Want to get started with fiction? One of the most common questions I’m asked about fiction writing concerns my writing process. It’s a wonderful question, because it means that these writers understand professional writing. The less time you waste, the more time you have to write… and the more success you’ll achieve.
Once you have a process, you’ll find yourself motivated to write, and you’ll be more confident about writing.
So, here’s my writing process; customize it to create your own.
The following is an excerpt from 124 Powerful Fiction Writing Tips: Win Readers And Fans, And Increase Your Sales Today; it’s just been released.
Fiction writing: my current novel-writing process
For my own projects, under various pen names, and for my ghostwriting clients, I always aim to write novels in series.
Readers like series fiction — if they enjoy a novel’s world, and characters, they’re happy when they know that they can dip into that world again. Indeed, some readers end up buying every book in a 21 book series, and looking for more.
Even if I get a sudden rush of blood to the head with a brilliant idea for a book — a mystery, let’s say, which I consider a standalone, at the back of my mind I’m wondering whether I can turn this novel into a series.
The process, step by step
- Choose an idea. I keep my Idea Banks in two primary note-taking apps across my computers and devices: Evernote and Bear. Usually, I’ve chosen an idea before I finished the previous novel, and have made some notes.
- Develop the idea.
To develop the idea, I start by thinking about the main character, and his or her primary attributes (traits), and I create mind maps. Mind maps help me to visualize characters, settings, and events.
Next, I create several more characters, also focusing on their traits, because when I know each character’s attributes, I know what he would, or would not, do.
I also develop a situation for the main character: the main character is jolted out of his ordinary world by a threat, or challenge. He must meet this challenge — there’s no way he can refuse, because it threatens something he values.
- Create scenes — just a sentence or two for each scene.
Once I know the primary characters, and the threatening situation in which they find themselves, I make notes for scenes, which I divide into sections: the Setup (the first 25% of the novel), and the scenes leading up to the Midpoint Twist, and beyond.
- Start writing the draft, while planning and plotting further scenes and character developments.
- Read my research materials.
While I’m writing the draft, I also read research materials. Currently I’m writing a mystery novel set in 1930s Germany. I have a stack of research materials in the Kindle app on my iPad, so I dip into and out of these.
- Complete the draft.
- Revise the draft.
- Send the draft (which is now the second draft) to three of my beta readers for novels in this genre.
- Revise again, with my betas’ notes in mind.
- And revise, yet again, if necessary.
You’ll develop your own fiction writing processes over time
Every novel is different, and you’re a different person with each novel you write.
There’s only one writing process which matters — KEEP WRITING until you’re done with the project, no matter what.
And have fun. 🙂
Want more fiction tips?
Here’s our latest ebook, 124 Powerful Fiction Writing Tips: Win Readers And Fans, And Increase Your Sales Today. Enjoy. 🙂
Today, hundreds of thousands of novelists are publishing fiction, with varying degrees of success. Perhaps you're a self-publishing author — or perhaps you're a ghostwriter, and want to offer fiction writing services to clients.
Whatever your needs and dreams, this book, 124 Powerful Fiction Writing Tips: Win Readers And Fans, And Increase Your Sales Today, will help.More info →
How To Write Novels And Short Stories Readers Love: You're about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you're writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily.More info →
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