In today’s blog post we’re going to have a look at how to start fiction writing. I could write a long-winded post on how to begin writing, what books to buy, and other aspects like plot building, story creation, and character creation. I’m not going to do that today. What I’m going to do is show you baby steps you can take to see if fiction writing is right for you. The last thing I want is to see you invest money and time into something that maybe you haven’t got a love for. So if you’d like to give it a go, the first thing is to take action and…
Start Small – Like learning to drive a car, or ride a bicycle, you’re never going to know how to do it unless you actually behind the wheel or on the saddle and begin. And so it is it fiction writing. If you’ve never written a piece of fiction before it’s better off to start small.
Try writing out a small scene between two characters having a discussion over a cup of coffee. If you’re having problems with this, close your eyes for a moment and imagine two of your favorite TV characters sitting across from each other and having a discussion. Because you probably know these characters well you shouldn’t have any difficulty imagining what they would say to each other. This piece doesn’t have to be very long, but it’ll will give you an idea of what it’s like to picture a scene in your mind and then convey it to a reader to read.
Now that you have an idea of what it’s like to write a scene, try and put a few of those together to create a small short story. The short story should be in a genre that you enjoy reading. If you love reading romance then write a small romance piece, if you’re more of a horror or thriller reader, then go to go down that route instead. Even if think your writing sucks, you’ll enjoy the process of writing more.
Your short story doesn’t have to be very long, maybe two or three pages in length, but it’ll give you an idea of what it’s like to create a longer piece of fiction. Again this piece doesn’t have to a start or finish point. They could begin with the first romantic encounter between a couple and what takes place after that moment. Or it could be the cop in mid chase, running after a suspect that’s fleeing a bank job. Whatever you pick, it doesn’t have to have a start point or a finish point, It can leave the reader hanging in midair, but it’ll give you an idea of what it’s like to put a couple of scenes together.
Be Prepared To Suck – If you haven’t written anything since high school be prepared for your writing to suck. If you think you’re going to write the next Harry Potter on your very first draft you’re sadly mistaken. The best advice I can give you is when you’re writing, write like no one is ever going to read it. In this way you won’t edit yourself on what you’re going to put down in the page, but you’ll write from your heart. Because of that your fiction writing will be better and that emotion will come of the page because of it.
In these early stages it’s best not to share your work with anybody. Like a flower that’s barely breaking through the ground, you and your work for going through a growth process. The last thing you want is a snide comment from a friend or relative, that’s going to stomp on that work and crush your dream of becoming a writer. Because of that it’s best to keep your early writing to yourself. Once you’ve got better and feel more confident about your writing, then feel free the show it.
If you do get negative comments with your early pieces, try your best to distance yourself from you and your work. Although it can be hard to do this, because you have so much invested in that piece, most negative comments are based on your work and not on you as a person, or your future ability to write. There haven’t been many writers who were good at writing on their very first attempt, and you won’t be any different. Your writing may suck today, but in six months time (writing regularly) your work will look completely different.
Read More Fiction – If you want to write good fiction you’re going to have to read good fiction. Again like genre choice, don’t force yourself to read fiction that you don’t like. If your love is romance reading, then continue reading romance novels.
As you read, pay attention to how the author create scenes, what happens in those scenes, and how the characters interact with each other. For now don’t pay attention to two story line or plotting. Instead look at how characters are dressed and how they move in those scenes. Learning how to create story lines and plotting is further down the road with your fiction writing, so don’t be too worried about those for now.
From what are discovering, go back to your own fiction writing and take a look at the scenes that you’ve wrote. Now rewrite the scene using the things you’ve just discovered. How could you improve the dialogue between your characters? Could you bring some movement into your writing? Just because your characters are sitting down at a coffee table doesn’t mean there’s no movement happening. One character could be nervously tapping their foot, while the other character could be nervously playing around with their coffee cup. Now from what you’ve read, rewrite that scene to make it even better.
Another way to improve your fiction writing to take a piece of your favorite fiction and writing it out by hand, word by word. Although this may seem laborious to do, writing fiction like this makes you slow down and pay attention to the words the author chooses, how they describe scenes, their use of dialogue. (Even if you never did anything else, but wrote out a small piece of fiction everyday your fiction writing would improve in leaps and bounds.)
And there you have it, that’s how to start fiction writing. The most important thing is to get started. By writing out a few simple scenes, you’ll soon discover if fiction writing is right for you. If you enjoy the process, then go down the route of buying more books and courses on story line, character creation, and plotting. At the end of the day if you don’t enjoy fiction writing, your readers aren’t going to enjoy reading your work. But you’ll never know unless you get started.