Tens of thousands of novels are written every year; however, only a few writers manage to publish them, let alone find their books on the bestseller list. Given these high stakes, it is natural to feel daunted when sitting to write a piece of fiction.
Aside from all this, for many people, perhaps the most challenging part of writing fiction is getting started. So, here we list ten principles that can help guide your writing process.
Make a Commitment
Every single writer out there will tell you the importance of being devoted to your work. You will need the conviction to get through the rough patches you might encounter during the journey.
Needless to say, you might face rejection, and it cannot be easy to find a publisher. Therefore, you will need to work on your devotion and be humble to accept any criticisms. Commitment is the key to putting in the work required to improve it. That being said, being confident in your work is also essential.
Write Every Day
Writers should also make it a point to write regularly. This means that you need to find time to dedicate to the craft of writing every single day. Naturally, it can be challenging to carve out time, especially if you have a job or are a student. So, you will want to plan in advance by seeking paper writing help by WritePaper or by adjusting work schedules with coworkers.
You can also assign yourself a daily word count to meet every day. Don’t worry about making things perfect. The main idea is to get something onto a black page. Of course, some days will be better than others.
On average, most novels come to around 75,000 words, and this single aspect can make the thought of novel writing intimidating. Therefore, when starting to write fiction, it would be a good idea to set milestones for yourself.
This will help writers to break down the book mentally. This can take off the pressure and make it easier to manage the writing. If you are going through ‘writer’s block, look for pieces and writing guides that can help you find inspiration.
Pick a Narrative Style
The narrative style is an important factor that sets the tone of a piece of fiction. When writing from a first-person perspective, you will be telling the story from a single person’s outlook – for example, “I had tea in the morning.” This can provide intimacy; however, the writing would be limited by the perceptive abilities of the character.
In a third-person narrative, you, as the authority, will be telling the story – e.g., “He had tea in the morning.” This option is flexible and allows you to switch between different characters’ perspectives.
Moreover, you should also decide whether you want to go for a lean and simple narration or a detailed one. While the narration can evolve over the course of the fiction, the overall style should be consistent.
Make Your Writing Flow
Once you start writing, focus on getting the first draft done. When writing fiction, most writers tend to take a deep dive into the thesaurus, looking for the right word. However, in most cases, simplicity works best.
Complex words and denser text might not appeal to all audiences; instead, try using concise language. Your writing should have a flow and should be easy to understand for everyone.
Similarly, cut out superfluous adjectives, cliches, as well as passive voice. Conversely, an active voice can make your writing sound better.
Work on Character Development
While writing a character, the author should be aware of how they interact with the world around them. For instance, what’s their backstory, what are their hobbies, what are their obsessions, how do they perceive the world, and so on.
All characters in fiction are defined by their experiences. So, when a character interacts with others, they should also evolve in the book. As the author, you should have a clear idea of how a character is likely to react in a certain situation or the events of the book.
This principle applies not only to the protagonist but also to the supporting characters. Each character in your fiction should be distinct enough so that they are memorable and it is easy for the readers to remember their story arcs.
Complete the First Draft
When starting a writing career, novel writing can seem like too big a task to take on. However, instead of focusing on editing, the first aim should be to get everything on paper. You can start with an outline or write what comes to your mind.
It is entirely up to you to approach the story in any way that you prefer. You will inevitably make changes to your first draft later.
You can also try your hand at short stories. However, bear in mind that writing a short story can be even more difficult. This is because short stories require brevity and have to have a strong narrative with all the elements of a novel.
Work on Your Draft
Editing has the power to make a good book a great one. After completing the draft, take some time off to refresh your mind before sitting down for editing. Self-editing can take time, so it is essential to keep up productivity.
When editing your fiction, you might feel like making significant changes to the writing, moving your chapters around, or polishing the backstories. Similarly, if you are writing a mystery, consider whether there is enough supporting evidence that will convince the reader.
This is the part where you look at your fiction through the eyes of the reader. And as such, do not hesitate to rewrite or revise the story if necessary.
Understand that the purpose of editing is to revisit your writing and make changes. While it can be frustrating, this step is necessary to complete your writing.
Write to Sell
If you are writing fiction to sell it to a publisher or make a living out of it, you need to think like editors and publishers. Put otherwise, approach your story as a creative writing task and as one that has a marketing sensibility. If you are seeking the support of a publishing house, you will need to find a literary agent that can help you through the process.
This won’t be an easy feat for all writers out there.
That being said, there are also other ways to get published these days. You can skip the process of having to find a publisher and opt for self-publishing instead. However, this means that you will have to figure out your books cover design, printing, and even marketing.
Do Not Wait Around to Get Started
While planning is a necessary step, it is best to start writing before you think too much and get cold feet. You do not need your story to be meticulous in your mind to actually start writing.
The first draft of your writing might even come out terrible; however, after editing it, the story might be totally different and, sometimes, even better than what you envisioned. So, the best approach is to dive in before you second-guess yourself.
It would be easier to set yourself up for success by keeping the above-mentioned points in mind.