Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Balance Between Writing Fiction & Non-fiction

the Balance Between writing Fiction and Non-FictionWriting fiction and non-fiction has always been a balancing act for me. My first “real” job was as a catalog copywriter for JC Penney. I wrote about women’s fashions and toys.

Imagine having to come up with 1 or 2 sentences of copy to describe an item–including all the selling points that a customer needs to know. And it had to be engaging, not just a list of descriptions.

Making every word count ensures that you eliminate fluff and a lot of useless filler. It taught me how to write very lean, which served me well years later. After several years in catalog copywriting, I changed careers into IT, which is about as far away as you can get from writing copy.

During my time as a programmer, I didn’t write any fiction, or non-fiction for that matter. When I was a child, I’d written tons of stories, poems and even song lyrics (which still surprises me to this day). But after I went into IT, I put my creative writing on hold for a time.

In the corporate world, my “voice” had to be more formal. Usually the “passive” voice is the way people there communicate. No direct statements that can come back to haunt you later on if anything hits the fan. A perfect match for corporate, but unless you want to put your readers to sleep, I wouldn’t recommend it for fiction.

Making the leap between non-fiction and fiction can feel like a leap across a canyon. Ultimately I started taking classes so I could sharpen my writing skills and learn how to structure short fiction. But still, it was tough to let go of all the business writing rules I’d absorbed.

When you document systems, usually you’re explaining how something works. Sometimes for a technical audience, sometimes not. No embellishment. Just straight facts.

What helped me bridge the gap between those two writing styles was to start a blog. Posts from that blog went into my first book, Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life. By that time I was also writing and publishing short stories. So, once my first non-fiction book was out there, I was ready to start working on a novel. Stack of Paper by Typewriter

My first published novel, Hathor Legacy: Outcast was rewritten about 3 times, but each time through, I stripped away more of the layers standing between me and my fictional world.

I had to be vulnerable when I wrote fiction. Getting into a character required me to see through their eyes. No way would I be able to maintain my distance and still make a connection with the character’s thoughts and feelings.

If there’s one big difference between fiction and non-fiction, that’s it. Distance. Writing for business requires a certain formality. You don’t get the same thing with blogs (but you might depending on the author and the audience). But with fiction (at least with genre fiction) you have to be willing to get closer. If you do that, the reader can too.

Going back and forth between a story world and “reality” isn’t as difficult if you do it regularly. Writing is one of those things that has to be done all the time. That’s how you get better. No matter what it is: short, long, non-fiction, fiction, poetry–just write it. Go with it. Once you’re writing all the time, you’ll find it’s not so much about striking a balance as it is finding the flow.

But in order to get there, you’ve got to keep writing.

Book Spotlight: Unknown Futures by Jessica E Subject

Unknown Futures

a 1Night Stand audio book

by Jessica E. Subject

Lesbian Science Fiction Romance

Publisher: Decadent Publishing

ISBN: 978-1613331842

Attacked as a young adult, Jewel is left scarred and alone. She applies to the 1 Night Stand service, believing no one can see past her appearance to love her. But she doesn’t expect to be sent to a space station where her date could be any number of unusual alien species.

Flavia left everything behind to be one of five humans working for the Space Service space station. Extremely homesick, she is excited to learn she will be a guide to a woman from Earth visiting the station for a couple days. She is immediately drawn to the petite woman, seeing past her scars to her true inner beauty, stirring unforeseen desires.

Unfortunately, Jewel is there for a date which Flavia hasn’t been told about. Can she contain her lust and simply show her a good time? Or will she let her desire lead them into an unknown future?

My review
A variation of the beauty and the beast theme with Jewel as the scarred woman who has been ostracized as a monster. Having lost her mother and believing that she’ll be alone for the rest of her life, she makes a decision that leads to a unexpected meeting. I was rooting for Jewel to finally find the love she deserved, and the ending was satisfying. The narration worked great for the story. It makes it more enjoyable when the narrator gives the characters distinctive voices. A novella-length book that is a quick read and winds up the story without loose ends.
Deborah
NOW AN AUDIOBOOK!
Narrated by P. J. Morgan

 




Jessica Subject is the author of contemporary and science fiction romance, ranging from sweet to erotic. In her stories, you could meet clones, or a sexy alien or two. You may even be transported to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.

When Jessica isn’t reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk with her giant, hairy dog her family adopted from the local animal shelter.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at jessicasubject.com and on twitter @jsubject.

Website/Blog | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | Authorgraph

 

Book Teaser: The Star Princess

THE STAR PRINCESS
A Beyond Fairytales audio book
By Jessica E. Subject
New Adult Erotic Sci-Fi Romance
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61333-765-3

NOW AN AUDIOBOOK!
Narrated by Jon Filipko

In one week, Princess Ro’sa will board a spaceship, leaving her home on Minjet to be with her betrothed on Earth. The only problem is, she detests the prince’s selfish and arrogant ways, preferring to spend time with his personal aide, a man who stirs her desires in ways she never imagined possible with his radiant blue eyes and smouldering lips. And oh, the way he touches her.

Earth’s post-apocalyptic landscape offers little but the alliance offers much and a princess must do her duty, no matter the danger to her person and to her heart.

 

 

 

Review
The Star Princess is introduced by a storyteller who sets the tone for the story. As with the fairy tales many of us read growing up (or watch in movies or TV) the princess is about to meet her betrothed and she’s  not sure what to expect since she’s never met him.
In this case, when Princess Ro’sa meets her prince, things  don’t go as planned. Instead of a happy ever after with her intended, there’s someone else who catches her eye and her heart. Of course, it wouldn’t be a fairy tale love story without mistaken identities and a lot of angst, which fits this New Adult story.
Other than the fact the action deals with people on other planets and includes some technology, it’s not heavy with technology/gadgetry elements. So, it you’re a sci-fi romance reader and that’s your thing, this isn’t your story. But it works if you’re looking for quick read with romance and adventure.
Unfortunately the audio book narrator tends to sound like he’s reading as opposed to acting out the characters, so I’m thinking it would be better to read the book version.
-Deborah

 

Jessica E. Subject is the author of contemporary and science fiction romance, ranging from sweet to erotic. In her stories, you could meet clones, or a sexy alien or two. You may even be transported to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.

When Jessica isn’t reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk with her giant, hairy dog her family adopted from the local animal shelter.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at jessicasubject.com and on twitter @jsubject.

Website/Blog | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | Authorgraph