Who here likes to play God? Do you enjoy making your characters dance like a puppet on a string? Or do you agonize over every twist of the screw you make that ratchets the tension? If you answered yes to the puppeteer role, you probably like writing in the third-person omniscient point of view.
Every author has a unique voice. It's just a matter of finding it. In this article, fantasy writer Kyle Massa offers his tips on how to discover your authorial voice.
I have known my cowriter for six years. It’s a long story full of coincidences and serendipity, but it completely changed my writing process. I rely on her in so many ways. We both wrote on an anonymous writing website where we worked on stories under pseudonyms. My cowriter and I met in the typical way: she reviewed my chapter, and out of common courtesy, I reviewed hers in return. We liked each other’s work, so we continued to follow and review, and we eventually started private messaging. Even then, we mostly talked about our writing, but over time, we started getting to know each other beyond our pseudonyms.
Are you trying to fit into a genre or sub-genre because it's popular right now? That's like trying to fit into a political party when your philosophy is somewhere in the middle. It's hard to find the right fit in either party, right? Maybe it's time you created your own sub-genre or genre. Look at what *Bridget Jones's Diary* did for chick lit. And what *The Hunger Games* did for YA dystopian. And I'm still not sure how to categorize Jodi Picoult's novels. If you look up the genres of her books, you'll find "Genre: Fiction + Literature; Sub-Genre: Literary or Contemporary." Huh? Nonetheless, she's created her own space on the best seller list.
An allegory is a story that evokes two separate meanings. The first meaning is the story's surface, like characters and plot, the stuff that goes into every story. But at a much deeper level, an allegory has a symbolic, heavy meaning. What allegories come to mind? Maybe _The Lord of the Flies_; _The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe_; _Moby Dick_; or _Pilgrim's Progress_?
"Write what you know" has been around forever. Some attribute it to Mark Twain and others to Hemingway. Regardless of who came up with this entreaty, my writing would be middle-class, ho-hum if I had to stick with only writing what I've experienced. Isn't that what research is for, right?
Your antagonist can make the difference between a ho-hum novel and a break-out one. A fully realized villain is someone who shows us parts of ourselves in his or her makeup. If you can connect in some human way with the antagonist, it's going to bring up all kinds of tension for readers.
Very occasionally some exceptional writers can get away with shifting Point of View (POV) between two characters within the same sentence. Most of us, however, should avoid this kind of head-hopping. Where Faulkner and Joyce are masters at POV shifting (and they make it seem so effortless), here are a few rules the rest of us should follow when shifting between characters.
So you are ready to write your novel. Excellent. Are you prepared? The last thing you want when you sit down to write your first draft is to lose momentum. Have you figured out the key traits of your characters so that you know how they will act (and react) in each scene? Have you thought through the climax of your narrative so that you can lay all the groundwork to get there? Have you researched the setting of your story so you can make it feel authentic? Use this guide before you start writing to work out your narrative arc, plan out your key plot points, flesh out your characters, and begin to build your world. Then, when you begin your writing journey, you will have a map to follow along the way.