Nicholas Sparks on writing novels that spark box-office hits

and 

shared by “totally unmusical and unromantic” c

Enjoy, if you can do two (or perhaps three) things at once, like listening, watching and reading (unlike this mere male writer, who can’t even walk and talk at the same time)

#

  • Don’t call it a romance
  • Trumpet your literary history

Sparks writes 2000 words a day, three or four days a week, for four or five months at a time on each of his novels. He’s managed roughly one book a year since 1996. And the author sees himself as part of a grand tradition. “I write in a genre that was not defined by me. The examples were not set out by me.

  • Find the conflict

The tough part, says Sparks, is to find “the primary conflict” that will keep his characters apart despite their instant attraction and evident compatibility. In Dear John, it’s 9/11 and the hero’s determination to go fight in Afghanistan. In Nights In Rodanthe, it’s the hero’s immediate need to go reconnect with his son in South America.

If all else fails, it will emerge that one of our central couple is rich and has a snooty family who disapproves of the other’s humble background: this trope crops up in The NotebookDear JohnThe Best Of MeThe Last SongA Walk To Remember andThe Lucky One.

Whatever stands in their way, no one will curse at any point.

  • Find the characters, then let love tear them apart

This is easy. At some point in the last 80 years or so, our straight, white heroes meet in a beautiful town on the eastern North Carolina coast. She will be gorgeous, but humble, and unlucky in love. He will be stoic, a man of few words who has a capacity for violence that he keeps leashed. He will look great in jeans. But something stands in the way of the spark of attraction between them. At least one will have a tragedy in their past, like a dead spouse, or an undeserved prison sentence, or a family illness (Safe Haven, The Best Of Me, The Last Song).

There are those thorny class issues, because one of them almost certainly lives in a beautiful antebellum mansion and the other comes from the wrong side of the tracks. Occasionally, there will be a war, and our manly hero will have to go away and fight (Dear John, The Notebook, The Longest Ride). And if all else fails, the heroic pair’s own high ideals will separate them and demand that one of them sacrifice his or her happiness to the greater good, at least temporarily (Dear JohnNights In Rodanthe).

* Kill your darlings

After someone dies at the end – and at least one person always does – the film’s survivors will learn a bittersweet lesson about life and love and emerge with a sense of quietly tragic happiness.

Occasionally one of the central couple will die, just to keep you on your toes, but more often it’s a family member. You can usually spot the sacrificial lamb, because they will be the one spouting the most obnoxious cod-philosophy about savouring life and following your heart. The soon-to-be-dead, you see, are very wise and in touch with the universe.

Or as Sparks puts it, “Faith, forgiveness, family – if you get it just right, these are themes that touch viewers, because they recognise them in their own lives.”

For the full article see http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11477686

#

For more tips on writing from Nicholas Sparks

see https://www.google.co.nz/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=+want+to+write+%2B+nicholas+sparks

Perhaps time to write that romantic novel (“manlit”) now, craig!

(seeing that my first bit of writing happened in my early teens when I wrote some love-letters on behalf of some friends)

Did they work… !

BUT

writers block

OOPS!

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4

http://goo.gl/vTpjk

(and/or http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lock)

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=%22craig+lock%22&sitesearch_type=STORE (paperbacks) and http://www.creativekiwis.com/index.php/books

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children – MINE!

“Together, one mind, one life (one small step at a time), let’s see how many people (and lives) we can encourage, impact, empower, enrich, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials…and strive for and perhaps one sunny day even achieve their wildest dreams.”

“Life is God’s novel…so let Ultimate Source write it as it unfolds.”

from http://www.lifeisgodsnovel.wordpress.com

PPS

Don’t worry about the world ending today…

it’s already tomorrow in scenic and tranquil ‘little’ New Zealand

Advertisements

About craig lock

ABOUT c the Author Craig has a 'passion' for writing books that tell stories about people doing positive things in this often so hard, sometimes unkind world, occasionally cruel, yet always amazing world - true stories that leave the reader feeling uplifted, empowered and hopefully even inspired. https://www.createspace.com/3779691/ and http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 from http://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html and http://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig-lock Craig Lock loves to encourage and empower people to be the best they can possibly be, and to create what they want in life. Craig has learnt plenty from the "school of life" (still "battered and bruised") and also from a few "hard knocks on the head". He is an extensive world traveller (on a "shoestring budget") and failed professional emigrater who has spent most of his lifes savings on airfares. He is still sliding down the razor blade of life on the beautiful undiscovered island that is New Zealand, somewhere near the bottom (rude!) of the world near Antarctica. There he talks to the 60 million sheep! Craig has been involved in the corporate world (life assurance) for over twenty years in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. However, through a strange set of circumstances and finding himself in a small town near the bottom of the world ...and with nothing else to do, he started writing. That was five years ago. Five published books later and having written another twenty manuscripts (on widely differing subjects - well what else is there to do here?)... this is where Craig is in the "journey/adventure" that is life. Craig has taught at the local Polytechnic, as well as running a successful creative writing course (not teaching sheep!). He was the author of (as far as we know) the first creative writing course on the internet Craig has many varied interests and passions. He is particularly interested in the field of psychology – studying the human mind and what makes different people "tick-tock grandfather clock". He is fascinated by the "overlap between psychology and the dimension of spirituality". One of his missions in life is helping people make the most of their hidden potential and so finding their niche in life... so that they are happy. Craig’s various books probably tell more about his rather "eventful" life best (no one could believe it!). He writes books with serious messages and themes, then as a contrast "rather crazy, wacky stuff"…to keep him sane here. As an ‘anonymouse’ person wrote: "All of us are born mad; some of us remain so." Well nothing else much happens in quiet provincial New Zealand, other than headlines like "Golf Ball Thrown at Policeman" (it missed, btw!) and "Beach Toilet Closed for Season." True! The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at ebooks (digital books) http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i:books&field-author=Craig+Lock Paperbacks (see https://goldendawnpublishing.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/paperback-writer/ and https://wanttowriteabook.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/paperback-writer-the-beatles/ https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query="craig+lock"&sitesearch_type=STORE https://www.amazon.com/Craig-Lock/e/B005GGMAW4/ref=pe_584750_33951330_sr_tc_2_0?qid=1476388259&sr=1-2-ent http://www.creativekiwis.com/index.php/books and http://goo.gl/vTpjk All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children – MINE! “When the writer is no more , the value of your purchase will soar! “ “Together, one mind, one life (one small step at a time), let’s see how many people (and lives) we can encourage, impact, empower, enrich, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials…and strive for and perhaps one sunny day even achieve their wildest dreams.” PPS Don’t worry about the world ending today… as it’s already tomorrow in scenic and tranquil ‘little’ New Zealand
This entry was posted in authors, fiction, I want to write a book, the writing journey, Writing, writing tips and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Nicholas Sparks on writing novels that spark box-office hits

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s