CLICK ON A STORE
TO ORDER YOUR COPY:

Buy.com
Universal Publishers

Reviews

"A good overview of fiction elements. Should be easy to read for beginners and holds a few new details for more experienced writers"

"WRITING GENRE FICTION: A GUIDE TO THE CRAFT is one of the most complete guides on writing out there. I've written a number of short stories and taken several writing classes. None of them have delved into infusing your characters with emotion or covered dialogue as extensively. This guide on writing makes a great addition to my reference library."

Other authors

In an interview by Richard Mabry, best selling author Michael Palmer recommended Writing Genre Fiction: A Guide to the Craft for non-physicians wishing to write a medical thriller.

Best-selling novelist Robert Dugoni recommended Writing Genre Fiction: A Guide to the Craft as "one of your absolute must-read writing resources." He lists it as "one of the six books every author should have and study." The six books every author must have and study

Books by H. Thomas Milhorn
 
Writing Genre Fiction: A Guide to the Craft
ISBN #1581129181

Several years ago, after many years of writing nonfiction, I decided to write a novel—a medical thriller in the mold of Robin Cook, Michael Crichton, and Michael Palmer. The problem was that, although I knew how to write and had received a number of awards for nonfiction works, I didn’t know how to write fiction. So, before putting fingers to keyboard I did a thorough search of the literature, which included reading numerous books and hundreds of website articles. What I discovered was that there simply wasn’t one good source from which to learn the craft of writing fiction. My research culminated in the publishing of my first novel, Caduceus Awry, which was a finalist in the Eudora Welty Film and Fiction Festival novel writing contest.

Writing Genre Fiction: A Guide to the Craft is the book I was looking for when I set out on my quest to learn how to write genre fiction. It is an attempt to share what I learned from my research. It covers the six key elements of genre fiction; the various genres and subgenres; a large number of genre-fiction writing techniques; plot, subplots, and parallel plots; structure; scene and sequel; characterization; dialogue; emotions; and body language. It also covers additional information about copyrighting and plagiarism, where to get ideas, manuscript formatting and revising, and query letters and synopses, In addition, an appendix covers a large number of grammar tips.

Chapter 1. Key Elements of Genre Fiction
- Literary Fiction versus Genre Fiction
- Literary Fiction
- Genre Fiction
- Fiction Length
- Key Elements
- Plot, Story, and Structure
- Setting
- Characters
- Point of View
- Prose
- Theme and Subject

Chapter 2. Choosing your Genre
- Action/Adventure
- Christian
- Fantasy
- Light Fantasy
- Arthurian Legend
- Heroic Fantasy
- Gay/Lesbian
- Historical
- Horror
- Mystery/Detective
- The Amateur Detective
- The Cozy
- The Police Procedural
- The Private Detective
- The Puzzle
- Romance
- Contemporary
- Gothic
- Regency
- Other Subgenres
- Science Fiction
- Apocalyptic/Post-apocalyptic
- Cyberpunk
- First Contact
- Hard
- Military
- Soft/Sociological
- Space Opera
- Time Travel
- Spy/Espionage
- Thriller
- Medical Thriller
- Legal Thriller
- Technothriller
- Western
- Young Adult

Chapter 3. Backstory to Description
- Backstory
- Direct Methods
- Indirect Methods
- Backstory Length
- Clichés
- Cliché Phrases
- Cliché Characters
- Cliché Situations
- Description
- Blending Description
- Brand Names
- The Words to Use

Chapter 4. Figurative Language to Introspection, Insight, & Perception
- Figurative Language
- Painting Mental Pictures
- Substituting Words for Sounds
- Other Functions
- Foreshadowing and Flash Forward
- Foreshadowing
- Flash Forward
- Form and Structure
- Form
- Structure
- Imagery
- Levels of Imagery
- Suggestions for Using Imagery
- Information
- Interlocking Episodes
- Introspection, Insight, and Perception
- Introspection
- Insight
- Perception

Chapter 5. Linking Episodes to Series

- Novels
- Linking Episodes
- Modifiers
- Adjectives
- Adverbs
- Valueless Modifiers
- Narrative
- Point of View
- First-person Point of View
- Third-person Point of view
- Multiple Points of View
- Second-person Point of View
- Sentences
- Sentence Fragments
- Sentence Variety
- Series Novels

Chapter 6. Setting to Special Scenes
- Setting
- Time
- Place
- Experience
- Mood
- Simultaneity
- Special Scenes
- Action Scenes
- Crowd/Battle Scenes
- Death Scenes
- Love Scenes

Chapter 7. Style and Tone to Verb Strength

- Style and Tone
- Style
- Tone
- Symbolism and Allegory
- Symbolism
- Allegory
- Telling versus Showing
- Telling
- Showing
- Time
- Transitions
- Simple Transitions
- Jump-cut Transitions
- Chapter Breaks
Verb Strength
- Active versus Passive Voice
- Strong versus Weak Verbs

Chapter 8. Plot
- Plot Structure
- Parallel Plots and Subplots
- Parallel Plots
- Subplots
- Crisis and Challenge
- Crisis
- Challenge
- Conflict and Suspense
- Conflict
- Suspense
- Coincidence
- Withholding Information
- Story Focus
- Plot Driven Story
- Idea Driven Story
- Character Driven Story
- Twenty Basic Plots
- Plot Summary
- Outlining

Chapter 9. Structure
- Title
- Categories
- Importance
- Prologue
- Types of Prologues
- Prologue Test

- Beginning
- Story Question
- Questions Readers Ask
- Components of the Beginning
- Wide and Narrow Beginnings
- Beginnings to Avoid
- Middle
- Complications
- Crisis
- The Sagging Middle
- End
- Climax
- Resolution
- Types of Endings
- Stated Goal versus True Goal
- Deus ex Machina
- Symbolic Event
- Epilogue
- Structure Chart

Chapter 10. Scene and sequel
- Scene
- Questions to Answer
- Cause and Effect
- Scene Stages
- Scene Length
- Sequel
- Purposes of a Sequel
- Sequel Stages
- Sequel Length
- Variation of Scene-Sequel Structure
- Scene Structure Variation
- Sequel Structure Variation
- Ways to Keep the Reader Worried
- Scene Ways
- Sequel Ways
- Pacing

Chapter 11. Characterization
- Character Classification
- Major Characters
- Minor Characters
- Major or Minor Characters
- Character Description
- Dominant Characteristics
- Tags
- Uniqueness
- Involvement
- Desires and Goals
- Compensation
- Self-image
- Character Development
- Methods of Creating Characters
- Personality Components
- Examples of Character Attributes
- How to Bring in a Character
- Character Chart

Chapter 12. Dialogue
- Conversation versus Dialogue
- Direct and Indirect Dialogue
- Uses of Dialogue
- Types of Dialogue
- Directed Dialogue
- Interpolated Dialogue
- Misdirected Dialogue
- Modulated Dialogue
- Dialogue Techniques
- Dialogue Conventions
- Men Talking to Men
- Bits and Pieces versus Chunks
- Situational Dialogue
- Individuality
- Internal Dialogue
- Emphasis
- Sounds
- Speeches
- Cursing
- Rules for Good Dialogue
- Dialogue Tags
- Speech Tags
- Action Tags
- Creative Dialogue Tag Syndrome
- Excessive Direct Address
- Overuse of Modifiers
- Dialect, Slang, and Jargon
- Dialect
- Slang
- Jargon
- Slang and Jargon Websites
- Punctuating Dialogue
- Statements, Questions, and
Exclamations
- New Speaker
More than One Paragraph of Dialogue
- Nested Quotation Marks

Chapter 13. Emotions
- Characteristics of Emotion
- Etiology of Emotions
- Mixed Emotions
- Range of Emotions
- Levels of Emotion
- Emotions and Body Language
- Table of Emotions
- Examples of Emotions
- Descriptive Phrases
- Emotional Situations

Chapter 14. Body Language
- Types of Body Language
- Facial Expressions
- Gestures
- Posture
- Spatial Relationships
- Groups
- Table of Body Language
- Examples of Body Language

Chapter 15. Additional Information
- Copyright and Plagiarism
- Copyright
- Plagiarism
- Getting Ideas
- Sources for Ideas
- Record your Ideas
- Manuscript
- Format
- Revision
- Query Letter and Synopsis
- Query Letter
- Synopsis

Appendix. Grammar Tips
- Comma and Semicolon Use
- Lists
- Nonessential and Essential Clauses
- Commonly Confused Words
- Double Negatives
- Modifiers
- Dangling Modifiers
- Nearly, Almost, and Only
- One Word or Two?
- Possessives
- Pronouns
- Case
- Noun-pronoun Agreement
- Antecedent Agreement
- Sentence Structure
- Comma Splice
- Run-On (Fused) Sentences
- Split Infinitives
- Subject-Verb Agreement
- Verbals
- Participles
- Gerunds
- Infinitives
- When to Use Verbals
- Whether or Not

©2006 Tom Milhorn. All rights reserved. / Web design by Toby Milhorn