Creative Writing

Hints on Writing Fiction and Keeping the Story Alive

Open your work and look at it everyday.

If the story is meant to be, if the characters like you and you like them, they will go with you where ever you go, breathing life as you breathe life.

Opportunists from way back, they’ll borrow that shaft of sunlight to light their way or some other sensory detail of your existence in the hope they’ll be immortalized.

The good news is, the more details you can use from the present (even if you’re writing about the past) the more authentic it feels, the easier it is to engage in the writing process and to go on to a satisfying conclusion.

For improving your writing skills generally learn to read as a writer. See what other writers do to write in the best possible way for a particular story.

Some of the skills needed in fiction writing can be helped along with a little formal education on the subject: read ‘how to’ books on the basics, attend classes or get some tutoring if you need to. Join a writer’s group or begin your own and discover like minded people with whom you can share your passion for writing.
Discover the wide range of choices you can make about how a story is told within the bounds of literary convention. The more you know about the conventions the easier it will be.

If you do break the rules, don’t do it in ignorance. Be sure you understand what you’re doing and do it for a reason.

Just as there’s no easy way to learn the craft, there’s  no easy way to deal with rejections slips – a dance in a field of spring flowers helps but more effective, is getting into the next story quickly and simply enjoy what you do. The rejection isn’t YOU. Don’t take it as a sign of worthlessness.

Don’t always give up on a story if you like it. When you’re feeling calm and strong, read the work again and take a cool look at any advice and feedback you have on hand. Be assured others have stood where you stand now. Note the quote below:
         ‘Books aren't written, they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it.’
- Michael Crichton

An English lecturer I once knew believed all novels are flawed. At the time I thought little of it, but now I’m a writer of books I find it strangely comforting.