05/07/2013 07:35 am ET Updated Jul 07, 2013

How You Can Write The Next 'Da Vinci Code': Eight Crucial Steps Dan Brown Followed To Worldwide Success


Dan Brown didn't just sit down one day and decide to write Inferno or The Da Vinci Code. He approached the task in a methodical, logical manner. The rest, as they say, was history.

Many aspiring novelists believe that all they have to do to have the next New York Times bestseller spring from their heads is to put Butt In Chair and crank away at the computer.

Of course, sticking to a regular writing schedule is an important part of writing a novel -- or any article or book, for that matter -- but as Dan Brown has proven, taking the time to carefully plot out your storyline, setting, and characters in advance can make all the difference. After all, his first three novels sold poorly when they were first published, and when it was clear that no publisher was willing to sign an unknown money-losing novelist, Brown decided to go for broke in planning The Da Vinci Code. And as we know, the rest is history.

Here, excerpted from Dan Brown: The Unauthorized Biography ($14.99, St. Martin's Griffin), is priceless advice for any writer, whether you're aiming to write a best-seller like Inferno or your debut thriller.

Eight Steps To Writing Like Dan Brown