Sunday, August 28, 2016
James Patterson and Romance
James is repackaging the novella or short novel as Bookshots. It’s smart marketing. He wants approx. 30 chapters at approx. 1000 words each. There’s no reason I can see why this can’t be done.
James is also reaching out to romance writers to team up with him. What a blessing fore our industry. He’ll edit, so that his name and quality of writing permeates the romance writers’ products.
Is this doable? Well, it depends on how good you are at working with the world’s most prolific author.
There are caveats, IMO.
1. James talks about writing as if there were a movie camera rolling. This grounds the reader in the who, what, where, when and how and gives full flight to the pictorial imagination. Romance writers generally focus on interior thought, sometimes having their characters float. There’s every reason why you should develop both the exterior and interior and how they interrelate.
2. Can you develop a scene with an interior and exterior arc that is approx. 5 pages? Why not? Here’s a thought experiment. Take your 60,000 word published story and visualize it as cut in half. What can you give up that will not sacrifice the full arc of the hero and heroine? Many of us have published stories in which some words are devoted to characters from previous books or sub plots that may be droppable. These discards could be saved for a future story of those supporting characters.
3. Short chapters are one of James core beliefs. I.e., the reader leads a busy life and needs breaks. It’s our job to hook up our scenes to future scenes so that either the reader won’t put the story down or will eagerly await the next moment he or she can read.
4. One way of saving words is to give the hero and heroine a past and/or present at the start of the book. For those who love cute meets, you could change it to a cute awakening or a cute situation that forces them together (and for the first time, one realizes the other’s heart beats like theirs). For some of us, we can think back to that time when our feelings for someone changed. What was he or she doing that gave you pause? That lit that bulb?
As a guy, my experience was like a camera. That girl was so attractive (but there are many who are)? That girl was so funny, so… (fill in your preferences). I want to get to know her better. You’re hooked and so is the reader.