But before we get into that, an uplifting moment. We’ve had unusually good weather the past week here in Maryland, and I’ve tried to take advantage of morning/evening walks when I could. This is a delightfully comfortable evening stroll in our neck of the woods. Great opportunity to decompress from the day and try to get the mind to stop racing.
As for the headline, I’ve been thinking on this for the past couple of months. I try not to get sucked into the media cycles, but we also appreciate keeping a moderate pulse on the world news and things that impact us as Americans. For the election we certainly wanted to cast votes that aligned with our values, so some research and understanding was necessary. There’s a steady drumbeat of anti-Trump sentiment that, if nothing else, feeds the news beast. Like many things, I’m sure some of it is warranted, and some is probably not.
But as an author, I can’t help but be inspired. Here’s a situation that’s ripe for a great story. A complex cast of characters that are definitely polarizing. A national & world-wide situation that will ensure plot twists all the way to the end. Probably well past the end! It’s a recipe for the perfect best-seller.
It’s been said that if you’re vanilla, your not going to break out. No one (deep down) really wants something lukewarm. If you don’t have a section of the population who hates your stuff, then you probably don’t have a niche of die-hard fans who will buy everything you create. You can’t please everyone.
The political climate of 2017 will certainly spawn some break-out best sellers. Doesn’t matter which direction you come from, which angle you take, there’s a segment of the population who will be aligned with you. Doesn’t matter the genre (although some will naturally do better than others). Doesn’t matter if you write crime dramas, military fiction, high fantasy, or even romance. You can probably weave the elements at play in the daily news into your story and strike a spark in some population of your fans. You may drive some away, but others will be drawn to you like a moth to a flame (or a midwest corn farmer to a New York real estate & business power broker?)
Surely policies and law will change here in the U.S. in ways we haven’t yet predicted, and the impacts will be equally as varied. Business rules, taxes, the general sense of good will and cooperation, etc. Those may have an effect on authors’ businesses. But I posit that it’s not different than any other time in our history when political change is afoot. Some folks are helped; some hurt. Each group probably has varying degrees and individual situations that make it feel better/worse than the time before. Everyone will look ahead with anticipation at a better future; pundits and speculators will hype their version of that future to draw audiences and on-lookers just like the town crier, the orphan boy calling out the day’s news at the paper stand, or any other time in history.
So roll up your sleeves, take some notes, imagine your cast of misfits and how they all interact with and against each other, and get writing. You’ve never been given an opportunity like this to craft a compelling story with all the elements given out for free!
Chapter 1: The Man With The Golden Hair. No one predicted what happened that fall. All of the experts went mum after their speculations fell far short of reality…
PS: If you struggle with anxiety, like thinking too much on our political situation, you may appreciate this post by Tammy Strobel at RowdyKittens. I use several of her practices in my daily routines to keep my head straight!
Photo credit: Canva (header) and Travis Chapman (Woods)