The Bestseller Code

Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel

Author: Jodie Archer,Matthew L. Jockers

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1250088283

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 320

View: 8586

"When a story captures the imagination of millions, that's magic. Can you qualify magic? Archer and Jockers just may have done so."—Sylvia Day, New York Times bestselling author Ask most people about massive success in the world of fiction, and you’ll typically hear that it’s a game of hazy crystal balls. The sales figures of E. L. James or Dan Brown seem to be freakish—random occurrences in an unknowable market. But what if there were an algorithm that could reveal a secret DNA of bestsellers, regardless of their genre? What if it knew, just from analyzing the words alone, not just why genre writers like John Grisham and Danielle Steel belong on the lists, but also that authors such as Junot Diaz, Jodi Picoult, and Donna Tartt had telltale signs of success all over their pages? Thanks to Jodie Archer and Matthew Jockers, the algorithm exists, the code has been cracked, and the results bring fresh new insights into how fiction works and why we read. The Bestseller Code offers a new theory for why Fifty Shades of Grey sold so well. It sheds light on the current craze for dark heroines. It reveals which themes tend to sell best. And all with fascinating supporting data taken from a five-year study of twenty thousand novels. Then there is the hunt for "the one"—the paradigmatic example of bestselling writing according to a computer's analysis of thousands of points of data. The result is surprising, a bit ironic, and delightfully unorthodox. This book explains groundbreaking text-mining research in accessible terms and offers a new perspective on the New York Times bestseller list. It's a big-idea book about the relationship between creativity and technology that will be provocative to anyone interested in how analytics have already transformed the worlds of finance, medicine, and sports. But at heart it is a celebration of books for readers and writers—a compelling investigation into how successful writing works, and a fresh take on our intellectual and emotional response to stories.
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Becoming Bestsellers: John Grisham and Danielle Steel (Sample from Chapter 2 of THE BESTSELLER CODE)

Author: Jodie Archer,Matthew L. Jockers

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1250137950

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 256

View: 9981

This sneak peek teaser - featuring literary giants John Grisham and Danielle Steele - from Chapter 2 of The Bestseller Code, a groundbreaking book about what a computer algorithm can teach us about blockbuster books, stories, and reading, reveals the importance of topic and theme in bestselling fiction according to percentages assigned by what the authors refer to as the “bestseller-ometer.” Although 55,000 novels are published every year, only about 200 hit the lists, a commercial success rate of less than half a percent. When the computer was asked to “blindly” select the most likely bestsellers out of 5,000 books published over the past thirty years based only on theme, it discovered two possible candidates: The Accident by Danielle Steel and The Associate by John Grisham. The computer recognized quantifiable patterns in their seemingly opposite, but undeniably successful writing careers with legal thrillers and romance. In Chapter 2, Archer and Jockers analyze this data and divulge the most and least likely to best sell topics and themes in fiction with a human discussion of the “why” behind these results. The Bestseller Code is a big-idea book about the relationship between creativity and technology. At heart it is a celebration of books for readers and writers—a compelling investigation into how successful writing works.
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Macroanalysis

Digital Methods and Literary History

Author: Matthew L. Jockers

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

ISBN: 025209476X

Category: Computers

Page: 208

View: 4487

In this volume, Matthew L. Jockers introduces readers to large-scale literary computing and the revolutionary potential of macroanalysis--a new approach to the study of the literary record designed for probing the digital-textual world as it exists today, in digital form and in large quantities. Using computational analysis to retrieve key words, phrases, and linguistic patterns across thousands of texts in digital libraries, researchers can draw conclusions based on quantifiable evidence regarding how literary trends are employed over time, across periods, within regions, or within demographic groups, as well as how cultural, historical, and societal linkages may bind individual authors, texts, and genres into an aggregate literary culture. Moving beyond the limitations of literary interpretation based on the "close-reading" of individual works, Jockers describes how this new method of studying large collections of digital material can help us to better understand and contextualize the individual works within those collections.
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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Author: E.L. Konigsburg

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781442431263

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 176

View: 8257

2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere -- to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along. Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn't it? Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.
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The Umbrella Man and Other Stories

Author: Roald Dahl

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101636289

Category: Young Adult Fiction

Page: 275

View: 8777

Is it really possible to invent a machine that does the job of a writer? What is it about the landlady's house that makes it so hard for her guests to leave? Does Sir Basil Turton value most his wife or one of his priceless sculptures? These compelling tales are a perfect introduction to the adult writing of a storytelling genius.
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The Friday Night Knitting Club

Author: Kate Jacobs

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9780425219096

Category: Fiction

Page: 372

View: 4832

Gathering for their weekly knitting club at a small yarn shop on Manhattan's upper west side, a group of friends shares such challenges as raising children, navigating the ups and downs of their education and careers, and pursuing uncertain relationships. Reprint.
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Writing the Blockbuster Novel

Author: Albert Zuckerman

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0765382474

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 256

View: 3283

Albert Zuckerman, legendary literary agent, has worked with many bestselling authors, including Ken Follett, Olivia Goldsmith, Antoinette Van Heugten, Michael Lewis, and F. Paul Wilson. Zuckerman is a master at teaching writers the skills necessary to crack the bestseller list. For this revised edition of Writing the Blockbuster Novel, Zuckerman has added an analysis of Nora Roberts's The Witness, which he uses along with classic books like Gone With the Wind and The Godfather, to illustrate his points. Zuckerman's commentary on Ken Follett's working outlines for The Man From St. Petersburg provide a blueprint for building links between plot and character. A new introduction discusses social media and self-publishing. Writing the Blockbuster Novel is an essential tool for any aspiring author. As Dan Brown said in an interview: "Not long ago, I had an amusing experience meeting the author of a book I received as a gift nearly two decades ago a book that in many ways changed my life. I was halfway through writing my first novel when I was given a copy of Writing the Blockbuster Novel. [Zuckerman's] book helped me complete my manuscript and get it published. [When] I met Mr. Zuckerman for the first time. I gratefully told him that he had helped me. He jokingly replied that he planned to tell everyone that he had helped me write The Da Vinci Code."
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Must Read: Rediscovering American Bestsellers

From Charlotte Temple to The Da Vinci Code

Author: Sarah Churchwell,Thomas Ruys Smith

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 144116216X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 384

View: 8872

A unique survey and interpretive history, spanning 200 years, of the American bestseller.
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Hit Lit

Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century's Biggest Bestsellers

Author: James W. Hall

Publisher: Random House Incorporated

ISBN: 0812970950

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 294

View: 4387

Analyzes the common themes in many of the 20th century's best-sellers, what made them best-sellers, and recounts the experiences and discoveries the author shared with students in his popular modern literature college courses.
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Techniques of fiction writing

measure and madness

Author: Leon Z. Surmelian

Publisher: Doubleday Books

ISBN: N.A

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 255

View: 6142

Focuses on the tool of language as the means used to bring order to creativity
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The Lamplighter

Author: Maria Susanna Cummins

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Abused children

Page: 523

View: 9818

Abandoned and mistreated, little Gerty is an angry and sometimes violent child, but is taken in by the gentle, virtuous lamplighter. From his gentle behavior Gerty learns how to curb her anger and let her virtue shine forth.
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Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve

What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing

Author: Ben Blatt

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501105388

Category: Humor

Page: 288

View: 7790

What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? How can we judge a book by its cover? Data meets literature in this playful and informative look at our favorite authors and their masterpieces. “A literary detective story: fast-paced, thought-provoking, and intriguing.” —Brian Christian, coauthor of Algorithms to Live By There’s a famous piece of writing advice—offered by Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, and myriad writers in between—not to use -ly adverbs like “quickly” or “fitfully.” It sounds like solid advice, but can we actually test it? If we were to count all the -ly adverbs these authors used in their careers, do they follow their own advice compared to other celebrated authors? What’s more, do great books in general—the classics and the bestsellers—share this trait? In Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve, statistician and journalist Ben Blatt brings big data to the literary canon, exploring the wealth of fun findings that remain hidden in the works of the world’s greatest writers. He assembles a database of thousands of books and hundreds of millions of words, and starts asking the questions that have intrigued curious word nerds and book lovers for generations: What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Do men and women write differently? Are bestsellers getting dumber over time? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? What makes a great opening sentence? How can we judge a book by its cover? And which writerly advice is worth following or ignoring? Blatt draws upon existing analysis techniques and invents some of his own. All of his investigations and experiments are original, conducted himself, and no math knowledge is needed to understand the results. Blatt breaks his findings down into lucid, humorous language and clear and compelling visuals. This eye-opening book will provide you with a new appreciation for your favorite authors and a fresh perspective on your own writing, illuminating both the patterns that hold great prose together and the brilliant flourishes that make it unforgettable.
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How to Write Like Tolstoy

A Journey Into the Minds of Our Greatest Writers

Author: Richard Cohen

Publisher: Pantheon Books

ISBN: 0812998308

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 323

View: 5920

"For anyone who has ever identified with a hero or heroine, been seduced by a strong opening sentence, or been powerfully moved by a story's end, [this is a] journey inside the minds of the world's most accomplished storytellers, from Shakespeare to Stephen King"--Amazon.com.
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American Film History

Selected Readings, 1960 to the Present

Author: Cynthia Lucia,Roy Grundmann,Art Simon

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118475127

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 520

View: 4204

From the American underground film to the blockbuster superhero, this authoritative introduction explores the core issues and developments in American cinematic history during the second half of the twentieth-century through to the present day. Considers a wealth a subjects ranging from the impact of television, the rise of the new directors, and independent and underground film, to the impact of the civil rights, feminist and LGBT movements on film, American film after 9/11, and identity politics and culture Features a student-friendly structure dividing coverage into the periods 1960-1975, 1976-1990, and 1991 to the present day, each of which opens with an historical overview Brings together a rich and varied selection of contributions by a team of respected authors, combining broader historical, social and political context with detailed analysis of individual films, including Midnight Cowboy, Nashville, Cat Ballou, Chicago, Back to the Future, Killer of Sheep, Daughters of the Dust, Nothing But a Man, Ali, Easy Rider, The Conversation, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Longtime Companion, The Matrix, The War Tapes, and the Batman films among many others Additional online resources, such as sample syllabi, for general and specialized courses, including suggested readings and filmographies, will be available on publication at www.wiley.com/go/lucia May be used alongside The History of American Film: Origins to 1960 to provide an authoritative study of American cinema from its earliest days right through to the new millennium
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The Jane Austen Writers' Club

Inspiration and Advice from the World’s Best-loved Novelist

Author: Rebecca Smith

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408866064

Category: Reference

Page: 352

View: 5830

A delightful and informative guide to writing like Jane Austen, written by the five-times-great niece of Austen herself Jane Austen is one of the most beloved writers in the English literary canon. Her novels changed the landscape of fiction forever, and her writing remains as fresh, entertaining and witty as the day her books were first published. Bursting with useful exercises, beautiful illustrations and enlightening quotations from the classic author's novels and letters – and written by none other than Austen's five-times-great-niece – this book will teach you her methods, tips and tricks, from techniques of plotting and characterisation through to dialogue and suspense. Whether you're a creative writing enthusiast looking to publish your first novel, a teacher searching for further inspiration for students, or fan seeking insight into Austen's daily rituals, this is an essential companion, guaranteed to satisfy, inform and delight. 'Winning and beguiling ... Smith shares Jane Austen's clarity and gentle irony' Independent
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Text Analysis with R for Students of Literature

Author: Matthew L. Jockers

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319031643

Category: Computers

Page: 194

View: 4041

Text Analysis with R for Students of Literature is written with students and scholars of literature in mind but will be applicable to other humanists and social scientists wishing to extend their methodological tool kit to include quantitative and computational approaches to the study of text. Computation provides access to information in text that we simply cannot gather using traditional qualitative methods of close reading and human synthesis. Text Analysis with R for Students of Literature provides a practical introduction to computational text analysis using the open source programming language R. R is extremely popular throughout the sciences and because of its accessibility, R is now used increasingly in other research areas. Readers begin working with text right away and each chapter works through a new technique or process such that readers gain a broad exposure to core R procedures and a basic understanding of the possibilities of computational text analysis at both the micro and macro scale. Each chapter builds on the previous as readers move from small scale “microanalysis” of single texts to large scale “macroanalysis” of text corpora, and each chapter concludes with a set of practice exercises that reinforce and expand upon the chapter lessons. The book’s focus is on making the technical palatable and making the technical useful and immediately gratifying.
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Story Genius

How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere)

Author: Lisa Cron

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

ISBN: 1607748908

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 288

View: 3112

Following on the heels of Lisa Cron's breakout first book, Wired for Story, this writing guide reveals how to use cognitive storytelling strategies to build a scene-by-scene blueprint for a riveting story. It’s every novelist’s greatest fear: pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into writing hundreds of pages only to realize that their story has no sense of urgency, no internal logic, and so is a page one rewrite. The prevailing wisdom in the writing community is that there are just two ways around this problem: pantsing (winging it) and plotting (focusing on the external plot). Story coach Lisa Cron has spent her career discovering why these these methods don’t work and coming up with a powerful alternative, based on the science behind what our brains are wired to crave in every story we read (and it’s not what you think). In Story Genius Cron takes you, step-by-step, through the creation of a novel from the first glimmer of an idea, to a complete multilayered blueprint—including fully realized scenes—that evolves into a first draft with the authority, richness, and command of a riveting sixth or seventh draft. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Distant Reading

Author: Franco Moretti

Publisher: Verso

ISBN: 1781680841

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 254

View: 6998

The formation of an unorthodox literary critic How does a literary historian end up thinking in terms of z-scores, principal component analysis, and clustering coefficient? In the ten essays collected in this volume, Franco Moretti reconstructs the intellectual trajectory of his philosophy of ‘distant reading’. From the evolutionary model of ‘Modern European Literature’, through the geo-cultural dominant of ‘Conjectures on World Literature’ and ‘Planet Hollywood’ to the quantitative findings of ‘Style, inc.’ and the abstract patterns of ‘Network Theory, Plot Analysis’, the book follows two decades of critical explorations that have come to define – well beyond the wildest expectations of its author – a growing field of unorthodox literary studies.
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Jaws

Author: Peter Benchley

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 1447230736

Category: Fiction

Page: 336

View: 1288

It was just another day in the life of a small Atlantic resort until the terror from the deep came to prey on unwary holiday makers. The first sign of trouble – a warning of what was to come – took the form of a young woman's body, or what was left of it, washed up on the long, white stretch of beach . . . A summer of terror has begun. Peter Benchley's Jaws first appeared in 1974. It has sold over twenty million copies around the world, creating a legend that refuses to die – it's never safe to go back in the water . . .
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