2 thoughts on “Fact into Fiction when writing #mysteries

  1. Andrew,
    Thanks for the fascinating sneak peek into how you mix the nonfiction and fiction writing. I appreciate how far you will go for authenticity–such as counting those steps.

    How difficult was it for you to find your voice (or writing style) in fiction, coming from a nonfiction background and do you have any tips on how to switch back and forth?

    It was great to meet you at Magna Cum Murder 2014.

    • Great question. The transition can be challenging, especially since I work in daily journalism by day and long-form fiction by earlier in the day. My biggest tip for switching from one to another is really several tips, starting with: never forget that the two genres are very different, but the same principles for good writing apply to both. Focus on strong, declarative sentences. Use active verbs. Be specific. Show, don’t tell. Avoid repetitive words and phrases. Read your work aloud. One thing that helps me orient my brain to fiction is writing without stopping to edit so I begin to create a flow–John Gardner’s “fictive dream”–that hopefully resembles actual story-telling.

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