• William B. Taylor

Writing Believable Fiction

Fiction may just be one of the most challenging genres for an author to attempt to write. At first glance, one might think that writing fiction would be easy - you just make things up! The truth though is that writing fiction is difficult, and takes a lot of planning, thought and even research.

That is all true if you want to write GOOD fiction.

Even fiction, with made-up characters, places and events, still needs to be believable. Really good fiction will make the reader believe that the story really did, or at least could, happen. There may be some exceptions to this rule, but generally an author wants to pull a reader into the story, and that is difficult, if not impossible to do if the reader doesn't believe what they are reading.

One of the best compliments I have had as an author is having readers contacts me and ask "Did such-and-such really happen?" and, "Does Cove Point Manor really exist?"

Questions such as these let me know that my readers at least believed that some parts of my stories could really take place. They haven't of course; my stories are completely fictional, as are the characters, places and events...but they are plausible.

My latest novel, which is a work in progress, is a story that is historic fiction. With Bloodlines: Dynasty, I am attempting to tell the story of the Farnsworth family through the years spanning 1871-1934. The story covers 63 years of Western history that saw events as World War I, the sinking of the Titanic, the fall of the Romanov family and much more. Everyday items that we now use and which make our lives easier (depending on your point of view) such as indoor plumbing, electricity, telephones, appliances and automobiles were not even invented, or were not in widespread use for many of the years contained in my story.

Writing a story such as Bloodlines: Dynasty, is a challenge as I want to minimize any errors when compared to historical fact. You may not think that readers pay attention to details such as the date that the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, but they do! If you do your research carefully, you will minimize the errors you make in dates/places and make the story more enjoyable for your readers.

Remember that writing fiction is about making the story believable and the characters and events plausible as you create your fiction. Adding in real facts that your readers can and will verify, will result in a much better work of fiction leaving the reader with an enjoyable reading experience.


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