Hey, everyone! I hope you liked the title for this post. I felt like discussing the mystical unicorn today.
For those who don’t know what it is, it’s that unique, amazing, just brand new out of this world idea that’s going to get you rich and famous. You know, that premise you discovered, and everyone is asking, “How did you come up with that?! Tell me your secret!”
Yep, that’s the unicorn. These days, it seems everyone is chasing it: artist, musicians, tech start-ups (programmers), and of course, writers. It’s funny, actually. I never heard the term “unicorn” until I moved to Silicon Valley. In just my first two months of meeting people here, I heard of the unicorn. In the group I was with, two programmers were going on a quest to find the unicorn. Their stead wasn’t a horse, but a smartphone app they designed. Now, this post isn’t about becoming a successful start-up, but it’s about how as writers, we are hunting that unicorn.
For writers, our unicorn is a unique story idea that hasn’t been done before, or it’s a story that captures readers like they wouldn’t believe. In today’s society, we’ve already seen the writers who caught the unicorn.
E. L James (I know, but she still found it)
J. K Rowling
And the list goes on. With the unicorn, you end up here:
However, don’t forget that for every successful writer, there are probably hundreds of unlucky ones. This post isn’t to discourage you, but to keep things in perspective. We shouldn’t spend all our time searching for that unicorn. More than likely, we won’t find her. Instead, we should write our stories the way we want and see if the unicorn finds us.
Also, remember, “Writers shouldn’t follow trends, they should set them.” My creative writing teacher said that.
In a tech article titled “Finding the Next Billion-Dollar Company,” Bill Barnett said, “Want to find the next unicorn? Listen to where the buzz is coming from and run the other way. I can’t tell you who will be the next unicorn, but I can tell you it will come from where we least expect it.
(article link: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/finding-next-billion-dollar-company)
So, to my fellow writers, stay true to yourself and the story you want to write. When I see other writers online copying cliches or writing what is already popular, they are following the buzz, not looking the other way.
For Clash of Tides, I honestly felt I found my unicorn, but alas, I didn’t. However, that won’t stop me from working on new stories.
Maybe, one day, the unicorn will find me.
Question: For your stories, did you ever feel you found the unicorn? When you realized you didn’t, what did you do?
(Please note: I will respond to my comments soon. I’m behind with my writing for contest and submissions. Also, the full chapter 21 will be posted this week!)