How to Write Fiction

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
This is a small guide for those who wish to create any kind of story. Hopefully, by following these steps, you'll learn to become more organized craftsmen with the art of the word.

1. Introduction
- Tutorial Intro
- Theme
- Persons
- Characters
- The Power of Conversation
- World



2. Rising and Falling Action
-Creating and Keeping a Hook
- Order of Plot

3. Conclusion
-Ending a Story Properly


1. Introduction

So, you've gotten a story in your head. Now what? Well, my fellow writer in crime, you're on your way to write a story! Yes, you could just pick up a pencil and start working away at your epic tale of heroes, villains, or something about a dog taking a crap in your neighbor's lawn.

But how do you begin writing? Where do you start? Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Well, don't worry, my friend! We're about to go through several easy points that even you can understand. After this guide you could better prepare you for your thousands of writing ideas! Imagine the possibilities!

Theme

Alright, so you have an idea for a story, but does it have a theme? Sure, you can just write a story out of pure ambition, but is there a deeper meaning to your story? Is there a philosophy that you have yet to discovered? While you write your tale, think of the reason why you began writing in the first place. Sometimes that theme doesn't appear to until you wrote the entire piece and revise it. Then all of a sudden, a title appears in your head; it's the theme! This may take you a while to get a grip on if you don't analyze too many stories. The best thing, I suggest, is if you just write and if there's a theme that you can understand then congratulate yourself for finding it in your own story. Haha, no honestly, you should master this idea if you haven't already.

Now, you wonder what else does a theme has to do with your story. Well, basically, it has to do with your whole bias of writing. This "theme" is so important that every type of writer uses it as their platform for any kind of genre: poetry, prose, visual literature, etc. Imagine writing a poem about typically nothing, or a pose, or a illustration! Where would your characters be without an almighty God knowing what is right and wrong? They'd be black shades only floating upon a world crafted by a blind man! The theme is that important. Ask yourself before you take your pen to the paper: "Why do I want to write this story?"

That's a good thing to ask yourself with whatever you're doing. Keep that advise for real life as well.

First, Second, and Third Person

There are three basic ways to write: in, to, or about. First person is I and we, second person is you, and third person is he, she, it, they. While using first person you write as the character. When you use second person you are talking to a person either as a narrator or a character. Finally, third person is when you write about a certain character or person. These styles can be used effectively depending on the story.

Use third person if the narrator is either shy about giving himself/herself away as the real main character, a professor, or just leave the third person as an anonymous narrator. First person should be used only if you're the character, use present if the character dies and doesn't go to a afterlife area to tell his story. Second tense is never recommended, but you can be creative with any of these persons and use them however you please. This is just common knowledge.

Characters

Characters are very important to your story. They can used to affect the mood of the story, control the plot line, and they're what the reader compares himself/herself to. If your characters aren't living breathing people, then they won't be effective as a method to connect to your readers. This will surely lower the quality of your story. Thus it'd be wise to make a checklist.

Do my characters have a motive?

All characters should have a motive. Many professional writer's have said that all characters should have a motive; from finding a pencil to saving the world. This is the vital trait for the plot line your character must follow. If there is even one "extra" or lifeless person in your story, then you'll run into a writer's block and into an empty plot.

What does my character like or dislike? How does he react to such things?

Desires, needs, and other passionate feelings towards objects and people will lead you into writing a deeper character. Deep, memorable characters really can make the story flourish; this can be achieved by creating distinct traits in a character's personality. An easy example is a super hero who fights for justice and everything good and noble.

The Power of Conversation

Dialogue is used for many things. You can use gossip as a foreshadow or a portal to a social world. There's also ways to make your characters become someone through dramatic dialogues, monologues, or conversations. How would your character, who possesses a certain trait, react to other persons with different traits? Show that in what they say to those types of people. You can also show their hidden feelings by having characters confess their love to a certain character. Your characters can even hate a certain character, or by other means, directly pronounce their feelings in a very dramatic way.

The art of conversation within a book is usually dramatic. The consistency of your flow of description is cut off by dramatic expression from characters. Now, I'm sure you're wondering, does all dialogue have to be dramatic? My answer is no. You can have a very mellow person speak his/her mind in a very dull and flowing language. But then your reader might be turned off by such a redundant pace. With dialogue, you are expected to keep your readers on their toes while they explore a whole new world within your book. Have your character discuss about your world, influences in that world, or their feelings toward their environment and people within their life. This is a very effective way to introduce your world and point out facts about your world.


The World is Social and Physical


This may be the next most important thing in your story. Your world should be a three dimensional universe where your characters can communicate in. Like the real world, there should be forms of leadership, terrain, social concerns, creatures, ideas, and many other things created by a past life that your characters shall either revive or remember as you progress in the story. Worlds can truly make the story unique in many ways. For instance, you could make a world with water for air and air for water, or flip-flop something to make your universe different from our own. But there is nothing wrong with making a mimic world of ours.

Your world is something only you can create. This creation process may be inspired by anything, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to take a few walks around the park, read a books, or watch the news. These are only a few things you can do to spark ideas though. Surely, you can do anything you want to get you inspired. I'm inspired by books and the news. How about you?

2. Rising and Falling Action

After you introduced your characters to the readers, you need to continue your tale with a plot. This plot can be easily developed from a want or need of a character. Say, your character wants to buy a new watch for her husband, so instead of allowing her to easily access the mall, she must go through a hoard of zombies and survive the night in a cellar where more zombies find her. Hey, that idea isn't too bad, right? See, simple things like this can really build up with a hook.

A hook is method writers use to keep their readers reading. A simple way to do this is to use foreshadowing; give a few hints to your audience about up coming events.

Lets use the zombie example. Say, one of your characters was reading an article about a new virus found in all types of meat from a certain year has caught the eye of scientists, but then say in the article that the scientists do not know how the human body would react to this new virus. Then slowly, as the main character encounters these zombies, we discover the truth behind the zombies; the virus was implanted into all meat products since 2008, and only the vegetarians since that time are safe from zombification. Thus meaning your vegetarian main character is still a human as she wanders this chaotic world!

Another method I suggest is being a sadist. Lets take the zombie story for example. Remember that husband she loves so much? Well, lets have a zombie trapped in your character's home in her husband's clothing. Now can you see the picture as your character opens the door to her undead husband? Can you imagine the incredible drama of the fight? I could, and that's what is needed as a sadist. You must create drama for your character that may be unbelievable at times, but if you play with your reader's emotions well enough, you'll be able to pull off stupid scenes as incredible plot twists.

These little methods of keeping a hook can be used in many ways, and could be used in any genre. Keep your readers focused and entertained with these methods.

Order of a Plot

Introduction: Introduce characters
Rise: The plot unfolds and you action starts to progress. Your characters are engaged with certain foes or dangers.
Climax: The highest point in your story. An example would be a boss battle in a video game.
Falling Action: What happens after the climax.
Conclusion: End.

3. Conclusion

The final step is to end a story, which can be difficult at times. You must close your tale with something a reader can be happy with. To be honest, cliff hangers fail, but if used well enough, you can turn a cliff hanger into a good, modest ending.

Lets use my zombie story for an example again. If I ended it with a cliff hanger, I would end it by having the girl find a cure for the virus. But there will be one more zombie left who some how kills an entire family one night. And that's it. Don't go any further or you'll just piss off your readers. :rolleyes:

Another ending, which I prefer, is a closed ending. This can be done easily by leaving out the big but idea. There are no buts in a dead story. There are no conflicts, nothing ever again happens. THE END


---

Did I miss anything?

Special thanks to Seth Cross for making suggestions.
 

Zakyath

Member
You forgot to mention never to throw away ideas. It's better to have more than you need than too few :)
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
You forgot to mention never to throw away ideas. It's better to have more than you need than too few :)
Too bad, I always throw away ideas. :D

I guess you're right, but I was writing a guide for writing. That's more like a tip for the writing tip thread. Good suggest thoughz, but I can't figure a way to fit it in.
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
Protagonist? Antagonist?

Theme? Climax?

Point of View?
Protagonist and antagonist aren't so important. Fatmankev wrote a tutorial about that already. Theme wasn't included, point of view? ... I don't remember what that is. Do you mean persons? I dunno... I've heard of it before, but I thought that was a reader's stand point.

Climax is important too. I can't believe I forgot that. :D
 

DM Cross

You want to see a magic trick?
Staff member
Different ways of first person/third person stuff? Dialogue and it's importance? Back story to your story? The dangers of plot holes?
 

Pineapple

Just Smile.
Protagonist and antagonist aren't so important. Fatmankev wrote a tutorial about that already. Theme wasn't included, point of view? ... I don't remember what that is. Do you mean persons? I dunno... I've heard of it before, but I thought that was a reader's stand point.

Climax is important too. I can't believe I forgot that. :D
Point of View:

first Person

third person limited

third person omniscent
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
Point of View:

first Person

third person limited

third person omniscent
Oh, I call them persons. Point of View isn't required in this small tutorial. I may include that in another guide if I write one. Actually, I'm thinking about working on a grammar guide for the MLA style. We could really use one on TH.
 

Sil3nt

SUP?
Try writing your story as if you were watching a movie of it. Instead of saying what angle views and shots you see, describe what is in it. It helps me in creating a more vivid image of the atmosphere and mood.

Dunno if that helps though.
 

Sil3nt

SUP?
I don't know why I don't like the idea of writing guides.
Maybe it's because your literature skills are so superior that you find the proccess of reading and writing guides to be invaluable and not neccessary.

Or maybe it's because your awesome yes?

Anyways, why not?
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
I don't know why I don't like the idea of writing guides.
There are guides for a lot of things (probably everything). Why not a guide for writing? You can't just jump into art and express yourself aimlessly. There's a technique you must learn, and follow, and then perfect. I'm not perfect, and no where near being complete with my writing career. Writing this guide helped me as much as it may help others.

Try writing your story as if you were watching a movie of it. Instead of saying what angle views and shots you see, describe what is in it. It helps me in creating a more vivid image of the atmosphere and mood.
I thought that was in the "Writing Tips" thread.
 

Seb!

You can change this now in User CP.
Maybe it's because your literature skills are so superior that you find the proccess of reading and writing guides to be invaluable and not neccessary.

Or maybe it's because your awesome yes?

Anyways, why not?
Yeah, that's it. But I guess Ninva's right. Good guide, BTW, I liked "The World is Social and Physical" because I hadn't thought it like that before.
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
Yeah, that's it. But I guess Ninva's right. Good guide, BTW, I liked "The World is Social and Physical" because I hadn't thought it like that before.
Yes, I was just notified of the concept after reading Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut, which wasn't too long ago. I think this is the hardest thing to get into your story is the social and physical world. Sometimes I do too much of one, and the story isn't balanced. My best two stories have to be "Plastic Phone" and "Beautifully Disgusting" because that's the closest I got to a well rounded story.

I'll have to repost "Beautifully Disgusting" if someone wants to analyze it again. The file was deleted on DA.
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
Different ways of first person/third person stuff? Dialogue and it's importance? Back story to your story? The dangers of plot holes?
> Different ways of first person/third person stuff?
That, like I already said, should be left for another tutorial... I might include it though...

> Dialogue and it's importance?
That didn't come to mind, but I can write something about this. I'm sure you'd have to clean up after my short rambling.

> Back story to your story?
History? That was vaguely discussed in the World topic. Do you think I could add more?

> The dangers of plot holes?
One of real themes of this guide was a how to avoid plot holes. But I did not include much about the vast dangers. I may include that in my next update.

I'm going to sleep on all the suggestions you guys made and see what I can fit where. Thanks guys.
 

thewrongvine

The Evolved Panda Commandant
Staff member
lol, that's a good guide. It'll help a lot of people when they just feel like writing something but don't know how to.

But I personally don't really care too much about writing guides, like Seb said. Not that they are bad. :D Writing's just something I do myself, even if it's not good, lol.

Goob job with this anyway! :thup:
 

Ninva

Анна Ахматова
The tutorial was updated. Post your suggestions, concerns, and opinions.

I use the MLA style, so please don't argue about grammatical details unless you really know what you're talking about. Thanks for reading, guys. :)
 
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