Want to write page-turning fiction?
Start by writing in scenes.
Then focus on the emotions.
Fiction is all about emotion
Fiction is all about emotion, and that emotion has reasons, which derive from action. You’ll often see novels which critics hate on top of various bestseller lists. Remember the fuss about the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy? Critics hated the books. However, those books sold in their millions. Why? Simple. Emotion. The books gave readers an emotional experience: they entertained readers, so the novels sold — and sold some more.
They’ll go on selling, because readers will always want entertainment.
Let’s look at some tips to help you to write fiction that readers love.
1. Focus on emotion while you write
We talked about outlining for emotion here:
Consider the emotions you want your reader to feel. Keep reminding yourself of the emotions as you write – this will soon become automatic. I’ve found that if I’m getting bored as I write, it’s always because I’ve lost the emotional thread. Throw in more conflict. Make your characters fight for what they want.
2. Find the feeling in each scene
It’s vital that you write in scenes, so that you can focus on the emotions, because readers are reading for emotion. When you focus on each scene, you can ask yourself:
- Who wants what, here, in this scene?
- What are they feeling?
- What changes in the scene?
3. Think about what your characters want, before writing a scene
Your characters have GOALS. If they don’t have goals, you don’t have a story. They also need to be motivated to achieve their goals: no motivation, no story. And of course, your characters don’t get an easy ride. Their goals are hard to achieve.
This means that your novels and short stories need to be about something important — important, that is, to the characters — important enough to raise strong emotions.
Want to write better fiction? Know yourself emotionally
Writing fiction can be difficult, because (if you’re writing good fiction) you’re dealing with emotions, day after day. It’s wearing.
You may find yourself avoiding scenes which you know you need to write, because you don’t want to feel those emotions. That’s OK. Over time, you’ll become accustomed to manipulating readers’ emotions, and will understand your own emotions on a deeper level.
So you could say that writing fiction is therapeutic, and good for you. Remember to have fun with it. 🙂
Your readers want to enter your novel's world. They want to experience your book -- they want to live your book with your main characters.More info →
You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels.More info →
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