Fiction Writing 101: A Guide for Beginners

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101 Writing Tips

Fiction writing has always been a part of the literary world and has captured our imagination for centuries. From Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, there are many books and writers who have worked on timeless fiction books that will always be a part of the literary canon.

Many among the writers begin their journey with fiction, but only a few are able to make to the top shelf. It can be, without a doubt, said that writing fiction is not an easy task. Fiction is not as easy as to put words on the page; it is about painting a beautiful picture without holding a brush.

With that said, learning how to write fiction can be extremely rewarding for young writers. Understanding the basics elements of fiction books and stories will go a long way to prepare you to write an exciting novel. But before discussing the elements of fiction, let’s understand what fiction is.

What is Fiction? 

Fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.

 ~Khalid Hosseini 

Fiction writing is a narrative that involves the elements of a plot and characters that are created by the author. Great writers can agree on the fact that there is no rule of thumb when it comes to writing fiction.

As said by Khalid Hosseini, fiction is a simple tail of lies bound together that lead the readers to understand the truth of the world that previously was hidden by the web of lies that are known to be true.   

When it comes to fiction writing, a writer is free to twist, bend, shred and smash the truth in a way that produces a story that can enable the readers to paint a clear picture with their imagination. It helps you question what you think to be the reality.

There is no right or wrong formula that can result in a well-written composition. However, every great book has a defined structured which can be broken to understand how exactly to produce greater novels.

Ready to take on a challenge? Let’s discuss the six elements required to produce a great fiction novel.

1. The Character

Character is the driving force for a novel. You may have a central character of your story or involve several to build the plot; it depends on the scope of the novel. Most adult novels are based on human characters and undergo a significant change toward the end. However, children’s books can contain animals and imaginative characters as well.

Good development of the character means understanding the backstory and the information that informs the readers about the reader’s point of view. Usually, realistic character development and their point of view revolved around the author’s own life changes and events that made them happen in the real world. However, children books such as Spouts EBooks, jack and the beanstalk and more are based on delivering a strong moral to the young readers.

2. The Plot

The plot is a series of events that take place in the story. It is an element of fiction wiring that revolves around the rising action, followed by a climax, falling action and the resolution of the story which is documented towards the end of the story.

3. Setting

The setting of the novel dictates the time and the location where the story takes place. You may maintain a single setting for the entire novel or move between multiple places. A writer is open to creating as many variations in the setting as they like to give a complete and fantastic look to the novel.

4. Point of View

Point of view of a story has to do with the perspective from which the story is being narrated. There are three basic point of views — the first person, the second person and the third person. Most stories are either written in the first-person perspective or a third-person perspective, but the second-person is also employed in between. The point of view you choose to write can affect how a reader comprehends the story. The third-person perspective of the story can make the more objective and a detached tone to the narrative, whereas, in the first-person perspective, the narration sounds more intimate and subjective.

5. Theme

The theme is an element of fiction that writers can really get in deep within the narrative. It is a larger message or a motif that is explored through the narrative and relates to the basic ways of the world. All other elements of fiction work together to convey the theme in a fiction novel.

6. Style

It is the word choice that an author chooses to structure their masterpiece. There is no particular style guide or a rule when it comes to writing fiction and novels enables the writers to play around with bold stylistic choices that can set them apart in the literary world.

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