Want to write more fiction? You can. Let’s look at some easy fiction writing tips which will help… some of the tips may feel counter-intuitive, but they work.
Write More: 5 Easy Fiction-Writing Tips
To speed through a novel, or short story, you need to have a process.
Here’s a simple process:
- Create a concept/ basic idea: I use the fast-start process. Try it, it works;
- Create two characters and their goals. One’s the protagonist; the other’s the antagonist — I think of them as the goodie and the baddie;
- Plot the major scenes which are the turning points of the story;
- Write a fast draft;
- 2nd draft — this is where the real writing happens;
Plotting happens while you’re writing — we talked about layers. Never miss an opportunity to make your story more exciting.
1. Stop writing when there’s nothing there
You’ve been writing your story, and it’s magic. You wake up excited and eager to get that day’s writing done.
One morning (or whatever time of day you write fiction)… nothing. You’re uninspired, or just tired. You don’t want to write.
When your book’s been going well, this is resistance. It’s your subconscious mind waving its hands and yelling — “stop! You’re going the wrong way…”
Pay attention. Stop. Sleep on it.
Next day, you’ll either have the solution to the problem you didn’t know was there (but your subconscious mind did), or you’ll find the problem when you read through the draft.
Vital: to write more, pay attention to your intuition. Listen. The answer will come.
Your challenge here is to identify those times you’re being lazy. If you suspect you’re just goofing off, push through it. Write anyway.
2. Write in scenes: diagram them first
One of the challenges with fiction is logistics; moving people around in your scenes. Two people in a scene are manageable; more than two are a challenge.
Before I start a scene, I like to draw little diagrams on index cards. I identify each person in the scene, what his or her goal is, what secret they’re keeping from the other characters, and anything else that’s important.
When you think through a scene before you start writing, your writing will flow, and you’ll write more.
3. Write in scenes: goal, first line, last line
When you know where you’re going, you’ll get there faster. 🙂
4. Stop writing when you’ve answered the “story question”
The story question is the point of your novel or short story. It’s when your main character has achieved his goal. In a mystery, it’s when the sleuth confronts the killer; in a romance, it’s when the guy gets the girl.
Your characters may or may not live happily ever after — end the story when it’s done. We talked about outlining and big scenes here. Your biggest scene is the story’s climax. Once it’s over, so is your story.
5. Don’t “write”: see it, feel it, and then write it
If you’re a new fiction writer, that is, you’ve been writing fiction for fewer than five years, your focus tends to be on the words. When readers read however, they don’t care about the words — you don’t stare at the painter’s brush strokes when you’re looking at a painting, do you?
Just as you experience a painting, your readers experience your fiction. That means that YOU need to EXPERIENCE it.
See your scenes in your imagination. Experience what your characters experience. For your readers to feel it, you need to feel it first.
Robert Frost said:
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
See it and feel it first. Then write it. You’ll write more, and your readers will get their money’s worth.
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