Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NYPD RED 2 - Entertainment sells books!

Entertainment Sells Books!

   


NYPD RED 2


James Patterson’s books are a prime example that the entertainment factor sells books. Say what you will about his methods—they work. Patterson’s books entertain the reader. How?
            Patterson leaves out the fat. His books use a bare minimum of things like character and setting description, narrative, and back-story. At the same time, they always have an action-packed plot!
Readers can’t get enough; Patterson has a new book on the top ten NYT list at least once a month.
            NYPD RED 2 begins when police in NY find the body of a woman (dressed in a hazmat suit!) on the carousel in Central Park.  Turns out, she’s the fourth in a series of similar crimes. Detectives Zack Jordan and Kylie MacDonald search for the killer amid things like public pressure, and political and personal secrets. The story is a great suspense read.
            Is NYPD RED 2 a literary masterpiece? Of course not. But it’s definitely five-star entertainment.

What writers can learn from Patterson’s style.
1.     Scarcity of description, both of characters and scenes, make for an easy read. Many readers (myself included, I’m afraid) will skim right over any that are more than a few sentences.
2.     Short chapters, while they don’t guarantee a successful book, make it easy for a reader to set the book aside when necessary. Few readers have the luxury of reading a book nonstop for a long period of time. Personally, I find short chapters addictive. Often breaking off in the middle of the action, I have to see what happens next.
3.     Series books  Readers love series books, and Patterson has at least nine different series, each one with a new story at least once a year.
4.    Multi-genre offerings Writing in more than one genre opens your writing up to a greater number of readers.
5.    An occasional flop Patterson does, now and then, publish a book that disappoints his fans. Granted, taking a risk isn’t nearly as chancy when you’re cranking out as many books as he is, but the lesson to be learned is: we can’t be afraid to publish an occasional book that might not be everything our readers want. We need to learn from it and move on.

Dear Readers,

     I know I’ve written about Patterson before, but there is so much to be learned from his writing. Patterson is in the business of writing, and his goal is book sales, a goal many of us share. His work is worth checking out for those of us struggling to get readers’ attention.  Sure, there are some authors out there whose goal is literary perfection rather than sales. But in my last post I talked about the need for books to be entertaining and no other author exemplifies that point better than James Patterson.
     Hope you’re all writing productively and also finding time to enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having.
 Marla

14 comments:

  1. Love that bit about the occasional flop. Of my 8 books on Amazon, I know the two worst sellers, and they were the two slightly outside my usual genre. Also, I can see how adore some but not so keen on others - just how I feel about my favourite writers, too! I've been worried about my current WIP as it's off-genre, too, but this has give me confidence about publishing it. Thanks!

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  2. HI Terry,
    I love Patterson, but he sure does a bad one every now and then! I'm feeling like you about my WIP (it's a tad different, I use FP for one character only). So far, no one hates it (editor, critique group, betas), but no rave reviews either. Hard to be sure until you put it out there and fixed everyone's concerns. Scary!
    Have a super holiday weekend,
    Marla

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  3. When writing my books I adhere to points
    1, 2, and 5.
    I believe in entertainment with a bit of
    philosophy thrown.
    Writer Dave

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dave,
      Sounds like you're doing it right! Are you working on a third?
      Stick with it,
      Marla

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  4. What an interesting post, Marla. I struggle with perfection and unfortunately never find it. My goal is to learn how to let go and shove a manuscript out the door rather than twiddle around for years with it.

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    1. Hi Teresa,
      It's hard to say which is the right way. I'm just the opposite, I write first, polish later. It does result in more work during the edit and revision process, but, for me, it gets the job done!
      Maybe try doing a page and a half a day? Find some way to keep yourself moving forward. And, yes, the editing could go on forever. Might help to pay a pro to edit, then you might be more comfortable with your finished product. A critique group can also give you more confidence in your writing.
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Marla

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  5. Patterson is a reader's writer, not a writer's writer. He is first of all a marketer and makes a ton of money, but gets no respect from the writing community. Currently, he doesn't even write his own books, but this has become a trend. Maybe you need to determine whether to be read widely or respected. Of course many writers can do both. It's almost always a mistake to "chase" the market or write strictly to sell.

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    Replies
    1. I suppose that depends on the writer's intent. I don't think seeking sales and writing a good book are mutually exclusive. All writers want their work to be seen and be recognized. My point here is there is a lot we can learn from reading authors who sell books.

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  6. Hi Marla. You tweeted me. I dropped by and liked your take on NYPD Red 2. I'm also a Zombies fan. I look forward to checking you out from time to time. Have a pleasant Sunday.

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    1. HI, JD
      Nice to meet you! RU a Patterson fan? I am but don't read everything he writes, mostly his suspense/crime things. Do you write?
      Have a nice Sunday,
      Marla

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    2. Hi,
      I am not really a fan of Patterson, but I am a fan of writing that works. I do write. I have a book that will be released August 1. I wish it were as good as the work of this man people are so fond of criticizing. Nice blog you have.

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    3. Hi JD,
      I'm with you. I like to read stories without too much description or background added.Also agree that Patterson's books are engaging and entertaining. Just can't take that away from him!
      Good luck with the book, hope you have many sales and devoted readers,
      Marla

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  7. The information and the aspect were just wonderful. I think that your viewpoint is deep, it’s just well thought out and truly incredible to see someone who knows how to put these thoughts so well. Good job! disneyland vacation packages 2014 costco

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your generous commenary,
      Marla

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