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Meyers and Rowling were picked by random chance off the slush pile, and pushed to a degree you don't see anymore, and established in a completely different economic and social climate which was far less risk averse. Couple that with the passage of time, and of course they've attained a level of popularity no one else can approach.
But what about all of the books that were around a couple of years before, or at the same time? Those were published in the same economic and social climate, so why didn't they ever push any of those other books? The amount of hopeful authors looking for a trad contract is crazy huge. Surely, out of all of those manuscripts, at least one or two should have been good enough to push. Especially when you're arguing that they don't even have to be all that good.

I'm not talking about now, I'm talking about then, when the books originally came out. I worked at a big box book store in the early 2000's, in receiving, so I got to handle all those many, many skids of Harry Potter, which I seem to recall started to get big around book 3 or 4. By book 5 it was huge, because the movies had started coming out, and we had a midnight release party at the store. People were lined up out the door, and the release for books 6 and 7 were even bigger. The skids were sent shrink-wrapped in black plastic - we had to receive them sight unseen using a PO number that covered the whole order - and we weren't allowed to even cut the plastic open until midnight. That kind of popularity and devotion to a fandom doesn't come about by throwing money at it. It happens because there was something special about those books. I don't have a lot of time to re-read the books anymore, but I own the whole series of movies, and rewatch them every year. That's something I only do with stories/movies that are special to me. I would imagine a large number of other fans feel the same.

Twilight was published in 2005, and I don't remember any huge push on that first one. I left the store about a year later, and in that time it still hadn't become huge, which leads me to believe it was a slower, more organic growth of fandom for it, too.


Meyer and Rowling were both pushed to an insane degree.
Point being, Twilight and Harry Potter and any other bestseller you can name are not bestsellers based on merit, special-ness, or talent from a writing or storytelling perspective.

They really weren't, though. And while they might not be bestsellers based on merit or talent, they are definitely bestsellers based on special-ness.



It's not like the Twilight and Harry Potter stories themselves are any great shakes. They're serviceable in that they're accessible and easy reads, and vampires and magic have always been popular. But, they're not particularly original from a storytelling standpoint, and nor do they have to be since readers in general have never been that picky. Sure, you could say nothing has come close in popularity, but I would argue nothing has come close in terms of visibility either...
So you're saying that they just randomly picked these two series to make into bestsellers, which they could do just by throwing money at them, but they've never done it to that scale before, or since? That makes absolutely no sense. If it was so easy to create a bestseller like that, why wouldn't publishers have done it before Harry Potter. And more often, instead of managing it only twice in the last 23 years?
 

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Not the entirely, no, of course not. The point some of us are trying to make (myself certainly) is that it's possible to be successful, even if you're not a great writer.

There are, of course, those who fully deserve their success... though I suppose we might argue on the specific names, as we don't all have the same tastes :D (and thank goodness for that haha)
Oh, I get that, I just think using authors attached to phenomenons aren't the best examples to make that point. If Trad knew how to make that happen there'd be less mergers and financial instability. James Patterson's books are a better example IMO because it's not one series, it's a sea of bland thrillers released at breakneck pace, populated with generic characters, where a lot of stuff happens and none of it feels like it matters... but as you say, it's a taste thing. Clearly, I'm out of the loop on that and people who spend a lot of time in airports aren't? I don't know.

Reading through the thread, it seemed to turn into a debate between two sides who's ideas appear to contradict each other, but I found myself nodding at parts of every post. Even when I disagree with Corvid, or Shayne, or Usetoposthere, I appreciate their thoughtful responses and rarely find a post where I don't at least agree with part of it or understand their reasoning. I feel like this is one of those two-things-are-true-at-the-same-time situations. It's not black and white, certainly.
 

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Ok, now this is complete and total BS. I was with you up until this point.
I wouldn't have put it in those terms, but I would agree with your sentiment in a quiet way.

I'm reminded of a two-author book that was self-published wide, and in those days, if you put it on Apple, they rounded down 99c to 49c retail. Amazon price matched. That one took off selling hundreds of thousands, I would venture a guess, it took off because of the price. In those days, publishers started to pick up successful self-published books and Harper Collins contracted the book to republish and have it in bookstores and as an e-book. It tanked at trad-published prices and the authors blamed lack of marketing? Who knows?

They'd have been better off leaving it as was, maybe increasing the price to take advantage of rank, then they could have said they were successful, but sales don't always mean a good book. It's just that for whatever reason, be it price, luck, controversy, newsworthy, etc, the herd steps in to give momentum. I've seen that with bestsellers having many 1 star reviews. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that the case with Shades of Gray or whatever it was called in relation to bad reviews? It didn't stop it getting made into a film. Maybe people bought it because of the 1 star reviews to judge for themselves, who knows?

I couldn't tell you if the dual-author book was a good book or not, because I never read it it, but it sort of backs up what you say in reply to the posted quote.

Not sure if my post is contradictory with a foot in both camps on the subject.
 

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Bite the dusty, I think you've nailed it in terms of multiple things being true at once. Also, when it comes to the drum I've been banging, well - ASG made the point I've been trying to make better than I could. I also think the Meyers and Rowling examples are not relevant to what we talk about when we talk about bestsellers in the here and now. Comparing an indie effort to what those brands have become is like comparing Jill's Burger Truck to McDonald's. But, the reason Jill's superior food will never reach McDonald's proportions is not because Jill's food or her abilities with the culinary craft are not as good as what they do at McDonald's.

And, even though, beyond that point, I seem incapable of articulating what I'm trying to say any better (but, hey, why not try again - lol), it doesn't necessarily mean I'm off the mark.

Basically, I'm against this idea that objective special-ness determines bestseller-dom. Sure, subjective special-ness in the minds of readers exists, it's why one person's "good read" is another's "worst book ever". But, it is not a high bar. The majority of writers/authors can achieve that.

Which is why I keep saying there is no meritocracy where the objectively "better" or talented writers rise above. It doesn't work that way. What rises above is what's pushed to be seen above the crowd.

The reason some take off while others flop is because "enough" readers find the thing that's visible in front of them "good enough". The point - the entire point - is to be that thing in front of them. Doing this requires being visible. Where bestsellers are concerned, the readers' attention was grabbed by the visibility machine, and the thing held their attention.

The idea is to keep holding their attention.

The good news is you don't need special-ness to do that, you just need to be thought of as 'enough' to enough people and have continued visibility to keep things rolling.

And, the good news there is that visibility begets visibility to a point where being 'seen' starts doing the work for you. More people who might potentially find what you're doing is "good enough" to keep reading whatever else you manage to make visible.

Does it mean said thing is "better" or needed some inherent special-ness or talent behind it in order to hang on to that given person's attention? No.

Countless other books in that moment of attention-holding could have done the job in that moment, but those weren't the books in front of that person at that time. The book got in front of that person at that time because it was made visible to them, it grabbed their attention, and then they grabbed it. That's everything. The names change, but the basic formula stays the same.

Being seen, and being thought of as good enough that your next 'seen' thing gets picked up too. Do that "enough" times, and next thing you know you've got a house made of gold with a rocket car in the driveway.
 

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Bite the dusty, I think you've nailed it in terms of multiple things being true at once. Also, when it comes to the drum I've been banging, well - ASG made the point I've been trying to make better than I could. I also think the Meyers and Rowling examples are not relevant to what we talk about when we talk about bestsellers in the here and now. Comparing an indie effort to what those brands have become is like comparing Jill's Burger Truck to McDonald's. But, the reason Jill's superior food will never reach McDonald's proportions is not because Jill's food or her abilities with the culinary craft are not as good as what they do at McDonald's.

And, even though, beyond that point, I seem incapable of articulating what I'm trying to say any better (but, hey, why not try again - lol), it doesn't necessarily mean I'm off the mark.

Basically, I'm against this idea that objective special-ness determines bestseller-dom. Sure, subjective special-ness in the minds of readers exists, it's why one person's "good read" is another's "worst book ever". But, it is not a high bar. The majority of writers/authors can achieve that.

Which is why I keep saying there is no meritocracy where the objectively "better" or talented writers rise above. It doesn't work that way. What rises above is what's pushed to be seen above the crowd.

The reason some take off while others flop is because "enough" readers find the thing that's visible in front of them "good enough". The point - the entire point - is to be that thing in front of them. Doing this requires being visible. Where bestsellers are concerned, the readers' attention was grabbed by the visibility machine, and the thing held their attention.

The idea is to keep holding their attention.

The good news is you don't need special-ness to do that, you just need to be thought of as 'enough' to enough people and have continued visibility to keep things rolling.

And, the good news there is that visibility begets visibility to a point where being 'seen' starts doing the work for you. More people who might potentially find what you're doing is "good enough" to keep reading whatever else you manage to make visible.

Does it mean said thing is "better" or needed some inherent special-ness or talent behind it in order to hang on to that given person's attention? No.

Countless other books in that moment of attention-holding could have done the job in that moment, but those weren't the books in front of that person at that time. The book got in front of that person at that time because it was made visible to them, it grabbed their attention, and then they grabbed it. That's everything. The names change, but the basic formula stays the same.

Being seen, and being thought of as good enough that your next 'seen' thing gets picked up too. Do that "enough" times, and next thing you know you've got a house made of gold with a rocket car in the driveway.

I think this is the point - and its not to be disparaging to certain well known works. There isn't a meritocracy - I've read much more promising independent writing than I have from established writers recently. They are often rough around the edges, but are often fresher than their contemporaries in my opinion. Ultimately, the major push that establish works get is in the visibility they achieve, the fact that they have 'serious' critics lavish praise on their front cover, that they have a mobilised army of ARC who will upload reviews on the day of release, all of this without even mentioning advertising.

With all of that said, I still never thought there would be a time that I could share my work with the world (even if the world has sent it back with a big 'no thank you' scrawled on the cover) and for that I'm grateful. Coming back to the original point about robotic writing, it does sometimes help to read the first few pages of the books floating at the top of the Amazon bestsellers list. Sometimes it inspires and sometimes it reminds you that your own work is every bit as valid as the competition, no matter how much of a struggle it is to get it on the page.
 

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Bite the dusty, I think you've nailed it in terms of multiple things being true at once. Also, when it comes to the drum I've been banging, well - ASG made the point I've been trying to make better than I could. I also think the Meyers and Rowling examples are not relevant to what we talk about when we talk about bestsellers in the here and now. Comparing an indie effort to what those brands have become is like comparing Jill's Burger Truck to McDonald's. But, the reason Jill's superior food will never reach McDonald's proportions is not because Jill's food or her abilities with the culinary craft are not as good as what they do at McDonald's.

And, even though, beyond that point, I seem incapable of articulating what I'm trying to say any better (but, hey, why not try again - lol), it doesn't necessarily mean I'm off the mark.

Basically, I'm against this idea that objective special-ness determines bestseller-dom. Sure, subjective special-ness in the minds of readers exists, it's why one person's "good read" is another's "worst book ever". But, it is not a high bar. The majority of writers/authors can achieve that.

Which is why I keep saying there is no meritocracy where the objectively "better" or talented writers rise above. It doesn't work that way. What rises above is what's pushed to be seen above the crowd.

The reason some take off while others flop is because "enough" readers find the thing that's visible in front of them "good enough". The point - the entire point - is to be that thing in front of them. Doing this requires being visible. Where bestsellers are concerned, the readers' attention was grabbed by the visibility machine, and the thing held their attention.

The idea is to keep holding their attention.

The good news is you don't need special-ness to do that, you just need to be thought of as 'enough' to enough people and have continued visibility to keep things rolling.

And, the good news there is that visibility begets visibility to a point where being 'seen' starts doing the work for you. More people who might potentially find what you're doing is "good enough" to keep reading whatever else you manage to make visible.

Does it mean said thing is "better" or needed some inherent special-ness or talent behind it in order to hang on to that given person's attention? No.

Countless other books in that moment of attention-holding could have done the job in that moment, but those weren't the books in front of that person at that time. The book got in front of that person at that time because it was made visible to them, it grabbed their attention, and then they grabbed it. That's everything. The names change, but the basic formula stays the same.

Being seen, and being thought of as good enough that your next 'seen' thing gets picked up too. Do that "enough" times, and next thing you know you've got a house made of gold with a rocket car in the driveway.
You're very articulate. It's always filters. Everyone filters everyone else's words through the interpretation machine between their ears and it's probably always a little different. With every post I think I'm closer to understanding what you're trying to convey vs. how I read it.

Speaking of filters, part of the resistance to what you're saying probably comes down to some don't want to consider themselves or their book babies just "good enough" or take offense at any statement that paints the market out to be a herd that would rather settle for good enough than search for something great. Even though I'm sure you're right to a degree, and it's not just our industry it seems to be human nature as you pointed out, it makes sense that people would push back on something that challenges how they view themselves or their work.

I agree that specialness is not required to achieve bestseller status, hype can do it, name recognition can do it, visibility can certainly help, but I can't seem to conclude that that's all folks. I've seen hyped books fly up the list and plummet just as fast when they disappoint. I'm sure to some extent, once you've established yourself some things that were once hard are easier, name recognition is a form of advertising, but it's not something that doesn't require a grueling amount of work to achieve and I'd also expect that sustaining your author brand and keeping your audience satisfied wouldn't be without it's challenges. I'm sure there's exceptions, people who blew up with little to no effort outside of writing the book, but I view those people as lucky unicorns, not prime examples of successful authorship.

But then again, what do I know? This is all just an interesting debate in my head because I haven't been there or done that yet. On that note, got to get back to it!
 

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Speaking of filters, part of the resistance to what you're saying probably comes down to some don't want to consider themselves or their book babies just "good enough" or take offense at any statement that paints the market out to be a herd that would rather settle for good enough than search for something great. Even though I'm sure you're right to a degree, and it's not just our industry it seems to be human nature as you pointed out, it makes sense that people would push back on something that challenges how they view themselves or their work.
For me, it's that I don't believe books are as fungible as Corvid thinks they are. I don't think that just any other similar book would have done the same as Harry Potter or Twilight or The DaVinci Code, had they been published in the other book's place. Nor do I think the success of those books had only to do with marketing. Because I've seen all the books that have tried to be 'The Next Twilight', etc. and they never achieved nearly that level of success, despite chucking loads of money at marketing and having A-list movie deals. Just look at The Host, also by Stephenie Meyer. She was already hugely popular by that time and had millions of fans, but The Host wasn't nearly as popular as Twilight, despite all kinds of visibility and a huge existing fan base. Percy Jackson was supposed to be the next Harry Potter, but it never got close to that same level of fandom. It was popular with kids, but only ever got two movies, despite there being more books that they could have used. Both PJ and HP certainly had plenty of hype behind them, but one took off and one didn't, despite both meeting the criteria of good enough and good visibility. Which suggests to me that HP had something special about it that propelled it to that next level, that PJ didn't have. Something about the world or the characters that made people want to spend way more time in Harry Potter's world than they did in Percy Jackson's. And I'm using big trad names as examples, but I think the same idea can apply at any level of success, because all creations are not created equal. Some are more memorable than others. Some stay with us longer.
 

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suggests to me that HP had something special about it that propelled it to that next level, that PJ didn't have.
Or maybe there only was room for one of them? Maybe Percy Jackson was seen as a copycat and there wasn't as much interest for that?

The more interesting question, to me, is what would have happened if PJ had come out first? Would it have gotten the success that HP got, with HP fizzling out?

Sadly, we'll never know.
 

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Or maybe there only was room for one of them? Maybe Percy Jackson was seen as a copycat and there wasn't as much interest for that?

The more interesting question, to me, is what would have happened if PJ had come out first? Would it have gotten the success that HP got, with HP fizzling out?

Sadly, we'll never know.
They're similar-ish, but they're not nearly close enough for anyone to think Percy Jackson is a copycat of HP. And HP was a year away from being finished by the time Percy Jackson came out. There wasn't enough of an overlap that PJ couldn't have gained popularity after the final HP book came out.

Why do you think people don't have room for more than one special thing at the same time?
 

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For me, it's that I don't believe books are as fungible as Corvid thinks they are. I don't think that just any other similar book would have done the same as Harry Potter or Twilight or The DaVinci Code, had they been published in the other book's place. Nor do I think the success of those books had only to do with marketing. Because I've seen all the books that have tried to be 'The Next Twilight', etc. and they never achieved nearly that level of success, despite chucking loads of money at marketing and having A-list movie deals. Just look at The Host, also by Stephenie Meyer. She was already hugely popular by that time and had millions of fans, but The Host wasn't nearly as popular as Twilight, despite all kinds of visibility and a huge existing fan base. Percy Jackson was supposed to be the next Harry Potter, but it never got close to that same level of fandom. It was popular with kids, but only ever got two movies, despite there being more books that they could have used. Both PJ and HP certainly had plenty of hype behind them, but one took off and one didn't, despite both meeting the criteria of good enough and good visibility. Which suggests to me that HP had something special about it that propelled it to that next level, that PJ didn't have. Something about the world or the characters that made people want to spend way more time in Harry Potter's world than they did in Percy Jackson's. And I'm using big trad names as examples, but I think the same idea can apply at any level of success, because all creations are not created equal. Some are more memorable than others. Some stay with us longer.
I put my foot in my mouth with phrasing it that way. I was trying to put myself in the shoes of someone further along than I and how they might react to those kinds of statements and why. Really, it's imaginary future me I'm talking about, no one else.

I generally agree, but I would say PJ might not have translated to movies well, but it's still hugely successful. I think I read there's a TV show in the works. I think that might work out better.

Comparing anything to HP ends with HP winning IMO. And it's not like the tropes/creatures/set pieces in HP haven't been done a thousand times. That's the clearest example of an original expression having that specialness. Didn't Diana Wynne Jones sue Rowling because of the similarities? If I remember right she lost.
 

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I put my foot in my mouth with phrasing it that way. I was trying to put myself in the shoes of someone further along than I and how they might react to those kinds of statements and why. Really, it's imaginary future me I'm talking about, no one else.

I generally agree, but I would say PJ might not have translated to movies well, but it's still hugely successful. I think I read there's a TV show in the works. I think that might work out better.

Comparing anything to HP ends with HP winning IMO. And it's not like the tropes/creatures/set pieces in HP haven't been done a thousand times. That's the clearest example of an original expression having that specialness. Didn't Diana Wynne Jones sue Rowling because of the similarities? If I remember right she lost.
I agree. PJ is huge, and so are Rick Riordan's other series. It just never took on that same life that HP did.

And yes, that's exactly my point. There's little in HP that hasn't been done before by quite a few other authors, including DWJ, but none of them took off even close to the same way, which I would say definitely argues for some things having that certain X factor that other things just don't have.
 

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They're similar-ish, but they're not nearly close enough for anyone to think Percy Jackson is a copycat of HP. And HP was a year away from being finished by the time Percy Jackson came out. There wasn't enough of an overlap that PJ couldn't have gained popularity after the final HP book came out.
Admittedly, I've never read the PJ books, though I did see the movies. It was just a hypothetical.

Why do you think people don't have room for more than one special thing at the same time?
I never said that.

I was coming from the angle that the two works were similar enough that the two shared "one set of specialness", if you would. In which case, many readers might only be open to one, the first to come along, whichever one that happened to be.

I don't know about you, but I like my books to be original. If they feel too much like something I've already read, I'll lose interest fast. Thus my above theory.

To simplify/sum up: if I read Book A and it's the first to talk about [insert original theme here], I'm gonna be hooked. When I get to Book B, also about [same theme as above], unless there's something else original about it, I'm gonna drop it. If Book B had come out before Book A, though, chances are I'd have read Book B and dropped A instead.

BTW, I say 'original theme', but it could be something else of course--a setting, stellar writing, a particularly vivid character, etc... or a mix of any of those.
 

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Asking why The Host didn't sell like Twilight is like asking why the McRib didn't sell like the Big Mac. It's a product launched by an already established brand, and not for nothing - but, it was also a huge bestseller. No, it didn't do Twilight numbers, but thanks to Meyer's visibility look what it did do. It was on the NY Times list for six months. The LA Times even longer, and they got a movie deal out of it. It was also the top selling book in Canada for the entire year it was launched. In other words, it was a huge success. Was the reason for The Host's success due to special-ness of the story and/or the writing? No. Did it launch big and stay big because of Meyer's visibility? Yes.

It's like all those Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler books on the bestsellers lists. The authors aren't even alive anymore, and there they are, with the actual writer's name in small print. So small that sometimes you can't even see it in the thumbnail. But, wait, if it's a bestseller, it must mean the writing and the storytelling is special, right? Why then is the actual writer's name so small, and the no-longer-living author's name so prominently displayed instead?

Because packaging and visibility are what matters. The writing itself just needs to be "good enough" to get someone to go on to the next one. That isn't the hard part of the whole game. Again, it's the low bar.

Writing is a bell curve. The top 2% write prose who would cause you to weep with joy at its beauty. The bottom 3% can scarcely put together a coherent sentence or paragraph. The other 95% write middling, largely passable, work-a-day prose and stories of varying degrees of quality, but exist along a similar-ish continuum that keeps them out of the other two cohorts. Coherent sentences, non-boring things happening, fairly decent-ish dialogue. Gets you from A to B, basically. That's most writers.

So, if that's most writers, does that mean the big sellers are all only the top 2%ers? No, there's likely many unbelievably talented writers in among that cohort who never earn a nickel. Does that mean most bestsellers feature writing from the big, fat middle cohort of writers, generally? Yes.

Okay, if you don't need to be among the top-skilled cohort of writers to be a bestseller then, why do writers spend so much time and so much money in the "How To" industry, and spend so much time discussing the nuances of writing craft and storytelling techniques?

Because it's what we're passionate about, and what we're nerdy about.

Same reason mechanics geek out about engines. They can tell you everything about this little component or that piece of technology. They can spend hours taking it apart, examining it, explaining to you what it does, etc. But, most people don't care about that, they just want a vehicle that works and gets them where they want to go.

Same with writing. Most readers don't care about all of these little intricacies we spend all this time and money on trying to hone. They just want a story that gets them from A to B, i.e. something that isn't necessarily beautifully crafted, but it also isn't boring.

Beyond that, it's about packaging, and it's especially about making the thing visible. People can't buy what they don't know exists.

Sure, it's fine to be nerdy about what you're nerdy about, but for all the time and money you put into that special bespoke engine and chassis you've got waiting to be truly appreciated as "special" under that canvas in the garage, there's a 1000 heavily marketed Hondas and Toyotas already rolling off the sales lot getting people where they want to go without all of the angst and navel-gazing.
 

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Asking why The Host didn't sell like Twilight is like asking why the McRib didn't sell like the Big Mac. It's a product launched by an already established brand, and not for nothing - but, it was also a huge bestseller. No, it didn't do Twilight numbers, but thanks to Meyer's visibility look what it did do. It was on the NY Times list for six months. The LA Times even longer, and they got a movie deal out of it. It was also the top selling book in Canada for the entire year it was launched. In other words, it was a huge success. Was the reason for The Host's success due to special-ness of the story and/or the writing? No. Did it launch big and stay big because of Meyer's visibility? Yes.
It's not really like that at all. And yes, it launched big and stayed big because of Meyer's visibility. But when it launched, which was the same year the final Twilight book came out, Stephenie Meyer was hugely popular. The Host had the benefit of all the momentum and visibility generated by Twilight, but it didn't get anywhere close to the same popularity in fandom. If you go to fanfiction.net and look at the amount of fanfic there, Twilight has 221,000 fics in its category, while The Host has only 1,400 fics. So I would say that The Host, while definitely a bestseller, didn't have whatever thing it was that made Twilight special, that made the fans want to stay, and play, in its world.


Writing is a bell curve. The top 2% write prose who would cause you to weep with joy at its beauty. The bottom 3% can scarcely put together a coherent sentence or paragraph.
I agree with you about the bell curve, but disagree about the numbers. Having been fortunate enough to spend some time as a slush reader for a small press, I would say it's more likely the bottom 40% who can scarcely put together a paragraph.
 

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I agree with you about the bell curve, but disagree about the numbers. Having been fortunate enough to spend some time as a slush reader for a small press, I would say it's more likely the bottom 40% who can scarcely put together a paragraph.
Well... that's easily the scariest thing I've read today.
 

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Well... that's easily the scariest thing I've read today.
Back in the day (this was just before KDP became a thing, so I was expecting to have to try my luck at the submission-go-round) it actually made me feel better, because it meant that the competition wasn't quite as stiff as I'd previously thought. Now that I'm sticking with indie, I'm not quite sure how I feel about it.
 

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Is there any solution for this? I haven't written a story in a while and even though I studied this genre I am new to writing it. I have read lots of books in this genre while studying for genre tropes, conventions and plot points, but when it comes to prose I never considered that I would have any issues. Surprisingly I have no issues with my outline, I usually deviate from it anyways, but whenever I am showing it still looks robotic to me.

I have followed outlines before while writing so I am not sure what to do.
If it's not a genre you usually write and one you don't read, it is possible you are finding it too boring. I had that problem when I decided to start a cozy mystery series. The first one was okay, but the next one sent me off to sleep. I don't read that genre and I'm not a fan. In fact, I read horror and murder mysteries, things I would never attempt to write.
 
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