Rules for Writing Fiction

Don’t Start with Writing About the Weather

If you plan on starting your fiction with the weather, you should be ready to do an incredible job with it like Barry Lopez in his book Arctic Dreams where he describes snow and ice in amazing detail. The truth is readers are looking for the characters and not a weather report. If you start your fiction with the weather, there is every chance readers might flip through your story until they get to the actual people on it.

Skip Prologues

Prologues are not all that interesting, and you don’t want to bore your readers who are anxiously flipping through to see what your story is about. People want to figure out what is inside the book. Prologues are like a backstory, but they usually go well with non-fiction books and not fiction stories.

Avoid Using Adverbs to Modify “Said”

For example, using a sentence like “he reprimanded gravely” can really be a disaster. This way the writer has disrupted the rhythm of words in the story. Using adverbs in this way should be avoided entirely.

Reduce Your Exclamation Marks

If you’re going to use exclamation marks, you are only allowed to use three for every 100000 words you put out there. If you are the type of author that likes to play with exclamation marks, avoid that with fiction.

Don’t Describe Your Characters Fully

Readers want to have a little imagination of their own. When writing fiction, you don’t describe the characters in full details. Nobody wants to know what the boy or girl looks like. You can say “she wrapped her hair up in a bun” and that could be the only indication that the character is a female. The rest is for the reader to picture.

Avoid Using Words like Suddenly

This is another word you should try to avoid when writing fiction. It makes it look like the writer has lost control of the whole story entirely.

Leave out Areas That Readers Won’t Bother Looking At

You can know this by thinking of when you read novels and the parts you usually would skip when you see it. Like readers typically don’t like full paragraphs or places that have just too many words. It’s best to rewrite that part.

Hold Your Readers Attention

If you’re thinking probably you don’t know your reader’s mind, here’s what would help you. Write stories that would hold your own attention. Don’t bore your readers. If you are writing fiction for passionate punters, keep your writing interesting.

Be Original

Harry Potter sold a lot of books, and many people are still very much in love with the book series. This does not suggest that you should go ahead writing similar stuff. Readers are looking for the next new exciting story. You probably have what it is they’re looking for so start writing in your own words your very own ideas.

Read It Out

If it sounds good in your ears, then it is good. It’s only when you read the words out loud that you can know if a sentence is out of place or if its ok.

You Don’t Always Have to Kill the Characters

Sometimes people think a great story always have to leave some character dead causing the readers to cry. Let your readers have some happy endings. If you’re planning on killing any character, do go back and look again to see if its necessary.

Keep Your Thesaurus Nearby

Writing involves a lot of work and research. You may have a great idea in mind, but you also need to put it in the right words. There’s really no room for error because your readers will notice it too.