Get Your Writing Noticed: Writing fiction for the 21st century
The first thing you have to do to get your fiction noticed is to write in a style that is up to date.
I read a novel from a hundred years ago a while back and after page one I wanted to throw it away.
The style was long-winded. Every sentence had thirty words. I could imagine the lives people lived back then, when the next interruption would be the bell for lunch, two hours from now.
Readers these days live in a world of constant interruption.
Media, mobiles and madness lure people away from books all the time. Our job as writers is to provide fiction that can be assimilated between other tasks.
In order to achieve the goal of writing in an up to date style I suggest you consider the following four characteristics of compelling early 21st century fiction:
Accuracy. Accuracy is now realistically attainable for fiction writers. We can find out how the Welsh valleys look in December, how hot Paris is in the Spring and listen to the sound of a wren whenever we want because of the internet. Flights of fancy are good, at times, but reality has a power that can be used for good effect. The truth is often stranger than fiction. Finding out that Paris is no warmer than London in Spring is the sort of information that leads to readers being able to place themselves in the city.
Being Fantastic. Fantastic to me means being absurd, exotic and imaginative, to choose some of the long list of definition words in my dictionary for fantastic. Add a sparkle to your fiction. Yes, I know it’s interesting that Aunt Maud went to work in a shop for twenty years and Uncle Fred made her tea every night, but I want to see Aunt Maud going to work in a man’s suit, with a flat cap, and learn that Uncle Fred was a circus midget with six brothers who shared his bedroom for six months of the year. Absurd, exotic and imaginative novels can be seen on the bookshelves of all good bookshops.
Being Sensuous. To me being sensuous is about being passionate, in touch with our senses. We all know what being passionate is in the traditional sense, but I also think it is about having passion for your work, for your writing. Being in touch with your senses means being able to describe how something feels. Take raining for instance. We should be able to describe the taste of rainwater, the silky feel of it on our faces, the sound of it tapping with a million hammers at our windows and the tiny circles it makes in the puddles. That’s what makes writing jump of the page.
And Gripping. With all the distractions around us, it is an essential element of 21st century writing to be gripping. Something must happen. There must be conflict. There must be tension. There must be mystery. What keeps me, and millions of readers of crime, romance, mystery and the better literary novels interested is a desire to find out what is going to happen next. You can do that by making us feel with the characters. Being gripping is something you cannot disdain if you want a large readership.
So what have these four items got to do with getting your writing noticed and into bookshops?
They are the basic building blocks of getting your writing noticed.
If your writing has these characteristics you have a real chance.
This post is the starting point on a voyage exploring the world of getting your writing noticed.
For the next post in this series, on grabbing your readers attention go here.
Please leave feedback, make suggestions and engage. This series of posts needs you to get involved to make them fly.
And please sign-up using the secure sign-up button above right to receive notifications in your inbox when post’s are released.
If you would like to discuss this post or for me to review your writing and give brief feedback without charge (page 1 of your MS only please) contact me via the comments below or by email: email@example.com
Here are some links to useful information for writers:
socialmediaisdynamite.blogspot.com for my blog on using social media to get noticed.
The reality of being published – 2 months after my first book came out all over the UK I wrote this post
The Accessible Author – how the author’s role is changing
Frantic Editing – a post on the editing process my first novel went through in the summer of 2011
Finally, a big thank you to all my readers, everyone who comments and everyone who visits. I hope you find this information useful on your journey to getting your writing noticed.
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