Originality Checklist For Your Novel – Do You Have What It Takes To Be Chicken?

Fried chicken. The stuff of summer picnics, napkins and grandma’s home recipe. It is enough to make the most diligent dieter splurge. There is just nothing like it.

So loved by the masses, this one food inspired the start of a restaurant chain by Harold Sanders in 1952. Kentucky Fried Chicken is all about the chicken. In a plate lineup, most of us would be able to pick out KFC chicken over all the others because it is that unique.

The ingredients, each in their delicate balance, create a taste sensation that stays with you long after you’ve eaten.

Have I got what it takes to be chicken?

If we want to be published, we’d better hope so. I’m not talking about feathers, grease or drumsticks. It’s much more than that. It is the unique blend of ingredients in your writing that makes you recognizable to your readers as a one stop shop. They crave your novels and nothing else will do, because your writing is just that unique.

You might have what it takes to be chicken if:

*You Have An Original Plot. If the plot is overused, it is hard to surprise the reader and the premise doesn’t excite them. Originality keeps the reader guessing and coming back for more. A great example of this is the book Butterfly Palace by Colleen Coble.

*Unexpected Turns. Readers need to be surprised by some turns in the plot. If they know exactly what is going to happen or they can guess the ending, they will be tempted to put your novel down. They want to be surprised either in how you get to the end, or in what happens at the end. A great example of this is the book Exposure by Brandilyn Collins.

*Your Characters Are Empathetic. Larger than life characters catch the attention of readers. They make them laugh, cry and scream ‘No, don’t go into that dark stairwell.’ Characters our readers relate to are essential to the right flavor in our novels. A great example of this can be found in Wish You Were Here by Beth K. Vogt.

*Your Writing Has A Unique Flavor. Voice is something all writers strive to find. It is the blend of sentence structure, word choice, pacing and content. We all know Dr. Seuss and the voice of his writing. Test it on your friends. Stack your hook lines against other authors. See if they can pick yours out of the crowd. Vanished by Irene Hannon illustrates this very well.

*You’ve Learned About The Right Ingredients. Craft is the underlying method of communicating our plot, characters and voice. We must know the ingredients or risk becoming a poor imitation.

Here are some craft books I recommend:

  deep                          Idea-Sparking-3d-Cover-for-WOO


What do you think it takes to be chicken in the writing world? OR What Author do you feel shows originality in their work?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

11 thoughts on “Originality Checklist For Your Novel – Do You Have What It Takes To Be Chicken?

  1. All of the above! And none of the ingredients can be left out.Great post, Michelle!

  2. Amy Hahn says:

    you are funny…nice twist!

  3. bethkvogt says:

    OK, now i want some fried chicken … and to write a great story, all at the same time.

  4. Michelle Lim says:

    Pictures have a way of making our stomach’s growl. I am right there with you.

  5. Susan Miura says:

    Love the post, Michelle…and love chicken, too! I think you captured the perfect combination. It just needs to be seasoned with great imagery and you’ve got a winning recipe.

  6. Ginger R. Takamiya says:

    All very good points, Michelle.
    Thanks for the quirky and lovable reminder 🙂

  7. […] ago last month I took the plunge and started this blog. Since then I’ve blogged topics from “Do You Have What It Takes To Be Chicken?” to “I Died At Gate B4- 5 Tips to Pace Yourself On The Writing […]

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