I'm whittling away at the exciting conclusion of the new mystery (tentatively titled Murder on the Hoof), and getting closer to the final climactic scene, wherein the characters' lives will be in danger as the killer is revealed. In thinking of that final battle, I imagined a scene, then thought:
But that's how most stories would end it. If I do X instead of Y, no one will expect it.
It was right after the euphoria passed that my funk began. I suddenly realized that all of my novels have been built on some idea that started out as, "I know that the average story zigs, so I'm going to zag." I keep thinking that if I have solid plots with interesting characters, readers will flock to my novels. They'll love the zag.
Or maybe not.
The majority of readers (you know, that great big statistical group out there) seem to want the conventional story. They don't want anything that zags. I'm not criticizing - at all. I know what the problem is. It's what the problem has always been, no matter what I've ever done in life.
I'm an outlier.
In the world of data, where numbers nerds quantify the world and identify trends, there is usual one big clump of normal, and then random stuff that doesn't fit anywhere and no one knows why. The random stuff is called outlier data.
Let's face it, I'm never going to be in the meaty part of the bell curve. In my case, I feel it gets worse. If the data being quantified can be measured from 1-10, I'm equal to coffee beans. I don't even belong on the chart.
Will I have readers who enjoy my stories? Yes. Will I ever get into that club of authors with millions of fans? Maybe I could, if I wrote conventional tales, which I can't - yet. Will I ever join the rest of the average data, join the trend, and get under the bell?