Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve had some questions from writers who want to move into fiction, but can’t imagine writing a book. For these writers, writing fiction seems a huge challenge, but it doesn’t need to be.
Train your brain, first, rather than forcing yourself to write. You can’t force your imagination.
Start small: try some fan fiction
If you’re new to writing fiction, you don’t need to start your fiction career by writing a novel. You can write short stories.
Vital: have FUN with it. Try writing fan fiction; this may give you the boost you need.
Many authors, including E.L. James of Fifty Shades fame, got their start writing fan fiction. In the Jane Austen fan world, writing and selling Jane Austen fan fiction is now a thing. It’s developing into a genre of its own.
I’m not a fan of fan fiction; I can’t write it — I have zero wish to. I don’t even think that I could. My mind doesn’t work that way. Check out Kindle Worlds, writing fan fiction may appeal to you.
Here’s how I work. When it’s time for me to start a new fiction project, I just sit down and start. I start with a character, and that character is involved in a situation. As the situation becomes clearer, I create a minimal outline, using my easy, organic, plotting process.
Start with a character: any character
If you’re completely new to writing fiction, chances are that you’re exploring it firmly ensconced in your left brain. You need to loosen up; allow yourself to day dream. Fundamentally, that’s all fiction is — day dreams, which you write down.
Muse for a few moments. Let your mind drift wherever it wants to. Tell yourself you want a character. Then start writing.Fiction authors turn their day dreams into short stories and novelsClick To Tweet
Everyone day dreams. Fiction authors turn their day dreams into short stories and novels.
Day dream and write down your dreams
Once you get used to the day dreaming process, and start writing down your day dreams, the process will gradually become easier.
Over time, you’ll drop into the day dreaming mindset very naturally.
Try handwriting — use pen and paper. If I’m feeling stuck, I’ll take myself out into the garden, and I’ll sit under a tree and start writing on a legal pad. Writing by hand gets me unstuck — it allows me to drop into the fictional dream.
Practice with short stories, then bundle them and sell them
If you tell yourself: “I’m writing a novel”, it may well scare you. So, start without worrying too much about what you’re writing.
Can you resolve your character’s situation in 5,000 words? That’s fine. You’ve written a short story. Today, length is immaterial. Readers read short stories. They read fiction which appeals to them; it doesn’t matter how long or short it is.
Publish your short stories, then bundle them up into a collection, and sell the collection, as well as the individual stories.
Writing fiction isn’t hard. All yourself to dream. Then write, and publish.
Updated: January 4, 2017
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