You want to write fiction — a bestselling novel. It’s your dream, but how do you get started? Your novel may turn out be a bestseller, or a dud, but you’ll never know until you complete it, and it’s published.
Of course, something is holding you back, otherwise you’d have started your novel the first time the thought occurred to you.
Here’s the thing. Writing fiction is simple.
Truly, it is, as long as you remember to daydream.
If you want to write fiction, start daydreaming stories
Consider that you’re already an expert on stories. You’ve read thousands of novels. (If you haven’t… start reading, today.) Stories are everywhere. Movies, TV, Netflix.
Story starters are everywhere too; just watch any reality show to get dozens. Choose someone you hate on a reality show, and daydream about them. Or choose someone who intrigues you in a coffee shop, and daydream about the kind of person they are.
If you can daydream, you can write fiction.
These tips will help you to write fiction.
1. Sit down somewhere: grab your computer, or a notepad
This tip is vital. Put your rear end in a chair — chances are, you’ve heard this suggestion before. Please — DO IT.
I like to start my novels and short stories with a pen and notepad, but use a computer if you’re more comfortable.
OK. Let’s start writing your novel.
- About a movie you saw. Think about someone in the movie, and write a description of them. Let your mind wander… and imagine something horrible happening to that person. Write your imaginings down.
- A list of words. Any words you like. Just write them down the page — aim for 20. Choose any five words from your list, and use them in a paragraph. Close your eyes, and daydream. Keep writing.
- A description of an acquaintance — someone at work, or a neighbor. Write about this person’s biggest secret. It’s a huge secret, a secret that they would literally kill to keep.
See what you did there? You were writing.
Anyone can write fiction, but don’t say to yourself: I’m writing a novel. That’s fatal. You’ll immediately become self-conscious, and your fears will crowd in.
Just start writing, without expectations of anything.
You’ll be surprised at the result.
2. Build a treasury of ideas to help you to write fiction
We read fiction for an emotional experience. Before bedtime tonight, you can pick up your Kindle, or a paperback novel, and you can immerse yourself in someone else’s world.
You might become:
- A gladiator in ancient rome;
- A submarine mariner in a nuclear submarine;
- An astronaut, setting foot on Mars for the very first time.
To write fiction, you need a treasury of ideas. Each of these ideas must have emotional resonance for you — that’s essential. Something about an idea intrigues you, and before you know it, you’re daydreaming…
Pay close attention to how you feel. Most people avoid their emotions, and that’s sad. If you’re doing this, keep a gratitude journal, so that you can start familiarizing yourself with your emotions.
Ideas are everywhere:
- Look out the window. What do you see?
- Read the news. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has made the news;
- Listen to people. Most people like to gossip. Squirrel away the stories they tell you.
Write down your ideas, just a sentence or three, in an idea notebook.
3. WRITE fiction every day: start by creating characters
Remember: avoid saying — to yourself and others — I am writing a novel. Tempting yes, but it might be fatal too.
To write a novel, you need:
- Those characters do things, because they MUST and that creates…
- A plot.
Every short story or novel begins with a character who has a huge problem. He can’t avoid the problem.
So, start writing about a character who has a problem.
Then create another character with a problem.
See? You already know how to write fiction.
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