Is This A good Idea for a Plot?

by Caitlin
(United States of America)

Question: I'm not too good at writing, so bear with me. :D

Okay, there's a 16-year-old girl named Ivy, who has a secret that causes her a lot of trouble: Her lips contain a venomous poison. If she kisses anyone anywhere, even on the hand, they'll die a painful death. When someone hires her to use this power to get rid of his enemies, Ivy becomes an assassin. But then this girl named Felicity falls in love with Ivy, and no matter how many times Ivy tries to warn her away, Felicity keeps coming back. Eventually, Ivy falls in love with her, but their love is incredibly difficult to maintain because of Ivy's secret, which Felicity finds out because of something she saw.

I'm a beginner, but writing is my passion.I know some might not like it because a lesbian couple is involved, but I'd love it if someone could tell me their honest opinion about this. I don't care if it's all pointing out things that are bad, I need that! Just, please, your honest opinion. :)

Thank you!

Answer: First, there's nothing at all wrong with this idea. It's a fine idea to work with.

What matters matters is what you do with the idea - how you tell the story. How well you shape your plot, draw your characters, illustrate their world, and portray their relationships will determine how good your story is in the end. Depending on their skills, a writer can make a great story out of a lame idea or take a great idea and turn it into a lame story.

On the surface, your character, Ivy, seems a bit more suited to a comic book than a novel. She somewhat reminds me of the Batman character, Poison Ivy, and the X-Men character, Rogue. However, these days there is a lot of crossover between the novel and comic forms, particularly for young adult readers. If that's the audience you have in mind, I don't see a problem.

I think you could work the idea of poison lips into a good metaphor for forbidden love, much like vampirism is in the Twilight series.

I wouldn't worry about having a lesbian relationship. You might want to consider whether you are writing a book specifically for lesbian readers or a book for everyone that just happens to use a lesbian relationship as a symbol for all types of forbidden love (like mutants in the X-Men comics are used to symbolize every group victimized by prejudice). I think plenty of straight young adult readers could enjoy this type of fantasy/thriller story, though young lesbians might especially appreciate seeing themselves in the characters. There is also a thriving market for specifically LGBT novels.

I do think you should aim for readers in their late teens or older and who therefore choose their own books. Younger teens may have parents who would object to the subject matter.

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