I don’t know about anyone else’s process, but I’m a pantser, so when I start writing a new novel, I have a few ideas about where it’s going, but it’s not all planned out by any means. That includes the characters. Generally I will start with a few bullet points of the action, the twists and turns of the story, but the characters often are close to a blank slate at the first. They always evolve as I write, some faster than others. And they very often surprise me.
A while back I read Stephen King’s On Writing (yes, I know, I’m probably the last person on the planet to read it), and he talked quite a bit about being true to the characters. At one point, he described his process like this: Continue reading “Writing Fiction: To Thine Own Character Be True”
by Bill Stephens
Okay, I’ll admit it. I lack what it takes to write serious literary fiction. Stephen King settled that issue for me in his book, On Writing, when he said, “You will never be a great writer unless you are born with it.” Great writers must be passionate about something, right? I’m only passionate about things I shouldn’t eat or drink.
So the arrogance of someone so lacking as myself, offering up a thesis that literary fiction doesn’t sell and inferring that cognitive critters might solve that problem, is not lost on me. But even the most calloused devotees of esoteric fiction among publishing gurus, are hard pressed to make the case that a Nobel Prize winner will outsell a good murder mystery, thriller, vampire, S&M, or diet book. Continue reading “Propping Up Literary Genre Fiction Sales”
Welcome to The Learning Curve. I am chronicling my journey as a new writer in hopes of inspiring you to put that bag of chips down, step away from the television, and tell the world a good story.
Essentials for a Writer
A writer has a toolbox that he or she works from. Those of you who have read On Writing by Stephen King or similar books on the subject will recognize the phrase. Our toolboxes contain the basics such as vocabulary and grammar. Eventually we will add style and voice to it, thereby customizing and making the toolbox our own. When we use the tools of our trade frequently, there’s little chance of them becoming rusty. Continue reading “Essentials for a Writer”
Indies Unlimited reader J. Johnson Higgins asks, “If you are an author and your writing is different from your other professional work, what are some best practices for keeping your identities under control so that they don’t harm one another? Fun examples: It’s cool if you’re a forensic psychologist that writes murder mysteries (everybody loves that) but if you’re a school guidance counselor that wrote a fiction novel titled “I Slept with Your Mom then Killed Her!” I imagine it gets really strange when it comes time to promote.” Continue reading “You Asked For It: J. Johnson Higgins”