ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Become a Better Writer: Authenticity

Updated on April 10, 2010

A self-test for dreamers and visionaries

Ironically, your greatest advantage as a writer may also be a handicap. Unlike your future readers, you carry an extra version of the story inside of you, embedded into your body and soul. Many authors tend to overlook the following basic fact, or at least underestimate its importance: Readers don't have a clue unless you tell them! They only know what you are saying, not what you think that you are saying, not what you are trying to say.

To overcome this “blind spot,” you will at some point in the creative process want to break out of your glamour world filled with ideas, images, and visions. For the duration of this exercise, your focus will be upon your readers only. Using your imagination, you will try to put yourself in their place, as you perform the following self-test:

The characters: Are they credible? Do they speak like real people, each with their own individual voice, or do they sound more like myself on steroids? Have I outlined what they look like, their body language, the manner in which they interact with other people? Can my readers follow my characters' thinking?

The setting: When I mention some structure – a tunnel, a building – do I give my readers the information they need to visualize it? Concrete, brick, stone? Grey or white? Old or new? In good or bad shape? Have I described the surroundings sufficiently to create an entire scene that my readers can visualize?

Objects: Our reality is filled with objects, we handle them all the time often without even noticing it, but what about the virtual world of a fiction or non-fiction book? Are there enough funny little objects in my stories, are my depictions of them detailed and realistic enough to be credible? Do I make good use of them, like turning them into metaphors sometimes, or having my characters do funny things like unfolding an old blue umbrella in the middle of a crowded market square?

The sensual world: Our real world is filled with smells, sounds, and sensual stimuli. What about my story, do I tell my readers whether my characters feel hot or cold? Are they comfortable or uneasy around other people, stressed or at ease when by themselves? Do they sing in the shower?

Of course, the list may be expanded depending on the situation. A historical novel usually requires more research compared with a fairy tale, but ultimately the task confronting you as a writer is the same: You must convince your readers that your virtual reality is credible, compelling them to share and appreciate that story you have inside.


Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Merlin Fraser profile image

    Merlin Fraser 

    8 years ago from Cotswold Hills

    Hi FF,

    Great Hub, It's so important to remember that as the story teller you are in charge, and if you don't tell we don't know !

  • northweststarr profile image

    northweststarr 

    8 years ago from Washington State

    Good hub! Now I don't have to write it! ;)

  • Fiction Factory profile imageAUTHOR

    Fiction Factory 

    8 years ago

    Thanks Michael, your support is very much appreciated.

  • Michael Shane profile image

    Michael Shane 

    8 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

    Great tips! Rated ya' up!

  • Fiction Factory profile imageAUTHOR

    Fiction Factory 

    8 years ago

    Missi Darnell, thanks for stopping by. The list of tips is long, we have designed and are using them for our manuscript critiques and when working with writers individually. It is very encouraging that you found this installment useful.

  • Missi Darnell profile image

    Missi Darnell 

    8 years ago from Southern California

    Excellent article. Love your tips Fiction Factory. When writing fiction we may have the story in our mind, yet are we getting that story across to the reader. Excellent.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)