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 The Bestseller Formula

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PostSubject: The Bestseller Formula   Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:49 pm

Apparently, a couple of guys worked out a formula for writing a bestseller... and it actually worked!

Here's an excerpt - you can find the rest of the article here:

1. The hero is an expert.
2. The villain is an expert.
3. You must watch all of the villainy over the shoulder of the villain.
4. The hero has a team of experts in various fields behind him.
5. Two or more on the team must fall in love.
6. Two or more on the team must die.
7. The villain must turn his attentions from his initial goal to the team.
8. The villain and the hero must live to do battle again in the sequel.
9. All deaths must proceed from the individual to the group: i.e., never say that the bomb exploded and 15,000 people were killed. Start with "Jamie and Suzy were walking in the park with their grandmother when the earth opened up."
10. If you get bogged down, just kill somebody.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bestseller Formula   Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:57 pm

Formula fiction with a predictable plot line really does seem to sell, even if it's "bad" literature. Here's my YA formula... how many movies have you seen like this?

1)Boy and girl are complete opposites and they hate each other. One of them is an excellent student and one is a jock. Either of them could be secretly artsy/free spirited.
2)Something weird happens. They switch bodies or have to be lab partners.
3)A series of "hilarious" events follows.
4)They gradually begin to understand each other and fall in love.
5)Forces of nature tear them apart. They're switched back into their own bodies, the lab teacher dies, they're going to different universities, yada yada...
6)They decide to stick it out together even though their parents/friends/teachers and universities on opposite sides of the country won't approve.
7)You leave the theatre with a cheesy love song stuck in your head and the funny feeling that they'll probably make it six months, then break up.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bestseller Formula   Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:47 am

Ha! Good stuff. Why do readers (and movie-watchers) like formula-stories so much?
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The Bestseller Formula
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