Better Fiction Writing

by Shannon Crose

I'm going to assume you're reading this because you want to improve your fiction writing. Maybe you've written stories before, maybe not, but you're here now to learn more. Somewhere in your mind stories burn, characters chat, and epic scenes unfold. Maybe those stories haven't come all the way to the surface yet. Maybe you're not sure exactly what your characters are going to do, or why. That's okay. You don't have to know everything now. All you have to do now is put your pen to paper, or your fingers to the keyboard, and see what happens. It may seem daunting at first, but trust me, the more you write and read, the better your fiction writing will get. Like sports, drama, or video games; the more you practice, the better your performance.

If you already have a story written down and just want some pointers to help you finish it, by all means, skip to the parts of this paper that only apply to you. This is not written like a grammar book (thankfully, or I would have fallen asleep half way through writing it). This is a straight-forward, easy fiction writing reference guide on how to get the most out of the words you use. If this guide inspires you to seek out more information on good fiction writing from the hundreds of books out there on the subject, it's done its job. If you use this guide as a way to avoid having to read hundreds of books on fiction writing technique, it's done its job.

Usually creative writing can be broken down into three drafts, or the "3 Rs": Rough, Revise, Refine. There is the first stage or rough draft, where you take your random thoughts and ideas and anchor them to a solid plot, a character or two, and an order of events that makes sense. Then there is the second stage, or the revision draft. This is where the finer points of writing come in, such as point of view, grammar usage, spelling, and format. After your rough story is written, this part ensures that the work doesn't have any distracting errors, that it flows well from scene to scene, and that it has all the details necessary in order to tell a good story. Finally, the third stage, or the refining draft, puts the final touches on your story that transform it from simple words on paper to true artistic expression. This stage is where you bring in the use of metaphors, similes, symbolism (strange words, I know, but each will be explained later), further character development, and different points of view in order to add depth and meaning to your story.

Keep in mind that every writer works differently. Some writers don't worry about mechanics at all until they get to the second draft; some obsess and pay attention to every single comma during the first draft. Some plan out every scene in the story ahead of time (making an outline of the major plot points in the story can be helpful in this case); some don't plan out anything. You have to find, and be comfortable with, your own fiction writing style. Longer stories that are more complex need a bit more planning than shorter ones. Because every writer and story is different, everything covered in each of the following sections is just a general idea of how it all comes together. Feel free to explore each of the following articles in any order you wish.


Searching All people search for who they truly are, and none more so than writers. by Shannon Crose

Challenges By Shannon Crose

Writing TCFDs: A Writer's Secret Weapon By Shannon Crose

How to Create an Interesting Bad Guy By Miriam Darnell

Writing Tips: Overcoming Writer's Block By Miriam Darnell

Creative Writing Ideas: Where They Come From and How To Get Them On Paper By Shannon Crose

Writing Your Rough Draft: A Guide for Getting Started On Your Story By Shannon Crose

Do's and Don'ts For Fantasy/Sci-Fi Writers by Julie Rodriquez

Suspense and Action Writing by Shannon Crose

Suspense and Action Writing Part II by Shannon Crose