The Basics of Writing Fiction

Just like in life, there are several basic rules when it comes to writing fiction. Following the rules outlined below will help you avoid making mistakes in the future.

1. Character Is Key

You need to have a main character that readers can identify with. They don’t have to be perfect. To make them interesting, they do need to have some issues to work through in the course of the novel.

2. Outline Your Plot

Write an outline of what is going to happen in the beginning, middle and end of the book. This will give the characters some direction in your novel. It’s okay to change things if your characters or situations in the book take on a life of their own, but have a general idea of the point of the story.

3. Start in the Middle of Things

“In media res” is a common literary term. It is Latin for “into the middle of things”. It helps get the novel off to an active start. Then you can fill in the back story as you go along.

4. Choose a Point of View That Makes the Most Sense for Your Novel

Some write in the first person (“I”), while others use the third person (“he” or “she”). The narrator can be limited or omniscient (all-knowing), giving us information about what is going on with other characters in the book. A third-person-limited narrator might not know the whole story, but this can be a good thing for certain genres, such as mystery or horror, with the story unfolding for us as it does for the main protagonist.

5. Use Dialogue to Move the Character and Story Along and Fill In the Back Story

Dialogue can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to drawing a character, advancing the plot, suspense, tension and so on. The conversation between characters can also give us a sense of their past and make them more well-rounded and three-dimensional.

6. Show, Don’t Tell

Here we are referring to descriptions of people, places, and emotions, not to dialogue. When you are showing, you are giving details that all add up to the reader drawing a conclusion about what they are reading.

For example, if you describe a person as, “scowling, fists clenched, panting with fury”, you won’t need to say, “He was angry”. If you say, “The snow was thawing and the first daffodils were just starting to peep through the ground as Amy hurried home to get ready for her Valentine’s date”, there is no need to tell us its February in the northern hemisphere.

7. Give the Characters Motives

What drives your characters to do what they do? Even a villain will have some reason. Motiveless evil gets pretty dull after a while.

8. Engage the Emotions

Feel the emotion as you write and your readers should feel it as they read. Don’t make it all about the plot. Make the characters real people with believable feelings and reasons for all they do.

9. Write What You Know

Don’t make your character a rocket scientist if you flunked science. Don’t write about a painful divorce if you are happily married with three kids unless you have a friend who is spilling her guts to you every night on the phone about the terrible time she is having.

10. Revise Carefully

Try to make your work as error-free as possible.

Use these tips to ensure that your writing is as good as it can be. Perhaps your novel will become the next bestseller!

Timeless Moments by Michelle Kidd

What’s hidden in the dark will be brought to light . . .
When Jewel Wiltshire marries, she vows to love, honor, and obey. Little does she know that her husband’s secrets will push her faith far beyond anything she can imagine. For two years she remains a prisoner until a mysterious stranger appears offering friendship and hope. 

Jack Vines has the Victorian home of his dreams–or so it seems until he discovers an intriguing beauty lurking in the shadows. Stunned, he finds they share the house but live a century apart. She is a prisoner of the past, shrouded in a world of dark mysteries. He holds the keys that will protect their future. When her letters suddenly stop, can he unravel the mystery that threatens to alter both their lives forever?
Timeless Moments is a spine-tingling suspense laced with faith and love that you won’t want to put down. This stirring novel seamlessly weaves together two characters in an intricate balance of emotion and hope that all things are possible.

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      For fans of The Shack and This Is Us, #OwnVoices author K.S. Dunigan’s unforgettable, heartbreaking debut is a tender story of love and wonder, family and faith, and the everlasting connection to the invisible world just beyond our reach.

      John “Dusty” Wilson’s life is falling apart. His wife has left him, and he’s having a hard time convincing her to come back home. When his alcoholic uncle’s health fails and he’s faced with more difficulties, Dusty wonders if God is the refuge that he needs or the source of his pain.

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        Unintended Witness by D. L. Wood

        The stand-alone sequel to the award-winning first installment in the Unintended Series.

        Seeing is deceiving.

        Eight months after her harrowing experiences in Miami, Chloe McConnaughey leaves the comfort of Atlanta and a burgeoning romantic relationship to reunite with the father that abandoned her twenty-five years ago. But when she reaches his quaint southern town she quickly learns that he’s still keeping secrets. Unable to face the mounting tide of lies, she resolves to head back home. But when a murder investigation entangles her father and tragedy strikes, she finds herself partnering with her father’s law associate, who may have more than murder on his mind, to uncover the truth. As Chloe struggles with trying to forgive, and a killer moves closer, they scramble to find answers before the mystery destroys the only family she has left and forces a wedge between Chloe and the man who loves her that is impossible to overcome.

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