Whipping up a Best-Seller
by Megan Larson
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In a writing slump? One doesnít need to be original to create something people will plunk down money for! When writing your next work of fiction, try these twelve tips for a novel that is sure to sell out.
Make it Epic
Everyone loves a sweeping tale of destiny, love, and doom. Just look at how popular Lord of the Rings is! Make sure to incorporate an only partially-relevant history and sub-plots that are exciting but lead to nowhere.
Keep it Standard
By no means do you want an un-standard or unusual plot, and inventive plots are right out. Your readers will be most comfortable and likely to suggest that their friends read the book if they can see what's coming a mile and a half away.
Donít Forget the Joker
One of your characters must be either the butt of everyoneís jokes or makes the jokes themselves. Besides lightening up the mood, this character will probably also be one of the readersí favorites.
Create a Regional Dialect
This can be done in a number of ways. One of the most popular ways is to make up words that donít actually make sense, or are unpronounceable, but mean something significant in your storyís world.
Alternately, you can create an entire language and have complete passages that no one understands, only to have another character translate them later. This also adds to your word count!
Finally, thereís always the method of speaking in accents. One of the best examples of this is of the character Hagrid in the Harry Potter series.
Repetition in Humor is Good
Find one lame joke, and use it over and over again. This especially works if you are writing a series of books. The joke will never get old, and will always make people remember the previous instances of the joke with fondness.
Romance is Key
Whatever you do, NEVER slip away from the girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, boy is indifferent, boy realizes he loves her on deathbed routine. Again, this never gets old, and it is new and fresh every time it gets used.
Donít Forget the Elves
Every elf in the history of mankind must be "whimsical" of speech. You cannot use another adjective, as this would be absolutely heinous. All elves are "whimsical" unless they are Drow... then they are tortured. More tortured than you are. Deal with this and move on.
If the hero or heroine becomes intimate with another character, that character must become evil or turn out to be evil. Alternately you can have them suddenly manifest special powers and have their true nature revealed.
Again on the romance front, donít forget that opposites attract. Think Aragorn and Arwen. One of the most popular pairings is elf and vampire, due to their extreme differences and immortality.
Old and Wise
There always needs to be an old man who knows all. This works especially well if he is a wizard. Donít forget to not reveal what they know until it is absolutely necessary.
Your main character must almost die at least three times. Other characters can also do this, especially if they donít return to the story until much later.
Stick to Stereotypes
No one ever gets tired of the clueless blonde princess, the dumb barbarian, the tall, handsome stranger or the wicked witch! These characters are much easier to work with than developing your own.
In closing, remember that the most important thing is to not be creative. Books that are ďdifferentĒ are not what people are looking for. Keep to the cookie cutter formula and watch your manuscript sales soar!
The author would like to thank Kass Siegel, Lucas McWilliams, and Juliana Davila for their assistance in this article.
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