An often asked question.

One of the questions that is often asked of authors by those that wish to become one themselves is: how do you learn the techniques, the craft, of writing?

Well, that depends on what type of book you are interested in writing. Are you interested in romance novels? Or maybe sci-fi rocks your boat. Do you like a good mystery? How about a good Western? And then, of course, there is nonfiction, but that is not what this blog is about. I wrote nonfiction for years, because to me it was an exceptionally easy endeavor. Of course, you must, in nonfiction, know your subject well!

Many community colleges and universities have courses on English literature where you learn all the intricacies of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and many other aspects of the English language.

These courses teach heavily on the proper use and writing of language. And then there are classes on fiction writing. And this is what you’ll be learning in this blog.

A side note: my cousin married a man we used to call the perpetual student when he was younger and they were first married. Later he became a literature professor.

He taught in many prestigious universities and was renowned in his ability to teach his chosen subject. One day, he offered to edit one of my novels by the name of “A Transgression in Time.”

About halfway through his editing, I realized that his proper English would not be appropriate to the novel. And it was at this time I asked him a question that I had been wondering about since I was a young child.

The question was if he had ever written a novel, or any book from cover to cover for that matter. I remember the look he gave me which was one of bemusement, when he said, “Never have, and never will.”

And in his simple answer, a truth was made very apparent. Just because a person has a PhD in literature doesn’t mean he or she knows what they’re talking about when it comes to fiction!

So, how do you learn to write fiction? You learn by the simple act of reading the type of novels that you want to write. But I caution you here. Do not read all the books that your favorite author has written. Read varied works on the same genre you are interested in from many authors. You don’t want to become a clone of one author. You want to develop your own talent. The act of reading many different authors will help you to find the style that fits you so you can develop your own writing style.


Leave a Reply