How to write a bestseller in one easy step

The road to genius is paved with blatant imitation. Close reading of a great writer’s work takes too long. Sleeping where they slept is icky. The most efficient way to imitate bestselling authors is to smell like them.

There are many writers of flowery prose who reeked to high heaven (looking at you, Michel de Montaigne). The trick is to identify a writer who had a reputation for fragrant phasing and physicality, and then steal their signature scent. To wit: Dorothy Parker.

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