So You Want to Write A Story

Here at Expert Publishing, we often get calls from authors who’ve written fiction and are looking for a publisher.

We have published fiction under our imprint et al. Publishing, but we have to absolutely love the story to publish it. Why? Because people don’t purchase fiction the way they purchase nonfiction.

If you don’t believe me, make a visual study of your big chain bookstore. Estimate what percentage of that expensive real estate is dedicated to fiction and what percentage to nonfiction. They use the majority of their precious shelf space to hold what sells–nonfiction.

Another test is your own behavior when someone asks to borrow a novel you’ve read versus a nonfiction book you’ve read. You probably don’t hesitate to pass along the novel, but tend to not let go of the nonfiction book. Every book you pass along is a book that doesn’t earn money for the author.

Still, authors are in love with the idea of writing fiction, so here’s a tip on where to start.

Start with what you’re interested in–it could be a place, it could be a character, or it could be an incident. All are equally good places to begin.

Remember those old open-ended journalist questions from high school English class? Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

Once you’ve decided your starting point for your story, brush off those open-ended questions and challenge yourself. Be sure you journal your answers so you don’t forget them.

  • What is the story about?
  • Who is the story about?
  • Why are the characters in the story (their purpose should always be to further the story along)?
  • Where does the story occur (setting)?
  • When does the story occur (time)?
  • How can the story be told best (first person point of view, third person)?

Now that you know writing fiction isn’t your best option for making money, if you still want to do it, there’s nothing stopping you from getting started. Happy writing!

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