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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Down to Business

Many of my faithful readers are looking to switch from writing fanffics to writing novels. So let's get straight down to business.

The differences between fanfiction and novels are too numerous to list, because this post would be overly long. Instead I'm taking a different approach. I'm only going to stress the most important differences.

When writing fan fiction, you already have established characters and somewhat of a fan base. Particularly fellow fans of the anime, cartoon, book, or super hero you are writing about.

When writing a novel, you create everything from scratch. You must ceate characters that the readers can connect with. If the readers cannot connect with your characters, then they won't care what happens to your characters. If they don't care what happens, why keep reading?

The ultimate goal of all writers is to keep their readers interested. To do this, we have to create characters that will hold their attention. We want the plot to keep them on the edge of their seats.

Personally, I like to start by creating the main character first and the villain next. From there, I create the world they will exist in.

World building is extremely important and can be tough. You have to create every aspect. Inhabitants, surroundings, society laws, time line. It must be done in a way that seems natural, with nothing forced, or you won't be able to draw the readers into you world.

Often by this point the plot line is already shaping up nicely, at least for me. I like to think of ways to challenge my hero. Several different challenges tend to keep the tension high. Several unexpected twists tend to make things fun for me as a writer. I like surprising my readers, but it has to feel natural, not forced. If it feels forced, it will only confuse the readers.

Too much confusion and they will put the book down and walk away. That is exactly what we want to avoid. Readers who put a book down, often tend to never finish the book. Odds are most likely they won't buy another book from that author either. Lost sales leads to less chance of getting another book contract.

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