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Dan Brown’s secrets to writing

Thanks to the recent court case involving Dan Brown, author of ‘The Da Vinci Code‘, and the authors of ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail‘, we have been able to learn all of his secrets to writing a good story. Thanks also to Slate’s ‘The Dan Brown Code‘ for writing about it, so that I can summarise Dan Brown’s successful writing secrets for you here:

Essential elements to have in the story

  1. It needs some kind of secret society, secret government agency, or a shadowy force involved
  2. A ‘big idea’ that contains some kind of moral ‘grey area’
  3. Hunt for treasure of some kind
  4. Takes place over a 24 hour period
  5. Has a simple person pulled out of a familiar world who becomes the hero
  6. Make the hero an expert in their chosen field
  7. Pair the hero with an expert of a different field, allowing plenty of discussion and debate between them
  8. Have the character’s last names be only two syllables

Tips for writing the story

  1. Write every single day, 7 days a week
  2. Start writing before dawn
  3. Take a break every hour and exercise
  4. Research the material

(Hat tip to Welcome to Writesville.)

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