Writing, as an art, requires a lot of patience as well as room for making mistakes and learning from them. In genres like fiction which thrive on imagination and evolving storylines that do not find a basis in reality, it is necessary to have a strong hold over what you say in your work and what it stands for. Genres like fantasy, magical realism, romanticism, modernism and many more have provided society with some stellar works of literature that prove the calibre of mankind. To find one’s calling and proximity to a type of storytelling and to commit to it thoroughly is not an easy feat but an author tries, and in trying so they create what we know today as literature. Fictional works entertain, delight, wrench, manipulate and soothe the human mind with their expansive reach, one might grab a Bronte novel for some gothic escapism on a rainy night, a Marquez for some magical realism entwined in colonial history on a curious afternoon and a D.H Lawrence on a wistful night, but what will prove to be true for each of these books is that the reader will leave with a heart full of ideas and a lived experience that opened their mind up to something beyond the mundane and ordinary. The captivating quality of literature and its simultaneous ability to wrench us out of our minds and throw us onto unknown currents of thoughts is what causes it to be such a highly treasured entity.
Here are ten ways you can use while crafting your next fictional piece!
Be Consistent Being consistent while spinning a story will allow for a better and continuous flow of ideas, enabling a smoother narrative and a reason for returning every day. Routine writing can act as a catalyst for many authors who are sharpening up their pens after a long while or just for authors in general who struggle with writer’s block, so even if it is just a page a day, write!
Give yourself a goal. Setting little benchmarks to hit can help many people in writing and developing stories, using achievable goals one can often beat procrastination and get a lot done well within the stipulated time. Every day can be a new goal, one day you set the character descriptions, one day you formulate a conflict, and one day you find a resolution.
Develop Your Characters with the plot! The evolution of characters is a key trait of a good book, making sure that characters are perceptive, receptive and emotive is essential to the captivating plotline, no reader will resonate with a book where the plot progresses faster than the characters that are in it.
Know what to cut out. An author needs to know what is necessary and what is excessive, keeping only crucial plot points and supporting structures is important, any additional detailing that does not add to the story will only weigh down the actual path your book is taking, making a well-woven story begins with being able to part with some of it.
Know your marketability. While writing with and for your passion is a great thing, it is also pivotal to know what sells. Expanding and advertising one’s art is only possible if it incorporates elements of what appeals to the target audience of that particular time and culture, therefore as an author one must not shy away from being sensitive to changes in attitudes and likes and dislikes of the general reading public.
Write with essence. Do not write for the sake of filling up pages, even children can come up with nonsensical characters and dialogues, what sets an author apart is the essence and dedication that reflects in their work. Executing ideas with devotion makes a great deal of difference, being true to one’s heart and writing from a place of honest creative frenzy is far more attractive than writing because there is nothing else to distract oneself.
Dedicate ample time to editing. Dedicating time to thoroughly edit is important, snipping off extra material, and checking for plot holes, grammatical incorrections and other fallacies in a finished draft will take a while, instead of rushing it one should use the opportunity to inspect the story closely and get well versed with it.
Think up illustrations! Many fictional books have lovely supporting illustrations that aid fans in imagining the story, these illustrations often become part of the canonical body of work related to a fictional universe and can even become pop cultural references, especially maps and souvenirs that are often found in fantasy fiction.
Do not overdo the description. Authors often tend to get carried away with descriptions and imagery, while these are both integral parts of a good book, they must not overshadow the plot development, for instance, if there is an intense war at bay in the plot, the reader will face nothing but frustration if the author keeps rambling about meadows and weather, it is important to know when to prioritize imagery and when to prioritize storytelling.
Believe in yourself. It might feel ridiculous and tiresome at many points throughout the journey, it might feel like every other day is a good day to quit, and looking at your work and not feeling satisfied is a common feeling. However it is most necessary to have faith in oneself and one’s art on such days, perseverance and faith will reap longevity, especially in creative careers where longevity is not easy to attain.
Every artist who conjures up new worlds and dreams up new utopias every other day is a beacon of hope and rebellion for the masses, a gateway to millions of possibilities, to lives outside the box, therefore it is important to be dedicated to one’s passion and commit to it sincerely.