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  • Nan Russell

Fiction: Harder than it Looks

I was wrong. Fiction is harder than non-fiction. At least for me. But it’s also way more fun.

I used to believe writing non-fiction was harder than writing fiction. After all, I had experience with several non-fiction books that went from proposal to publication. So, when I listened to fiction writers at conferences, or heard their tales of woe and challenges, I failed to understand the magnitude of which they spoke.

While I dabbled in fiction attempts here and there for years, I never quite absorbed the elements of story structure, character development, or the like, until I invested the time and energy to learn the craft of fiction writing. In the process, I’ve come to understand that while they share foundational elements certainly, there is a separate art and skill to each.

I happened upon Jessica Brody’s book, Save the Cat! Writes a Novel three years ago. It became my catalyst and roadmap. While I took advantage of many resources online during the pandemic to study and learn the craft of fiction writing, and continue to do so, there are five I relied on:

While I don’t know yet the outcome of my first cozy mystery manuscript, I now understand those fiction writers’ tales of woe with great humility. And I know, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, I never want to stop learning the craft of writing.


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