No Chosen Ones Need Apply

by Amber Keyser
Published on: April 11, 2014
Categories: Craft, Genre
Comments: No Comments

Go to an action adventure movie, and you’ll see cars flying, buildings exploding, and more pyrotechnics than during wild fire season in a California summer.  Spend a few months reading the daily book deals from Publisher’s Marketplace like I do, and you’ll be overrun by Chosen Ones who have to save the world.  Every story meant to entertain us is faster, bigger, stronger, more explosive.

Let’s face it.  Our stories are doping.

And just like I’m tired of Lance Armstrong and EPO, I’m exhausted by books and book pitches on steroids.  I love Harry Potter as much as the next geek girl, but not every character we write is destined to stop history’s darkest wizard.

If I could wave my magic wand and restore balance to the universe, I’d start by banning some vocabulary.  Let’s shut down chosen ones and destiny.  Forget saviors who must question everything they ever knew.  No more magic portals and quests to save the world.

Good stories don’t require steroids.  They require characters we are intrigued by facing challenges that will force them to grow.

Let’s face it folks—not everyone is the Mockingjay.

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