You are a writer. You have been writing most of your life, writing term papers, developing business proposals, composing letters, email and Facebook posts. But are you a writer with a capital W? Do you want to become a fiction writer?
Writing a step by step guide that will magically turn you into a successful fiction writer is of course impossible. But I can save you some time นิยายอีโรติก. A condensed guide like this one works well for motivated writers who want to focus more on their own writing than reading about how to write. For example, rather than list endless numbers of activities, I list only those I have used successfully.
You could also of course enroll in an MFA program. The “good ones” cost lots of money, and you get instruction from “established” writers. At the very least, they can teach you the basics. But there is no guarantee you will learn anything beyond the basics. Using guides like this one can save you time and money — a poor person’s MFA.
Guidebooks can help you avoid amateurish errors (professional errors are often hailed as “groundbreaking”). They can give you a strong foundation to build on and set you forth on a lifetime of exquisite misery — for there is no misery as grand as the struggling artist, poet, writer. Mastering literary tricks and infusing passion into your work requires you to sell your soul to the devil and endure a lifetime of pain, which is of course hyperbole. It does, however, require some initial talent and lots of hard work.
There are no “rules.” However, you should learn the rules before you break them. You should master accepted “norms” before deviating from them.
But wait! You want to make lots of money from your fiction. It’s possible. But only after you learn how to Write. Then, translating your fiction writing skills into commercial success is a matter of persistence, networking, politics, marketing talent, and luck.
Exercise I. Desire.
Why do you want to write fiction? List favorite novels/stories. Why are they your favorites?
Exercise II. Schedule.
Where and when will you be writing for at least 20 minutes without stopping and without interruption? Ideas come from the act of writing. Expect your 20-minute write to be complete rubbish. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Choosing plot over character is dangerous. Plot is presented here first mainly because it might be “easier” to comprehend. On the other hand, characters drive plot. Which should come first — Plot or Character? (Aristotle listed dramatic effects in descending order: plot, character, dialogue, music/style, and spectacle.)
Good literature has dynamic characters. (While I use direct statements often, you should “almost always” qualify them, because there are “almost always” exceptions to the rule.)
Are you a soft, eloquent writer? Or do you write harsh eye-popping prose? Regardless of your narrative style, you need a plot. Good plots get the readers’ attention immediately and keep their attention by raising questions and delaying the answers.