How to Start the Fiction Writing Process Successfully

Have you always wanted to become a writer? If yes, then tell us – what exactly stopped you?

Perhaps – you tried to write before – got a few pages completed – only to find yourself losing steam for one of the following reasons:

  • You struggled with procrastination and let it win.
  • Your story idea wasn’t good enough.
  • You had serious self-doubts and believed that you were never going to succeed.
  • You are simply out of ideas.

Now, if even one of your potential reasons to give up on your fiction book was due to the before mentioned reasons, you will want to know that even today, the best authors struggle with these things – nearly every time they sit down to work on their writing project.

So, the question is how you will find the much-needed motivation to complete your book or complete the first copy of the manuscript. Well – you will need to see and believe writing to be your passion – all successful writers loved to write, which was also their driving force to complete their first manuscript.

You will want to believe down to your bones that writing is what you really want to do.

And then, you will want to follow the below-given tips to put everything else aside and successfully publish your first book.

Brainstorm an Award-Winning Idea

You cannot write a good story unless you don’t have an award-winning idea. Suppose you choose literary fiction as your genre; you will want to develop a concept that will make your book unique and make people want to read the book.

Of course, you will need to think about the story’s central conflict, which will also be the primary driving force of the entire plot.

You will want to invest time and effort in this stage and choose the one story idea that you are most passionate about to bring to your readers. Believe us – your readers will be able to tell if you haven’t been writing fiction with a passion.

So, the story idea should excite you in a way that you would want to return to your writing spot every day.

You get the point – the story must capture you in a way that you will want to work on it every day until everything is out of your head on the screen. Yes – you read this right!

Only this kind of story ideal will inspire you to complete the manuscript, have it proofread, and finally publish it.

Have a Writing Strategy

You can be one of two things – you can either be a pantser – or – you can be an outliner. There is no in-between. As an outliner, you will want to use a mind map and outline everything that is part of the story – including themes, characters, and everything else from beginning to end.

As a pantser, you will start with the main idea and unfold the story from there. This way, you will discover the story as it unfolds in your mind. You can even experiment by placing your characters in a conflicting situation and seeing what happens.

One of these two writing strategies will feel innate to you.

Many writers opt for a hybrid approach, combining the two basic strategies. They might have started with an outline, but they explore their freedom of expression and creativity during the writing process while allowing the story to take undefined directions.

So, you will want to do whatever makes the most sense to you, even if it demands a blend of pantsing and outlining.

When it comes to outlining the plot, you will want to understand the basic plot elements:

  • The opening
  • The main incident that changes everything
  • A series of conflicts
  • Climax of the story
  • Catharsis – Conclusion

Work on Your Main Character

While writing fiction or novels, you will make the plot interesting by introducing a wide range of characters. But – if you want to write a perfect story that your readers will remember for a long time – even after they have finished the book – you will want to create an unforgettable main character.

Of course, your most important character will be the protagonist. Now, ideally, your main character should go through a life arc. By going through a life arc, they will become different in the end – they can be better, worse, stronger, or weaker.

To make the main character unforgettable, the readers should be able to relate to it, which means that the main character should exhibit some human flaws. You might be tempted to create a perfect character as the protagonist – but – no one will be able to relate to a perfect being.

No one can relate to perfection.

As a contrast to the main character – the protagonist – you will also want to incorporate a villain who should be as unforgettable as the protagonist. The antagonist shouldn’t only be evil for the sake of being bad – but – their qualities should be formidable.

But the characteristics of the antagonist should be justified – at least in their mind, which will make them more of a real foe.

Again, you will want to use mind mapping to define the details of all characteristics while using the following questions:

  • Who are the characters?
  • What do they want in the plot?
  • Why do they want what they want?
  • What or who is keeping them from achieving their goals?
  • What will the character do to change the direction of the plot?

Make sure to use distinct names – something that is unique but short and easy to remember. You will also want to ensure that all characters look different from each other. This way, the readers won’t confuse the characters.

Speaking of the protagonist, you will want to make them go through serious challenges in life, giving them a better chance to grow and develop as a character.

Do Your Research

Some fiction writers make the mistake of not researching because they believe they don’t have to. Here is the thing – though you might be writing fiction, you will want to make the story believable, even if you have incorporated fantasy aspects.

Make your research to avoid errors – for instance, if your setting is the Victorian era and your plot is unfolding in that time, you will want to research the Victoria era to make your story logical. If your characters use weapons, you must avoid illogical aspects, such as the protagonist shooting twelve bullets out of a gun that can only hold eight bullets.

You get the point – you will want to do enough research to ensure your story has flavor and authenticity.