People who say that writing is something that can’t be taught is talking nonsense. You can’t spoonfeed people with inspiration and imagination, but writing is something that can be taught just like other skills such as baking.
Sure, some people may be born with a natural talent in writing, but this doesn’t mean that they are the only ones who can write good works of fiction. Anyone can learn how to write a good story, and this article will guide you on how to write fiction.
- Read, read, and read!
Before you write your own fictional story, it is recommended that you read other writers’ stories first. As the famous writer William Faulkner said, “Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window.”
By reading the works of famous and even not-so famous authors, you will be able to enhance your vocabulary, learn new styles and techniques, hone your imagination, creativity, and critical thinking, as well as improve your overall writing skills.
- Decide on the format and genre of your fictional story.
Carefully decide on what type of fictional story would you want to write—whether you want to write a short story, a novel, or a series of novels for instance. Moreover, you should also consider the type of genre such as sci-fi, romance, fantasy, or a combination of various genres.
- Create an outline of your story.
Once you’ve decided on the format and genre, it is now time to develop an outline for your work of fiction. Decide on the setting, plot, and the characters, including their unique personalities and flaws. Think and take down notes of what you want to happen for each chapter and where your characters will come in.
You don’t necessarily have to write down an extremely detailed outline because there is a fairly good chance that you will deviate from the outline that you originally created as you go through the writing process. The purpose of the outline is just to serve as a guide or map that will help you develop your story.
- Start writing.
Now it’s time to put your story down on paper. You can write your ideas with a pen and paper, typewriter, or a computer—whatever suits you. Just write everything down with guidance from your outline and fix errors later.
- Reread your work and revise.
Don’t expect to get everything right the first time. Even the best writers make several revisions with their work. So reread everything you’ve written, read it aloud if you want, and proofread your work until it comes out the way you want it to.
One of the most difficult parts of writing is knowing where and how to start. I hope this article helped you understand the writing process much better and encourages you to push through with this endeavour. You may find things complicated at first, but let this serve as a challenge for you to practice more and be better at this craft.