Have you ever had a novel idea, literally? Penning a novel can be exhilarating, exasperating, full of angst and yet undeniably gratifying. Characters come to life that were once only a figment of your imagination. Their lives and thoughts pave the way toward an ending that leaves even the author either happy, looking forward to what could happen next, or sad – wishing the story didn’t end a certain way. I, as a writer, love to spin tales in a way I see unfolding in real life. I too could be sad about something happening, but because that’s the only possible approach, it needs to be written that way.
I’ve asked myself many times, “What makes a great fiction writer?” The answer I always come up with is that the story has to be believable. Facts have to add up. Sequences of events have to follow a real-life timeline to perfection. Can you relate to the characters? In some way you would have emotional ties to them. One can love or hate a character. Do you call certain characters names (in your head as you’re reading a book) and judge them as the story unfolds? Of course you do. Now you’ve become emotionally vested, secretly hoping things turn out like you want them to (never mind how the author intended).
This spinning of a tale makes a great writer.
Some of my favorite author’s (fiction and non-fiction) over the years have captivated me in such a way, that I hated when the book ended. Growing up it was Laura Ingalls Wilder who penned her life in children’s books known as ‘Little House on the Prairie’. But not all (loveable) books have sequels. (And shame on those authors’s who decide to pick up where another has left off.) Case in point: Margaret Mitchell was a remarkable author. Her tiny home in Atlanta, GA was amazing to walk through. Her writing desk, small and simple, still held the pen she used to write her book. Here was born one of the most amazing pieces of literature of all time: Gone with the Wind. Yet decades later someone decided to write the sequel as they thought Mitchell would have written it. I read it knowing it wasn’t going to capture Mitchell’s style. Needless to say, it was a disappointment. Some books while leaving you wondering what could’ve been are sometimes best left that way.
As I focus on my own novel it’s clear to me this story is very poignant. I live vicariously through the main character and let her pretty much tell the tale. I hope you open the first page, become emotional attached, as I have, to your favorite characters and live this story with them.