Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski
Location: Books & Such Main Office; Santa Rosa, Calif.
If we’re affected by some of the books we read, how does an author write a book that will make a difference in a life? Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, I believe that if an author focuses on these things, he or she will be able to write a book that will make a difference:
If the author writes from the heart, the book is likely to touch hearts. Often the ability to write from the heart comes from past experiences we’ve had. So it may be easier to write a book that will touch hearts when you’ve experienced what you’re writing about yourself or if you’ve watched someone close to you go through that experience.
If the author keeps the book realistic, more people will be able to relate to the story or topic. Sometimes humanoids with special abilities are hard to relate to. Also, talking mice are fun, but I just can’t envision myself in a mouse’s shoes. The need for realism in the books goes beyond characters. Be sure to keep the plot of your novel or the stories used in your nonfiction project believable. Unrealistic plots tend to cause damage to walls when the books are thrown violently across the room. If you’re writing Sci-fi or fantasy and you’d still like to write a story that will make a difference, use your story to create an allegory or use a fable-like plot.
Write about something big that everyone can relate to (eg, faith, surviving hardship, getting old) but do it in a direct and unique way. Don’t try to cover every angle. For example, if you’re going to write about surviving hardship, write specifically about one character’s life, but make it so the lessons learned by the character are universal for anyone going through a hardship.
Write your story with a thesis. I know theses seem like they’re only for essays or research papers, but if you want to write a book that will change lives, you have something you want to instruct people about. So whether you’re writing a novel or a nonfiction, be sure you have a thesis and keep in in mind throughout the entire book. Each chapter and every scene should have a purpose in supporting your thesis. This will also help you to eliminate the “fluff-writing.”
If you’re currently writing a project, please share with us what your ‘big’ topic is and if you know your thesis and feel comfortable sharing, please share that as well!