We were talking about Twilight and Yo Gabba Gabba and marketing. A few bleeps brought up word-of-mouth as being so important. Talli demonstrated that, yes?
So I made up this formula:
Engaging story + Outstanding Word of Mouth = Smash Hit
And I'd go so far as to say Engaging Story trumps everything--even mastery of the craft, which you see isn't in my little formula up there.
Now just hold on a minute, I'm not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Of course craft is important, and yes, we should only ever send our cleanest MSs off for consideration. Don't shoot yourself in the foot.
But I believe regardless of how unsophisticated your writing style is, if you've told a great story that grabs readers and doesn't let go, it's going to be a hit.
How can I say this? Well, because of Twilight. Seriously. And I'm not a hater!
I read Twilight before I ever thought about trying my hand at novel writing, so I was clueless about all the falderall over adverbs or showing versus tellling. All I knew was I picked up the first book and four days later I'd read all three and couldn't wait to get my mits on the last installment.
Sure, it's anti-feminist, sure it's not perfectly written (adverbs!), sure the dialogue is embarrassing, sure it's basically a not-so-thinly veiled abstinence sermon, but it's an engaging story that grabs readers and doesn't let go.
And that's the secret: It's the story, silly!
Let the discussions begin! Til Monday~ <3