The journey in writing a fictional story is an adventurous and wonderful experience. As it is fiction, authors usually get a free pass to almost anything. It’s true when they say your imagination is the limit. There are no rules set in stone and it could be as outrageous and no one will bat an eye. If you want to write one, here are a few fiction writing tips that will surely help!
Love your story
Writing about something you have no interest in can be challenging. This takes out the fun in it! So before fleshing out a 100-thousand word story, make sure you are in love and passionate about it. You could have a long list of story ideas but there has to be one or two that got your hands itching to write. Start with those! Authors write best when they are in love with the characters and the plot.
Read other novels
Reading other stories and genre is an effective way to hone your writing skills. It’ll show you different ways to build tension, how to write a climax, and introduce other characters. Don’t read to be jealous but read to learn. There is so much to learn from other people.
Release only the necessary information
Hold on to the thrill and withhold information. It can be tempting to release the purpose of your main character but by doing so, you are setting your readers up to boredom. Only include details that are necessary for that particular scene. The rest of the supporting details can be hidden, this allows your readers to imagine and fill in the blanks.
Simple and shorter sentences
Don’t be afraid if you ended up describing a certain scene in just one sentence. There’s nothing wrong with it! Just because you’ve read other novels that word vomits doesn’t mean that your novel should too! You can always get a point or a feeling across in simple words and sentences. What’s great about this is its straightforwardness and clear meaning.
Most writers make it a habit to write every day. Some have a daily word count quota to themselves and others join a writing community to exercise accountability. It doesn’t have to be perfect all time, there will always be days where even a 100-word idea can be laborious to jot down, or that 500-word short story is technically filled with bad writing. Just practice and let it all out. The more you write, the easier it gets.
Know basic structure
A story with direction is a good story. Some authors have novel outlines they religiously follow to perfectly write the story they have in mind. Starting from the character’s profile, the setting, to the exposition, the rising action, the climax, and until the end. And while it’s true that there are no definite rules in fiction writing, it doesn’t hurt to know and understand the general structure of stories.
Readers love good character development. As the author, learning what details to reveal to increase tension and retain attention is needed. It’s also ideal to reveal backstories and reasons for their motivation and goals.
If you want to figuratively hold your readers by their throats, intensify your conflicts. This is also linked to the character development mentioned before. The more he tries to solve his problems, the more it gets worse, and the more he learns and grows through this.
One common mistake that beginner fiction writers usually do is to make it easy for their characters. Give them one conflict and once it’s solved through a very conventional way, they get all their wants and achieve all goals of their life.
If you want readers to stay, make everything extra and interesting.
Eliminating the unnecessary
One piece of advice that professional writers would give amateur writers is to know when words, chapters, or characters are no longer necessary to the story and needs to be taken out. A good writer will know how to effectively edit out irrelevant settings and details without losing their mind over it.
However, if you think that particular part has the potential to evolve, you can always write a short story or an extra for it.
Write now, edit later
It can very tempting to write a paragraph then immediately edit it to your liking. This is a common mistake that beginner writers would usually make. Professional writers would automatically tell you to stop and leave the editing for later. What’s ideal is freewriting, a technique that encourages writers to write whatever they want, letting ideas spill into the pages uninterrupted.
Schedule the editing sometime later.
Research and more research
We’ve mentioned this multiple times, there are no definite set rules in fiction writing. But it doesn’t mean completely to write complete nonsense either. Take into consideration that even though fiction is a made-up world, it still has to be believable and make sense. And research can greatly help you!
With research, you’d be able to make necessary specifics to add spice to the story and make it more believable, intriguing, and accurate.
Writer’s block is real and it happens even to the best of writers. It’s normal to start the day with no motivation at all and this doesn’t make you any less. If you need to take breaks, go ahead. Get some exercise, go out with friends, sleep, immerse yourself in a different environment. You can always continue writing later on that day and if you can’t, there is always tomorrow.
Get and accept feedback
Reading and trying to critique your piece is too challenging. Since you’ve written them yourself, spotting mistakes can be too difficult. That’s why it’s important to have someone read and critique them for you. Ask for honest feedback and take notes on the comments and suggestions. This will help you hone your writing skills more as it’ll help you realize what works best and what doesn’t.