Back in April, author James Bruno suggested in these pages what he believes are the two essential ingredients for a successful novel. One of these is knowledge of the subject matter. His point is that successful works of fiction utilize characters and story lines that closely resemble reality; in other words, they achieve verisimilitude.
The other critical ingredient lies in crafting a good story. Attorneys have a label for something this obvious: sine qua non; which means the thing speaks for itself. Readers of fiction invariably are in search of a good story. They want to be entertained by the written word. Shallow characters, inadequate descriptive passages, choppy or overly verbose dialog, and weak plots won’t attract large numbers of readers or build a fan base.
With regard to the first point, unless the novel falls into the genres of fantasy, horror, or science fiction, the writer has to create a scenario that could be real. Verisimilitude is achieved when the reader suspends disbelief. This means the writer has to fully understand the subject matter about which he or she is writing. There are a limited number of ways to accomplish this. Continue reading “How “Real” Should A Novel Be? by John Wayne Falbey”
James Bruno is the author of three bestselling political thrillers. He has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, in the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, regional NPR and other national and international media. His spy-mob thriller PERMANENT INTERESTS and CHASM, a thriller about war criminals, have landed simultaneously on Amazon Kindle Bestseller lists, including #1 in Political Fiction and Spy Tales. TRIBE, his latest political thriller, centered on Afghanistan, has also been an Amazon bestseller.
Mr. Bruno served as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State for 23 years. Prior to that, he worked as a military intelligence analyst and as a journalist. His diplomatic assignments have included Cuba, Guantanamo (as liaison with the Cuban military), Pakistan/Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Washington, DC. He has spent ample time at the White House and has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the Secret Service in a presidential protection detail. He also knows the Pentagon, CIA and other foreign affairs agencies well. Based on his experiences, James Bruno’s stories possess an authenticity rarely matched in the political thriller genre.
It is this background as a diplomat, military intelligence officer and journalist that lend an air of verisimilitude to James’ books that the vast majority of his competition lacks. “You are getting a dose of the real thing with James Bruno’s books, not contrived fantasies. I believe this has been a factor in all three of my thrillers becoming Kindle bestsellers and my getting national media exposure on NBC’s Today Show, in the Washington Post and other news outlets – also my landing Stieg Larsson’s agent.” Continue reading “MEET THE AUTHOR: JAMES BRUNO”