Who Wants to Write a Best-Seller?
by Jennifer Stewart
Are You Ready to Write Your Own Romance Novel … and Get It Published?
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They need volume… and they need to keep their readers happy. Discover how you can join this exploding genre by using an easy system for success that will have you turning out titles, even if you’ve never written a word in your life… Click now to start writing your romance novel!
Hands up. Who wants to write a best-seller?
Nearly everyone ...
Now, I'm not pretending for one moment that I've ever written a best-seller - but for a fun activity for a writer, I think it would be hard to beat. So here are a few tips I've gleaned on my travels. When I started putting these together, it made me wish I had more spare time to sit and play with a few ideas that have been swimming around inside my head for a few years (yes, we all want to write a novel ...)
So what are the ingredients for a best-seller?
* The stakes MUST be high - no good hoping that your tale about whether the daisies will win first prize in the school fete is going to be number one seller at Amazon.com - it's not going to happen, Kiddo.
You need to base your plot around a story of life and death; happiness and tragedy; fulfillment of a life's dream and so on.
* Since this is the case, your characters must be larger than life - sorry, your hero must be tall, powerfully built, not necessarily handsome, but definitely "craggy" in an appealing sort of way. Your heroine must be either drop-dead gorgeous, or have "elfin-like" qualities. The smooth, round thighs are optional these days - but heaving bosoms never go out of fashion.
It goes without saying that one of them must have extreme wealth (since this is what our society values so highly) - it doesn't matter which one - but the poverty and deprivations of one must be in proportion to the wealth and privilege of the other.
It's imperative that your hero and heroine clash to start with and then - gradually - with as many ups and downs as you can manage - finally come to realise that they were meant for each other.
* There should be a single, dramatic question to be answered. The question is posed at the beginning (or merely hinted at for the first part of the book) - but it must be answered at the end. This question should run through the whole book and is the framework on which the rest of your story rests. Some suggestions:
* You need to have a high concept on which to base your story - it can be as far-fetched as you dare:
* Your settings should be exotic and filled with plenty of detail - your readers can go to the suburban supermarket themselves - they don't want to read about it as well - take them to the Kasbah, the Caribbean; to deserts, rainforests, and coral reefs. Take them into space if you wish - to alien landscapes even!
Hey ... nobody said it had to be realistic!
Paint a picture of the place - its customs, food, clothes, etiquette, architecture and so on.
The most popular settings are those which are set in the present (this also makes it more likely that your best-seller could be taken up by film-makers. Costume dramas cost a fortune to produce!)
Look for topical themes for your story - anything to do with the Internet seems to be flavour of the month at the moment; and genetic engineering, environmental risks and crime are always popular.
* You are free to use any or all of the following:
So, there you have it - a potted (or potty?) guide to writing a best-seller. Feel free to send me part of your royalty cheque when it arrives!
Jennifer Stewart is a professional writer who offers copy writing, proof reading and editing services for businesses and individuals from her site at http://www.write101.com You can subscribe to free Writing Tips to improve your writing.
She has undertaken a variety of assignments - writing articles for ezines and the print media; preparing award submissions for business clients; copy writing and proof reading works of non-fiction; editing web pages and ebooks; writing press releases and much more.
If the spelling of words like "realise" in this article worried you, please read this.