220: Conquering Social Issues with Fiction with Geoffrey Neil

How Structure Can Hinder Writing Progress

“Probably the most important advice I could give from my experience is if you’re gonna write a book, it’s gotta be something you feel really deeply about and passionately about.” —Geoffrey Neil

The inspiration to write his first book struck when Geoffrey Neil stopped to give money to a homeless man on a freeway offramp. He wondered why we’re still dealing with the social issue of homelessness, and what a world would be like if we were actually compelled to help one another. Writing fiction books became a type of therapy for Geoffrey to work out his concern about social issues.

In this episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I talk with Geoffrey Neil about why he doesn’t like the idea of outlining his books, how writing fiction is cathartic, and his journey with self-publishing.

Pantser vs. Plotter

A pantser is a writer who writes by the “seat of their pants,” which can also be called “discovery writing.” They prefer to allow their stories to come out organically and use minimal if any, structure.

A plotter prefers to outline their books and feels most comfortable with structure. Geoffrey tried to force his books into a structure early on, but they would go off track and he’d feel stuck. He’s now a pantser who goes with the flow in his stories and has found his own way to enjoy the writing journey.

I advise authors in our programs to figure out their own style of writing. Sometimes it turns out to be a mixture of discovery writing and outlining. Whichever way they prefer, it just needs to keep them writing and enjoying the process. Authors need that first dirty draft completed so they can make their book magical in the editing phase.

Be Passionate

Even as fiction authors, we can address important issues that are important to us in order to make an impact on our world. This is why we at “Authors Who Lead” started our new program, “Fiction with Purpose.” Authors like Geoffrey can highlight social issues in their stories in a way that not only entertains their readers but also makes them think about the bigger picture.

Being passionate about what they’re writing about is also the only way most authors will finish their books. It’s too easy to get sidetracked or give up if you don’t feel passionate about the story you’re telling.

In this podcast, Geoffrey also shares with us:

  • That there really is no one way to write your book.
  • Why a good editor is essential.
  • How to find beta readers.
  • Secrets to successfully market your books.
  • How to grow your email list.
  • Benefits of being exclusive to Amazon vs. going wide.

What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Are you struggling with finding passion in your writing? Are you wondering how to structure your book? Share in the comments below!

That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside of you that needs to be written, today is the day to start. Don’t delay—take action.

Episode Resource:

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Get a copy of Geoffrey’s books here:
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Authors Who Lead
Fiction with Purpose

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Azul talks with Geoffrey Neil about why he doesn’t like the idea of outlining his books, how writing fiction is cathartic, and his journey with self-publishing.

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