Thursday, February 10, 2011

Writing Fiction by Deborah Reber


Guest Post by Deborah Reber

Amazon Associate: Buy the book, we get a small percentage

Website: http://www.deborahreber.com/
As a writer who’s focused most of her career on writing nonfiction self-help or journalistic fare for teens, the thought of writing fiction was, plainly put, scary. It was something “real” writers did – writers with fantastic imaginations, a great command of language, and the ability to connect a kabillion different dots in the form of plot points and interesting character flaws into one satisfying package.

Truth be told, I have written fiction for young children before – about a dozen Blue’s Clues books to be exact – but that’s not quite the same. Those books had a set of predictable and well-established characters, and the parameters for what they could do and how they could do it were very clearly established before I even got started.

But fiction? As in a real novel? Scareball city. Which is why it took me more than a year and a half to actually sit down and come up with a three-sentence “pitch” for my idea after my editor at Simon Pulse first suggested I might try writing something for their Romantic Comedies line. That’s not to say I didn’t like the idea of writing fiction. It’s something I definitely wanted to break into, especially because I love the idea of writing books that aren’t tied to a trend or a specific issue or that have a hard time finding their way onto the shelves at bookstores the way my nonfiction books do.

So, after months (and months) of doubt and hesitation, I finally emailed my little synopsis to my editor, and I’m thrilled that I took that plunge. After tweaking the synopsis a bit, I was given the green light and I went for it.

I loved the whole process of writing Language of Love, relying on things I could make up on in my head as opposed to carefully researched facts. When I write nonfiction, I always work from a very detailed outline, which stems from a very detailed book proposal. But with my novel, though I did have an outline for the story, there was that feeling of flying by the seat of my pants half the time. I didn’t necessarily know how circumstances were going to unfold or play out, and that was, well, thrilling and fun.

And now? I’ve got the fiction bug. So I guess it’s time to start working on that next idea…

4 comments:

Laurie Thompson said...

Great post, Deb! I'm still living in Scareball City, and haven't yet caught the fiction bug (at least not for novels). Maybe someday: We'll just have to wait and see. I'm having way too much fun with nonfiction and picture books right now! :)

bermudaonion said...

I can't imagine writing fiction, so I can understand why you were scared. I've read good things about your book!

Cafe Fashionista said...

What a fantastic post! Deborah Reber is a wonderful author!! :)

Deborah Reber said...

Thanks for the support everyone :), and thanks to Shooting Stars for letting me be a guest blogger!

XOXO Debbie