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



Talent is subjective. This author is by no means an authority on the subject but, in his humble way, will try to explain what it takes to be a writer.

First, one must scratch the itch of that nagging thought, can I write a book? Just about everyone has a story or two to tell about an experience or a happening in his or her life. But, the question remains, how to begin to relate a story in words that will excite a reader juices and want him or her to keep reading until the very last word, set the book down and smile in satisfaction. That takes knowledge and time to develop one’s writing style,

Very few writers are born with the ability to be a story teller. It seems that some writers are born with the natural flair to spin a yarn. Articulation in speech, at the precise moment, allows the listener to linger for a brief second wondering what is coming next. A writer must learn to be able to present the same element in writing a story scene. A novice writer should really first study how to structure a book before attempting to write one.

Sometimes an avid reader might think writing is easy because it takes a few characters, a plot, maybe a sticky situation and the hero rides off into the sunrise with the girl. Well, hells bells, it’s not. It takes plenty of time with enormous effort and, most of all, a stick-to-it attitude even before an accomplished writer puts one word on paper.

A novice writer should stay with what he or she enjoys reading. If one enjoys reading a certain genre, it stands to reason they will be quite familiar with that genre. Once a novice chooses a genre that’s when the real work begins.

A good place to start is with an outline of a book. There are many to choose from, such as the one by K.M. Weiland. She is a natural born writer and is willing to help other writers become good story tellers. She believes that by putting her fingers on a keyboard it brings her freedom to be anywhere in time or create the persona of anyone she wants to be. She has a strong desire to help writers become successful authors. Her tutoring will cover: selecting a writing space or area, scheduling your work hours, researching your selected genre, creating a concept, organizing a plot, developing characters, time periods, scene settings and a great deal more.

Many successful authors actually create their characters from real life people and fold into their story real events. These will help to put a realism into a story’s plot.

Also, a very important factor in a novice writer’s beginning is the use of “words”. Strengthening one’s vocabulary is never a waste of time. During a recent research for a fiction article, I stumbled across the website It offered an Official SAT Study Guide and there I found ten groups with ten words in each group. These groups of words can help a novice writer in many ways. Using the right adjective to describe a person, thing or place gives strength to your book’s sentence structures.

Alas, there are so many more ways to create a fiction or non-fiction book. I personally like selecting a particular genre and then read all I can about it. This helps me mold my main characters, create visual scenes, and select a time period in which I can formulate a plot.

The name escapes me of the author who said, “Write, write and keep writing until you run out of words. Edited out the garbage words later.” What he meant was to keep your thoughts flowing.

Even after you think you’ve just penned the next best seller and begin querying agents or publishers a naughty word will pop-up. It’s “rejection”. And boy, after a half-dozen or so, it puts a dent in one’s ego. But, after a while, you finally get the idea that one in every ten thousand books by a novice writer gets published.

You need creditability. And, just how do you get it? The best way is to attend workshops and writer’s conventions. Several decades ago a novice writer could begin writing short stories for magazines to gain credit as a writer. But, the Internet changed that approach. Today, there are excellent workshops that will focus on how a novice writer can use the Internet to establish and build credibility in the world of publishing. These workshops introduce a writer to a variety of avenues to accomplish this. Their focus is also on how to help a writer get their work to market and beyond.

There are several ways a novice writer can get his or her manuscript into a book. Just google the words “Book Publishers’ and a writer can find an assortment, almost beyond one’s imagination, for a variety of publishing costs.

There are even a few that offer the tools for you to create your book such as, Print On Demand (POD). These are book printers that will put your book into any format and size, then allow a writer to buy one or as many copies as they wish at a discounted price. But, what you send them is what you get, mistakes and all the typos. Of course, they offer other services to assist in fine tuning-up your work for additional fees.

The most sensible approach, if you can afford it, is to have your work edited by a professional. There are from three to five types of edits. The main three seem to be:

Developmental is assistance in concept, contents, tone and overall presentation.

Line Editing is where the excessive repetitive parts are cut out to bring the work to a refined clarity, consistency and readability.

Copy Editing is line editing checking for mistakes or inconsistencies in grammar, punctuation, style and format.

Now, once these edits are done, a careful writer will have his or her book reviewed. This process is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. This website, since 1998, has been dedicated to reviewing author’s works. It just might be prudent to have one of our reviewers read your work.

After the trials and tribulations of all of the above, the next step in becoming a successful author is marketing your work. This can be in the form of a website, writing a blog, book signings, visiting local book clubs and joining writer’s forums.

In conclusion, the staff of wish that all novice writers fulfill their dream of a best seller. Remember, read, read and read some more, than write, write and keep on writing.


Now, go softly into the night. mgf

Comments always welcome

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How to Publish your book