Het recept voor een internationale bestseller

Linton Weeks noemt in de Washington Post het proza van de best verkopende schrijvers stijlloos. Zijn recept voor succes:

  • Keep characters simple. Good people are good; bad are bad. No ambiguities, please. Focus on the movement of the story and any high-tech or military aspects. Here, for instance, is what the official Amazon review — traditionally a kiss-up — says of Stephen Coonts’s recent novel “America,” which features Rear Admiral Jake Grafton: “Stephen Coonts describes the submarine at the center of the action so lavishly and lovingly that the U.S.S. America is much more real — and even more human — than any of his flesh-and-blood characters, including Grafton himself.”
  • Put people in mortal danger. Plot is everything. Grisly murders, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, scientific emergencies, edgy sex and inexplicable events are essential. (Don’t worry too much about plausibility. Inexplicable events are, natch, inexplicable.)
  • Pick a catchy title. Like those of Sue Grafton, author of 16 alphabetized No-Style mysteries such as “A Is for Al-ibi” and “B Is for Burglar.” Or of No-Stylist Janet Evanovich, who has published “One for the Money,” “Two for the Dough” and “Three to Get Deadly,” among others. “When the Bough Breaks” is already taken. So are “Along Came a Spider” and “Clear and Present Danger.”
  • Study the bestsellers. After his first novel failed, Robin Cook dissected a whole shelf of bestsellers. He made a note of each clever device. His second novel, “Coma,” used every trick in the books. And sold like crazy.
  • Pay no attention to the critics […]

Vraag ik me toch af wie zich in Nederland ooit over de stilistische vaardigheden van noem maar iemand als Appie Baantjer druk zou maken.

[x]#61 fan zaterdag 1 december 2001 @ 12:57:52