Writing Fiction

Not all stories are derived from truth but the feelings are true. Fictional books are full of ideas, fantasies and imaginations. These imaginations and fantasies exist in our minds and all an author does is to give them a voice.

What is fiction?

Fiction is make-believe, imaginary. If a story’s true, it’s non-fiction. If it’s made up, it’s fiction.

Novels are fiction.

Fairy-tales are fiction.

Newspaper articles are nonfiction (even if they “slant the truth,” they are intended to be read as factual). So are encyclopedia articles, biographies, and memoirs.

Though fiction is made up, good fiction often seems more real than a newspaper report. Have you ever read a fiction book where you started to care about the characters, where you felt as if they were your friends or your enemies? (I have a friend who went through all the classic stages of grief — rage, loss, denial — after reading about the death of a Harry Potter character). Have you ever felt as if you’d actually visited an imaginary place that you read about in a novel?

A skilled writer can create a kind of dream in the reader’s mind. It’s like a magic trick, and it’s something you can learn how to do.

Sourced from: http://www.creative-writing-now.com/what-is-fiction.html

Writing a fictional story has order. You do not just get an idea and start writing. You need to serve your material in an attractive manner thus the rules of writing fiction.

Show, don’t tell. Remember show-and-tell in elementary school, when you’d bring in an object from home and talk about it? I want you to remember that experience and the lessons about storytelling it imparted. Then invent a time machine, and travel back to elementary school, and get a job as a second-grade teacher, and make sure you get yourself as a student in your class, and in the time machine bring along an iPhone, and give it to your second-grade self. All the kids will be blown away, even though it won’t get phone reception because cell-phone towers haven’t been built yet. The younger you will develop greater self-esteem from your newfound popularity, and go on to lead a richer adult life, and have more material to write about.

Create three-dimensional characters. Say you’re writing about a hard-charging banker who’s having an extramarital affair. This is a good start, but to avoid turning him into a cliché, you need to fill him out in three dimensions. In every paragraph, tell the reader exactly how high, wide, and long he is. For instance: “Benjamin Waller, a hard-charging banker who stood six feet one, with a size-thirty-two waist and a chest girth of forty inches, was having an extramarital affair.” Also mention that he drives a flashy sports car.

Sourced from: http://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/eight-rules-for-writing-fiction

Now many fiction writers do not follow fiction writing rules and at the end of the day they end up with flat stories. They make lots of mistakes that the only solution is to go back to the drawing board. Some of the mistakes made are lack of danger and perfection.

  1. Happy People in Happy Land

Chief among the most common problems, in first chapters especially, are scenes presenting characters who are perfectly happy in their ordinary worlds. The writer thinks that by showing nice people doing nice things, readers will care about these pleasant folk when the characters are finally hit with a problem.

But readers actually engage with plot via trouble, threat, change or challenge. I call the first hint of this the opening disturbance. It can be stunning, as in Jodi Picoult’s Lone Wolf, which begins:

2.A World Without Fear

The best novels, the ones that stay with you all the way to the end—and beyond—have the threat of death hanging over every scene.

Death? Really? Even, say, category romances?

Stay with me.

Death comes in three forms. Physical death is a staple of the thriller, of course. But there’s also professional death, where the main character is engaged in a vocation and the particular matter at hand threatens that position: A cop assigned a case that may mean the end of his career. A married politician falling for a young staffer. A devoted mother losing the child she loves to drugs. Your job, if it’s vocational death overhanging your novel, is to make whatever problem the protagonist is facing feel so important that failing to overcome it will mean a permanent setback to his main role in life.

Sourced from: http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-5-biggest-fiction-writing-mistakes-how-to-fix-them