Boulder Book Club
for Writers

7 November 2018

Origin - Dan Brown

bibliomancy

stichomancy

rhapsodomancy

Why we're here

Book Club Resources

Who we are

is.gd/jupize

1. Author / Publisher Intent

2. Stylistic Choices

3. Structure, Pacing

4. Climax - what changed?

5. Scene sleuthing

Origin - Dan Brown

  • Marketing: Suspense, Technothrillers
  • Genre: Realistic Present-Day, Archplot, Long-Form
  • Word count: 154,288
  • Print Pages: 463
  • Tense: Past
  • POV: Everybody: 3rd-person Omniscient

  • Publish date: October 3, 2017
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • Seller: Random House
  • First Printing: 2,000,000
  • 7 possible Plot Types:
    • Overcoming the Monster
    • Rags to Riches
    • The Quest
    • Voyage and Return
    • Comedy
    • Tragedy
    • Rebirth

  • 4 possible Story Types:
    • Milieu
    • Idea
    • Character
    • Event

Words Per Chapter: 56 / 3,339 (avg: 1442)

POV

Techniques that seem to Work

Flatter Your Readers
  • Here Be TRUTH
  • NAME DROP like crazy
  • Only the Bestest
  • Aclaimed, Renowned
Make it Easy for Them
  • Quick characterization sketches
  • Simple motivations, unevolved
  • No job deviation, no outside lives
  • Clear STATUS between characters
  • Deference to KNOWLEDGE
  • Politeness, civility
  • Adjectives on EVERYTHING
  • WIKIPEDIA every reference
  • REPEAT TROPES often
Quick-cut excitement
  • Very short chapters
  • Many, many, many POVs
  • EVERYTHING shocks, amazes
  • LOTS of foreshadowing
  • Lockstep Cause-Effect
  • Clifhanger chapter endings

Some Dan Brown Clunkiness

Plot gears always visible
  • Every action lands as planned
  • Reactions like billiard balls
  • Wikipedia-like knowledge
  • Claravoyance -- oops!
Poor scene choreography
  • Countless 'blank stares'
  • EVERY Emotion dialed to 11
  • Awkward physical movement
  • Contradictions
Groan-inducing situations
  • Corny geek jokes
  • Children's logic (X = IX+I)
  • That stupid watch
  • Creepy Langdon-Ambra moments
Poor form
  • Heavy-handed axe-grinding
  • Too much backstory vs. action
  • POV often missing [Ch 22, 92]
  • Climax too early - 72%
  • The Dan Brown NERC: Name, Explain, Reaffirm, Congratulate

. . . and finally . . .

The PowerPoint Presentation that Captivated the WORLD . . . Really?

Arch Plot Structure

Sentiment Analysis

Word Cloud

  • Word

  • Sentence

  • Paragraph

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Moving Boulder Bookclub for Writers to
Boulder Writers Alliance
at meetup.com
https://www.meetup.com/Boulder-Writers-Alliance-Meetup

Hope to see you in 2019

Please stay in touch!
hello@garyalanmcbride.com

Book Club Resources

Happy
Sleuthing!