Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What makes a hit?

So I'm just curious today. What makes a hit?

Some names are guaranteed hits. Nicholas Sparks. Dan Brown. Karen Kingsbury. Francine Rivers. Anne Rice. J.K. Rowling. Stephanie Meyer.

But they didn't use to be. At some point, every single one of those authors were newbies. They went through the same excruciating process of submitting their first manuscript that first time. (and with the majority of their ages - no offense - I'm guessing they probably didn't click a computer button but rather went through the even longer and even more excruciating process of snail mail! ::wink::)

How did they do it? For some, they took a vampire and a human and voila - hit. Others took an age old theme of sin and redemption and voila - hit. Others preyed on the supernatural or on religious conspiracies and voila - hit. Not a lot in common between their various topics and themes except ONE thing.

Somehow, they all resonated with the reader in a way that didn't immediately leave them. Then movies were made from the books and the resonation lingered even more. Word spread. People were changed, in one way or another. (hopefully for the better, and hopefully not by believing anything Dan Brown concocted about theology! But I digress)

So the question I'm asking you today is, what makes a hit to you? And how can you try to make your own? Not for fame or fortune, because yeah that's nice but it's not ever enough. I'm talking about lingering effects. How can we make a hit that will change someone and lead them to the Lord? What ingredients do you feel make a hit?

Do share!


  1. I try to write what I'd like to read, and that's contemporary, fast paced and humorous stuff, like when you tell a funny story to a close friend. BUT you have helped me dig deeper as well, and I'm really enjoying it! Lord willing it will be a hit :).

  2. A hit for me is one with rich, descriptive writing and a story that I won't forget.

  3. Characters that i relate to & situations that i relate to

  4. Have you ever had one of those moments where you say what if...and then think of something totally bizarre and original? Stories that build off crazy ideas such that become the hits. Re-occurring themes become cliche, but the unique stories catch attention. Maybe Stephanie Meyers was taking a walk one day and thought, what would happen if a mortal girl fell head over heels(almost obsessively) in love with an immortal, and dangerous vampire. It is so unusual that people can't help but take a closer look. Another example? Look at Greek mythology. It is far-fetched and unorthodox, and yet it is one of the 3 most alluded to pieces of literature.