The Guide to Writing An Acclaimed Bestseller: DaVinci Code Edition
Summary: I, Dorcas Meadowes, have officially hacked into Dan Brown's files and found this formula for success. Read this in lieu of Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code, or even better, write one yourself!
Disclaimer—important: I greatly esteem Dan Brown, because of all of the mythology and symbolism that he puts in his stories; they are quite intelligent. But some of it is so like a trashy crime thriller and his two Robert Langdon books so generic, that I had to do this. Furthermore, my parodies of the Readers are not meant to cause offense and this does not reflect on what I actually think of these groups of people. On with the fic, and do not sue.
Writing An Acclaimed Bestseller, Part II: …Character Development.
We must describe our characters almost immediately. It gets it out of the way. If we do it throughout the story it may lead to…character development.
Your main character must be likeable and charismatic—no one wants to read a character that they cannot relate to or dislike! Put all of your effort into your character! Put in your passions, your dreams, your fantasies! The following example/guidelines are below:
Part II, Section A: Your Character's Appearance
Bobert had an "erudite" appeal, and had something like sugar-and-chocolate hair, which of course, never had even considered thinning despite the fact that he was forty-five.
We know that asking you to describe your character in detail is difficult, but that's okay! It is perfectly acceptable for hair to change from "thick chocolate brown" to "coarse black", from violently pink to mousy brown! However, you must be more careful about the eyes.
Describe the eyes to the closest detail, because they are the "windows to the inside of the house". Give those windows curtains and blinds! However, note that description of eyes for males is a bit different than description of eyes for females (We'll return to that later). Men's eyes should be arresting, unfathomable, bright, probing, intelligent, crackling, cold, warm, laughing, sharp, etc. They should be blue, black, chocolate-brown, or if you are daring, greenGray and hazel are not acceptable colors.
Next, the voice.
Men cannot, cannot, have anything less than a very deep voice. They cannot lisp or have a speech impediment; however, light and sexy accents are always acceptable. A deep voice symbolizes mysteriousness, manliness, and intelligence. It could be described as a singing range, even if you character does not sing and even if you have no knowledge of music yourself: baritone, tenor, and bass are very good. Because that is the intellectual sound—intellectuals cannot sound like little children.
Now, the physique.
Despite the fact that Bobert was aging and had the salt-and-pepper, excuse me, sugar-and-chocolate, appeal, he was strong and carefree. This defies the fact that most old people are forgetful, get arthritis, or become weaker, because Bobert can't leaparoundandsavetheworld—excuse me, work—while using a walker or while popping about fifty pills including but exclusively Viagra, Ambien, aspirin, and others…
Because Bobert was still—hot. He had the body of the swimmer, and was tall. Apparently, intelligent people cannot be short, and neither could good-looking people. He is toned, and has muscles.
You see, you cannot make your character like the typical good-looking actor/actress that everyone has a crush on today! Making someone gorgeous, smart and a hero is far too clichéd, don't you agree?
Part II, Section B: Your Character's Personality
Although you can save these tantalizing details for your readers to discover later on, you can get a good foundation in on who your character really is. Your male character cannot be an irritable professor or a dumb jock. He must be a complicated mix of the two, like dark and white chocolate swirl, an enigma. This will suck the reader in.
In order to fully be able to describe his clothing, you should give your character a wide range of fashion choices—from casual to Harris Tweed. Your description of the male's physique should also reflect this (a person with a beer belly cannot wear a bathing suit, for instance).
Your character must be worldly and intelligent. This must show in their house, because worldly and intelligent people do not live in Spartan settings unless they are monks, and making your characters monks would limit your choices for hair description and physical description. This could manifest itself in floor-to-ceiling mahogany bookcases which are full (of course), various artifacts and souvenirs from their travels (magnets, t-shirts, ekuabas, gold crosses, etc.), and other things.
Forget the fact that most scholars/professors get a paltry salary!
Your character should also have a lot of random talents, which of course seem random at the beginning but will help them later in the plot! But shh…no one knows it yet!
Of course, this is not Mary-Suedom, because he has to work to maintain these good looks! He somehow fits in fifty laps a day in the pool, even though he is a respected art expert, scholar, professor, lecturer, and model.Ahem…back to Bobert.
Bobert was a swimmer…a real one, not the type that sat at the beach and postured in his tight neon green Speedos…
What do you mean, "Oh, so the intellectual guy has tight neon green Speedos!"? Doesn't everyone?
He is able to dive into a pool and plays water polo, because it isn't football, basketball, or baseball, or any other typical sport! No intellectual can play such a brawn no brain type of game! Did you ever hear of a football player who was also a genius? I don't think so! He also can best the entire water polo team in Harvard, the entire water polo team in Yale, the Olympic water polo team, and the handful of five-year-olds with waterguns single-handedly.
In fact, he is so good that people call him…
All right, perhaps it wasn't my best work, but I had to get the characterization out of the way. I am definitely planning to have the Annoying!Police, the Evil-But-Benevolent!Old Man, and the EvilbutMisguided!Fanatic later…and hopefully, it will be funnier than this chapter was…
Review, and make my day!