Module 4

Writing Great Fiction

Extract:

Perhaps you prefer to explore the idea of writing fiction!

In that case, let’s explode a myth right now. Fiction is neither easier nor more difficult to write than non-fiction. Non-fiction is supposed to be fact, but is inevitably colored by opinion. Fiction is supposed to be make-believe, and is inevitably colored by fact. A great deal of research is needed for both fiction and non-fiction.

If you want to write a factual book about tea production in Sri Lanka you will need to research the subject (unless you happen to live on a Sri Lankan tea plantation). If you plan to set a novel in Sri Lanka where the protagonist either helps to produce tea or sees someone else doing it, you will still need to do research. Even fantasy, demands knowledge of the world that is before you can begin creating the world that might be.

Let’s have a quick look at some of the different kinds of fiction.

  • Novels
  • Novellas
  • Novelettes
  • Short Stories
  • Verse And Other
  • Songs
  • Rhyming Stories
  • Spin-Offs
  • Fan Fiction
  • Script-Writing

Fiction does allow for a good deal of invention. Since you are writing about characters you created (or, occasionally, recreated), you may decide on their actions, reactions and personalities. However, if your character is a modern Tasmanian farmer, you cannot have him gazing over his vast rolling acres of wheat. Tasmanians usually don’t grow wheat, and their farms are measured in hectares and do not tend to vastness. The same way, you wouldn’t write a novel about an 18th Century Scottish lassie enjoying a barbecue. She might well cook food over a fire, but she wouldn’t call it a barbecue….

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