A Friend Is About To Start A Novel. Here’s Stuff I Wish I Had Known…

4 03 2013

…back when I had started writing.
First, buy this e-book:
“Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers [Kindle Edition]” by
James W. Hall. The author teaches college-level creative writing classes.
He and his students analyzed best-sellers from the last century to find common elements. They found a dozen plot points and character traits in common within books as different as “Gone With The Wind” and “The Hunt For Red October.”
I was impressed by this, but what really struck me was that of all the stories I had written, the ones that sold contained the majority of these elements.
So I’ve made a checklist for myself and use it while drafting.
I will not include these notes, because really you ought to buy the book. It’s $11 but I wish I had this years ago.



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