Today, let me offer two quickies in regards to writing popular fiction before I go sit in a corner with my notepad and try not to melt. In my usually happy hometown, we're in the middle of a miserable heat wave. In our town, the weather doesn't usually come this hot, this soon, so -- fingers crossed -- let's hope this is the worst of the summer in Arizona. Somehow, I don't think so.
As an addendum to last week's post on writing popular novels, let me add that it never hurts to add an adorable animal into the story. I'm told that pet lovers are just a touch more ready to buy if their favorite creature is part of the mix. As you probably know from a generation of best-seller lists, cats have a large fan base. So do dogs, and some authors (I'm looking at you, D. Koontz) are eager to feature them heavily. I have a pair of friends that can't understand why horses aren't more visible in current fiction and I've met a few people who feel that ferrets are the best pets of all.
Since I've never shared my life with one of those long-tailed beauties, I'm not ready to embrace ferret fiction. I think it's good to write from a position of passion, and I've loved all of my cats and dogs. If you find a Chihuahua in one of our books, you'll know why.
My second and last tip for today? Write more quickly than I do. For years, publishers believed that authors should write only one manuscript a year. If they dared to exceed that count, said the Great Publishing Brain Trust, their readers would tire of them and go away. It turns out, the publishers were incorrect. There are many, many readers who are ready to buy as many novels as their favorite author can create. If you want to be one of those authors, you're best served by putting out at least two novels a year. More would be better. If you can somehow knock out a novel a month, you'll only build your readership.
If you'll excuse me, I need to get back to the next chapter on my novel. As the Good Witch was kind enough to remind me on Monday, it's taking me f-o-r-e-v-e-r. *sigh*