How to write a Nicholas Sparks novel


First, set the scene: waterside.

Next, choose a random hobby – coin collecting, or stained glass windows, or composing music.  This hobby will help create a narrative arc that will act as a metaphor for deeper emotional storylines.

Now, take an unlikely couple.  At first, they don’t like each other, because they’re just too different.  In the beginning, she acts like she can’t stand him.  But his boyish persistence and charming wit eventually win her over.

Both individuals must be obscenely beautiful.  She has big eyes and long, flowing hair.  He has chiseled abs and a strong jaw.  They fall into a passionate chemistry, and yes, they have sex.  If it’s their first time, it’s usually on a wooden floor – and maybe during a rainstorm.

But wait!  There is trouble afoot – war, or someone is secretly dying, or their parents don’t approve.

They are torn apart – maybe during a rainstorm.

Time passes.

They get back together – maybe during a rainstorm.

The end.  Make millions of dollars.



  1. Noell on January 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Um, so true….so I’ve heard! A friend in college went to see Message in a Bottle and afterwards said (direct quote), “I wanted to go home and slit my wrists. It was so depressing.” To this day, I still don’t know why it is depressing. But, suffices to say, I will not be watching that movie.

    You should talk to Lanie about Nicholas Sparks – she loves that stuff.

  2. Carin on January 13, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    OMG. LOL.

  3. Rod Jones on January 13, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    You forgot to add that one of the two (if not both) has to die in the end!

  4. Pamela on January 13, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    Haha, I really respect your disdain for Mr. Sparks. Predictable is so boring.

  5. dn on January 13, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    Also, make sure you have a gross misunderstanding of how Alzheimer’s Disease works.

  6. the handygraham on January 13, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Alternative ending: Blade and Hellboy show up. The kill the couple because the couple is…you guessed it…LAME. Blade and Hellboy have epic battle…can’t beat ’em, join ’em. They team up to strike fear into the hearts of bad dudes everywhere. The End. (To be followed by EQUALLY awesome sequel).

  7. kim on January 14, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    hahaha i read my first and last nicholas sparks novel in 8th grade. 8th grade!! i should have been reading a good book, possibly a classic, at that age. NOT the notebook! when dean found out i had read the notebook he was mortified! i’m going to have him read this blog post. he’ll love it.

  8. Carly on January 15, 2011 at 12:56 AM

    you know i want my life to mirror a N.S. novel right? for reals :O)

  9. Riley McCormick on January 16, 2011 at 2:01 AM

    don’t forget glorified infidelity with a happy ending. that’s the best part.

  10. Jessica on January 20, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    I have read every book he has written. I’m a sucker. But you are SO right! Too funny! When is the hootenannie book coming out so I can read that deliciousness instead?!

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