- Utility (writing about things that people will use in their lives)
- Information (facts people must have to place your writing in context)
- Substance (the relative value or weight in any piece of writing)
- Focus (the power to bring an issue into clear view)
- Logic (a coherent system for making your points)
- A sense of connection (the stupid power of personal involvement)
- A compelling style (writing in a way that engages)
- A sense of humor (wit or at least irony)
- Simplicity (clarity and focus on a single idea)
- Entertainment (the power to get people to enjoy what you write)
- A fast pace (the ability to make your writing feel like a quick read)
- Imagery (the power to create pictures with words)
- Creativity (the ability to invent)
- Excitement (writing with energy that infects a reader with your own enthusiasm)
- Comfort (writing that imparts a sense of well-being)
- Happiness (writing that gives joy)
- Truth (or at least fairness)
- Writing that provokes (writing to make people think or act)
- Active, memorable writing (the poetry in your prose)
- A sense of Wow! (the wonder your writing imparts on a reader)
- Transcendence (writing that elevates with its heroism, justice, beauty, honor)
To sell your fiction, you must pay attention to the Key Traits of Best-Selling Fiction. FYI, the twenty-one traits are arranged in a kind of rough order.
- Appeals to the intellect. The first five: utility to logic. To you, the writer, they refer to how you research, organize, and structure your story. These are the large-scale mechanics of a novel.
- Appeals to the emotions. From a sense of connection to excitement. These are the ways you engage a reader to create buzz. Do these things right, and people will talk about your novel, selling it to others.
- Appeals to the soul.Comfort through transcendence. With these traits you examine whether your writing matters, whether it lasts, whether it elevates you to the next level as a novelist.
The 21 key traits of best-selling fiction are excerpted from The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr.
Source: Writer’s Digest