If you are already a writer, you know the basics. You know how to write a sentence. You have knowledge in terms of structure. You know which verb to use with which noun. These elements will not change when you switch from writing nonfictional works to writing works of fiction. However, writing a work of fiction is different in many ways. You may need to change your style, as well as the words you are used to using. The fact remains that you can make the transition successfully.
Part 1 of 3: Reflecting on your story
Step 1. Focus on the plot
In a way, this aspect of writing a work of fiction isn't that different from writing a non-fiction work, because, even in a non-fiction work, you are telling a story.
- In either case, you build tension throughout the story by unraveling information bit by bit, until you reach the end.
- However, the gist of a work of fiction lies in the story you create, while in a non-fictional work the story may be incidental to other, more important information.
Step 2. Imagine the outline of your story
Whether you're writing a short story or a novel, having a plan will help you get started.
- Write quickly how the characters will meet as well as the events that will advance the plot.
- Making this summary of your work will help you move forward at a steady pace in your work.
Step 3. Decide what will be your outcome
What will be the crux of your story? What is its central point? You're going to move towards the denouement throughout the story, so make sure you've got it in focus.
- Here are some examples of possible outcomes: a sudden revelation, the formation of a couple, a car crash, a death, etc.
- Make sure your ending flows naturally from the whole story.
- While the outcome must conclude a period of suspense, it must not come out of nowhere.
Step 4. Be careful not to over-plan your story, however, to prevent it from becoming too predictable
It all depends on the writer, but many people think that the story is more effective if they have a general idea of where they are going, but don't close all doors.
- In this way, you will make discoveries as you move forward.
- If you are surprised, then so will the reader.
Step 5. Concentrate on the Plot
The setting is important, but if you focus too much on it, your weary readers will neglect it in order to quickly find the plot.
- In fiction, the plot is the backbone of the work.
- Without a well-developed plot, which plays the leading role, fiction loses its raison d'être.
Part 2 of 3: Focus on the Characters and Dialogue
Step 1. Fill out identity cards for all of your characters
While you already have characters ready, in a way, in a non-fictional work (it is true that it depends on what you write), your characters, in a work of fiction, will have to be created from scratch.. It will therefore be useful to make identity cards for these characters.
- Write down their physical characteristics, what they like and dislike, but also what keeps them awake at night.
- Think about what makes them tick and what they're afraid of.
- Sketch a diagram of how the characters will interact.
- You can influence yourself with people you know or have known in your own life, if you want, but then you will probably have to disguise them a bit.
Step 2. Make sure your characters are unique
Remember to give your characters quirks, flaws, and most importantly, personality.
- Your readers want realistic characters they can relate to.
- Include diversity as well. Your characters should reflect real life.
Step 3. Think about how your characters' motivations drive the plot forward
What do they want that can move the story forward?
- It is their desires and secrets that will help you tell the story.
- Go look deep into your own emotions.
- If you are emotionally honest through your characters, your readers will notice it.
Step 4. Try to write short scenes with your character, remembering to include dialogue
It is true that dialogue can be very difficult to write at first.
- Try reading it aloud to see if it sounds good or not. You will realize it.
- You don't need to use full sentences when writing dialogue, since in real life we don't usually speak in full sentences.
- When writing dialogue for your story, consider whether it advances the plot or not. If it doesn't advance it, delete it.
Step 5. Choose a point of view
Choose which character will tell the story, what point of view you will take, as well as what readers and each character know.
- Choose first or third person and stick to it throughout the story.
- The point of view you choose will have a huge influence on how you look at the story, so think carefully before making your decision.
Part 3 of 3: start writing the work of fiction
Step 1. Pay close attention to the way you write, look at it carefully to see if any changes need to be made
It depends on what kind of non-fictional work you're used to writing, but you might need to switch your style to fiction a bit.
- For example, journalistic writing favors brevity. It is jerky. This style can pass into fiction, but you should also try to write a little more complex sentences.
- Don't be afraid to try different ways to start a sentence. Varying the length and structure of sentences will also help prevent your reader from getting bored.
Step 2. Remember to choose the words you use carefully in order to create a special atmosphere
- For example, “contestation” and “objection” are considered synonyms. However, "protest" can have a political overtone, while "objection" is used more in the legal community.
- Therefore, their connotation, the meaning they have outside of their definition, is quite different.
- Pick the word that best suits your story and the mood you are trying to create.
Step 3. Try to write short stories first, like short stories
Starting with a short work of fiction can be a good way to enter the world of fiction.
- In fact, you can start with micro news, which are usually less than a thousand words long.
- Longer fiction requires a detailed plan and more development. Also, starting with something short will, in a way, help you learn the trade.
Step 4. Use writing tasks to get started
Using writing assignments can be a great way to explore writing fiction, without having to go through lengthy plot brainstorming sessions.
- You can find writing tasks online or you can use a special object or an old photo.
- Use anything that can help you start writing.
Step 5. Read extensively to understand writing fiction
It will help you become a better writer, because you are going to be exposed to different ways of writing and different ways of telling a story
Step 6. Read books on how to write a story to understand the technical aspects
While these aren't the funniest books out there, they will help you hone your knowledge of the trade.
You can also find a lot of information on the internet to help you learn to write better
Step 7. Take a one-day writing workshop or a longer-term writing course
Typically, writing workshops will teach you a specific writing style.
- You can also spend time writing in writing workshops, in the style you are taught.
- Classes will help you dig deeper into your writing.
- You will also meet people who are like you, which is invaluable. They will know the difficulties you are facing and can help you become a better writer.
Step 8. Find people to proofread your text and work in the workshop
Work in the studio is different from the writing workshop because it is more focused on proofreading what you have already written.
- In the writing workshops, you can transmit your work in advance or exchange it during the meeting.
- You can find people to work with in workshops at your local library, in writing classes, and even online.