The key to success as a novelist
In a Daily Mail article about a new contest for first-time novelists, best-selling author James Patterson shared this advice:
"Obviously, and I know this from experience, perseverance is the key to making it as a writer. You have to be able to accept rejection and keep doing. If you know it's what you want to do, then you need to make it happen. No one else will make it happen for you."
It's all about the story--and the surprises
Patterson writes, "In my novels it’s all about the story. I don’t try to be a great prose stylist; I try to be a great storyteller. I like to imagine the reader is sitting opposite me and I’m telling the story directly to them.
I don’t want that person to get up until I’m finished. I want to keep their attention with continual surprises and twists so they’re not bored for a single moment."
The hardest part of writing a novel
I think most writers would say it's the middle of the story that's the toughest, but Patterson says for him it's the ending. He says, "Expectation has been built up through the course of the novel and you need to deliver a conclusion that fulfils it. If you can do that, you’ll have a satisfied reader."
If you want to check out how he does it, Patterson's latest novel is Truth or Die, published in paperback by Arrow.
The contest for first-time novelists
The contest has a first prize of £20,000 and guaranteed publication, and is free to enter. Details are here. Entries must be received by April 16, 2016, and if your novel isn't finished you must be able to complete it by October 30, 2016.