It’s The Story Stoopid! Or Is It?

There are three writers I particularly admire and who have influenced my own writing.

The first is James Patterson. I really like his take. The way he presents his material. The catchy titles with their promise of excitement. The artwork on the covers. I like the no-nonsense way his novels cut to the chase too. I love the leanness of it all. Pure story-telling. That (in the words of Jeffery Archer) is a God-given talent. Not that this talent will win him many awards. If there is one thing the right-on literary set dislike more than wild success, its seat-of-the-pants page-turners.

Same with Lee Child. I love this bloke! An Englishman abroad. The Reacher character is just perfect. I love the narrative. It beats like a drum. I’m hypnotized by the rythmn of it. Have you listened to him on audio-books? Dick Hill’s interpretation is genius.

There’s awards given in the UK at this time of year. OBE’s, CBE’s and the like. An author received one today. A lady. A very nice lady I’m sure. A great author too no doubt, but I’d not heard of her. I’ve heard of Lee Child though. He’s sold 60 million books. He keeps on with Reacher. One a year. Relentless discipline. Always striving for outstanding. Why don’t they give him a gong? If I were in charge, I surely would.

The last one is Dan Brown. He came out of nowhere with TDC. A lottery win. I was aware of him before then I should add. Not long before – I read Angels and Demons a year or two before TDC broke. But it was the story that got me. The speed of it. The cleverness of it and all against a Roman background. I was caught up in the possibility of it all. It was Dan Brown in general and Angels and Demons in particular that inspired me to start writing again.


So those are the three. I’ve tried to find similarities between them. A thread that connects them together. Its difficult. Is it the story that I love the most? Is it the characters that populate the stories or is it the place? Which is most important?


What about you? Who are your three?


Do you go for the story first-and-foremost, or are you into the characters? What about setting?


Tell me. I’d love to know.