Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

I've just started to read "How to Write a Blockbuster Novel" by Al Zuckerman and I've found my protagonist is not a ridiculously successful person. Actually she's a homeless person finding her way back to sobriety, sanity and purpose.

According to this book, I might as well kill her off now and bring in a fashion model.

But I like her, she's funny, off beat and she grows in my pages. She fits your likeability model. Frankly, I'll finish the book because I want to see what happens (I know, but I don't, not really), but should I realize since she doesn't play a major role in history she is doomed to obscurity?

Frankly I don't like those ridiculously successful characters who are smarter, faster and more successful than everyone. I like real people in unusual situations. Am I out of step?

BELLY by Lisa Selin Davis
RAINFALL by Barry Eisler

THE QUITTER by Harvey Pekar

Every single book written by Jason Starr
the Dave Robicheaux novels by James Lee Burke

I'd say you're in damn fine company.
Don't worry, write well.


kitty said...

And Jennifer Weiner's Good In Bed.

Mama Rose said...

Why would you change your story based on what one guy who wrote a how-to-write book said? Read other books and you'll get contradictory advice. Trust your instincts. :)


Moi said...

Also remember that the Zuckerman book was written in the early 90's and the market was edged slightly differently. Many of the same concepts were covered in Donald Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel published in 2001, IIRC, and hits the current market far better. They're interesting companion books.