All successful writing in whatever medium contains three basic elements. For simplicity I call them the three I’s:
The initial idea/concept/story. Your idea may be of huge significance for you, but is it for others? Is it something that has been covered a zillion times before (boy meets girl, someone finds body, the traumas of breakup/divorce, lifestyle secrets).
Your idea for a novel/play/screenplay must have ORIGINALITY. Instead of writing yet another historical tale about Queen Elizabeth I, or Hemingway, find a different slant – the story from the point of view of her maid-of-the-bedchamber or his literary agent (think of Wolf Hall, Remains Of The Day).
Don’t try to copy other great writers, or worry about what people say the market wants (which is never the same from one month to the next). Find your own unique story and style and voice. Almost all big winners break the mould and do something that hasn’t been done before.
This means both in ideas and in execution. The ideas you have can ALWAYS be extended and strengthened, and the execution (grammar, punctuation, presentation) must ALWAYS be professional, or you will lose people from the start.
I will go into all this under many different headings in future blogs. Enough for the first one. Brief, but plenty to think about.