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How to Create a Fiction Book

If you’ve already read “Earn More, Work Less, Get Famous,” then you know that I focused how you can create bestselling nonfiction books. And with good reason: nonfiction books tend to be easier to create for most people. That’s because all you have to do is find out what people want, do your market research to create something that’s a little better than the competing products, and get it created.

But fiction books are a little different.

Writing them isn’t quite as formulaic as writing a nonfiction book. What’s more, you can’t just look at other bestsellers and then create something similar.

Example: You can’t create a book about a teenage wizard named Larry Cotter without having J.K. Rowling’s lawyers come down on you for copyright infringement of Harry Potter.

And yet maybe you’re the creative sort. Maybe you’ve done some fiction writing in the past. Or perhaps you just have a desire to pick it up and see if you can’t sell some of your work on Kindle.

If so, great. Because some of the richest and most successful Kindle authors are selling fiction books. And you can claim a piece of this lucrative pie for yourself. Here’s how…

Step 1: Find out what’s selling.

You may already have an idea of what kind of fiction you’d like to create. If not, if you’re open to writing anything, then check out the New York Times fiction bestseller list (http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/overview.html), as well as the bestsellers in the Kindle marketplace (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/154606011).

You’re likely to discover some current fads, like vampire romances. But overall, you’re going to find that certain books in certain genres tend to sell well.

Example: Fast-paced, well-written thrillers tend to top the bestseller lists quite often.

Step 2: Understand your audience.

Here’s something you need to understand: readers who enjoy certain genres (such as romance books, westerns, science fiction books, thrillers, etc) have certain expectations about these different types of books. For example:

  • Westerns are set in the Old West in America. These books tend to have an action-oriented plot where a hero needs to fight a villain (the hero usually wins). There may nor may not be a romantic subplot. But if there is a subplot, it’s on the very periphery of the story. That’s because males primarily read books in this genre.
  • Romance. What all is included in a romance book depends on what kind of romance it is (contemporary, erotic, historical, paranormal, etc). Generally, however, the story centers on two people who come together, get divided or face other obstacles that keep them apart, then come together again at the end of the story.

Before you sit down to write a book, you need to know exactly what kind you’re going to write, and then you need to conform to your reader’s expectations.

Example: If you label your book a contemporary romance but then vampires show up in the story, your audience is going to be disappointed because this isn’t what they expected.

Secondly, you need to do some research to determine who’s going to read your book. In other words, who reads novels in the different genres? For example:

  • Westerns: middle age and older men.
  • Paranormal romance: teenagers and young adult women.
  • Science fiction: young adult males.

Point is, know your genre and know your audience before you write even one word.

Step 3: Generate book ideas.

Once you know what kind of book you’re going to write, then you need to start developing the idea for your book. This centers around two factors:

1. Your characters. Your main characters should be dynamic, three-dimensional characters. Don’t make stereotypes. They’ll be more believable if they have surprising traits. For example, show a good point or two about your villain. And show how your hero has a flaw or two.

2. The plot. This is what happens in the book. The idea here is that each of your characters wants something. The conflicts they face on their way to achieving their goals are what make up the plot. Keep that in mind – there needs to be some kind of conflict in every scene. This conflict could be inner conflict, tension in dialogue, the hero (protagonist) facing an obstacle on the path to his or her goal, etc.

You see, you need your readers to care about the characters and what happens to them. Yet you need to also put your characters in interesting situations to make your book a page turner.

That’s why your book needs both a conflict-driven plot as well as dynamic characters.

Need examples? Read a few novels that are topping the bestselling charts in your selected genre right now. You can also watch blockbuster movies in your genre to get a feel for how authors create dynamic characters and conflict-driven plots.

Some authors like to create a general outline and then start writing, letting the scenes unfold by themselves. Other authors like to outline very detailed scenes so that they know exactly what is going to happen before they write one word of the book. Go with whatever is most comfortable to you, then move on to the next step…

Step 4: Write the book.

You can write it yourself. Alternatively, you can hire a fiction ghostwriter to create the book for you based on your outline. Some authors do a combination, where they hire a ghostwriter to write the bulk of it, then the author fills it in with his or her own finishing touches.

Do what works best for you. However, just make sure that you understand the finer points of fiction before you start writing, such as viewpoint, foreshadowing, pacing and other aspects. In other words, study the craft so that you can deliver a good story, or hire someone who already knows how to write a good story.

Step 5: Proofread the book.

Kindle fiction readers are fairly picky about proper grammar, spelling and typos. And with good reason: if there are too many glaring errors, it pulls them out of the so-called fictive dream. You want your readers to get absolutely lost and absorbed in your story, and they can’t do that if there are typos.

So be sure to have a professional proofreader go over your story before you publish it.

In summary…

You can do really well on the Kindle platform selling nonfiction books. However, if you’ve always fancied yourself a bit of a storyteller or a creative writer, then you’ll want to dip your toes into the very lucrative pool of selling fiction.

Just know your audience, know their expectations for your genre and give them a diversion from their everyday lives!