If you're a fan of writing then you may be looking for some splendid tips for fiction writing and I have a few of my own I would like to share. Fiction writing is both fun and frustrating, especially if you have exhausted all the random word generating exercises. These tips for fiction writing should reignite that spark and help you jump onto the fiction train, bound for destination imagination.
1. Dream on
One of the top tips for fiction writing is to embrace day-dreaming. Allow yourself this precious dream-time when your imagination wanders. After all, it's the stuff great fiction is made of. Try and imagine your story-line like a film reel, with real people and images. Picture your scene as a movie and imagine how it would look on screen.
Life is all about change and when you're thinking about your plot, you need to implement change in a realistic and convincing fashion. There are a few exercises you can do when thinking about how to embed psychological and external changes into the narrative. One of them is to imagine a room which is empty except for one object. Now put a character in this room and flesh him or her out with a few characteristics. Add a second character, but this one is outside the room, and describe them briefly too. Now put that second character in the room and write a brief dialogue between the two. The next step in this exercise is to have one of the characters leave the room with or without the object. The key element with this exercise is that a change in relations will have occurred between these two characters.
3. It's All Lies
Stephen King said in his fabulous guide to fiction writing, "Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie." It's a quote I have above my writing desk and it reminds me that even though it's all lies, it still has to ring true. What keeps people tuning in week after week to watch shape shifters and vampires a la True Blood, are the lies and fantasies which are wrapped up in a convincing cloak of human truths. It's what keeps people coming back for more. People will believe in the unbelievable, so long as you don't push them too far. It's not what is possible but what is probable.
You may have the idea or concept of your story set and ready to go but your task is far from complete. Imagine laying the idea on the ground in front of you and try stepping aside and looking at it from a different angle. Can you see things from a different character's perspective? Can you set it in a different time period or can you change the narrative style? Would it work as a diary or an epistolary novel? These are all things you could experiment with.
5. What if?
As a writer, there are two key words you must keep asking yourself. They are 'what if?' There are millions of people out there writing and many are writing the same sorts of stories. They know what the current fashions and trends are and are writing something they think will sell, based on the current zeitgeist. However, one of things which is going to help your fiction stand out is to ask yourself this question key. Use a spider-gram which revolves around the central idea. For example, if you have a story whirring around your head about vampires (which people never seem to tire of, it seems), then write down some key words around the central concept. After you have done this, ask the 'what if' question about each of the ideas and see if you can turn some weathered and worn ideas on their head.
6. Mix It up
We all have lots of ideas and many of them don't go further than the concept stage. Perhaps you could think about combining a couple of these ideas to see if they work well together. Try a mix and match approach by drawing two columns. Place your 'types' of characters in one column and the list of events and concepts in the other and see if you can bind any of them together.
7. Eye for Detail
The devil's in the detail, or so they say. And this is no exception where fiction writing is concerned. This doesn't mean that you have to painstakingly describe the minutiae of every character or every room they walk into. It means you can give information and detail quite subtly. Be economical with your writing without scrimping on the detail. Observe people when they're walking or simply standing in a queue. Another great exercise is to observe yourself and write about yourself in the third person. How do you feel when you're in a queue? What are you thinking and what subtle movements do you make?
These are just a few tips for writing fiction that may help when you're feeling a little stuck for inspiration. Do you have any fiction writing tips to share?