Do I know how to grab your attention or what? Anyway, for a quick-post-Friday I wanted to share an article I stumbled on while reading the Writers Digest website, called (use your powers of deduction here), ‘The 7 Essential Elements of a Bestselling Novel’. The post was written by Adrienne Crezo, managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine. I think it’s clear to all of us that there are far more than 7 essential elements of a bestselling novel, and that bestselling novels themselves defy generalization (unless you use the broadest terms imaginable like ‘tense’, ‘exciting’, or ‘unique’). But that absolutely doesn’t mean that the points aren’t good, helpful pieces of information.
The essential elements are:
In addition to what is said in the article, I think that controversy is especially important because nothing gets people thinking or talking about your story more than controversy – the hard issues. Tackle a big problem, something that really matters, something about which people have differing opinions and strong feelings. This is how you get people to think about your book even when they aren’t reading it and long after they’ve put it down for good. Don’t be afraid to let your characters choose a side, and don’t be afraid to struggle with the difficulty of choosing what is or isn’t right in a situation, because if you present your problem strongly and grapple with it, chances are you’ll get your readers to grapple with it too.
4. Big Actions with Big Consequences
5. Nuanced Uniqueness
6. Extreme Situations
This is one of my favorites. “There’s no real limit except your own creativity; get your characters as deeply in trouble as you can, and then figure out what they would do when “it’s make or break, do or die.”
7. Reasons to Care
Arguably the most important of the 7.
For more on each point, visit the article: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/the-7-essential-elements-of-a-bestselling-novel
Have a good weekend.