Writing a fiction story can be quite the task if you don’t know what you are in for. Fiction story writing is an adventure that you embark on, allowing your imagination to take hold and create an entirely new world and characters that help you tell the story. While there are no hard and fast rules to follow when writing fiction, but you need to devote time and creativity to come up with a beautiful fiction story that will captivate your readers.
Here are some widely-used tips and techniques to help you start writing and create a great fiction story. These tips will make your journey as a writer more exciting and the whole process a lot easier.
- You must love your story
Remember that fiction writing is all about creating a story from your own imagination, though it may include some references to actual events or people. Fiction stories are not true stories, but they can have some elements of truth in them. The most important thing when writing a fiction story is that you should be passionate about the idea you want to write about. It is possible that you have several story ideas that you want to flesh out, and you may even think about combining two storylines, but if you don’t love your story, you will never be deeply invested in the characters and the overall plot. So when you start with writing the story, make sure you feel strongly about the idea.
- Don’t start too slow
Some writers tend to start their story very slowly, letting the plot build-up dramatically over time. It is important to understand that such type of writing requires a lot of practice as well as skills that most new writers do not have yet. The feature that separates out a good fiction book from an average one is the presence of conflict. Readers need a challenge and a problem to solve. If you spend too many chapters writing about the ordinary lives of ordinary characters, your readers will quickly lose interest and give up. Take inspiration from novels like Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, where she quickly introduces the conflict between the heroine Bella Swan and builds mystery around the hero, Edward Cullen, keeping readers hooked on what is going to happen next.
- Do not provide all the information immediately
While you should not be dragging on your story, it is also not ideal to give away all the information in the first chapter itself. When you write fiction, you should only provide your readers with the knowledge they only need to know at that moment. If you read about Ernest Hemingway’s iceberg theory, it explains that while writing, you should show your readers only the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the supporting details, such as the backstory, should be kept unseen, just like how the majority of the iceberg remains under the water, hidden from view. This prevents your readers from becoming overwhelmed with too much information. It also lets your readers use their imagination to fill in the remaining blanks.
- Establish clear stakes for your characters early on
In order to be engaging, your fiction story needs to clear the stakes for each character early on. These stakes do not need to be earth-shattering, but they should still feel important to your characters. Every character should want something in the story, even if it’s a small thing. However, the main character should want something and ideally also be afraid of not getting it. Stories that do not show clear stakes can be difficult for readers to engage and identify with.
In some cases, the stakes can even be the end of the world, such as the concept of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series, which showed that if the characters failed to destroy the One Ring, it would result in the destruction of the Middle Earth. Such types of stakes, though, are best reserved for fantasy fiction and epics.
- Character development
No fiction story writing can be complete without proper character development. You will find that even the worst plots can be saved if you have some incredible characters. This is an important step in fiction writing, and you should spend some time focusing on character development before you start writing your fiction story.
It is important that you focus on giving every main character a backstory, personality traits, properly fleshed-out description, as well as a purpose for the story.
You may consider building your characters as you develop your plot and your fiction world as each of these factors have to complement one another in that they should be building and supporting each other as the story moves ahead. Sometimes, you may even throw in a character that has traits that are opposite to your overall story and doesn’t fit in. This can lend an additional conflict angle that adds some entertainment value to the fiction story.
- Write simply
It is always better to use simple sentences when writing your fiction story. Short and simple sentences are able to quickly describe a character’s situation. Of course, there is also a time and place to use bigger and fancier words, but most of the time, it is possible to get your story points across using simple language and sentences. Using succinct language while writing your fiction story will ensure that every word and sentence you write has a clear purpose.
- Mix it up a bit
If you are a new writer and are learning how to write a fiction story, it is a good idea to mix up your writing. To become a better writer, you should always try out different types of writing. If you are a fiction writer, try your hand at writing some non-fiction. Or, if you are a novelist, try taking a stab at writing a short story. You don’t have to write with the purpose of publishing this, but just as a practice piece, it can be a good way to experiment and bring an additional flair to your writing. Blogging is another excellent idea to practice casual writing. Remember that every piece of writing has a different point of view, and different style rules apply to each genre of story writing. Practicing the different types of writing will help improve your overall writing skills as well.
- Choose your point of view
You have to decide which point of view will make the most sense for your story. This includes – first person, second person, third person, god-like omniscient perspective, etc. Most seasoned writers are well aware of how to use a narrative point of view to bring out the best in their fiction story, but it can be a difficult concept to grasp for beginners.
Remember that if you are not really able to comprehend the point of view or the impact it has on your fiction story, how will you choose the right one for proceeding with your story. To put it simply, the narrative point of view is the perspective from which your story is told. It plays an essential role in determining the narrator’s relationship to the story, and it is the primary voice that speaks to your readers. This is how the reader connects with your story.
This is why choosing your point of view before you begin fiction story writing is essential.
- If your story does not move you, it won’t move the reader
If you are writing an emotional fiction story, and you find that you are not moved by the story, then you should not expect your reader to be either. This is why it is necessary to have a connection with what you are writing. Many seasoned writers suggest the trick of crying yourself. Even slicing onions can help bring tears to your eyes and support the process. Film yourself crying and watch it to truly feel the emotion.
- Write every day
Every writer knows that writer’s block is a real thing, even for the most famous and seasoned of writers. However, what most new writers don’t know is that all great writers have a habit of writing regularly, almost on a daily basis. You have to dedicate time every day to writing. Many writers even assign themselves a daily word count for writing. For example, Stephen King writes 2000 words every day.
Some people find that it helps to join a writing join since you become accountable to other people to accomplish your daily writing. Do not worry if you are doing some technically bad writing or you are struggling to even get some basic words onto a blank piece of paper. It is to be expected that some days will be more productive than others. Just remember that the more you write, the easier it will get to write every day. So start practicing this valuable habit today.
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There is really no one way to become a great fiction writer other than to keep practicing your writing every day. Read and write. Reading other great writing can be a huge help as it helps you find your own voice, and you also get to pick up some invaluable tips on how to hone and polish up your own writing skills. Try to read a variety of genres and a variety of authors. In fact, try to read other fiction books that belong to the same genre as your own story. For example, if you are writing a thriller, reading other thrillers will help you learn how to create plot points, how to bring the characters alive, how to build tension, and so much more.
So stop doubting yourself and embark on your journey to become a better fiction writer with the help of these tips and techniques discussed above.