Everyone says that to learn writing you have to read bestselling authors and analyze what they are doing. Julie Garwood is a bestselling author, with millions copies of her books sold in various languages. I tried to read her book. Unfortunately my analysis didn’t help me learn anything useful for my writing development, except maybe what NOT TO DO.
Her story was boring, and her writing was terrible, banal and descriptive, utterly amateurish. It was painful to read even as much as I’ve managed. I’m not sure how she got her book past an agent or an editor, much less why she is a bestseller. I don’t know who could like this garbage. If I were an editor I wouldn’t let such a manuscript anywhere near a printing press. I would’ve have been ashamed to sign off such a sloppy, unprofessional work.
But she is a bestseller anyway, despite my negative opinion. Maybe she was better in her earlier works. Or maybe other factors were in play besides the quality of her writing. Maybe I should look for those factors instead of concentrating on my narrative, on story structure and character depth, on pacing and suspense. Maybe there is a secret ingredient to being a bestseller other than the writer’s ability to craft a solid piece of fiction.
What is it?