Thursday, August 3, 2017

There are rules for writing fiction, but nobody knows what they are.

There are no hard and fast rules for writing fiction, or if there are some, nobody knows what they are.

There are many precedents, created by the millions of writers who went before you.

We no longer call them rules for writing fiction. Instead, I’m sharing with you the methods other writers have discovered, by trial and error. Successful methods which have resulted in well-written novels by those writers.

In my research, I looked at 100 Kindle and CreateSpace novels. More than 60% of the books were virtually unreadable. Apparently, some writers are writing novels before learning how to write them. Readers complained that the books had POV problems, misspelled words, inferior character development, and pointless plots.

Read these short excerpts from reviews of novels now available on Amazon.

1. “Mistakes all over and immature writing. Head-hopping viewpoint. The story line was completely disjointed. Characters were forgettable.”

2. “Spelling, grammar and continuity errors abound and the protagonist was about as likable as a disease. I DO need to CARE about the protagonist in a book.”

3. “The characters don't feel ‘real.’ I'm frustrated with the heroine of this book. She has no backbone nor, apparently, a brain in her head. No one could be this gullible. Sure it's fiction, but couldn’t the story be somewhat realistic?”

Those reviews came from people who wanted the books to be good, or at least readable.

Since anyone can write and publish a novel today, that literary democracy causes lots of bad writing to be published. However, you can buck this trend by writing the best novel you can. That’s why you may want to visit my FREE blog,

Can you write a novel and publish it yourself?
Yes, of course, you can. If you strive to write the best novel you can and rewrite it carefully, you can make lots of money with a good book. The market needs your well-written novel. Quality rises to the top in publishing.

You’re scared to write a novel.
Of course you are. Writing is a dangerous profession. (Bullfighting is more dangerous but at least the bull doesn't try to rewrite your book.)

Writing a novel takes an investment of your time and faith in your ability. Fear and anxiety are natural emotions for a novelist, and these feelings are not unique to beginners.

Will you look deep inside your soul and find nothing worthwhile? (Like the great line from the Broadway musical, A Chorus Line: “I dug right down to the bottom of my soul, and I found nothing.”)

Many writers beat themselves up because the first words they write look dumb. Well, nobody writes perfectly the first time, which is why I call your first draft the secret draft; nobody gets to see it but you. Write anything that comes to mind. Since you are the only one to see it, you can go down the wrong road and even back yourself into corners difficult to get out of.

Millions of people cannot write a simple sentence. You can. You are a writer. Some days you’ll write badly, some days you’ll write well. It’s unlikely there will ever be a day you cannot write at all. It’s okay if you're scared. We all are.

In 30 years. I have written six novels, which sold a combined 540,000 copies. My purpose in providing my free blog is to teach you how to write a GOOD novel for self-publication.

Lary Crews