Writing Fiction For Dummies
So you want to write a novel? Great! That’s a worthy goal, no matter what your reason. But don’t settle for just writing a novel. Aim high. Write a novel that you intend to sell to a publisher. Writing Fiction for Dummies is a complete guide designed to coach you every step along the path from beginning writer to royalty-earning author. Here are some things you’ll learn in Writing Fiction for Dummies:
- Strategic Planning: Pinpoint where you are on the roadmap to publication; discover what every reader desperately wants from a story; home in on a marketable category; choose from among the four most common creative styles; and learn the self-management methods of professional writers.
- Writing Powerful Fiction: Construct a story world that rings true; create believable, unpredictable characters; build a strong plot with all six layers of complexity of a modern novel; and infuse it all with a strong theme.
- Self-Editing Your Novel: Psychoanalyze your characters to bring them fully to life; edit your story structure from the top down; fix broken scenes; and polish your action and dialogue.
- Finding An Agent and Getting Published: Write a query letter, a synopsis, and a proposal; pitch your work to agents and editors without fear.
Writing Fiction For Dummies takes you from being a writer to being an author. It can happen—if you have the talent and persistence to do what you need to do.
Part I: Getting Ready to Write Fiction 7
Chapter 1: Fiction Writing Basics 9
Chapter 2: What Makes a Great Story? 21
Chapter 3: Finding Your Audience and Category 37
Chapter 4: Four Ways to Write a Great Novel 59
Chapter 5: Managing Your Time . . . and Yourself 71
Part II: Creating Compelling Fiction 85
Chapter 6: Building Your Story World: The Setting for Your Story 87
Chapter 7: Creating Compelling Characters 107
Chapter 8: Storyline and Three-Act Structure: The Top Layers of Your Plot 135
Chapter 9: Synopsis, Scene List, and Scene: Your Middle Layers of Plot 157
Chapter 10: Action, Dialogue, and More: The Lowest Layer of Your Plot 177
Chapter 11: Thinking Through Your Theme 203
Part III: Editing and Polishing Your Story and Characters 215
Chapter 12: Analyzing Your Characters 217
Chapter 13: Scrutinizing Your Story Structure 239
Chapter 14: Editing Your Scenes for Structure 259
Chapter 15: Editing Your Scenes for Content 273
Part IV: Getting Published 291
Chapter 16: Getting Ready to Sell Your Book: Polishing and Submitting 293
Chapter 17: Approaching Agents and Editors 315
Part V: The Part of Tens 327
Chapter 18: Ten Steps to Analyzing Your Story 329
Chapter 19: Ten Reasons Novels Are Rejected 337
Peter Economy of La Jolla, California, is a bestselling author with 11 For Dummies titles under his belt, including two second editions and one third edition. Peter is coauthor of Writing Children’s Books For Dummies, Home-Based Business For Dummies, Consulting For Dummies, Why Aren’t You Your Own Boss?, The Management Bible, and many more books. Peter also serves as Associate Editor of Leader to Leader, the Apex Award-winning journal of the Leader to Leader Institute. Check out Peter’s Web site at www.petereconomy.com.
Have an idea for a story? Do you dream of seeing your name on bookstore shelves? Writing fiction (whether a story, a play, or a novel) takes talent, discipline, and research. For beginners aspiring to greatness and more experienced writers looking to learn new techniques, there’s a book from the trusty For Dummies® series that may be able to help.
Writing Fiction For Dummies (Wiley, 978-0-470-53070-2, Dec. 2009) covers the entire publishing process, from crafting a unique manuscript to finding an agent. But what some forget is that one of the keys to writing fiction is reading fiction, and there is a difference between reading for enjoyment and reading as an exercise in creativity. This book will teach you how to effectively read in order to write.
The book provides advice on:
How and what to research
Planning a daily writing schedule
Constructing believable characters
The importance of engaging dialogue and voice
Building a well-structured plot
How to overcome writer's block
How to structure, format, and present a proposal or manuscript
Tips for editing a manuscript from top to bottom
Business practices between authors, agents, publishers, and booksellers
Writing Fiction For Dummies can take you from being a writer to being an author. It can happen if you have the talent and persistence to do what you need to do.
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