Without a doubt I come from an unconventional, non-writing background. I have degrees in quantitative Economics, Business and Religion and a CPA license despite not holding an Accounting degree. At the time I became a CPA because I could.
When I began to write I brought the intensity birthed in other fields. I wrote a lot by most standards, penning four novels in my first two years after committing to write.
My preferred genre is science fiction but has nothing to do with the gee-wiz graphics of a modern block buster movie. My preference has more to do with the prerogatives that I gain as a writer.
Novels offer the writer a unique opportunity if handled well. Being a non-visual medium the writer has the latitude to imprint on a truly diverse audience. In keeping with that mandate I have developed my own set of guiding principles that help me stay true to myself.
By no means am I claiming that these ideas unique. I only claim that I did not learn them sitting in a classroom.
Characters Should be as Translucent
Translucent does not meant that your characters have no form. It just means that you do not need to completely define physical characteristics which are not absolutely germane to your story. The intent is to leave room for the reader to complete the look of the character. Without exception everyone was their own preferences for types of characters. As much as possible I allow the reader to see who they want see. This is human nature and I see nothing wrong with that.
Story settings need to be visual
A reader must be able to see his self or herself inside of a story. The more visual the setting the more real the story can be to the reader.
Science Must be Accurate
The science of a story must be accurate and presented in a believable manner. Making any story believable is tough enough without messing up the sections that ought to be nothing more than simple reporting.
Fiction Must be Believable
This is where the art comes in. As a fiction writer you are asking the reader to suspend their disbelief so they can buy into your world. To do so the wrier may likely need to conceive of a reasonable sounding basis for the story premise. But beyond offering a plausible basis for your fictional departure the writer must create a seamless transition from real science to the fiction.
Genre Just Another Element to Enhance the Story
Story genre should always be approached as another important element of the story itself. I choose science fiction because it offers maximum flexibility. My stories are not limited by the laws of nature or the state of technology. Instead the only limits are my own imagination. As a genre, good science fiction provides the setting and should never be the story.