Today, I thought I'd talk about Tea Parties. I know, weird, right?
But this isn't a Boston Tea Party or even a Princess Tea Party. It's a Tea Party of the mind. What I'm basically getting at is advice for all writers. Make your work different. Make it shine, polish it, let it stand out among the rest. But, above all, please, please, make it believable. Give the characters flaws, give them a struggle, twists, turns and car chases. It all adds to the randomness of life. Think Murphy's Law times ten. Because the last thing you want to do is make the work into a Tea Party.
A Tea Party in my mind is when I read a novel and can actually picture the author writing it, taking breaks in between, saying to himself, "Yes. Yes, I would like that. Oooh, I rule!"
Case in point, I've brought up The Celestine Prophecy more than a few times, and I'm not knocking the book. But, mind you, I've made it about halfway until I saw some tea parties spring up.
What's it about?
A professor (gotcha) travels to Peru (cool) to uncover a series of scrolls which reveal nine (Digging it) insights to the world. Along the way he is saved by a stranger who is on a hunt for the scrolls as well. (Um, okay, well, that's convenient) The journey brings them to a place where they fine the insights (okay) in chronological order (what?) and they don't even have to work that hard to learn them. (excuse me, is this thing on?) There is also a Tenth insight. (Wha?) And an Eleventh. (Wait a minute) And a Twelfth, even though we said there were originally nine. (Now your yanking my chain.)
How can the characters ring true if they don't overcome big struggles? Struggle is a key factor in life. We cling to hope because of so many troubles, twists, turns.
So, you see, when you write, please don't write off the seat of your pants, making everything a little too easy or convenient. It will hurt you in the long run. Because in this case, you've created a tea party where you're the only on invited and you're the only one enjoying the party. Maybe some day I'll pick the book back up. But it would have to be on a plane...where there's no escape.