S Set goals with specific outcomes.
Though fiction, by definition, is made up, to succeed it must be believable. Even fantasies must make sense. Once the reader has accepted your premise, what follows must be logical.
Effective research is key to adding the specificity necessary to make this work. When my character uses a weapon, I learn everything I can about it. Accurate details add flavor and authenticity. Get details wrong and your reader loses confidence—and interest—in your story.
Consult Atlases and World Almanacs to confirm geography and cultural norms and find character names that align with the setting, period, and customs.
If your Middle Eastern character flashes someone a thumbs up, be sure that means the same in his culture as it does in yours. YouTube and online search engines can yield tens of thousands of results. Just be careful to avoid wasting time getting drawn into clickbait videos Use a Thesaurusbut not to find the most exotic word.
People love to talk about their work, and often such conversations lead to more story ideas. Resist the urge to shortchange the research process.
Add specifics the way you would add seasoning to food. Choose your point of view. The perspective from which you tell your story can be complicated because it encompasses so much.
The cardinal rule is one perspective character per scene, but I prefer only one per chapter, and ideally one per novel. No hopping into the heads of other characters.
What your POV character sees, hears, touches, smells, tastes, and thinks is all you can convey. Most novels are written in Third Person Limited. That means limited to one perspective character at a time, and that character ought to be the one with the most at stake.
First Person makes is easiest to limit yourself to that one perspective character, but Third-Person Limited is most popular for a reason.
Read current popular fiction to see how the bestsellers do it. Then he finds out that person told someone else something entirely different, and his actions prove he was lying to both. Begin in media res in the midst of things. You must grab your reader by the throat on page one.
It means avoiding too much scene setting and description and getting to the good stuff—the guts of the story. The goal of every sentence, in fact of every wordis to force the reader to read the next.
The reason is obvious: Your job as a writer is not to make readers imagine things as you see them, but to trigger the theaters of their minds.
Give them just enough to engage their mental projectors. Want to download this step guide so you can read it whenever you wish? Now, everything he does to get out of that terrible trouble must make it progressively worse. They give a private eye a nice car, weapon, girlfriend, apartment, office, rich client.
Rather, you should pull out from under him anything that makes his life easy. Have his car break down, his weapon stolen, his girlfriend leave, he gets evicted, his office burns, his client is broke. Now thrust him into a dangerous case.
Conflict is the engine of fiction. He can have weaknesses, foibles, flaws, but they should be identifiable, redeemable, not annoying or repulsive. His trouble should escalate logically because of his attempts to fix it. Make the predicament appear hopeless. Writing coaches have various labels for this crucial plot point.
The once-reprobate lover who has become a changed man, loving fiance, falls off the wagon the night before the wedding.Jul 21, · One of the most important things writers (or anyone) can do is set clear, explicit goals about what they want to accomplish. Most of us have a bunch of vague goals, like the “one day novel” (as in, “one day, I’m going to write a novel).
Create Effective Goals to Write Your Novel By Lee Masterson. Most writers have goals and dreams that encompass writing. Your goal might be to write a novel and see it on those shelves finally.
Last Update: 8 August, What’s the most important thing about writing dialogue in fiction? If it sounds like a conversation you’d hear in the real world, you’ve gone horribly wrong.
Write a novel in a month! Track your progress.
Get pep talks and support. Meet fellow writers online and in person. Jan 01, · Every New Year gives you a chance to set new goals. Script Magazine Editor, Jeanne Veillette Bowerman, shares tips for creating writing goals that are realistic in hopes this will be the year that truly elevates your career!
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June 13, A guest post by Jennifer Blanchard.
Note: This movie is currently available on Netflix.