What is the crown jewel?
When someone talks about a crown jewel, one can rightly assume that they are speaking of the royal jewels in the Tower of London, or some other royal palace around the world. They would be safe to think that there isn’t something like for a writer. Writing is an emotional thing, and most people want to stick to that plan. It’s easy to publish a “bestseller” but it’s not as easy to find the “diamond” everyone will read for decades. If you love a certain author, then it might be hard to find their books a few years after they pass away. If this author is a major bestseller, it might be a decade, but in the end, they aren’t the books that some people (readers) will talk about and willing read. (I wouldn’t particularly read John Donne, but that is my choice)
Even if they are a small time author, (there is no such thing as a ‘small time author’) who might not expect a lot of books sales or money from this particular book, or the blog or the article, they will want to share it and have people admire their work. They are emotionally invested in their writing, and want it to shine. After all, to most authors it is a labour of love. I am sure there are some of those who write purely to make money, and I am sure that money is a good reason to go on, but the classics, the books that stay in the memories of readers will be there.
I am not a big fan of teen fiction because it doesn’t speak as much to me as the classics, or the writers who wrote them or perhaps the fact I am older means I can’t relate to as many teen novels as I used to. Not because of a maturity as a writer, but rather, as a creative growth in my own creative writing views. I know of many people who have their sights on writing their own crown jewel in the teen section.
However, I have a couple of new writing friends who would argue that writing, and having a predictable plot allows them to build on the characters they are writing about. To them, characters are more important than a plot. However, to me they are missing something there as well. I believe they might have a point in terms of building a work which will last not based upon a plot, but on the emotions the characters or people can bring to the reader.