I had, what I consider, one of the most nonsensical discussions with a know-it-all author last night. This author, insists that a good fantasy novel must, and he emphasized the must, follow a very rigid formula.
For example, he said that the opening chapter must have action, the second chapter should be character development, the third chapter was for presenting back story, the fourth chapter had to be back to action … and so on he rambled.
I asked him if he wore a lab coat and mixed his concoctions up in beakers with such a rigid formula for “success”. Still he insisted he was right, despite having just two novels published to his name and neither of which have sold any number of appreciable copies.
How boring it must be to write like this. To lock yourself into such a little box with no room to expand beyond codes that in my opinion do nothing other than force everything one writes to be so similar? That would be boring.
What if, I asked, one’s story was not an “action” fantasy? How would you open with action? He said such things don’t sell. I reminded him, apparently neither does what you write. He got upset and dropped the argument.