Thriller author James Patterson holds the record for time spent on the New York Times bestseller list. Patterson has sold so many books that it is estimated that one in three US citizens have read one. Now he's offering advice on how he does it.
According to Patterson (speaking to Writer's Digest magazine), it's "story, story, story."
Patterson's method is simple: "I’m always pretending that I’m sitting across from somebody. I’m telling them a story, and I don’t want them to get up until it’s finished."
"My style is colloquial storytelling," says Patterson, who also says that he's big on "having a blistering pace." But he's not interested in special-effects type writing. "I never blow up cars and things like that."
A lot of writers, complains Patterson, "fall in love with their sentences or their construction of sentences, and sometimes that’s great, but not everybody is Gabriel García Márquez or James Joyce. A lot of people like to pretend that they are, and they wind up not giving people a good read or enlightening them."
When it comes to questions about marketing a book, Patterson has little patience. His advice to authors: Don't waste your time and money. Instead: "Go write another book! You learned some things writing this book. Make use of them in the next book."