February 22, 2018

Road to a Novel # 1: The Author Goes Back to School

August 21, 2013   Paul Plansky

Before tackling Vegas Snap, I had written prolifically as reporter, editor, and market researcher (see tab above, “Meet the Author”). But fiction’s a different animal. You must learn about plot, character, dialog, point of view, style, descriptive narrative, and voice. So I had to go “back to school” to learn the craft of fiction. Attended writer’s workshops, the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference, and a “Blockbuster Plots” seminar.

Also devoured classic books on writing by Natalie Goldberg, Stephen King, and John Gardner, but the best one by far was Walter Mosley’sThis Year You Write Your Novel”  (2007, Little, Brown). Great concise, insightful guidelines in only 103 pages! And during my book’s ongoing writing and revisions, I joined two Writers’ Groups for feedback and encouragement (To find one, just Google “writers groups” in your area or check with your local bookstore or library.)

In future “Road to a Novel” posts, I’ll chat about locating a good editor; plotting, searching for ideas; formulating your theme; doing research; and, among other topics, the crucial choice facing authors: To seek a traditional publisher or to self-publish (Lean how you can do both!).

In another post, I’ll take you inside a Writing/Publishing Workshop led by two living legends among literary agents – Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada. The one-day session was held in Monterey, CA hotel. Owners of the Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency in San Francisco, the married couple dispenses hard earned wisdom about publishing fiction and non-fiction. And you’ll find out why they say, “Now is the best time ever to be a writer!” Stay tuned …

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