Things I think about #1 : Things I (don’t) like.

04 Nov

I think that this idea came from Chris Baty in No Plot No Problem

Take a sheet of paper or an index card or something.  And write LIKE at the top.
No, really.  Do it now.  I’ll wait.

Now write a list of all the things you like when reading a novel.


  • Strong Female lead
  • Humour
  • Werewolves.  (Don’t be shy, this is your list)
  • Happy endings
  • People named Tim.  (There are not stupid answers.)

Done?  Good.

Now get a fresh piece of paper,and do a list of things you don’t like.  Call this UNLIKE or BAD or DON’T or whatever you want.


  • Annoying female love interest who act like spoiled brats
  • Angst
  • Plot twists for no reason
  • Moralising
  • Twisting the plot to make a political statement
  • Animals dying.
  • etc.

Now take a look at your novel you are planning to write, and ask yourself a simple question:

“Which list describes my novel?”

I am not saying you need to include werewolves into your romance novel, but if you like werewolves and don’t like novels with heavy angst… then why are you writing a story about a doomed love affair between two people who will never get together because the ditzy girl will never understand the dark hero who sits and broods about politics and his own despair-filled past.

Would you read that?  No?  Not even if it had someone named Tim in it?

Then why are you writing it?

Go introduce a werewolf named Tim, let him kill the annoying characters, and make sure there is no moral.

Now start again.

And have fun,

1 Comment

Posted by on November 4, 2013 in Ponderings


One response to “Things I think about #1 : Things I (don’t) like.

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