Jeez, it looks like I’ve taken a blog sabbatical around here. July must be that kind of month. Anyway…
So, probably against my better judgement, I read The Da Vinci Code over the last week. (My parents loaned it to me.) It wasn’t nearly as earth-shattering as some people would have you believe (especially since I already read the source material, Holy Blood, Holy Grail a number of years ago), but overall I found it mostly, well, amateurish—poorly written.
I mean, the writing just doesn’t follow the rules for good writing. Things like showing versus telling, dialogue, triangulation, stuff like that. It’s distracting, sloppy. And yet—and yet—this book is a huge bestseller. Huge. So what’s the formula?
Short chapters that are quick and easy to read, keeping the pages turning. Characters that are easily identifiable. Chase scenes. And of course, a conspiracy, everybody loves a conspiracy. Especially one with a lot of religious iconographic mystery behind it.
I don’t know if this points more to the state of bestselling fiction today or to the level of the average reader. But on the bright side, it should give hope to all aspiring writes of bestsellers out there.