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Behind The Fiction, Past
A Fiction Column
By Michael G'Francisco


—It is writing or narrating about imaginary people and happenings in novels, short stories, tales, fables and other prose.  

Anyone can create fiction!  Yes, anyone.  Most fiction is nurtured in dreams or imaginary thoughts.  In some cases, it’s inspired by tearing the fabric of a truth into shreds and selecting a thread to create a best-selling story. 

But, there are other ingredients that are needed to spring forth a successful writer.  A fiction writer needs TALENT (either by nature, which is rare, or by education), PERSEVERANCE (that part of you that never quits) and LUCK (Webster defines it as, that which seems to happen or come to one by chance).  And, by golly, it really takes all three of them to succeed!

The basic fundamental tools a good fiction writer must possess are imagination for plot creation, avid character description, flexible dialogue with tone and the ability to define the market for his work.

A story must have a beginning, middle and an ending.  Yes, I know that sounds quite simple.  Surprise!  A lot of novice writers don’t know where to begin telling a story, or create a juicy or exciting middle, and an ending that leaves a reader satisfied and wanting to read their next novel.

A BEGINNING must lure the reader to want to keep reading each page and mentally caress the words, not shuffle pages to get to the part that the title professed the book to be about.

A suspenseful beginning can pave the road to curiosity.  This will not only help to lure the reader into turning pages, it can also be the “hook” it takes to get an agent. This hook can also aid the agent to convince a publisher to buy the novel.

When a reader’s curiosity is raised, it’s like a food junkie enjoying a good meal; he/she can’t stop until it’s all gone.  One of the ways to raise the curiosity of a reader is through an early introduction of the main character that has a possible flaw in their appearance or a character weakness.  Something they want to overcome.  This can create an emotional connection on the reader’s part to keep turning the pages to find the outcome.

THE MIDDLE should be expressing some challenges or setbacks to deepen the reader’s emotion.  Sometimes it can be a hidden problem that suddenly appears or a twist in the plot.  It should be your written direction to where you wish to lead the reader.  Whatever method is chosen, it should bring more intrigue into the story to further excite the reader’s concern as to what is going to happen next.

THE ENDING is where the story takes on a glow in its summation.  Too many novels fall short and leave the reader empty at the end.  Some common drawbacks are:  hurried endings--don’t write the ending in one or two paragraphs; give the reader something to remember and wish there were more pages, and, loose ends-- be sure you’ve tie together all the threads to the story or plot.  The ending answers all questions and resolves any conflicts or incidents that were placed into the story.


  1. Select a fiction topic or subject carefully.  Research is the key to knowledge of a subject, especially, if trying to coax fiction out of a legend or fable.
  2. Create interesting and unique characters.  Take the time to imagine a character.  Sometimes one can find a person who fits; maybe it’s a friend or acquaintance.  Study their characteristics, habits, speaking structure, hobbies, dress, etc.  These elements of a person will assist in the creation of a protagonist or subordinating characters in a story.
  3. A story’s plot needs to be carefully thought out.  Most writers contend that there are three basic patterns of plots:  the “happy ending”, the “unhappy ending” and the “literary” plot.  It isn’t meant here to imply that there aren’t many other basic plots.
  4. When a writer’s creative juices kick-in, he/she should write and keep writing without worrying about editing, just let it flow and clean it up later.

It is possible in fiction for a writer to find that the end can be just the beginning and present a joy that projects the possibilities of creating a new drama, just waiting to leap upon the pages of another novel.

When it comes to fiction writing, it has been said, “There is no reality except the one contained within us.”  That is why so many people enjoy losing themselves in the pages of fiction, whether it is a romance novel or a fast moving action novel.  They take the stories and action images for reality and never allow the world outside to assert itself.

Now, please go softly into the night.  mgf

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