Once upon a time a wannabe novelist finds a magic lantern. He rubs it and a genie appears. He had heard about the writer who asked to be a bestseller and that genie turned that writer into a book, so he thought he should try a different tack.
Instead, he asks his genie to speak to a bestselling fiction writer.
“It will take all three of your wishes to summon a person for you to talk to. If I do that, you will only get to ask this writer three questions.”
The wannabe writer sighs and nods his head. The genie waves his arms and the bestselling novelist appears.
The wannabe writer thinks for a moment, then asks: “What does it take to write a bestseller?”
The fiction writer says, “A novel, usually.”
The wannabe writer considers objecting, but sees the sharp look in the genie’s eyes and decides to move on to his next question. This time he tries to be clever, just like the novelist, and hopes to catch the novelist off-guard. “Okay, what was novel about your fiction writing?”
“That I wrote it,” said the novelist.
Frustrated, the wannabe writer tries to think up one question that will help him. Finally, he asks: “How long should a bestseller be?”
“Long enough,” the writer says, and then disappears.