Lessons from My Reading

M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Best Seller Success: Finding the Magic Fiction Formula

Looking for a formula for writing successful fiction? I’ve been distilling the info from a lot of the classes and articles so I'll share a bit. One element: how to structure your story lines into a simple formula for fiction success. 
 
Yeah, it all boiled down into a formula of sorts – you organize in three acts. The first act you introduce your characters. The second act has the main character achieving some form of their goal before everything starts to fall apart. The third acts the nadir where every thing seems lost, but the MC keeps struggling until s/he triumphs. 

So, how does this fiction formula work? Having done a lot of reading and rereading over the few weeks, I think it does. The stories I enjoyed most followed the formula. Each “act” in the books began at approximately the first, second, and third parts of the story – given some wiggle room. 

I tested the idea recently on one of Christine Feehan’s Carpathian novels – Dark Predator. Feehan’s a best selling author of three series. I’ve read many of her Carpathian and Game series … until I got tired of the repetitive character dynamics [the hyper macho man bit]. I've sort of ignored some of her recent novels even though they were on best seller lists. Yet, I still reread some of the first novels in each series.

Dark Predator starts with a wounded Carpathian ready to give up and face the dawn rather than turn vampire by killing one of his meals. He retreats to a family farm where he is saved by the love interest/life mate before he burns up. Result? He tries to surround the love interest in cotton wool. Of course, she’s the spunky sort who doesn’t obey rules and dictates very well. Second act opens with the two reaching an accommodation and recognize they are in lust with one another. The life mate bit happens and the story line shifts gears with many complications piling on top of their relationship until they all don't walk off into the sunset.

Simple, huh? Don’t you believe it. The fiction formula is just the framework. Ya gotta fill in the picture's details without falling into the cliche pit like Feehan. So there. Have i given you a key to becoming a best-selling author? It all depends on how you develop your other craft skills.

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I’ve been on an enforced break from blogging when Blogger locked me out of my blogs. Just as mysteriously, they are now letting me in. Here I am again. Be sure to read an excerpt of Troublesome Neighbors at my author page on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or iBookstore

I wouldn't mind if you bought the fantasy novella and gave me a review either.
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