Like confess that maybe the story they just told was probably not Grapes Of Wrath caliber. I’m sort of new to fiction but I’ve been writing nonfiction professionally for nearly 16 years. At first I wondered “How different can it be?” Even nonfiction articles and books need to have a logical beginning, middle and end. I can totally do this.
At first I suspected that other fiction writers would be flighty and disorganized. I suspected that my personal organizational skills would lend themselves to inventing a wholly innovative approach to fiction writing. I was going to come up with a formula for success
Boy was I wrong. I connected with a network of fiction writers who are fiercely organized; tracking earnings, sales, marketing and even plot lines with spreadsheets. Have I confessed my love of spreadsheets yet? I discovered a culture that admitted “Your first one will suck” and I still tried very hard not to make it suck. I fell in love with my characters and cried as I was writing the climax. The work was emotionally exhausting in a way that nonfiction had never been, but I think I have something I can be proud of.
The key to success, they’re telling me, is to keep on writing and keep on studying. Each one will be better than the one before.
Over the past month I’ve read books designed to train authors to “show don’t tell” and to increase their writing speed. I’ve read about crafting plots and organizing scenes and finding just the right adjective. I’ve also read more romance novels than I did in the previous 20 years and I have to say, it’s a genre that I’ve missed.
And next month I’ll do it all over again. I’ve never been more excited about any career move in my entire life. If you happen to read my first novel, Remember This Moment, I hope you’ll fall in love with the rugged and heartbroken Paul as well as the feisty Jaya. Please be sure to leave a comment and review when the book is released. I’ll be looking to those for guidance as I improve my skills.