The other day someone asked me what new projects I was working on currently. I sort of laughed as my project list is never-ending. I looked at my Pressbook.com dashboard to look at exactly how many “book” projects I have started. WAY too many. Oh if I only had all the time to just sit and write. Any writer out there can tell you that writing, like any other chore, is a time consuming, sometimes tedious task.
I have contemplated which I think is more difficult, writing fiction or non-fiction. Writing fiction was fun. I was creating characters, personalities, and underlying deep-seeded messages. It became work when the subplot became a tangled web of suspense and surprises. Non-fiction is more black and white. They are both difficult and simple in their own ways. If you are writing non-fiction you may have a lot of research to back up your findings. Many people “think” they are writing non-fiction, but they are really writing their life memoir. It’s true. Go look up any self-help author and dig a little. Are they able to write intelligently without including their own personal life experiences, opinions and thoughts, … or are they citing other people’s work?
So to answer the earlier question, what projects am I working on … too many. Am I currently writing? Yes and no. I am not writing any manuscripts and unfortunately Angel Academy has not picked up at book 2 just as of yet. My guardians tell me to be patient and the right moment will hit me and like the first book it will be done in record time. I’m alright with that. If you didn’t know, the first book was channeled to me by angels and was completed in just 25 days. I should have a scheduled “writing” time like I did when I was working on A.A., but I don’t. I think all writers will agree with me when I say you really have to be in the right frame of thought to start creating.
One of the things I encourage other fiction writers to do is keep a 3 ring notebook that has characters divided into sections. If you have just one main character then things are a little easier. In the fiction world this is where you really do get to play “make believe”. You have to be able to intelligently discuss your character and everything about him/her. Imagine you are talking to a director of a movie and you need to help cast the perfect person for your main character. In your mind, he/she should easily appear like magic and talk to you, with you, just like a real person. Ask yourself, what are your character’s major flaws or weakness? What will be the downfall? Will your character be good or bad? What morale challenges are you going to throw at him/her that will enchant your reader to fall in love with or hate the character? I also tell authors that if they are writing fiction, that one day you might actually get to meet someone who is cast as that character in a movie. The more in-depth you can get with your characters the better.
One of my favorite story-telling tricks/tactics to drive readers deeper into the plot is by introducing stories within stories. The deeper you can pull your reader the more likely they are going to stick with the book and finish it, and hopefully recommend it. So what do I feel is one of the best techniques? Why that is super simple. Your character needs to have a deep, dark secret. Voila! Your reader is more likely to want to know what that secret is. So now you as the reader are hooked, and you want to know more. If you watched the last Star Wars movie then you know exactly what I am talking about as far as writing goes. How many questions are left unanswered? If you want to string your readers along even further you don’t answer them and instead introduce more clues to the initial dilemma. The secret. There are other tactics, such as killing the parents at an early age, losing a spouse/child, but not saying the how, when, why and so on.
Most important when writing long fiction, such as a novel, is to remember to keep things entertaining. If there are parts that seem to drag on, then you will lose your readers. I can think of several books that I just couldn’t finish. Most people read for entertainment or for learning purposes. If you can do both at the same time, then hats off to that writer.
So to wrap things up on this article, if you are a writer, published author, aspiring someday writer/author, then this might have helped motivate you to write your best work ever. I personally think that everyone has a story inside of them, … just waiting to explode into an imagination of entertainment. I know I need to sit down one day and write my own auto-biography. It actually is pretty fascinating and many times can lead to all nighters of me just talking. My author website and my Facebook page are the only places where it is partially documented. One day when I am dead, people will say “Aaron M. Stephens? He was the author of Angel Academy, among many other pieces.”