Showing posts with label writing prompts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing prompts. Show all posts

First Steps for New Fiction Writers

Setting off on a fiction writing journey can overwhelm even the most excited, steadfast new writers. How does one make that very first step?

What follows here is not the only way to begin, but it's one particular way, and one of the best things we can do when we're new to something is just decide to start. So now that you're here, on this page, I hope you'll give it a try! The world always needs more creative souls to nurture their imaginative inclinations. ✨

Think of the ideas that follow as guidelines rather than a step-by-step list to be strictly adhered to. The aim here is to help you set off on your journey, not load you down with a cartful of baggage right here in the prologue! Bound lightly along these stepping stones, try the ones that feel right, and before you know it, you'll have taken your first steps on a lifelong creative adventure.

Now, where to begin?

Writing Letters: a Marvellous Way to Understand Characters

As a child of the '90s, I'm no stranger to epistolary stories. They were everywhere when I was growing up: Jaclyn Moriarty's Feeling Sorry for Celia, Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries, the enthrallingly haunting Griffin & Sabine; and many, many more.

Stories written in diary and letter form, and all their modern equivalents, consistently come back into style (a trend that goes back centuries), and it's not hard to see why.

These aren't the words of a distant narrator, high in the sky. These are the words of the characters themselves, right in front of us on the page, in all their intimacy.

Naturally, this still leaves plenty of room for drama and suspense. In an epistolary story, we're completely dependent on what the characters choose to share with others and how honest they're prepared to be, even for an audience of one in the pages of a journal.

There are few better ways to hear a character's voice than to observe the letters they write. If you're struggling to truly know them, or how they interact with others, have them write a letter.

Worldbuilding Questions and Ideas for Six Planet Types

Worldbuilding is a massive undertaking.

You're responsible for figuring out who and what exists, how days are spent (and how long is a day, anyway?), and what these beings believe about everything from religion to politics to pineapple on pizza to medicine and everything else under the sun(s).

Now imagine doing that for an entire planet.

Yeah. My head just exploded, too.

Looking at some of my favourite fictional universes, and a few others along the way, it feels like one of the best ways to keep things more manageable (and less "the Big Bang is throbbing inside my head") is to break things down. One step at a time.

How to Write Descriptively with Detail Clusters

Have you ever looked back on a scene you’ve written and wondered why it feels a bit ... generic?

You’ve developed amazing characters. You’ve crafted a fascinating plot. It flows, but something is missing.

The missing ingredient might just be detail.

How to Unlock the Potential of Transportation in Fiction

“Money may not buy happiness, but I'd rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus.”

Françoise Sagan

It’s funny to think that something as pedestrian as a character’s preferred mode of transportation could offer any inspiration or insight. Does it really matter if they ride their bike everywhere or drive a gigantic pick-up truck or refuse to go anywhere they can’t walk to?

It may seem insignificant, but the kind of transportation your character uses affects their independence (how much autonomy do they have to do what they need or want to do, when they need or want to do it?), and if all of your characters move about in the same way all the time, it’ll start feeling samey. That’s not even taking into account places in the world and eras in history when things like gender, race, and class dictate the modes of transportation used.

Knowing the modes of transportation used by your characters (the main ones, at the very least) helps bring order to the story world while also providing ample opportunity for writerly mischief, and goodness knows that's where half the fun is. ^_~