writing literary fiction

How To Write Literary Fiction

by Ololade Edun

14 Simple Writing Tips for Fiction Writers

1. Know how to differentiate between ‘I am/I’m/am’ & ‘too/to/two’

2. Stop switching possessives with contractions. Know best how to differentiate between denotations and connotations

3. ‘There/Their/They’re’ & ‘Where/Were/Where’re’ are words you shouldn’t mix their usage

4.  Active always win passive. And weak words deserves elimination if you want to show and not tell

5. Hyphen, semicolons, en dash, em dash, colon, comma, and period are important punctuation marks

6. Every dialogue deserves a new paragraph and their punctuations can come with it own rules like the punctuation mark stays inside the quotations

Read also: how to structure a good story

7. A scene is a scene, not the whole story. Don’t waste all your pages writing just a scene of a story simply because you want to be perfect. Always remember you’re writing a draft not a final piece you want to publish right away

8. Clichés are fast becoming universally boring. You’re a writer not a clown. Readers are tired of reading wicked step mums, maltreated maids, and moon-like mothers, don’t write clichés please.

9. Character development is a key to writing a perfect piece. Readers connects with characters not the writers, we don’t care who you are as a writer, just create awesome characters for us. Amaka Azie still talked about character development recently.

10. There’s always the shinny object syndrome at the beginning of every novel. That doesn’t mean you need to quit because you’re tired of writing. I just want to remind you that it takes time to finish a masterpiece.

11. Best-selling novels are written from a perfect point of view, you should not expect a particular POV to fit all kind of story. Pick the one a reader will feel comfortable to read from. You should check out the short handbook I wrote on POVs, the small book basically simplified POVs for contemporary writers.

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12. Throw yourself into the story. As a writer, you can’t write what you can’t think. When you picture yourself in the story, your characters come alive, your enjoy writing, and you become more interested in the story.

13. Write in segments. You do not necessarily need to write chronologically. When you’re segmenting while writing, it allows you to write haphazardly and retain small pieces of the story that doesn’t fit into the part you’re writing now.

For example, you may be writing chapter two now, then an idea of a scene comes to your mind, you should put that idea down as a segment which may be the backbone of another chapter.

14. Sometimes you just have to damn the rules to create a masterpiece but remember to know the rules before attempting to tweak the rules else you make a fool of yourself.

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