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10 Tips for Writing Fiction

Writing fiction

10 Tips for Writing Fiction

If you want to write a novel, short story, or screenplay, it can seem overwhelming. Where do you get your ideas? How do you structure your work? Should you use first-person narration or third-person? With all the questions, it can be tough to figure out where to start. Hopefully, these 10 tips will help.

  1. Try the three-act fiction plot structure

The three-act structure is a popular method of plotting a story. It’s called the “three-act” structure because it divides the story into three acts:

  • Setup: The first act introduces you to the characters and their world, establishes an initial problem or conflict, and sets up all of your questions about them.
  • Confrontation: The second act usually takes up most of your book and contains an escalation of conflict between the protagonist (the main character) and other characters and issues in his/her life; this is also where we see how he/she responds to this conflict—and what changes as a result.
  • Resolution: The third act brings all loose ends together in some kind of conclusion or wrap-up; here, we find out if our protagonist has changed for better or worse.
  1. Make sure you start with a good idea. 

Ideas can come from anywhere, so make sure that you’re ready for them when they do. You don’t need an absolutely perfect story in order to start writing, but it’s helpful if you know where your story will lead and why it matters.

If you’re unsure what the point of your story is or how it ends, start brainstorming or sit down with some friends willing to help. Hopefully, they’ll be able to give their honest opinion on whether or not they believe the idea has potential.

There are also lots of resources online where other writers share their experiences about coming up with ideas for fiction novels. One such place is Reddit’s writer subreddit, where people often post questions about common problems writers face while working on new projects.

  1. Start with what you know

When it comes to writing fiction, it’s a good idea to start with what you know. If you have a great idea for a character or plotline but don’t know where to start, start with yourself and build outward from there. You can use your own experiences as inspiration or those of your friends and family.

Think about people you’ve met or heard about in passing—the stranger who made you laugh on the bus, the server at your favorite restaurant who always remembers how you like in your coffee, even fictional characters (or movie stars!) can inspire stories!

In addition to real-life situations, many writers also find success in drawing inspiration from their interests and hobbies as well. For example, perhaps there is an old storybook passed down through generations of family members—you could write a modern version of this classic tale with updated characters and settings, perhaps?

Maybe there’s an activity that fascinates you—how would it work if we were suddenly able to time travel? Ideas are really everywhere.

  1. Research

Researching your subject matter is essential for a well-written story. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to write an authentic and compelling story that will resonate with readers.

You’ll understand your characters better by answering questions like: Who are they? What motivates them? What have they done in the past? How do they behave around other people?

By diving even deeper, you’ll learn more about the world your story takes place in, and the time period it’s set in, which will give clues about how to describe characters’ clothing choices and behaviors accordingly.

  1. Create a timeline for each character

It’s important to know where each character is coming from, their goals, and how they will change throughout the story. This helps you create a stronger plot, keeping your readers interested.

If you want to write a compelling novel, your characters must have depth. It can help if you consider the following questions:

  • What motivates this character? Why does he or she do what he/she does?
  • What events in his/her past led up to this point? How has his/her personality been shaped by those events (or lack thereof)?
  • How do these things affect his relationships with other characters in the book? How might they affect future relationships in other books if you decide to write a series?
  1. Write in different places and at different times of the day

Changing up your writing schedule can also be helpful for sparking creativity. If you can’t find a quiet place to write at home, maybe head to a little coffee shop. Or get up early to write. Sometimes you just need to change things up to get motivated.

  1. Avoid distractions

As a writer, we are naturally interested in just about everything. But to write, we need to avoid distractions that will make you lose focus on the task at hand. This could include social media, email, phone calls, and other things that take away from your writing time.

If you must use your phone or computer for research purposes, turn off notifications so that they don’t distract you from the task at hand. If any windows open on your computer or applications running in the background (i.e., Word, Excel), close them all out so they aren’t cluttering up your screen while you’re trying to write fiction!

  1. Set yourself challenges or goals if you’re struggling to get started

When you have trouble staying motivated, try giving yourself some new challenge, whether writing a certain number of words each day or completing a short story in the next month. This can be especially helpful if you’re easily distracted by other things and end up procrastinating on your writing projects. The goal will keep you focused and help keep the ball rolling when times get tough.

It’s okay to make mistakes—they are an essential part of learning how to write better. Instead of beating yourself up over any errors you make while learning something new, focus on what went well and use those moments as motivation for improvement next time: “I did okay at keeping my word count yesterday!” “I’m proud I got back into my characters’ heads after taking some time away from them.”

Don’t be afraid to change what’s working or what isn’t working; ask questions if there are parts about which readers consistently complain; seek feedback from others who know more than we do about certain aspects of our craft; never stop learning.

  1. Stay motivated by gaining an understanding of your audience and finding your voice.

Fiction writers often feel a lot of pressure to produce a well-written book. What readers really want from fiction is an engaging story that makes them feel something and gives them some insight into themselves. That’s why it can be helpful to find your voice when writing fiction: the more you write in the same style and tone, the easier it will be for people to recognize how great your work is. Once you have found your voice and are comfortable using it consistently across all of your stories, then go ahead and start submitting them for publication if that’s your goal.

  1. Keep writing.

If you love to write, don’t let anyone’s opinion get in the way of that. You know what you can do, so trust yourself. Enjoy the process and keep learning. You have a gift to share.

Writing fiction can be difficult, but these tips will help keep you on track!

As a writer, it’s likely that at some point in your life, you’ve experienced the frustration of hitting a wall when trying to complete a story. The process can be extremely difficult and daunting. That’s why it’s so important that we write in an organized manner and stay motivated.

Remember to:

  • Set realistic goals for yourself every week or month (depending on how often you write). It can be overwhelming if your goal is too big, so try not to set unrealistic expectations by ensuring each goal is achievable within the given time frame.
  • Implement deadlines for yourself on top of weekly/monthly goals – these will keep you accountable while allowing extra time should anything come up during those periods (such as an unexpected deadline!).

Many people think writing fiction is easy, but it isn’t. It requires discipline, patience, and determination to get started and then keep going through those difficult times when you feel like giving up. But if you follow these tips and write a great story, your hard work will pay off.

Writing articles is a great way to work on your writing skills!

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