- Social Media Promoting on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest MeWe, Alignable and Hootsuite
- Author Interview
- Provide special announcements for your events, book signings etc.
- Host an author event especially for you &
- Provide Takeovers for your event. (two times per year)
A Blog Tour or Author Video!
Gang, this is a HUGE prize package!