Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Trials of Being a Fiction Writer

With the publication of my fifth novel, I feel as if I can reflect on the trials of being a fiction writer.

First, go to youtube and check out videos on "things people say to writers."  One of them has the s-word in the title but it's pretty true to life.

First, people think that if your character says something, you believe that.  No, that is what the character thinks.  It's not what I think.  If I am going to create believable and interesting characters who drive the story, then they have to be different from me.

People think that they are in your books.  Little pieces of them probably are, but not a particular whole person.   My first character was a composite of four women I knew, but of course they thought it was them in totality.

It's hard to write believable characters if you are an evangelical Christian who goes to a Southern Baptist Church and teach Sunday School.  Your friends get scandalized if you use real language.

You cannot assume your friends will read your book, or at least that they will order it from Amazon.  Try to sell them cheap copies.

It doesn't pay to give away copies.  People don't appreciate what they don't pay for.

It's hard to get people to write reviews on Amazon or GoodReads.  I don't know why, it just is.  

It's a lonely life and you have to sacrifice time at other things; just don't sacrifice your loved ones.  

If you don't spend a lot of time (and I mean a lot) of time meeting and greeting and if you don't have time for that (and I don't), you won't sell many books unless you can find another method.

It's a discouraging life and you must do it because you have stories to get out of your head, good stories to tell.  What defines "good stories," well, is different for everyone. 

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