Monday, June 15, 2015

It’s Really Easy to Hate Nicholas Sparks

Sure, I enjoyed "A Walk to Remember," like everyone else. But by the time "The Best of Me" came to theaters, I was thoroughly disgusted. It's really easy to hate Nicholas Sparks...and I do.


Author, Author

Please, don’t bombard me with emails. I know all of you love “The Notebook,” and yes I have seen the film also. But sometimes, I feel a little bit like Nicholas Sparks is writing the same book over and over. In fact, I’ve noticed that lots of authors are writing the same books over and over.

Some authors follow a formula because that’s what works for them. Let’s start with our first example, one Mr. Sparks. Here’s the formula: there’s a girl, and a guy. They’re both flawed, but they totally fall in love anyway. Something rips them apart, and it’s awful, but the love is still there. Some stuff happens, and finally their love triumphs over it. Yay. Add a bunch of love and romance and heartache and yearning, and you’ve got a best-selling book.

Nicholas Sparks isn’t the only author who follows a strict formula. Stephen King does pretty much the same thing, only you substitute the love for some sort of monster. Maybe it’s a car, maybe it’s a dude who’s going crazy, hell in one book it was scary fog. That’s real, go look it up.

James Patterson is another perfect example of a formulaic author. He introduces a crime, a person committing the crime and someone who’s trying to solve the crime. It all gets mixed together so the person solving the crime (and you, the reader) can sort it out. And at the end of the book, it is sorted out. Again, yay.

It’s really easy to hate these successful, highly formulaic authors....because it’s impossible not to envy them. Not only can they write one book that hits big, they can somehow keep writing the same book and still hitting it big. Isn’t that aggravating?

But obviously, their formula works. They’ve figured out what people want to read, so they change a few names around and introduce a different obstacle and now it looks like a different story. So instead of hating Nicholas Sparks, which I can assure you takes a great deal of energy, try to find the formula that’s going to work for you. Following a pattern helps authors get more work done (obviously, since some new Nicholas Sparks movie is coming to theaters every other month), and it might work for you, too. So don’t hate the players. Just start playing their game.

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