Writing fiction, just like other forms of artistry (such as music or illustration), is a freedom of expression, and one in which literally anything is possible. When you’re a writer, a blank page is all you need to make magic a reality. Fiction writing allows you to step outside of our universe and create a new and unique one spawned purely from your imagination.
When writing, you can use words to fabricate a world of dragons, angels, demons, monsters, dwarfs, giants, vampires, werewolves, elves, fairies, and the like. You can create conflict and adventure, intrigue and suspense. You can make characters whose mannerisms, habits, lifestyles, and development throughout your story instigate emotional attachments of all kinds from your readers, resulting in tears, roaring laughter, bursts of anger or frustration, etc. You can even invent your own terms, such as animagus (Harry Potter series), and Shadowhunter (The Mortal Instruments or Infernal Devices series). When writing, your potential is limitless, and the better you become at it, the more memorable you are.
Non-fiction writing has its own particular style and benefits as well; it can educate readers on topics which pertain to life as we know it here on Earth. I have dabbled with both, and honestly do enjoy the two and the contrasting variety they offer. As a matter of fact, I tend to dedicate a fair amount of research of the real world to help make contributions to my fiction writing! However, if I had to sacrifice one to pursue the other, fiction writing would ultimately win out.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A WRITER?
The wonderful thing about writing is that there are no formal prerequisites. Seriously, I was just born loving to write and have just been practicing ever since. I am only now pursuing an English degree, while other writers never will have done so. You can have an outgoing, dynamic personality, or you can prefer to remain a hermit holed up in your room.
Despite this, however, there are certainly some tips for budding writers that will help them hone their skills. Some of these include but certainly are not limited to:
HIT TO THE BOOKS, SHORT STORIES, NOVELLAS, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
Reading other peoples’ work can be one of the most helpful ways to not only see a myriad of writing styles, character adaptations, world-building strategies, creating impressive settings, and everything else, but it can also do wonders to help you determine what best works for you in your own writing. While anything can potentially help, I have found that works similar to my own, either in genre, writing style, perspective, or all of the above, have the most to offer.
When reading, carefully examine every aspect of the author’s writing. Are they writing in first person, second person, third person limited or third person omniscient? Would you categorize the story as romance, drama, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thriller, or something else? Does their style of writing vary based on the scene? For example, do they use shorter, choppier sentences for their action scenes and longer, more descriptive sentences for slower scenes? How do they write dialogue? Is there only one main character or are there several? Do they lay out their settings for their characters so well you feel like you’re there? What about the characters themselves? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Do they develop at all throughout the story?
WRITE, WRITE, AND WHEN YOU’RE DONE, WRITE SOME MORE
We all know the saying, “Practice makes perfect,” and that couldn’t apply more to writing. The more you write, the more your skill can be honed and perfected. However, this step could pose a serious problem for you if you don’t absolutely LOVE to write. A writing career is the same as any other: if you plan to pursue it professionally, it will become an integral part of your life.
Spend plenty of time experimenting. When it comes to writing, there aren’t really any absolute rules other than if you can make it work, go for it. But you won’t know that until you try, so don’t be afraid to. Starting at the beginning and working your way from there can sometimes be the most daunting and frustrating step, but if you keep plugging at it, the only way you can go is up.
SEEK HELP FROM OTHER WRITERS
Counsel from professionals and even amateurs can really assist you in getting your feet off the ground. Writers groups, related websites and blogs, or even taking someone with similar passions out to lunch for a friendly chat can be more beneficial than you might think.
Don’t be afraid to tell others what you are trying to do and ask for advice. If you can learn to establish relationships with like-minded people, not only can they provide emotional support on those days when you’re experiencing writer’s block, but they can also offer additional insight that you might not have thought of. These days, you have access to so much at just the ends of your fingertips. Put some feelers out there, and see what bites. I wish you the best!