Writing Genre Fiction

A Guide to the Craft

by H. Thomas Milhorn, M.D., Ph.D.


Author website: http://www.milhornbooks.net/
View First 25 Pages: (free download)


Several years ago, after many years of writing nonfiction, I decided to write a novel -- a medical thriller in the mold of Robin Cook, Michael Crichton, and Michael Palmer. The problem was that, although I knew how to write and had received a number of awards for nonfiction works, I didn't know how to write fiction. So, before putting fingers to keyboard I did a thorough search of the literature, which included reading numerous books and hundreds of website articles. What I discovered was that there simply wasn't one good source from which to learn the craft of writing genre fiction. "Writing Genre Fiction: A Guide to the Craft" is the book I was looking for when I set out on my quest to learn how to write fiction. It is an attempt to share what I learned from my research. It covers the six key elements of genre fiction; the various genres and subgenres; a large number of genre-fiction writing techniques; plot, subplots, and parallel plots; structure; scene and sequel; characterization; dialogue; emotions; and body language. It also covers additional information about copyrighting and plagiarism, where to get ideas, manuscript formatting and revision, and query letters and synopses. In addition, an appendix covers a large number of grammar tips.

About the Author

H. Thomas Milhorn is the author of seven books, 12 chapters in books, and over 100 articles. In 1992 he retired from the faculty of the University of Mississippi School of Medicine as Professor of Family Medicine, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. After five years of private practice and four years on the medical staff of East Mississippi State Hospital he is now permanently retired from the practice of medicine and writes full time. He has received a number of writing awards, including being inducted into the Lincoln Memorial University Alumni Literary Hall of Fame in 2005. In 1998, "Caduceus Awry," a medical thriller, was a finalist in the Eudora Welty Film and Fiction Festival novel competition. "Drug and Alcohol Abuse: The Authoritative Guide for parents, Teachers, and Counselors" made the Academic Top-twenty Best-seller List in 1994 and the Top-20 Best Read eBooks List by Questia Media in 2002. "Nicotine Dependence" was named one of the top four articles written by a family physician in 1989.