Years ago, I won a “24-hour One-Act Play competition”. Later, I wrote a feature screenplay over a long weekend with two buddies. The 3-day novel competition, I’ve survived that twice. Now it’s time for…
According to Inkubate, a “literary blockbuster” is a novel that “explores the eternal philosophical questions and grabs and holds the reader’s attention from the first page.”
It’s a book that “…joins the psycho-sociological themes of Mrs. Dalloway with the page-turning suspense of The Godfather.”
(Should the twain even be encouraged to meet?)
“How about merging James Joyce’s psychologically complex characterization with a Stephen King plot?”
Inkubate thinks it’s possible. They’re a brand new eTeam aiming to present writers’ work to publishers and agents. “We’re working hard to create a place that writers, publishers and agents will love.” The love-in will begin when the literary blockbusters start pouring in.
The deadline is December 15, 2012. No entry fee. It’s all about the challenge:
“Write a thought-provoking literary novel that’s also a page-turner. We invite you to combine the goals of serious literature (thematic depth and high-level craft) with the bestselling formulas of the mega-blockbusters.”
Easier said than done! The beginning especially. The first page sets the all-important tone.
HOW TO BEGIN?
With a death in the first paragraph? A body washes up on the beach. A dead man in Business Class, unlit cigar hanging from his lip. Good. At the same time we need to glimpse the protagonist’s interior, a constellation of neuroses and lies which render him unreliable as a narrator and which promise mystery and irony and sex and which, most of all, portends a theme at least as large as the collapse of civilization.
And then in the second paragraph…
This may be the greatest literary challenge ever. Are you up for it? There’s no shame in asking for help, which I’m doing right now:
- How do we begin to understand this hybrid genre? Insights anyone? How do we meld the “literary” and “blockbuster” genres without mocking both?
- What authors should we emulate? John Le Carré? Graham Greene? William Boyd? Have you ever read a “literary blockbuster”?
Please chime in to the “Comments” section and share your experiences.
And don’t forget to check out all the rules and regs at INKUBATE.com.
(Disclaimer: I have no connection with Inkubate, although you will see that they have kindly listed my free eBook, STORY STRUCTURE TO DIE FOR, as a writing resource.)