Keys to literary success – part 1

Last summer, on an Iberia flight, I read an article on their on-board magazine about Spanish (and international) bestsellers. It included a tongue-in-cheek checklist on how to write a bestseller. I thought it would be fun to share and hear your thoughts about it. So here goes:

1. Genre: the publishing market prefers novels, so a novel it should be.

2. Plot: the novel has to entertain the reader with a plot that distracts without leaving a lasting effect.

3. Contents: think on the reader’s behalf. This goes for conclusions too, whether suggested by the characters or included directly in a separate section. Be completely explicit abut what happens in the story and leave nothing to the imagination.

4. Characters: it is better for the protagonist of the novel not to have too complex a character, so that readers can easily imagine themselves in his or her place. There should be a touch of familiarity in the strong and rebellious heroine and the miserly and conservative villain.

5. Length: no chapter should be longer than 15 pages. The whole book should have at least 60,000 words if for children or youngsters, and 100,000 for adults.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, and come back next week for the second part!

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Ditelo con parole vostre/Let your words be heard

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