There has generally been a tradition in which science fiction books have been written and this hasn’t really changed. There are however some authors who invent new styles of writing and it is common knowledge these are the ones who write science fiction books.
This is probably because people who write science fiction books are so knowledgeable about their topic that they are able to write about the possible but also about the sometimes impossible situations and make them believable. Science Fiction writers have a completely different writing style which shows in their stories.
There are authors who wrote books about the most fearful things of their time – a good example is HG Wells. It is common knowledge of the panic caused by the reading of his book, War of the Worlds. It is easy to get completely engrossed in a science fiction book and believe what is written. HG Wells was a prime example of science fiction writing which was both realistic and believable, especially for the time. Telling a wild story just makes it more unbelievable – write your tall story in a believable way and include some truths to make it realistic.
Ray Bradbury is well known as the author of Fahrenheit 451 as well as being the best known science fiction writer in the world. Fahrenheit 451 is read across the country by high school students as part of their curriculum. He is also well known for writing abstract stories which aren’t able to be explained immediately. Many authors now use this form in their writing.
The world is full of people who excel in their particular fields. Many are able to leave a huge legacy behind which has a lasting effect on the whole world.
(c) Barry Sheppard
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
Publishing pro and author/filmmaker Barry Sheppard has written and published many books with hundreds of reviews in newspapers, TV and radio. He is now concentrating on eBook writing/publishing and starting his own television station.
If you're just breaking into the writing business, you may be wondering if you should start by offering your work to nonpaying markets. Do new writers need to serve some sort of "apprenticeship" in such markets before moving on to those that pay? Are nonpaying markets the only way for a new writer to break in?
Sadly, some writers don't ask this question at all, assuming (for various reasons) that the answer must be "yes." Too many talented writers end up wasting considerable time writing for free, unable (or refusing) to believe that they could be paid for their material.
At the heart of this issue are two misperceptions. The first is the assumption that one must somehow pay one's dues, "crawl before one can walk," in the writing business -- and that this involves working for no money. The second is the phrasing of the question itself. Instead of asking "Should I write for nonpaying markets?" many writers should be asking "When should I write for nonpaying markets?"
The Apprenticeship Myth
Many writers believe that one's career must begin with nonpaying markets. Many articles extol the value of such markets for building clips, enabling one (theoretically) to move on to paying publications. Writers often assume that without a history of publication, no paying market will consider their work -- and thus, that they have no real choice.
It isn't true. My own experience offers a good example: In the beginning of my career, I wrote exactly three "unpaid" articles. The first (my first-ever publication) was for a monthly community paper. The second and third were for a weekly newspaper -- and these were based on the editor's promise that he would pay me once he had a freelance budget. By my fourth article, he did, and I was earning a whopping $15 per feature!
Did those unpaid articles help me break into better markets? No. My first magazine sale was to Omni -- and was due to a chance meeting between my boyfriend (now hubby) and the editor at a conference. My second was to Quilt, and was due to a query that described my enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, crazy quilts. (My career has been a bit of a patchwork ever since...)
Omni, alas, is dead, but specialty magazines like Quilt abound, and are more than ready to welcome new, unpublished writers. All you need are a good idea, the ability to turn that idea into a well-written article, and the confidence to send that article to an editor. If you can do all of the above, many editors truly do not care whether you've been published before or not.
In short, if you have a choice between offering your material to a paying or a nonpaying market, there is no logical reason to choose the latter. The nonpaying market will always be there if you fail to sell the piece -- but it need not be your first choice, or even your second or third. If your goal is to become a paid professional, it's far better to exhaust all possibilities of payment before turning to markets that don't pay (rather than the other way around). After all, you only have to "break in" once to be considered a paid author!
When Should You Write for Free?
Does this mean you should never write for free? Not at all! There are many excellent reasons to do so; it's just that "being new" isn't necessarily one of them. Here are some better reasons:
For fun. Sometimes you may want to write something for the sheer enjoyment of it -- whether it's likely to find a paying market or not. (After all, someone must be writing all those variations on "how to bathe your cat" that circulate on the Internet!) One of my earliest "sales" was an "outsider's" view of dog shows, which was published in a breed-club newsletter; later, I actually managed to sell it to a major dog magazine. (I doubt, however, that I'll ever find a paying home for "I Was a Teenage Were-Elkhound"...)
To support a cause. Instead of contributing money to organizations or issues you believe in, you may choose to donate your writing skills instead. Your "payment" is often simply the knowledge that you are increasing awareness of an important issue. If you already have a "name," lending it to your chosen cause can be an important contribution in itself.
To help a favorite organization. You may enjoy contributing an occasional piece to your company, community, or church newsletter. Be careful, however: Once such organizations realize that you can write, you may be flooded with requests for more freebies. Before you say "yes" the first time, be sure you will feel comfortable saying "no" later.
To enhance your career. Many unpaid markets can be career-builders -- including your own website. Writing FAQs for your own site (or others), contributing articles to professional newsletters, or writing for professional journals can be good ways to build your reputation. They may also help you develop contacts that can lead to more lucrative work later.
To help and inform others. At a certain point in their careers, many writers (and others) feel an urge to "give back" some of what they have learned over time. You may decide to write about "what you know" as a way to mentor others in your field, or perhaps as a way to repay the mentoring you yourself received at one time. Sharing information may not make you rich, but it can be exhilarating.
When You Shouldn't...
Just as there are good reasons to write for free, there are also bad ones. Here are some that commonly plague new writers:
"I'll do anything to see my name in print." Seeing your byline is a thrilling experience -- but don't assume that the only way to get it is to give your work away. If you have a well-written story or article, why not send it to a paying market first? If it's accepted, you'll experience a double thrill: That of seeing your name in print, and of seeing it on a paycheck.
"I want to find out if I'm good enough to be published." Nonpaying markets are not a good place to test your abilities. Many such markets are stuck with whatever they can get (i.e., whatever unpaid writers will give them), which means that they often don't have the luxury of "rejecting" mediocre writing. Getting published in such a market, therefore, is no true test of your marketability. A better test is to submit to paying markets; if your work is accepted, you have your answer, and if it is rejected, you can explore ways to improve your material. (Keep in mind that a single rejection is no indication of quality; some articles never sell, no matter how good they are. Test the market with more than one article, and test more than one market with the same article, if you're rejected by the first.)
"I want to polish my skills before submitting to 'real' markets." To be blunt, if you don't think your material is worth publishing, why submit it to anyone? Nonpaying markets don't appreciate being dumping grounds for mediocre material. If you want to polish your work, do so through a class or critique group. Otherwise, send out your work -- and use the feedback you receive to identify areas where you may need improvement. "Polishing" is a lifelong task; since it's never finished, you might as well start selling at the same time!
"So-and-so gave me a start, and I don't want to let him/her down." Loyalty is a wonderful thing, and it can be difficult to abandon an editor or publication who accepted your work when no one else would. It's also hard to say no to someone who has learned to count on you. However, recipients of such loyalty can sometimes misuse it: Editors of nonpaying publications would often prefer to hold on to a writer "in the hand" (you) than seek out new sources. Don't let such a relationship interfere with your ability to move on to new markets.
"I'll write for nonpaying markets until I'm good enough for 'real' markets." The trick word in this sentence is "I." The issue here is often not whether your writing is good enough, but whether you feel that you are good enough. I've known too many writers who produced excellent material -- but felt that they weren't "ready" to send that material to paying markets. This often involves issues of self-esteem, fear of rejection, fear of failure, or even fear of success. Most often, writers who make this excuse doubt themselves or even their "right" to call themselves "writers." But that's another column...
Writing for free is simply an option, never a necessity. The bottom line is that if your writing isn't good (and you know it), your energies are best spent seeking ways to improve it. If your writing is good, and you believe in it, don't sell yourself short by failing to sell yourself at all!
Find Out More...
>Ways to Profit from Writing for Free - Audrey Faye Henderson
Copyright © 2001 Moira Allen
Moira Allen is the editor of Writing-World.com, and has written nearly 400 articles, serving as a columnist and regular contributor for such publications as The Writer, Entrepreneur, Writer's Digest, and Byline. An award-winning writer, Allen is the author of eight books, including Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer, The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals, and Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests. In addition to Writing-World.com, Allen hosts VictorianVoices.net, a growing archive of articles from Victorian periodicals, and The Pet Loss Support Page, a resource for grieving pet owners. She lives in Maryland with her husband and the obligatory writer's cat.
We've all done it. We have all made as many excuses as there are stars in the skies to get out of writing. We want to be a writer, yes, but we don't want to do the work sometimes. Too bad wanting doesn't pay the bills. To be a writer you must, well, write.
The first step can be the hardest. And that first step is to not make an excuse - to actually sit down and write. No finally deciding to fold the laundry. No raking the yard. None of that. Put those simple tasks aside now and sit yourself down at your desk. Excuses are the things that ruined one too many writing careers. What careers, you ask? Well, I can't name any because they aren't there to name. Get it?
Being a parent offers us so many more excuses than the non-parent. We have little mouths to feed, errands to run, kids to taxi, food to clean off the carpet, etc, etc . . . It becomes so much easier for us to make that extra excuse to not sit down and write that story we wanted to write or work on our novel. We have lunches that have to be made first. Baths come next. Bed-time story... and so on and so on. Finally, well, we are just too tired.
Nonsense! Okay - we get tired and we must sleep. That's a given. But there are all those times we aren't sleeping that we could have been writing. We watched T.V. instead. "Could have wrote one thousand words, but Ally McBeal looked so much better." "E.R. was on so there was just no way to break away." "The kids wanted to stay up and watch RugRats and I just can't resist watching, too." Sound a little familiar? An excuse.
There are legitimate times that you really can't write, but there are many more times you could have. You didn't have to watch three movies back to back. You didn't have to take a two-hour bath. You didn't have to read all day. I know - now it sounds as if I am saying you should stop doing everything you like to do. Wrong. Just cut back. Writing is important to you or you wouldn't be here reading this. I am merely suggesting you cut some self-indulgences in half, freeing up some of that time you may claim you don't have for writing. Life doesn't revolve around you having to write all the time, but it should revolve around it some.
It is just too easy to come up with reasons for not having time to write. Your assignment - Find all the excuses TO write. What makes you love to write? Why is it so important to you? What are your writing goals? How can you better reach them? Write these questions with your own individual answers and then every time you feel yourself making an excuse, pull your assignment out and read it. Next thing you know, you'll be writing more often than making excuses. Better yet, keep the assignment posted somewhere and every time you find yourself giving into excuses, make a list to keep with it. No more excuses!
(c) Angela Giles Klocke
You write a book for someone else, and they pay you to put their own name on it.
Is that even legal? It is. And professional ghost writers defend their right to do it.
There’s money to be made here because there are many people who have a lot to say but do not necessarily have the time nor the skills to write it all down.
However, there are some pitfalls to the ghost writing business.
First piece of advice? Always have a contract in place before you start the actual writing.
It will save you a lot of heartache - and lawsuits - in the future.
It’s worth remembering that not all ghost writing will entail writing books. Some corporate executives want their company statements written by someone else.
Scientists and doctors sometimes procure the services of ghosts to write their dissertations and academic reports.
Celebrities have been known to hire ghosts to maintain an online presence for them.
Webmasters too will often want their sales pages written for them - to which they will attach their own names.
If you’ve ever helped anyone with an article for which you never took any credit, you’re involved in a form of ghostwriting.
Some wannabe authors will even pay you to write their fiction for them - a scenario that, to be honest, rarely ends well.
Many people will want you to write their autobiographies - and may well have lots of money to pay for them.
At least once a month I meet someone who says they’ve led such a fascinating life that ‘everyone’ tells them they should write it down - or at least get someone else to do it.
As a writer, I know my own life story is not particularly riveting to anyone but me. Publishers, too, generally don’t care about normal people’s lives, even when their histories are sometimes astonishing.
But that doesn’t mean YOU shouldn’t get paid for writing them!
It’s surprisingly easy to get lots of potential clients when you set yourself up as a ghostwriter.
It seems there are hundreds of punters out there constantly looking for scribes to write for them - or at least toying with the idea.
The real issue you have to face is which of these people are ever going to pay you a fair going-rate for your services.
When people ask how much you might charge to write an autobiography for them and you mention $5,000 as a minimum starting point, you will often be met with total incredulity.
But you will need to stress that book writing takes time - and is clearly a skill the client doesn’t possess!
A thorough and well-researched book may take anything up to a year to write.
So there’s a year’s salary for most - right there.
A traditional in-house publisher’s ghostwriter may get anything up to $100,000 per manuscript, to give you some perspective.
The best way to go is to advertise yourself as a ghostwriter - say on Facebook - and deal with each inquiry separately.
I’ve found that sustaining a dialog over time before mentioning price is more effective than simply quoting quickly, which generally goes nowhere.
You need to find out exactly what your potential client wants. How they want everything to work, including how and when payments will happen, what approvals the client is looking for and how the contract will look once it’s finalized.
In amongst these details, you will also want to familiarize yourself with the envisaged project.
Face-to-face meetings often help here because there will be nuances about what the client expects from a ghostwriter that are impossible to discern through email or via the phone.
When you’re satisfied you know what you’re letting yourself in for - and that the client does too - then this is the time to present a quotation that will also act as a contract of employment - once it’s signed by the client.
The quotation should list the time frame, the payments, exact specifications as to what is to be considered "a final manuscript" and usually some leeway for the client to make changes and request deletions.
There should be clauses that deal with the relationship breaking down plus riders that perhaps outline that future payments may be in order if, for instance, the manuscript becomes a runaway bestseller without your name on it.
Conversely, you’ll want a brief clause that will make it clear you are not legally liable in any way should the client get sued over the manuscript’s contents.
While it might be nice to charge a dollar a word for short ghostwritten articles, you’ll rarely find anyone who wants to pay more than $50 for an 800-word piece.
Many punters want to pay less than $5, clearly slave labor - and not to be encouraged.
Just say no, would be my advice.
For short projects you might want to charge an hourly rate of perhaps $50 an hour, although most clients are nervous of hourly rates, especially if they’re unsure of how fast or slow you work.
What I usually do is to set a fixed rate for the job, payable upfront - or at least a quarter upfront - and then an hourly rate for unplanned amendments or later consultations.
The first couple of consultations I will do most times for free.
Big jobs require sizable upfront payments in my view.
Many ghostwriters I know have gotten suckered into writing for free, only to have their manuscripts rejected half way through the job, losing the client and their pay.
This can happen, so you really must make sure you get paid for what you do before you start. At least then, if things go badly before the completion of the project, your time and energy has not been entirely wasted.
Good luck if you’re ready to take this ghostwriting path.
True, it’s not for every writer. I get way too involved in my own stuff to have the necessary patience for ghostwriting.
I’ve only done it a few times - and realized quickly the work was not for me.
But, you never know, YOU might be really good at it!
Ghost Writing does pay pretty well, after all.
(c) Rob Parnell
There are some strange folks out there who don't like fiction. Or rather, they don't understand its purpose.
Robert Mitchum -- otherwise an actor I greatly admire -- said he never read fiction because it wasn't true, so there was no point.
To any budding novelist this attitude is as heinous as it is incomprehensible. Unfortunately it is also surprisingly common.
My father for one thinks that novels are too hard to follow so he never bothers with them.
'If it's any good, they'll make a movie out of it,' is one of his favorite lines.
How many times have you heard this?
The implication here is obvious. To non-readers, it's not the writing that's important. It's the story.
Whilst great writing might profoundly impress you or me, most people just want the message, rather than the medium.
People like stories for 4 main reasons:
4. To gain hope & salvation
These reasons have been the 'point' of telling and listening to stories since the beginning of time.
As a species, we need them.
They divert our attention from the mundane and take us out of ourselves for a while.
They can show us things we didn't know about ourselves and others. We may gain valuable new perspectives to help us to better understand our neighbors, foreigners, even our enemies.
We need stories to make us feel better about ourselves -- as human beings, as well as personalities. That's why we like to identify with heroes and warriors -- indeed, anyone who can show us how to overcome obstacles.
Finally we need stories to help us make sense of life and the world around us.
In real life, there are no beginnings and endings, just infinite sequences.
You know how it is. You listen to the news. Everything is a segment, a teaser, a sample of every day life. Nothing makes sense because there's no structure.
Without the confines that fiction offers us, we are drowning in a bewildering sea of actions and feelings and urges with no meaning.
Stories 'frame' real life into manageable chunks that have tangibility, involvement and purpose, whether for us individually or as a race.
Surely that's what we were placed on this earth to do!
To make sense of who we are and why we are here.
THAT'S why fiction matters!
(c) Rob Parnell