Tag Archives: No Whine Just Champagne

Why Do You Write Fiction?

Yesterday, author Lazarus Barnhill posted an article here on the Second Wind Blog about why he writes fiction. He wrote:

”When you write about a controversial issue, you don’t have to make it the center of your story to express it fully.  You just work it in.  For instance, when I wrote The Medicine People, I dealt a lot with the quiet underlying bigotry Native Americans and Western European descendants still harbor for one another but never express out loud.  And while it was essential to the story, it didn’t overwhelm the novel.  Stories have the power to make an issue live in the mind of the reader the way a speech never can.

“And the best thing about being a fiction writer is, you don’t have to brag to get your point across.  The best writer is one whose reader gets absolutely lost in the narrative.”

When I began writing, I had a lot to say about the way we are manipulated to suit the needs of big business and big government, and that theme underlies my first four novels. Though that theme was important to me, I tried to make the story even more important so as not to overwhelm the readers. I used up that theme, so I don’t know what I want to say in my future books, which is perhaps why I haven’t been able to write — I don’t know what I want to say, or rather, why I want to say it. I tried to write a story simply for the story’s sake, but that manuscript is stalled halfway through. I do have a theme for that — freedom vs. security vs. responsibility — but the book is not a thriller, has no mystery, is more of an apocalyptic allegory, which is something I would never read, so I don’t imagine anyone else would want to either. The point being, I write fiction because . . . Apparently I have no reason since I am not writing fiction at the moment. 

So, why do you write fiction? What is the best about being a fiction writer? What do you hope to accomplish with your writing? How do you make sure readers get lost in your fiction?

Let’s talk.

The Gather.com group No Whine, Just Champagne will meet for a live discussion about writing and the writing life on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 9:00pm ET. I hope you will stop by — it would be nice to see you. You can find the discussion by clicking here. If you can’t chat live, we can chat on this blog.


Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado and a lifelong resident. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own.More Deaths Than One was Bertram’s first novel to be published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC. Also available are Daughter Am I and A Spark of Heavenly Fire.

1 Comment

Filed under books, Pat Bertram, writing

My BlogTalk Interview. What Fun!

I had a special treat last night — I was a guest on Rita Schiano’s blogtalk radio show — Talk to Me . . . Conversations with Creative Uncoventional People. Oddly enough, I wasn’t nervous, though I should have been. I did not prepare at all. Turns out it was just as well — I wouldn’t have been prepared for the questions Rita asked anyway. We ended up talking about my live chat group on gather.com (which you are welcome to join — we meet every Thursday night at 9:00pm ET at No Whine, Just Champagne (http://nowhine.gather.com — the featured article is the current topic.)

The highlight of the night was when Deborah J. Ledford (author of Staccato soon to be published by Second Wind) and Suzanne Francis (author of the Song of the Arkafina series) called in at more or less the same time. I met Suzanne through my blog, and I met Deborah through an online contest, and I finally got to hear their voices!

The best part of the whole thing, though, is that the interview is online, so if you missed it, you can still hear it. I hope you do. (Just ignore all the times I used the word actually. I actually didn’t realize how often I actually used the word actually.) You can find the interview here: Talk to Me . . . Conversations with Creative Unconventional People.

Pat Bertram is the author of More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire, available from Second Wind Publishing. Her new novel, Daughter Am I will be coming soon.


Filed under books, Pat Bertram, writing