As I struggle with the whole ´Success´ issue in my writing, I begin to realize that the chances that a bestselling novel might come out of the depth of my mind is very unlikely. Why? Could it be because I truly dislike the model of the Bestselling novel? Why would I want to write something that I myself didn´t like.
Of course there is the smallest possible chance that one day I will write somethng that will catch the imagination of thousands or tens of thousands of people but they will not be the Twilight, 50 Shades demographic. I am not a fan of formulaic structure in writing or any kind of artistic expression. I don´t care for the predictability of the $9.99 paperback pulp fiction that regularly makes it to bestseller status so apparently I´m shafted even before I begin.
Now there are some common variables within any novel – the three acts, Introduction, conflict, resolution blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard how the first line, the first paragraph, the first page must be catchy, must contain action, must pull the reader in, must introduce the protagonist, must hint at future conflicts blah, blah, blah. This of course is all great advice and will help you position your work in competition with the writers that churn out 5 to 10 bestsellers per year – ie. James Patterson.
None of my favorite writers or books work that way. The books or the authors assumed a vestige of intelligence in the reader. They did not figure that the first bite of the meal needed to be the most delicious in order to entice the reader to finish the whole buffet.
I’ve been in an in depth conversation with a group of writers about what is and what isn’t success. My success has come in the last few days in the form of some great reviews I got for some of my books on Amazon. What more can I ask for? Well, an end to my current writer’s block, a bunch of new ideas for stories – enough to sustain me for five years or so, 100.000 twitter followers (@dbwriterteacher) with the urge to read my stories and the chance to write books that will grab people’s attention without having to conform to a derivative structure that really leaves little room for surprise at all.
It seems strange that I started writing and scripting in the world of Fantasy comics because today I write REALITY. So my motivation is not to come up with some McGyver type super-hero character that has a snappy first line while beating a villian sensless. My motivation is to capture real people and real situations and hopefully people will identify with that.
Of course, this is not to say that I am not aware of the formulas, not interested in what works or what doesn’t work or how it all fits together but I’d rather write ‘The Life of Pi’ or ‘Cold Mountain’ than ’50 Shades of Grey;’
David Gordon Burke
Find My Books Here.