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Writing Books/Welcome advice on starting a history novel


Hello.  I've been a technical writer for some years and am planning on writing my first non-fiction book.  I'm a history buff and am considering a book (first in a series?) about a professional genealogist who, with the help of a wide range of characters found among his historical society compatriots, helps people find out information about their past, for a variety of reasons: greed, fame, finding lost love, etc.  I have not written one word yet... just developing story lines and characters in my head. As I do, I am asking people such as yourself for any insight or guidance you can offer. If this is too broad, I can certainly focus my question on, say, character development or marketing.  But being a beginner, I'll happily abide by whatever you say.  Thanks. -- Curtis

Thanks for your inquiry, Curtis.

I'm not the person to give advice on writing fiction. I write nonfiction. That said, here are some suggestions to get you started:

Subscribe to the free newsletter at Writers Market,

Subscribe to the free newsletter at Writer's Digest, This site also offers a link to 101 Websites for Writers.

Visit you nearest book store or library for how-to books.

Search and b&

Search the web for How to Write Your First Novel, or Writing Fiction, and variations of those.

Consider joining a local writers' group. Your librarian should know of one.

Best wishes for every success.

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Wayne Groner


I can answer questions on all aspects of writing memoirs, biographies, family histories, and corporate histories including handling sensitive issues, interviewing, editing, self-publishing, and setting up a business as a memoir writer.


I have more than twenty-five years of experience as a radio and television news reporter, author, freelance writer, and workshop presenter. I present classes to nonprofits and professional groups, "How to Write Your Memoir or Life Story." I'm author of four nonfiction books. My latest book is A Guide to Writing Your Memoir or Life Story: Tools, Tips, Methods and Examples, available in paperback and eBook at Amazon. I'm past president of Springfield Writers' Guild (Missouri). My articles and book reviews on a variety of topics have been published in national magazines and on the Web. I was a senior-level college administrator for twenty-seven years, including nine years as a vice president, during which I wrote newsletters, brochures, magazine articles, and published and edited an alumni magazine.

Missouri Center for the Book, Springfield Writers' Guild, Greene County Historical Society, Christian County Historical Society.

Books: Witnesses of Hope, Faith, Love and Healing; Dumb Luck or Divine Guidance; The Pastor's Guide to Fund-raising Success; Levell-Drew Family History. National magazines including CASE Currents, Congregations, Ozarks Mountaineer, Your Community Hospice, Power and Light series of Sunday-school curriculum for adult learners.

Graceland College

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