Friday, July 5, 2013

Author Destiny Allison: Difference Between Fiction And Non-Fiction

It’s always fun to meet new authors and I’m thrilled when I have the opportunity to introduce them to you as well. Today I’d like to welcome author Destiny Allison to Thoughts as she makes a stop on her WOW (Women On Writing) Virtual Book Tour for her debut fiction release, PIPE DREAMS.

Here’s a brief synopsis of PIPE DREAMS

    Beneath the park bench, a young girl cries for help, her voice aPipe_Dreams_Front_Cover cold hand on Vanessa’s throat. “Please,” the girl whispers, a tear trickling down her battered face. Vanessa glances at the empty square. A piece of trash tumbles. A bird settles in a tree. Then there is silence — no voice, no wind, no movement. It’s as if the world is waiting. The naked girl is desperate, but compassion for the Fallen is never forgiven.
    Vanessa’s hesitation is her undoing. Unbeknownst to her, Lewis is still haunted by her thick, auburn hair, serious eyes, and mocking laughter. She is the symbol of all he hates and her interaction with the girl is just what he needs to gain control of the virus. Originally developed to save mankind from itself, the virus can be used to create a slave race. When it is released, Lewis will have his revenge.
    As his plan unfolds, Vanessa is forced to flee. Escaping through the sewer, she finds love, heartbreak, and the red beam of a gun sight dancing on the slick, black wall. In the deep dark of the foul pipe, she also discovers she has been betrayed. That’s when she learns Texas is real.

Destiny joins us now to talk about the difference between writing fiction and non-fiction.

Thanks for having me today, Mason. I was thinking about what to write while perusing your blog. I have to say, I love your cloud photo and it inspired me. You asked me to talk about the difference between writing fiction and non-fiction, and your clouds are a great way to do that. 

Writing non-fiction is like taking a series of photographs. In each one, you're trying to capture the essence of what you see, feel, and know in a way that allows readers to engage. If the lighting is wrong, the lens is dirty, or the photographer is moving too fast, the image is blurry, out of focus, and usually boring. If, however, the photographer is patient, takes numerous shots of the subject, and pays attention to the frame, the resulting images are compelling. We can put ourselves in that place. Writing SHAPING DESTINY was more about weeding out the components that choked the story I wanted to tell. Which facts were important, and which weren't? 

Fiction writing, on the other hand, is like taking that photo of clouds and painting in some teeth, maybe some wings and a tail. Then, it's about imagining the beast's journey and making that beast come alive for the readers. It's not enough to have a puffy, white dragon sailing across a clear, blue sky. The dragon needs a name, a history, and the context of place if we are to believe he is real. He can't exist by himself, so we have to create his world and all the details that will captivate readers. 

Then, we have to tell a story about him that resonates with them. Can they identify with the dragon? Do they love him because he's the last of his race or do they hate him because he is stealing the rain and the poor bunnies' garden will die unless the eagle can face her fears and stop him? Writing PIPE DREAMS, I had to ensure that every single detail operated within the framework I had created. If it didn't, and took the reader out of the story, it had to get changed or cut. 

While each process is a little different, the author has to create a framework and decide on the story she wants to tell. Then, she has to fill out that frame with a story that makes sense in relation to it. In non-fiction, we cut away. In fiction, we add and then we cut away. Regardless, the two share the same basic requirements. Make the story compelling, have it ring true, and ensure that readers are emotionally engaged. 

Destiny, thanks for joining us today. I’m delighted the cloud photo inspired you. I enjoyed your comparisons and it also says so much about why we love to read. 

Destiny Allison is an award winning sculptor, businesswoman, and community builder, although writing was her first love. 

As her passion for the written word evolves, Destiny is writing what she loves. PIPE DREAMS is her fiction debut and other fictional works are soon to follow.

In 2012, she published SHAPING DESTINY: A Quest for Meaning in Art and Life and it recently took first place honors in the non-fiction/memoir category in the 2013 LuckyCinda Publishing Global Book Contest. In it, Destiny reveals the truth that life is art and it is a book Allison felt she had to write. 

She lives in Santa Fe, NM with her husband and dogs, alternately missing and celebrating her three grown sons.

For more on Destiny and her writing, check out her website, find her on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find more about her book on Twitter with the hashtag: #PipeDreams. PIPE DREAMS is available in print and as an e-book at Amazon

Be sure to check out Destiny’s WOW Virtual Book Tour Page for other blogs she will be visiting and chances to win a copy of PIPE DREAMS. Thanks so much for stopping by today. Which do you enjoy reading more - fiction or non-fiction?


  1. Destiny, thanks again for joining us today and giving us this perspective on the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Wishing you much success.

    1. Thanks for having me Mason. I enjoyed thinking about the differences between fiction and non fiction in a concise way. Appreciate the opportunity.

  2. Love the analogies of fiction/non-fiction! I've always read more fiction than non, but I've enjoyed my fair share of those books as well. The book has an intriguing premise - sounds fun! Thanks for the tip :)

    1. Hi Jemi,

      I've always read more fiction than non fiction, too, but non-fiction narrative has been a natural for me since I was a kid. It was exciting, challenging, and downright fun to take the plunge into fiction. Now, I'm hooked. I'm about 60,000 words into the first draft of the Pipe Dreams sequel and I'm having a blast.

  3. Mason, thanks for hosting Destiny today. I am currently attempting my first fiction writing experience after 30+ years of writing nonfiction, so this post spoke to me. And it was very helpful, so thank you, Destiny. And BTW, I live in Albuquerque!

    1. Congratulations on your brevity! It's fun to wade in new waters, though it can be really challenging. I wish you the best of luck in your fiction endeavors and wow, you living in Albuquerque is quite a coincidence. That almost never happens. Thinking rain! :)

  4. Hoping over to the blog tour now.

    1. Thanks, Ann. Hope to see you at some of the stops. :)

  5. Mason - Thanks for hosting Destiny.

    Destiny - You've made a really interesting analogy of writing fiction to photography that you later embellish. It's those embellishments that can take the reader on a real journey. I wish you much success.

  6. Thanks, Margot. I'm glad you liked the embellishment and were able to engage in the analogy. Appreciate the wishes as well.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.