Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Christine Verstraete - Nonfiction to Fiction
Making the Switch from Nonfiction to Fiction
Being trained in journalism is a good thing for writing nonfiction, but it can be a bad habit to overcome when it comes to writing fiction. Yes, I had an advantage in terms of knowing sentence structure, grammar, etc, but fiction has its own style.
Early writing partners will attest to my complaints that I just didn't get it. I didn't think I could make the transition. I don't know why. As I mostly wrote for newspapers, I was used to "just the facts." Stringent writing. No exaggeration.
Then one day it clicked.
I practiced. I kept writing even when I read other "better" works that made me want to throw in the towel. I started with short stories and kept writing, going on to completing a children's mystery and an adult mystery.
Sure, I still sometimes struggle. (Who doesn't?) Sure, there are still authors far better than I am, whom I read for enjoyment and to look at their writing style.
Look around and you'll always find someone thinner, richer, better looking, more talented, etc. So? The bottom line: You can't let surroundings, outside criticism, self-doubt or anything else stop you from reaching your goal.
That's the real lesson I learned in transitioning from one writing genre to another: just keep writing.
The old adage, practice makes perfect, really holds true. Like with anything, you can't improve, you can't build on what you know, you can't change or grow, unless you keep at it.
Even later when you're sending out a novel or stories and still getting no's (yes, many writers (except maybe ultra-famous ones) still get rejections), the temptation to quit is strong. Discouragement weighs heavy. It's easy to get depressed and doubt your abilities. Especially with a novel, it can be a long, tedious process from first draft to finding a publisher or agent, and acceptance. You go through all the stages of grief and despair.
Making the transition and finding your own writing "voice," does come over time. Yes, some writers have quick successes. Some take longer to peak or like me, are "late bloomers."
That's okay. Writing is not a race. There isn't a timetable. You can start at any age. The only requirement: keep going. Be the Energizer Bunny. Write until you sign The End. Write and submit until someone says yes, then start all over again.
Thanks for letting me meet your blog visitors! Any questions, or anyone want to share the story behind their first publishing success (or rejection?)
* eBooks page
* Searching For A Starry Night on Kindle,
**CONTEST: Anyone commenting on any of the blog stops on the tour can win:
* One person who comments on any of the blog tour stops will win a free Kindle copy of Searching for a Starry Night. (You can download Kindle for PC free here.)
* One person will also win a miniaturized dollhouse collector's edition of the first chapter from the first print edition, made by miniaturist LeeAnn Borgia. See myblog for links and photo.
** To celebrate the revised Searching for a Starry Night, one person will win a copy of the new print version when it is available.
Blog Tour Schedule:
Thurs, 7/22: Acme Authors Link - Real vs. Fictional Friends
Mon, 7/26: Morgan Mandel's Double M blog = Dogs and Such
Tues, 7/27: Killer Hobbies with Camille Minichino - Crafts and Writing, what comes first?
Weds, 7/28: Marian Allen- Talking about Writing
Thurs, 7/29: Helen Ginger, Straight from Hel - Getting Kindleized
Fri, 7/30: J.E. Taylor's blog – Writer's Quiz and Other Stuff
Mon, 8/2: Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers - craft how to with Anastasia Pollack – Writing and Crafts: Make Easy Miniature Cloth Decorations
Tues, 8/3: L. Diane Wolfe, "Spunk on a Stick" – Making the Switch from Nonfiction to Fiction