Being a fiction writer these days is challenging. Competitors are plenty, and the Internet has provided platforms that allow everyone to be writers. For example, sites like Creepy Pasta and Quotev distribute stories ranging from scary urban legends to fan-made stories from all the corners of the Internet. They polish them into memes and spread them through forums and social media. Their distribution is viral.
However, if you are an old-school writer, who prefer only to write and let the publisher doing all the marketing, you do not need to worry. We are going to learn the ways to make fiction best sellers here!
Writers on the Internet mostly write for fun. And even if someone has made a name within the community, and he/she has been able to produce a work with literary aesthetic, that writer will be most likely to base the convention of his writing from sources that are already available on the Internet. And there is where your biggest opportunity lies.
Research is vital in any creative process. Even if you intend to make the most absurd and avant-garde narratives, you have to know what realities that you are going to defy. Words’ strength is within their ability to evoke imagination. If you lack the vocabulary, it will be hard for your work to hook your readers.
Now, let us study a possible scenario. You are writing a wild wild west themed novel. And you want to set it in California. Relying solely on imagination without any historical data will result in a laughable description. Your best bet is using the service of survey companies, such as rcmaps.com. They can help you with providing accurate historical information about any places in the state. By working with them, you can acquire the capacity to simulate your fiction, not to merely imagine it. And that simulation quality is the ultimate quality you want.
Planning the Bigger Picture
A good story reveals many twists as it progresses. And writing such a book will not be successful if you do not plan everything in advance. It is okay to start writing from a messy draft, though. But as soon as you have characters, and they begin to show their storylines, you have to map their progressions. You can make charts containing the flows of each character, or you can create a detective’s style display board, where all characters have connecting read threads, and there are pieces of description attached on them.
Making a map of the storylines is essential because you do not want to have any plot holes in your story. Also, leave an open end for any of your characters, with hopes it can create an opportunity for sequels and spin-offs. You may not be successful with your first work, but this strategy will allow you to have two or three shots with only one story.
Consulting with Others
A virtuoso writer is mostly depicted as an anti-social person who likes to be in isolation. Do not believe that! That is a counterproductive myth. In fact, you need to have opinions before you can submit your works to a publisher. And to do so, you have three options.
First, get feedback from a revered writer. Before you work in a genre, take a look at the most successful writer there. Buy his/her works, and study them. Try to approach them step-by-step, and tell them that you want to be a squire to them. Send them your drafts and see if your favorite writer is willing to cooperate.
Second, you can pay editors or proofreaders to check your works. However, this method may not be as insightful as the first because editors and proofreaders tend to have the general taste of literary aesthetic.