"A word after a word after a word is power" - Margaret Atwood


A blog for readers and writers

A blog about the stories we tell each other and how we tell them...

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Is there a sure-fire recipe for a bestseller?

A recent article in The Economist  quotes an author who claims to have cracked “the code” of bestsellers.
James Hall says it has to be:
fast paced
emotionally charged
written simply

It should have a maverick hero who is in over his head (hmm...does it have to be a HE?).
In addition, the story must revolve around a thorny issue and include an important sexual incident.

Looking back at recent mega selling books, it's hard to argue against his main points, but I'm  wary of anyone who describes the plot of Jane Eyre as a rich man with issues falls for innocent young lass.
He seems to forget that the classic is not called Mr Rochester. How about: used and abused innocent young lass falls for powerful older man but flees when she discovers his dark secret. She rejects another suitor, comes into a fortune and returns when the man she loves is at his most vulnerable.
While I have doubts about Hall's literary analysis, I was impressed by Celia Brayfield's book on the same subject BESTSELLER: secrets of successful writing.
 It was recommended to me by Su Quinn who is on her way to being a bestselling author with her first novel Glass Geishas, and dear reader I bought a copy.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Figures of Speech that should have been strangled at birth

From tonight's EUROVISION song contest. In reverse order of irritation.

The gold of a spider’s web
My love is a sinking ship and mine alone 
I landed my plane on the lightless runway of your soul