In Practical Tips for Writing Popular Fiction, Robyn Carr writes, “It is important to know what type of book you are writing, what it is mostly. Different types of novels are meant to accomplish different things. Some are meant to scare, others to thrill or provide vicarious adventure, some should fill the reader with desire. The impact of the story is consistent with its genre. To write a superior novel, the novelist needs a course to follow, a map to lead the way. You must know where you are headed, and what you are doing, and why this works.”
The impact I’ve always hoped for with my novels is shock that such things happen, perhaps fear that they such things could happen to any of us, and a dash of cogitation or at least a soupcon of second thoughts about how one views the current state of affairs. The irony, of course, is that we seldom can change anyone else’s views, so those who are aware of the truth will not be shocked because it’s nothing they haven’t heard before, and those who are not aware of the truth will not be shocked because they will assume the books are entirely fictitious.
Still, I add cupfuls of history to the cauldron when I am stirring up a story, in hopes that some people will see a bit more of the truth, yet I’m not sure what, if anything, that will accomplish. If we truly are living in a controlled society, there isn’t much we can do whether we know the truth or remain blissfully naive.
In case you aren’t familiar with my novels they all fall under the heading of “conspiracy fiction.” I wrote what I knew (from studying secret histories, not from first hand experience), partly to create the impact as stated above, and partly because it would have been a shame to let all that research go to waste.
So, what are you trying to accomplish with your novel? What is the impact you are hoping to make?