From today's Guardian newspaper, an article on bestselling novels, which references The Bestseller Code, written by Jodie Archer and Matthew L. Jockers. Want to write a bestselling novel? Use an algorithm I read the Bestseller Code, which, offhand, has to be one of the most tedious books I've laboured through—it's great as a bedtime book to send you to sleep! Their findings are revealing, but it is a very analytical way of looking at writing, concentrating entirely on the metadata. It completely ignores such factors as who wrote the novel, and how that affected sales: readers are loyal to authors they like, used to their style of writing and plotting, so will buy them again. The main thing I took away from the Bestseller Code was to do with the rhythm of the story, the highs and lows mentioned in the Guardian article. Also, about the importance of making your protagonists likeable, giving them a humanity that readers can relate to...the same thing goes for any baddies in your story, the antagonists who may be suffering from frustration and pain. A surprising find that Archer and Jockers made was that readers favour stories that use lots of contractions, fitting in with a style of writing that's colloquial. It's easier for me to write I've rather than I have in dialogue, but I've started to do so more when using my authorial voice. Another site of interest to do with writing a successful book is the Bestseller Experiment, in which Mark Stay and Mark Desvaux are currently trying to game the system to create a bestselling novel: The Bestseller Experiment: can you deliberately write a blockbuster book? Could you write a Bestseller? The worrying drawback to all of these formulas on how to write a book that millions will want to read is that pretty soon every novel will sound the same! This may well fit in with what's successful in other areas of life, such as processed food and scripted 'reality' TV, but it doesn't say much about artistic integrity.