Mr. Dickens may have written ‘Great Expectations’ but today, we authors are plagued with them:
A PLETHORA OF POSSIBILITIES
AN EXAGGERATION OF EXPECTANCY
AN HYPERBOLE OF HAPPENSTANCE
Definition (mine): SERENDIPITY > A triad random hit of perfect-timing, perfect-placement, and a perfect human carrier pigeon in a single, spontaneous, advantageous intervention that radiates from its impact point, multiplies exponentially and champions a cause. HOPEFULLY yours and mine. But there’s the rub. Hoping cancels out serendipity.
Bob Dylan expressed serendipity’s elusive nature best when he sang “you may as well try and catch the wind”
The road to literary success is not paved with anything. Its not even a road; it’s two roads – a crossroad where divine intervention is said to occur. Except, it’s not divine; it’s human. A collision we euphemistically call a happy accident. The great unplanned ‘something’…
THE X FACTOR- And it’s never a what… it’s always a who: A great unplanned SOMEONE
As John Cleese in ‘The life of Brian’ admonishes the woman in an unruly mob who throws the first stone: “It only takes one.”
And speaking of one… serendipity is one loaded word. A word loaded with luck. One might say it’s even a mite overloaded. It’s a rare bird of a word. It’s best not to carry this spicy word on your sleeve; it’s tempting fate. But if you feel immune to superstitious mythos, write it on a slip of paper with invisible ink and keep it hidden in a pocket.
That said… A SOUPCON OF RADIOACTIVE SERENDIPITY IS WORTH A THOUSAND REALLY SUPER-DUPER WORDS
If serendipity lands on your doorstop, welcome it inside with open arms and order a crate of champagne.
Definition: AGENT > a strategic plan, catalyst, or event that influences an outcome; an action or response that triggers change; a human mediator who acts as an instrument of change; a driving force, capable of producing a certain effect; an active and efficient intervention that causes or transforms an existing neutral state.
And in the case of a bestseller, it’s also a reader who spontaneously instigates a word-of-mouth phenomenon.
Serendipity is like the amazing archaeological finds at Sutton Hoo. One day a metal detectorist tramps across a silent field. A short time later, a different metal detectorist waves his magic wand over the same damp ground and hits noisy Saxon gold. We may be sure the surrounding fields were consequently earmarked for further treasure and mined to within an inch. But to no avail.
TREASURE IS A MOVING TARGET
Write as if serendipity doesn’t exist; as if Amazon stars don’t exist. More importantly, do not go gentle into that great expectation believing serendipity has your name at the top of its list. Its better not to set yourself up for disappointment.
allow serendipity be an unexpected surprise
We authors often try too hard to be the lightning rod for fame’s parallel strike. Fame doesn’t mega-strike twice in the same genre. Super-viral success is a bolt of lightning that may never strike once, even if you tempt serendipity by standing on the topmost rung of a metal stepladder during a thunderstorm, atop the only hill in a prairie landscape, wearing tap shoes while holding the world’s longest tuning fork over your head.
Here’s the paradox:HOLDING HANDS WITH KISMET REQUIRES LETTING GO
LITERARY SERENDIPITY IS A GHOST, akin to the definition in ‘Ghostbusters’ – [a free-floating full-torso vaporous apparition that blows books off shelves from twenty feet away, capable of scaring the socks a librarian.]
But if you desire to live in this kind of library, you must be invited.
There are no ‘busters’ to call, no site to manipulate, and no perfect treatise on writing to follow because the SERENDIPITY HOTLINE has an unlisted number?
So, authors rejoice. There is one less thing to worry about. The X factor is out of your control.
Chances are GREAT, that your number one ‘agent’ is happenstance with a beating human heart– the perfect event-horizon-reader who will champion your future.