Why sometime it feels as if it’s ‘Bollocks or Bust’ for authors

Dan Brown’s Checklist – A dozen ways to #1

Why sometime it feels as if it’s ‘Bollocks or Bust’ for authors

by Clive Hindle (author of the Eighth Square)

You know, I have a confession to make. I actually bought the latest Dan Brown effort, Inferno. The wife persuaded me to as she thought it would be good for me to read something which sells (she meant well but can be very witty at times). It was supposed to be a holiday read and I have done about ten chapters which, as each is about 3 pages long, isn’t that good going. His writing has improved a little since the horrible Da Vinci thing but not much. He’s a terrible name dropper too. So here’s what I have discovered is his winning formula, although it’s a shame to use the word ‘winning’ in this context as literary-wise it sure ain’t winning its pandering to a hackneyed formula which I have no wish to emulate even if I never sell a book again.

 

1. Find some mystery connected with Renaissance Art which will support a Catholic conspiracy theory of some sort (it’ll be Poussin and the frigging Albigensians next, you mark my words, if he hasn’t already done that with some other tome).

 

2. Think of the most ridiculous plot you can for some evil Roman Catholic mastermind to take over or destroy the world, with a large dose of a Vatican conspiracy theory in there just to justify or explain it. (Jesus! I thought the nuns at my Convent were savage but this guy must have been anally gang-raped by an Opus Dei convention, the down he has on them).

 

3. Find a suitably anaemic villain and tell everyone he or she’s really diabolical even if they look like a bit of a wuss in pantaloons and harlequin jacket.

 

4. Think of what commonplace message you want to get across as the new Book of Revelations and then get four or five characters to play the parts (there is only one because the characters are all interchangeable so it doesn’t actually matter who is speaking – good and evil, men and women, it don’t matter a jot).

 

5. Throw in the odd really ridiculously trite conversation just to show you’re an ordinary geezer at heart. 

 

6. Read up every damn thing you can on the Art subject and its surrounding history and spew it out at opportune moments throughout the plot to give the appearance of superior scholarship, no matter how awkwardly it might fit in. Don’t forget to drop in a sprinkling of impressive sounding names. 

 

7. Have a suitably bogus intellectual hero with an IQ of 751 who is ruggedly handsome and just can’t keep the babes off of his perfect pecs even if he is totally without an impure thought himself.

 

8. Throw in a heroine with an IQ of 851: except every time she’s about to prove it the bloke brings her down a peg or two and shows that a male 751 trumps a female 851 any day of the week. She will also be gorgeous, have tits the envy of Jordan, be sexually experienced but have somehow saved her virginity only for him, a waist size of 23 and only wears clothes when Dan wants to drop some famous designer names ie Versace, Armani, Hermes.

 

9. Make sure there’s a decent deus ex machina every time the plot gets you into a blind alley you haven’t the imagination to escape from by ingenuity alone.

 

10. Ensure in the end good triumphs over evil in a ferociously taut and trite climax.

 

11.Choose a famous picturesque Italian or European city city and make sure the action man Prof has a punch up at each and every one of the tourist attractions there and escapes by the skin of his teeth thanks to last minute divine intervention, knowledge of the finer points of physics or the fact that he really is Rasputin and David Haye wrapped up in one.

 

12. Most important of all, keep as far away as you possibly can from real life.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

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