by Christopher Slater
By this point I would think that everyone has heard of them. The electric cars are coming! Say goodbye to the gas pump because we will just be plugging everything in. We are going to see a dramatic change in the automobile. Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but my car is still running on gasoline and I don’t see that changing in my foreseeable future. So, has this blog suddenly been hijacked by some overly enthusiastic fan of Top Gear? Nope. It’s still me, and it might surprise you to know that I have a point (and that I am, in fact, a fan of Top Gear.)
Whenever a writer begins on a story it is expected, in their mind at least, to be the next big thing. They hope that there will be a titanic shift in the interest and focus of the literary community and that they will be the cause of it. In other words, say goodbye to the reign of the old, gas-guzzling storylines and say hello to the new, excitingly efficient new storylines! Everyone feels that they will break out of the mold of the current realm of authors and their influences on the genre and create a new, more interesting realm of their own. This is where I start to see the electric car comparison.
I have watched with great interest for years as electric cars have been developed, and I see the same results sometimes in my own stories and in some of the stories of other authors. Some story ideas, like some electric cars, just don’t seem to have the legs to take you where you want to go. The interest only lasts so long and then it seems to run out of spark. Others seem to lack the body and chassis to compare to their more traditional contemporaries.
They never quite make themselves into what they could be. Finally, there are the stories and cars that are a little bit ahead of their time and not quite ready for the mainstream. The potential is there, and yet people are either too concerned about something new or can’t make themselves invest their time and money into it.
This all sounds pretty bleak, doesn’t it? It sounds like I’m a writer telling everyone not to bother to write. “The good stuff is already out there! Give it up!” Actually, I am trying to tell you the exact opposite. Whatever your new, brilliant story is, run with it as far as you can. Make it your new, breakout hit. You see, I’ve been waiting for that first amazing, capable, and affordable electric car to hit the market that doesn’t exist yet. However, I know that it will.
Any day now, I know that someone is going to put out a news story about that electric car that really will change the face of driving. By the same token, someone is going to do the same with their story. They will push literature in a new direction that no one had considered before. What do you have to lose by trying to be that game-changing writer? Be bold! Take a chance! Make your imagination the creator of a new reality. If you happen to design a cool electric car at the same time, I will begin the chant of “We’re not worthy!”
Guest post contributed by Christopher Slater. Christopher is a Middle School History teacher in Tennessee. He’s also a husband, father, and author.