Monday, June 13, 2022

"James Patterson mostly doesn’t write his books. And his new readers mostly don’t read — yet"

A 2016 headline by WaPo about Patterson's "BookShots" series of novellas:
“I’ve taken the fat out of commercial novels,” he says. “In an awful lot of novels, there’s more in them than there should be.”

Not in these books. The sentences are simple and declarative.

And frequently double as paragraphs.

The brevity of BookShots serves another master: Patterson’s mortality. “Jim realized his ideas were never going to all get done at the regular pace of publishing,” [BookShots’ editorial director] says.


In the past year, he’s written 117 volumes for BookShots.

Although written is not the precise verb. Conceived, outlined, co-written and curated. 

A 2018 article high up on Google:
Why Did James Patterson’s BookShots Fail?

Many reviews of BookShots titles included complaints that these stories were superficial and not nearly as satisfying as James Patterson’s full-length novels. For an author who is routinely criticized by readers for paper-thin character development and plots, these short stories only exacerbated an already pervasive problem.

Here's one from 2017

Six Lessons I Learned Co-Writing A Novella With James Patterson

4. Think about your analogies

This is just a great bit of nuts-and-bolts advice: At the opening of the story, I had a character get tackled by someone, and describe it as being hit in the gut with a cannonball. Patterson nixed that—he said that analogies like that need to be familiar to the reader, and no one knows what it feels like to get hit with a cannonball.

It’s not something I ever thought about, but it makes a ton of sense.