Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 03/06/15


This month I want to especially encourage my Fiction writer friends.  A very famous author and professor—S.I. Hayakawa—once said, “Fiction is a tool to increase one’s experience of life experiences.”  I wholeheartedly agree.  I’m just now realizing (in my adult years) that the main reason I’ve always enjoyed reading books of fiction is because I learn so much—without the tedious work and/or study of history, psychology, sociology, cultures, governments and laws, etc.  One well written Fiction Book exposes me to all those elements of life, expanding my knowledge and often adding the component of mystery or adventure.

It seems that I have very little time for pleasure reading these days, so I’m becoming quite selective in what books I purchase, not wanting to be disappointed in them.  If you’ve read previous blogs, you’re probably aware that I’m a big fan of author Lloyd C. Douglas, most specifically his novel THE ROBE. From the very first page I walked back in time and became part of the events in the lives of those characters.  The first time I opened this book I wasn’t far from my teen years and immediately identified with the main character’s little sister.  She (and I) matured together, dealing with lost loved ones, questions about “proprieties,” ethics, faith, war and much more—all elements pertinent to my own present-day life.

For the Fiction/Science Fiction enthusiasts, another book that I would re-read IF I had the time is titled The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.  The basic info statement about it reads: “In 3016, the 2nd Empire of Man spans hundreds of star systems…. Intelligent beings are finally found from the Mote, an isolated star in a thick dust cloud. The ancient civilization (at least one million years old) are welcoming, kind, yet evasive, with a dark problem they have not solved in over a million years.”

BOTH books present readers with “real life” experiences IN unique settings of time and place.  Although the plots of these stories may seem dramatically different, they are basically quite similar.  But we won’t discuss that today.  Instead, I offer you the following Creative Writing for Fiction Readers pointers for your consideration.

  1. Does your novel immediately engage the reader in the mind-set and emotions of the characters?
  2. Are you providing enough background information (woven throughout the pages) that allows readers to understand why the characters DO what they do?
  3. Can readers describe the relationship dynamics between characters (friendships, siblings, marriages, co-workers, etc.)?
  4. Fiction readers want to know the characters well enough so that they can form an opinion about who they are and whether (or not) they admire them, dislike them, respect them or want to leave them on a deserted island somewhere because they are not fit for human companionship. Are your characters that well-defined?
  5. Do the characters—at least the main characters—evolve during the timeframe of your novel? (Suggestion: Watch the TV series Downton Abbey and observe the personalities as the development of these characters unfold.)
  6. Will your readers be able to discern whether a character’s actions were justified or unwarranted?
  7. Will your readers be able to “live” the lives of these characters?

Writing Fiction novels is quite possibly one of the most enjoyable of writing careers.  The character types you create will come alive in the minds of your reading Fans and bring you—Author! Author!—acclaim in the publishing and literary realms.  Film makers are also actively seeking the amazing characters only you can write-into-reality.

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

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