How “Real” Should A Novel Be? by John Wayne Falbey

Author John Wayne Falbey
Author John Wayne Falbey

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”

You Asked for It: Melody Stiles

A while back, Indies Unlimited ran a post asking readers if there were topics they would like to see discussed here. The one I chose to address comes from Melody Stiles, who asks:

“Why is there still such a stigma, even among writers, about self-publishing?”

I’d figured I would take a stab at this one, as I can admit “self-publishing” does carry a bit of a stigma for me, or at least it does under that name. Continue reading “You Asked for It: Melody Stiles”

Reinventing Success

Are you tired of laboring in obscurity? Maybe you’ve been following some bad advice. A lot of authors will tell you, “Don’t write for an audience. Write the book you want to read.”

That’s great advice if you don’t want an audience. If you want one, you have to write for them. Wake up, Skippy. Writing is a business.

It’s a long standing tradition in the business world to take two things that already exist, slap them together and call them something new. Both steam and boats had already been invented by the time Eli Wallach got the idea to put them together to invent the airplane. Continue reading “Reinventing Success”