Rhythm. I emphasize again: to write a good book it’s not the same as to sell many books.
I would like to know the secret to sell millions of books but, sorry if you are looking for it, I forgot it in a dark drunk night. The only thing I can affirm, because I’ve written some books and read hundreds of them, I distinguish a good book and those good books have one secret that readers ignore usually and writers wanted to get: rhythm.
To write a book, in some point of view, is like composing a symphony. You have the characters and maybe you are a conscientious writer and you know everything that is going to happen in the novel. That’s fine and you deserve all the prizes in the world but you don’t still have a good novel in your mind. Rhythm is the most difficult thing to get and the most invisible thing… (and, trust in me, not every great novel of the 19th have it).
And if we talk about rhythm we must talk about balance, the balance between the facts and the feelings of each character. Like in a symphony, we need to relax and we need to run with the main character to win the match or to kill the white whale but, of course, we need a very important thing: maybe the most important thing in a novel is precisely the reader –and, of course, I am not saying that we need a marketing study to determinate our future audience for our next novel of a magic kid-. Two masters of the rhythm were the French Alexander Dumas and Russian Leon Tolstoy and we can find a very good example in modern literature: The Bonfire of the Vanities by Thomas Wolfe or In The Name of The Rose by Umberto Eco (just The Name of The Rose, sorry).
Of course, we cannot find a magic formula to find the rhythm and, of course, if you are not Mozart there isn’t any class to learn how to became in a genius. But there’s an important thing that you can do to find this rhythm. Can you guess what is it? Yes, it’s a simply task. Work and write, every day and another novel, because your next novel will be, I am sure of it, your best novel because every word you write makes you wiser and wiser.
Well, my friends, take care!