Inspiration Monday: Catastrophic Success

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This week at the InMon Times: I discover a very useful book for writers with forensics questions, an interesting article about the James Patterson bestseller machine, and that they’re planning to make a Silver Chair movie after all. All of which you’d already know if you followed me on Pinterest.

A light week for our top stories, but a goodie:


Inspiration Monday logo

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.


No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:*






Want to share your Inspiration Monday piece? Post it on your blog and then give me the link in the comments below (I’ll also love you more if you link back to me); I’ll include a link to your piece in the next Inspiration Monday post. No blog? Email your piece to me at stephanie (at) bekindrewrite (dot) com. (I do reserve the right to NOT link to a piece as stated in my Link Discretion Policy.)

Plus, get the InMon badge for your site here.

Happy writing!

* FOUR of these week’s prompts courtesy of Jubilare! The other is from Rhett and Link. (< that is a link to a video that will make no sense out of context.)

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  1. I find that article very chilling. The things said about the industry, and the picture painted of success would seem to spell disaster to a writer like me, and many others. There’s a serious problem in the market (and by extension, the culture that drives that market) when the lion’s share of resources go to produce and promote “sure things” and many books that could and probably would be successful are not given a chance. :/

    I agree with this statement, though: “‘I don’t believe in showing off,’ Patterson says of his writing. ‘Showing off can get in the way of a good story.'”

    This stuff, however, confuses me, and I’m not sure if that’s Patterson’s fault or lies in the writing of the article:
    Why is Patterson bothered that “he continues to be dismissed as an airport author or, worse, a marketing genius who has cynically maneuvered his way to best-sellerdom by writing remedial novels that pander to the public’s basest instincts,” when he also admits that he’s “not the man, and this is not high art.”
    He does what he does, and he’s wildly successful. If he admits that he’s just writing marketable entertainment, why claim that he does what Grisham and King do? I’ve never read Patterson, Grisham, or King (though I’ve been tempted by King), but the latter at least seems to take the craft very seriously.

    Anyway. Yeah.

    • Perhaps he means more “You say that like it’s a bad thing.” But I don’t know. The only thing I’ve read from either of those authors is Stephen King’s “On Writing,” which was more autobiographical than useful. I’ve seen a few movies based off of Grisham or King’s work, but you can’t really judge the writing on that.

      Anyway, you see the same trend in the movie industry, of course. Everything is sequels, prequels, spinoffs and reboots. It may make it harder to break in, but not impossible. New people still pop up occasionally. It’s just a mystery why they decide to put marketing dollars behind some and not others. Twilight, for instance. There must have been hundreds of vampire romance novels before Meyer appeared, so why did they decide to give her the classy covers?.

      And I know the NY Times Bestseller list isn’t based entirely on sales, but even if it was, those sales would be determined by which books the publishers decided to push to stores. WHO MAKES THESE DECISIONS???

      But the Internet, ebooks and self-publishing are all changing everything. I can’t help feeling like there’s an opportunity in there somewhere, for some smart person who just thinks of that ONE trick. I was reading this Mike Rowe post about a dairy farmer who got rich selling cow manure to Wal-Mart to make biodegradable flower pots. He said he saw everyone going in one direction, and he went in the other. We just have to find our biodegradable flower pots.

      • “Everything is sequels, prequels, spinoffs and reboots.” Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that, too.

        “those sales would be determined by which books the publishers decided to push to stores. WHO MAKES THESE DECISIONS???” That’s what I want to know! It’s like they have some sort of algorithm that excludes most things I’d be interested in. 😉

        I’d be willing to bet that you could, with your experience in marketing and editing, put together a publishing company that would revolutionize the industry. Of course, I would also be afraid of it eating into your writing time. They key would be finding the right team, figuring out how to delegate, and finding that chink in the market to wriggle into.

        You may have put your finger on that chink, though, when you pointed out how little publishing companies seem to know about marketing.

        • Well, most of my experience is specialized (like in how to turn corporatespeak into English), and I rely on a large team of very smart people to do most of the big-picture strategic thinking and, you know, actually implement things. But you’re right then, the key would be finding the right team.

  2. I verified that all the information in this post is wildly accurate

  3. Here is my take on the prompt for this week, I hope I ticked all the right boxes

  4. My attempt on the prompts this week:

    I couldn’t help going over the word limit this time… I just got caught in the story.. I haven’t read any James Patterson books, maybe I will pick one next time!

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