Monday, October 3, 2011

The WOW Factor

One Sunday afternoon I found myself with some time on my hands. That is an amazing feat for a woman with three children who are six years old and under. With this occurrence, I would usually read a book but decided, instead, to see which movies were On Demand.

I decided to rent a movie I thought my husband would not be interested in watching and chose I Am Number Four, a movie I didn’t know much about except that it was categorized at Young Adult. I watched a few minutes before I decided that the husband would, in fact, enjoy it and I called him to come upstairs and watch it with him.

We sat and enjoyed the movie very much. A few minutes into the movie, in this modern age, I googled the title and—boom—wouldn’t you know—the movie was made from a book. I hadn’t read it but I decided that since I had enjoyed the movie I should read the book. If there was a series being written about these characters I didn’t want to find myself not having read the first book.

So I sat down to read the book on my Kindle a few days later. I had enjoyed the movie. The book is so much better.

Lucky for me, since I had discovered the book late, the second book in the series The Power of Six, was coming out later in the month. I pre-ordered it for Kindle and waited. The day it came out, I read the whole thing.

What is it that I loved so much about these books (and think I will love in the future for the next books?) It’s the WOW factor. Something about these books makes me go OH WOW when I read them. I am so transported to another world—the world from the viewpoint of Four, Six, and the others that I cannot wait to keep reading.

I think every author wants to do that—we want to make the WOW factor but I think it’s particularly important in Young Adult books. Lets face it. They have a lot to choose from when it comes to their reading selections. It is the WOW that is going to make the difference.

And as for me, I cannot wait to go WOW again about this series. Can I beg an author to write faster?

What makes you go WOW?


Seleste deLaney said...

I'm a fan of the quiet WOW, the books that make me keep reading as tears are running down my cheeks because I can't *not* finish the scene or chapter or book no matter how hard I'm laughing or how sad I am. For me, that's harder to pull off than just a page turner. I want to feel that much for the characters.

Not sure I've gotten there yet, but I'm working on it :)

Julie Particka

Anonymous said...

GREAT post! I, too, enjoyed the "I am #4" book and movie combo, not sure why so many critics dogged the movie as it was actually quite well done, I thought.

I was hooked from the initial concept: "I am number four." It was so simple and yet so grand.

It's the ultimate definition of "high concept," or that Hollywood "WOW" factor where an idea pops up and you think, "Man, I can't wait to read/see that!"

I definitely strive for high concept with my books. I'm not sure I've foudn that same "WOW" factor yet but I definitely feel it myself when I sit down to write, otherwise I couldn't sustain myself with the challenges and discipline or writing 60,000 to 70,000 words on it.

But whether it's girl turns zombie or four movie ushers fighting monsters or a demon getting his drumsticks back or a werewolf intervention, I'm all about the grand, epic, B-movie plot machine. Once I have that concept, my own internal "WOW" factor, I can get on board and really enjoy writing the book.

So that's my two cents and I love how this post kind of made me "wow" factor into this comment!!!