Writing the Blockbuster Novel
is part fiction-biology textbook, part cookbook. Its author, Albert Zuckerman, dissects the commercial bestseller, then provides recipes for each discrete element. Settings, according to Zuckerman, should be "topical, trendy, 'sexy'"--either newsworthy hotspots or uncharted territory--and main characters, à la Don Corleone and Scarlett O'Hara, should loom larger than life. Like Hollywood blockbusters, "mega-books" should be high concept, with high stakes. Zuckerman discusses point of view (there should be multiple), character relationships, plotting, revision, and especially outlining. "Every mega-book with which I've been involved was planned and replanned and planned again," he confides. Indeed, a 63-page chapter here features four versions of Ken Follett's outline for The Man from St. Petersburg
and an analysis of each. Still, no matter how good your outline, remember that there's a learning curve. A beginning novelist writing a successful blockbuster novel, says Zuckerman, is about as likely as "a high school athlete trying to play with the Dallas Cowboys." --Jane Steinberg
From Library Journal
Zuckerman, a veteran literary agent representing such best-selling authors as Ken Follett and Eileen Goudge, here explains how authors can get their novels onto the best-sellers list. This book is not intended for beginning writers but will help those who have mastered the craft of novel writing and now wish to write a book with blockbuster potential. Of course, there are no guarantees here: the reading public is fickle, and, ultimately, readers are the ones who make best sellers. That said, Zuckerman knows what works most of the time. He spends the two largest sections of the book on outlining and revision. Authors need to know where they are going, and a detailed outline will help them map a plan to bring together all the characters and plot lines. Best-selling novels by Follett, Goudge, and others are used as examples. This will be useful in libraries that serve writers. Recommended.- Lisa J. Co chenet, Plainfield P.L. Dist., Ill.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.