Five Things You Should Know About Writing Fiction:
1. Make it accessible – meaning you’re not writing an academic dissertation or a legal brief. You don’t want your readers to have to slog through parts of it.
2. Although it is not poetry, there is a rhythm to it. You will know it when you feel it while writing. It is like great snow skiing; when you feel the rhythm you know you are at a higher level.
3. Pace. I like to build to a crescendo and end the book with a flourish. That happens with pacing…Shorter chapters towards the end. Lots of separate things converging.
4. Leave foreshadowing clues. The reader is compelled to sniff the scent, to want to turn the page, to anticipate foreboding or exhilaration or any number of emotions.
5. Thought provocation. I want my readers to be entertained of course, but more important to me I would like them to become a little better educated for having read my books. Impart some profound wisdom or give great food for thought.
2. What 5 things you should know about developing a plot:
1. Just like preparing yourself to be hired for a job, you must get some experience and education/training. It makes the job much easier if you write about what you know. For example, with my novel, The Tortoise Shell Code - a high-seas crime/legal drama with romance, fisticuffs, prison breaks, revolution, all spiced with bits of a new philosophy - the plot evolved surprisingly easily. I am a trial lawyer, with a specialty of ships and the law of the sea. I’ve, interviewed prisoners in the institutions, trekked the Amazon jungle as well as the Andes, went on real expeditions as legal consultant, scuba dived and snow skied multitudes of places. Wrote the non-fiction work Universal Coopetition, which served as the thought provocation catalyst for the novel The Tortoise Shell Code.
2. But you are not writing an autobiography, you are merely weaving things you know into a story.
3. Know where you want to end up before you start plotting it out.
4. Let the plot out in dribs and drabs. Keep some suspense. Keep the reader’s curiosity piqued. Set up dilemmas to resolve. Keep the diagram to yourself in order to illustrate and resolve dilemmas at or after the climax.
5. Get inside your characters so much so that you want to cry and laugh with them. Sometimes you actually do weep. Try not to do it for example at a library where the patrons might send out the psych team for you. If you find yourself re-reading your manuscript for the pure pleasure of it, you’ve probably written a pretty good work.
Bio: V Frank Asaro for forty years was a gun-slinging trial lawyer, but the stress at times was so excruciating, he would write scraps of fiction in the middle of the night trying to put himself into a zone of peace. He’d get into to a realm away from the back-to-back trials. Often he didn’t remember the next day what he had written. All he knew was that the characters in his scraps sometimes became so real they’d bring forth tears, if you can fathom that. Often, he would switch to composing music and writing lyrics, and inventing too- all to find relief from the combat of never-ending trail work. Disk jockeys across the U.S. played his albums, which were recorded by world-class guitarist Peter Sprague and his group, with Frank occasionally sitting in. For a time he’d played professionally. The albums were under the title This Dream Is Real, Songs of Asaro. Regarding the inventions, they also happened at this time –part of the continuing quest for sanctuary. He holds several patents. But the triumph he most would like to share is inventing an important part of products liability law – the holding of Greenman v. Yuba Power Products. He made that important contribution as a young lawyer-clerk with the California Court of Appeal. The concept later was expanded by the Supreme Court of California, and is now taught in every law school in the English speaking world, including the European Union. He reached the highest lawyer peer review rating by secret ballot, published by Martindale Hubbell, was named Whose Who in American Jurisprudence, and in the world.
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