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Daisy Jones & The Six: A Blockbuster Formula


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Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel: Reid, Taylor Jenkins: 9781524798628:  Amazon.com: BooksIt's amazing what a great cast can do.

Having already read some of Taylor Jenkins Reid's writing, I went into this audiobook with high expectations. I loved Evelyn Hugo and was excited by the prospect of a novelized documentary about a fictional band from the 70's. I've always been a fan of non-traditional novel formats, so this book was right up my alley.

What I wasn't expecting was how much Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne got under my skin.

Daisy Jones & The Six is more than just the story of a made-up band. On the surface, the plot itself if fairly mundane. It's built around a pretty straightforward romance between the married lead musician of The Six (Billy Dunne) and Daisy Jones herself. The story revolves around these two characters, dipping in and out of some minor drama in the rest of the band. It's light on plot and heavy on character, leaning hard on its two leads (much like the band's success) to carry the story.

And the reason it works so phenomenally well is that those two leads are fantastic.

The thing that propels this novel from mundane into bestseller category is that Jenkins Reid managed to capture the essence and charisma of rock stars. There's a reason we're drawn to certain people, a magnetism that some have more than others, and this book brings to the page that nameless, alluring something that keeps our eyes glued to the Brad Pitts and Scarlett Johanssons of the world. It's in Daisy's uncaring vulnerability, in Billy's restless and addictive personality, even in the quirky-but-lovable members of the band who stand in the shadow of their two superstars. The Six's story is a complex, addictive mess and I found myself unable to look away.

Plot is important, don't get me wrong, and I think this novel could have done with a bit more of it. But the lesson to be gleaned from Daisy Jones & The Six is to think about what people are drawn to. What makes a Hollywood star or a successful movie or a big-hit reality TV show? What do people find themselves glued to, sometimes in spite of their better taste or interest?

What do audiences find magnetic?

Then try to replicate that in your stories. After all, fiction is a funhouse mirror meant to reflect the best and worst of life. So take the most alluring, addictive things you can find and make them as shiny and supersized as possible.

If you're lucky, you too might have a blockbuster on your hands.

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