… ‘Formula’ should be used to feed babies and identify high-powered racing cars… not for writing novels…


…it’s a wonderful feeling for a writer to have a loyal readership that ‘takes’ to his/her style of writing… no more particularly so if the scribbler is the source of a series, as is this ol’ Jurassic with my Jack Calder crime thrillers… however, there are a couple of potential literary banana skins waiting for the unsuspecting author who ploughs on thinking it’s okay to ‘just produce the same stuff’ book after book… I’ve just completed the fourth, KILLER CITY,  in  what crept up on me and became a series… in wasn’t intended that way, but as most quill-scrapers will tell yeez, the characters take over and write their own narratives eventually… I’m delighted that I realised early in the process that I didn’t want to ‘churn out’ the same old, same old, formula-driven stories… I’ve strived to develop what is known to the reading cognoscenti as my ‘Author’s Voice’… which is not easy to describe but readily recognisable when yeez get it right… for me, it’s the ‘style’ of yer telling of yer masterpieces… nob’dy could claim (well they could but in my not so ‘umble opinion, they’d be wrong to claim) that Chuck Dickens or Robert Louis Stevenson or Billy Shakespeare were ‘formula‘ writers… the beauty lies in the ‘business‘ of recounting yer plots… the unwinding of the threads that twist and weave… the wee surprises that yeez inject… the kinda stuff that delights me when I find it in the WURKS of others… and I daresay most of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land feel the same way… it’s unnecessary to have main characters who never make mistakes, who never get hurt, who don’t exhibit what the rest of we common-or-garden-human-beings exhibit… but to leave yer readers with a feeling, ‘wow, I’m glad I read that’, is what it’s all about… not ‘Formula’… ‘Formula’ should be used to feed babies and identify high-powered racing cars… not for writing novels… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


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Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

11 responses to “… ‘Formula’ should be used to feed babies and identify high-powered racing cars… not for writing novels…

  1. You’ve made a good point there Seumas. “Formula”, as any scientist knows, means you have the same thing no matter how many times you make it. That would be really boring in a book. You’d never be surprised by reading it. Nursery stories are that way and children love them, but adults only love them when they’re changed and just the middle basics, the bare bones, remain the same. Nothing kills a story like “boring.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So true Seumas. You just keep voicing your voice and I as a writer will do the same. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree. I never want my readers (all five of them lol) to say my books are all the same. I have often been disappointed on finding a new author that I’ve enjoyed and bought more books only to find they are very similar and one can predict what’s going to happen. I realise that some people may like one of my books and not like another but at least I know that I haven’t repeated the formula. Luv ya

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There haas to be a pint at which you decide to do that Reichenback Falls thing. Sadly, publishers love series and tend to be annoyed if you kill off everybody..this the resurgence of Rebus. I have read series by certain authors that are now into the 16/17th books that should have stopped at 8. They are so formulaic and predictable. Hard one to call….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are so right. Even with some of the “famous” writers, I can’t read too many of their books in a row because they start feeling like the same book. Writing something fresh is fun for the writer and the reader!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post. Admittedly, I am using somewhat of a formula in my (one) book, haha. As a first time author I found that getting the words onto the page without an outline was impossible. The Hero’s Journey outline does offer a fair bit of leeway, though. Maybe, for my next book, I’ll have developed the necessary skills to make my own path, but for now I’m just happy of what I’ve accomplished even with a cheaty little bit of help 🙂


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