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You’re writing a self-help book. Is fiction relevant?
I believe so—and not just in order to justify my recent habit of staying up late reading beach novels. (Good ones, of course. The kind you can’t put down.)
Hear me out.
I’m still thinking about the characters, wondering how the plot will resolve in Beatriz Williams’ A Hundred Summers as I make my morning smoothie. The book stays with me. I want to get back to it and find out what happens next.
My friend, Robin Kall, introduced me to Williams’ novels through the Summer Reading with Robin author event at the Dunes Club last year (and again this year).
One reason Beatriz’ books are so compelling is her mastery of suspense. Both A Hundred Summers and the Along the Infinite Sea alternate between past and more recent past, two periods in time. As the more recent story unfolds, we get closer and closer to the distant past that has led us to the current situation.
So, how does this all apply to writing a self-help book? Here are 3 tips you can borrow from Beatriz Williams—or another adept novelist.
What are some of your favorite devices of a good novel? How might you employ them in writing a self-help book? I know I’ve only touched the tip of the trilogy. I invite you to think about additional secrets of novelists that you can engage to make your self-help book compelling—and share them here on the blog as a comment!