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DO YOUR STORY OR CHARACTERS HAVE A TRADEMARK STYLE?

December 19, 2012

            As with any writer, once you find something that works, you get into a groove. You find your place and tend to go with it. Sometimes it’s deliberate, sometimes it’s unconscious and it’s not until other people tell you about it.

            The reason I picked this subject is because of a series of books I just read by a British author. His stories are in the DaVinci Code mold, sort of. The hero usually chases after some kind of McGuffin with biblical connotations. Of course, he travels to plenty of exotic places and gets into loads of trouble along the way. What makes these stories unique, or as I’ll define it, the authors trademark, is that though is lots of over-the-top violence sprinkled throughout the story, the hero has little to do with it except usually being on the receiving end or escaping. The bad guys or others perpetuate it. He’s left to keep his sidekick, his ex-wife out of situations, help figure things out (she’s usually the brains), and lead the way. I call him the born-to-be-mild cop (his actual job when he’s not off adventuring). Out of four books, I can only remember him shooting one person. Considering the body count in those four books, that’s quite unusual.

            My trademark, at least in my Gold series of stories is that though my hero, Detach goes after gold in each novel, the metal is actually a side issue to a bigger picture. There really is gold to be found in each story, but it’s only the starting point.

            In my icky bug novels, since they’re not a series, I guess my trademark would be the humor. In that respect, humor would be the trademark of all of my stories.

            For some authors, it might be something annoying, like using million dollar words, or writing in present tense, or other editorial issues I rail about all the time.

            For all of you out there, especially those that have more than one novel or are still finding your groove, do you have a trademark you’re aware of? Have you thought of one, or are you contemplating one?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2012 3:19 am

    I’ll check it out, Fred. The only trademark I have at the time is my name, I’ve sort of gotten used to it and like it.

    • December 20, 2012 3:31 am

      Felix,

      It would be hard to say unless you are planning to write more stories, mainly fiction, I’d say. As for an autobiography, it’s your voice, so that’s something different.

      Maybe look through your children’s stories and see if there is a common trait all your characters have. That might be an idea, just for kicks. I’d be curious if you notice anything.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Fred

  2. December 21, 2012 12:28 am

    It seems like my ideas always revolve around an unlikely protag, forcing the reader to root for the bad guy instead of the good guy, switching the roles of protagonist and antagonist.

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