TL;DR – We’ve got the Academy Awards formula right over here.
A decade and 18 novels (of which 11 have been adapted into movies) later, I still don’t get what’s with this whole Nicholas Sparks thing BUT I think I may have finally found the formula to creating a Sparks success.
1) First, set it in North Carolina
50 states in the US of A but all the star-crossed lovers somehow all ended up in this southeastern state.
(There’s even a 3-day Nicholas Sparks Tour of the North Carolina Coast that you can take.)
2) Involve a tough-but-sensitive military man
3) Who falls in love with the girl-next-door who has a broken heart/ afraid to love / longing for romance
aka, a woman with serious issues.
They fall in love (obviously…) but then,
4) Disaster strikes
Like 9/11 in Dear John, the hurricane in Nights in Rodanthe and the psychotic husband who shows up and starts burning stuff down in Safe Haven.
5) But they all end up sad-but-stronger after the tragedy
Don’t forget to throw in a couple of lines that will eventually end up as #lovegoals all over Instagram.
6) Be sure to go to the SAME poster designer every single time