How to write a successful Dan Brown novel in 10 easy steps

  1.  Choose a popular subject.  Research it with great care (or get your research assistant/wife to do all the legwork) and then carefully reproduce huge tracts of your research in your novel.  Be extra-careful to have large info-dumps at strategic points in the narrative so that it holds up the action.
  2. Use present tense for all the bits you researched and ensure that it jars with the past tense of the rest of the novel.  In this way, your researched bits will be easily identifiable.
  3. Use lots of exclamation points, at least ten per page.  Combine them with question marks so that your work resembles a primary school essay.  This will distract readers from noticing that your characters aren’t really saying anything exciting.  Swop the question and exclamation marks around a lot e.g. Shit!? Shit?!  You will have great fun doing this.
  4. Use the phrase “he quickly explained” on every page.  This prevents you from actually having to develop the story, build interesting conversation between characters and also effectively dampens any exciting action that might accidently occur.
  5. Do not develop your characters.  This is highly unnecessary in a novel since books aren’t about people anyway, just templates for your opinions.  Your main character should be particularly colourless.  Female characters should be beautiful without being interesting.
  6. Google the most-used writing clichés and make sure that you use them all at least twice.  This saves on having to use imagination and guarantees no. 8.
  7. Introduce new characters towards the end that have little narrative function.  This is a good way to stop yourself from getting bored with your already unutterably boring main characters.
  8. Don’t spend more than a month writing the novel.  You don’t want to kill yourself with all that editing and rewriting and stuff.  Plot and pacing are strictly off-limits.
  9. If you  have a Big Reveal towards the end, choose one that can be easily guessed by page two.  You wouldn’t want your readers to get too worked up with excitement as this is bad for the health.
  10. Once you have made your first billion dollars, don’t try to improve on your writing.  Don’t try to be a better writer.  You don’t want people to think you are a worthwhile individual.
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About susannahjbell

I am a writer of science fiction and other strange and surreal works. I mostly write novels and the occasional novelette. My published works include A Doorway into Ultra, the Fleet Quintet and the Exodus Sequence. I live in London in an attic flat but really want to live in a tree. I wanted to be an astrophysicist but would settle for an alien abduction. I write because I don’t know what to read.
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4 Responses to How to write a successful Dan Brown novel in 10 easy steps

  1. Marie Le says:

    Great suggestions there! 😀

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