The secret to writing a bestseller

In his ground-breaking 2006 novel J-Pod, Douglas Coupland reveals on the second-to-last page a recipe for writing books people will want to read:

“Yesirree, nothing could possibly go wrong with everything being so good.

“But of course, in books, good is boring.

“Good is a snoozer.

“Good makes people close the covers and never reopen them.”

—Douglas Coupland 2006, J-Pod, Bloomsbury, London, p.448

These words are posted in response to this week’s  Trifextra Reading Challenge, which asked participants to find a 33-word quotation of great writing they admire. If you want to join the challenge, you can find the link here.

If you think about your favourite books, very few—if any—of them will be all about happy events. The interest comes from tension, adversity, bad luck, conflict, bad choices, addiction, indulging in any of the seven deadly sins and so on. In fact, a happy ending is only so when there’s been a lot of unhappiness along the way.