I came upon this article about how James Patterson has 13 books coming out this year, and why they sell so well, and it raised one major question: Is this really writing?
Patterson explains in the interview that when he writes his books, he writes a detailed outline, and then sends it off to friends of his who writes the actual details. Patterson then looks these over, and either leaves notes or re-writes them entirely.
Now, I suppose that he does technically come up with the ideas, and he does write these detailed outlines. But, does it really count if he’s sending the outline to his friends to write the rest of the story?
I suppose a writer of his magnitude and fame can afford to mass-produce books like this. And, since he makes $80 million a year, he doesn’t have to put everything into his novels to make them deep and meaningful. I mean, I don’t write mystery novels, so I don’t know what the main objective is supposed to be behind the story; but, I imagine that his name sells more books than the actual story does.
I’ve never read any of Patterson’s books, but from what I’ve seen it generally appears that his name appears larger on the cover than the title of the book. I imagine this is done on purpose, because the publishers know that his name will sell. That’s just smart marketing.
So, my question to you: Do you think this counts as writing?