Writing Fiction | Past, present and future
Your story can be set in the past, present or future. if it’s the past, you can do research and find information about that past time. If it’s the present then there will be less need for research, but you still need to do some research. The future, which could be your choice if you are writing science fiction is a little more difficult. It requires more imagination. What will future technology give us? New materials? Super-conductors for electricity? Super-light materials to fabricate space craft from? There is a need for research again and maybe all these technologies can be incorporated into your story to make it; plausible.
If it’s plausible, it will excite the imagination of your reader, they can imagine it to be true. People were quite excited about technology in the past and advances in travel caused excitement, like the steam ship and motor car, but so did advances in materials. So we can ask. What really changed the world in the past? I think steam power did, so did the development of steel and the industrial revolution. By looking at the past we can get some insight into what the future might be like.
How have people changed over the years? Attitudes and behaviour have changed in the past 100 years. People a hundred years ago couldn’t even imagine a lot of the technology we take for granted today. Even flat screen televisions would have seemed like magic and digital cameras weren’t even dreamt of. The weapons of today have awesome power compared to 100 years ago too.
Writers have a lot more opportunity to publish their work now than in the past and so we can look at self publishing on the internet. We can also do the research using the internet easier than ever before. Printing of books has changed too with the development of POD (printing on demand). Many books are produced as eBooks for reading on computers and eBook readers. Tastes have changed too and people have less time and patience and so short novellas seem popular for eBook readers like the Kindle. Even short stories appear to making a come back. I publish everyday on this website and that would have been unheard of even 20 years ago. Technology changes quickly now and we try to keep up with it. We can also make something of a name for ourselves, because people buy novels written by authors that they know or have heard of. You tend to need to sell a lot of novels, to get on the best seller list and you need to be on the best seller list, to sell novels. Many people feel like they don’t have a chance against the successful authors, but there are opportunities now to publicise yourself using the internet and social media. How successful you’ll be doing this, depends on how determined and patient you are. It can take years to ‘make a name for yourself’, but you can get a lot of benefit from it, in the meantime.
The main thing is to make a start and write something. If you haven’t written a novel before, try writing a short story. Start with a beginning, then a middle and finally an ending. It seems obvious, but thinking up a good starting point is difficult, the ending is probably the most difficult. You also need some kind of climax to the story and an ante climax. If you write a short story with all these ingredients, then writing a novel and getting the structure right will be easier. Most stories are about people, rather than things or places. Your main character or protagonist should be at the centre of the story, don’t wander off telling your readers all about something that isn’t relevant to the story, that you began to tell.
I hope you like today’s thought on writing fiction, if you missed last weeks episode, do check that out. You can find more amazing blogs on the home page; please comment and give me your thoughts on writing fiction.