Dave Barry: I have written a blockbuster novel. My inspiration was The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, which has sold 253 trillion copies in hardcover because it’s such a compelling page-turner. NOBODY can put this book down:
MOTHER ON BEACH: Help! My child is being attacked by a shark!
LIFEGUARD (looking up from The DaVinci Code) Not now! I just got to page 243, where it turns out that one of the men depicted in ”The Last Supper” is actually a woman!
MOTHER: I know! Isn’t that incredible? And it turns out that she’s . . .
SHARK (spitting out the child): Don’t give it away! I’m only on page 187!
The key to The DaVinci Code is that it’s filled with startling plot twists, and almost every chapter ends with a ”cliffhanger,” so you have to keep reading to see what will happen. Using this formula, I wrote the following blockbuster novel, titled The Constitution Conundrum. It’s fairly short now, but when I get a huge publishing contract, I’ll flesh it out to 100,000 words by adding sentences.
CHAPTER ONE: Handsome yet unmarried historian Hugh Heckman stood in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., squinting through the bulletproof glass at the U.S. Constitution. Suddenly, he made an amazing discovery.
”My God!” he said, out loud. “This is incredible! Soon I will say what it is.”
CHAPTER TWO: ”What is it?” said a woman Heckman had never seen before who happened to be standing next to him. She was extremely beautiful, but wore glasses as a sign of intelligence.
”My name is Desiree Legume,” she said.
Heckman felt he could trust her.
”Look at this!” he said, pointing to the Constitution.
”My God, that’s incredible!” said Desiree. “It’s going to be very surprising when we finally reveal what we’re talking about!”