Helen (heleninwales) wrote,
Helen
heleninwales

  • Mood:

Final thought on what makes a novel successful

This is going to be really short and it's a thought that struck me just recently.

As I've mentioned here before, I'm currently struggling my way through Harri Potter a Maen yr Athronydd, ie Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone in Welsh. Because it's been getting on for 50 years since I read a book that slowly, it's been like walking slowly through a landscape instead of zooming through it in a car. Slowing right down made me notice something that I have never been aware of before. Namely that you need one cool thing per page. However wonderful the overall story, however interesting the characters, you need something cool every 300 words or so.

It doesn't matter what that "one cool thing" is. It will depend partly on genre and where you are in the novel. The one cool thing could be any one of:

  • a cool bit of background detail

  • a startling revelation about a character

  • an unexpected plot twist

  • a bit of gorgeous description

  • a dramatic moment

  • a cliff-hanger

  • a particularly apt metaphor

  • a humorous moment

  • a moment of wonder


Or some other thing that I can't think of off the top of my head after a long day.

But there must never be a page of consisting entirely of adequate prose.
Subscribe

  • Weather changeable

    I went out around 10 a.m. to shoot some clips for my next video. Photographer me was thinking, "Oh, wow! This storm-light is wonderful!" and then…

  • A woodland walk

    This morning I went for a walk with G to somewhere new. I had done the first part before, to some very pretty waterfalls, but usually we've turned…

  • A productive day

    I did 8 out of the 10 things I had on my To-Do list for today. I was going to spend a little time on one more task, but realised I was feeling tired,…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 2 comments