The word “Bestseller” usually means selling a great number of books, starting at around 30-50 thousand copies. Certain bookstores report the sales to certain lists, and the book is listed as a bestseller. Many bookstores that sell many of an author’s books do not report to those lists.
Those who venture into fiction writing often fall prey to certain avoidable, yet highly normal faux pau with their first book.
I was editing a passage in my novel CONDUCT IN QUESTION, the first in THE OSGOODE TRILOGY. The villainous Florist was about to march down the stairs to kill the young man, Donnie, hiding in the cloakroom. The boy had soaked the stair carpet with gasoline and was about to set it on fire.
If you want to write a novel, but are putting it off until the kids are grown, I have two words for you: Don’t wait. It’s possible to raise a happy, healthy family and still follow your writing dream. And that’s true whether you’re single or married. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or work outside the house.
In Alain de Botton’s engaging book, The Art of Travel, he distinguishes between the anticipation and recollection of travel versus the reality of actually traveling.
Can a city be a character in a book? Many years ago, in a writing class, I was told that I should try to make the setting, which was Toronto, my city of birth, a character in my book, Conduct in Question. I have puzzled over this piece of advice for many years and only now think I may have an answer as to its meaning.
Everyone might have a dream, but what would you do when you get up in the morning? I’m sure almost everyone forgot about it as soon as they washed their face in a bathroom. What’s so important about your dream?
If you’ve always wanted to write a novel but found the traditional structured process too frightening or overwhelming, maybe your imagination works in a more organic fashion like mine. In that case, start with your main character and the idea the character gives you for the plot. Then close your eyes, grab your notebook or computer, and watch the main character. Sooner or later, she or he will begin talking and moving around. When that happens, start writing! I guarantee what you hear and see will thoroughly surprise and delight you.
Exceptional fiction requires authentic details that pull the reader into the world in which the story takes place. I discovered that one of the best ways to do this is to construct the narrative around a calendar.
You look outside the window and you realize it is raining. The wind is blowing hard against the oak tree out in your backyard and the tree dances with the tune of the wind. You pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit behind the desk of your study and find yourself staring at your grandfather clock, which stands across the room. You cast a glance at the keyboard of the computer in front of you and your mind wanders off into another place and another time.