On the best seller stands today it is all too common to see “franchised” books, riding on the name of a well known writer but in fact written by piece-workers. I can just see it now… Tom Clancy’s literary sweat-shop, big whiteboards with book-formulae scrawled across them to remind the writers of their goal. The opening chapter section, where a boat explodes off Knossos, or a plane impacts above Kathmandu, or a train derails outside Lahore, the oval-office chapter in which tough guys from the alphabet spaghetti school of US secret departments argue over jurisdiction, the assorted heroes section, where a tough ex-special forces guy is blackmailed back out of retirement at the president’s personal behest, thus missing his daughter’s seventh birthday party….
And the deals department. Where James Patterson, and Steven King’s guys come in to trade completed chapters- “Anybody got one where the good guys escape the erupting volcano in a helicopter flown by a one-eyed alcoholic midget nun?”.
I see my future.
I shall become a wholesaler of paragraphs.