Make Anything Interesting?

My co-writer, Maren Kaye, and I were discussing one of the possible ideas for our next book. I am a mystery/thriller kind of person but this new idea didn’t really fit either category. I told her I was nervous about our ability to make the subject interesting and, more importantly, thrilling. But I could feel her excitement for the subject and the story so I started thinking about it more seriously.
And then it occurred to me, couldn’t a really good writer make any story exciting? Which then led me to think of Micheal Crichton, who I miss dearly. I love his books. All of them. And just look at the spread of his stories, The Great Train Robbery, Jurassic Park, Prey. Think of it, from a simple train robbery set in the 1800’s to futuristic nanotechnology.
That man could write.
And he could make anything interesting. Airframe is the perfect example. In case you haven’t read it I won’t give anything away, but the whole book is pretty much about the investigation of a really rough plane ride. I mean, the plane didn’t even crash (don’t worry that’s the start of the book) and I remember that I could not put that book down. There’s no murder, no real bad guy, no big chase scenes. Just an investigation. And yet, I just had to know what happened. I even went back and reread it, just to refresh my memory. Sure enough, even knowing the outcome, I still devoured that book. Again. Amazing.
That really helped my confidence when it came to deciding on our next book. In the end, we did decide to wait on that particular idea because we wanted to put out something a little faster and the story development was going to take some time. But the fuse was lit. When we came up with the next idea, I squelched all my doubts and just allowed myself to get excited.
So, what is your opinion? Should a writer stick with what they know or can they make any topic exciting?

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2 thoughts on “Make Anything Interesting?

  1. Matt Posner

    I read Airframe in Reader Digest Condensed Books edition when I was fourteen or so. I couldn’t put it down either. I should go read the full version some time. Definitely I miss Crichton. The original Jurassic Park was really a revelation to me also. Thanks for sharing — Matt

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