This is a book of tips. It will look different than most books on writing. Rather than giving you long explanations and step-by-step instructions on writing fiction, this book list tips within categories. The categories cover many aspects of writing fiction and editing your work. The tips are in no particular order. The tips themselves are designed to be easy to use. They start with a quick statement, which is printed in bold, and then you’ll find a few sentences that talk about the benefits of the tip and/or an example of how the tip might be used. This book is not exhaustive. There are plenty more books of tips to be written on the subject of writing fiction.
• Choosing a genre
• Developing characters
• General writing
• Getting ideas
• Staying motivated
• Managing your time
I’m currently working on the plot for the next two books in my fantasy series, Tales of Aarkan Zea Book 3: Dragon Master, and Tales of Aarkan Zea Book 4: Thwaylin’s Song. The series has a medieval setting and the plots intertwine. I’m also working on a comedy novella of one of the minor characters titled Tales of Aarkan Zea: Freedrin the Brave. I’ll follow that one up with a second novella titled Tales of Aarkan Zea: Freedrin the Magnificent. After I finish the first draft of books 3 and 4 I will write an overhaul of all four plots (to tighten them up). Then I’ll rewrite book 1 and get it published on Kindle, and then I’ll rewrite book 2, and so on. This series started as an idea to write an ongoing series that I would publish monthly on Kindle (much like comic-book style publishing – only with just words). Once I got started I decided to try my hand at a novel. I want to keep the series going, but more than anything I wanted to avoid a trilogy. Yesterday I was afraid a trilogy was in order. Today a brand new plot idea hit me that will drive the entire book 4 in such a way that it will have to be its own book. I’m also leaving enough questions and mysteries to continue the series even further.
A common problem with writing fiction is getting started and then not knowing where to go after you start. I have a few tips that turn the process into a fun challenge.
1. Write the ending first
If you know where your characters have to go it will be easier to get them there. This gives you a direction to take them.
2. Write a scene in the middle
This helps in the same way as writing the ending first. In the middle it works as a milestone.
Here’s the challenge: Write a dozen or so scenes at random. They can be about anything as long as it’s a situation you can imagine your characters in. Now, randomly place them in your story. This makes you have to write the connecting scenes to thread the plot throughout the story. If it works then keep it it. If it doesn’t, then rearrange the scenes, get rid of what you have to, change them, add to them, or just count it as practice. Maybe this exercise will help you warm up and get you ready to write. It might even spawn a few ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of any other way.
I completed my NaNoWriMo novel today! My total word count was 50,001. This is my second novel this year. The first was Tales of Aarkan Zea Book 1: The Temple of Armaan Suun. I wrote it in 7.5 weeks between August and September while preparing for NaNoWriMo. My NaNoWriMo novel is the second book of the series: Tales of Aarkan Zea Book 2: Rise of the Aarkan King.
My first novel is almost complete! I’m past the 50k word mark. My plan was to produce 12 chapter with each averaging 4500 words, and write 1 chapter a week. I wanted to finish it before November so I can write a new novel for nanowrimo. I’ve kept that very close to consistent and now I’m finishing up the last chapter. I’m a little ahead of schedule- so I’ll have more time to plan my next book.
So… about my first novel: It’s a fantasy setting. I think of it as medieval with dragons. I’m not writing high fantasy, so there are no elves, orcs, dwarves, etc. There are several creatures: dragons, something similar to dragons but smaller, something similar to rhinos, but bigger, and something similar to a yeti.
The story: Two friends and one enemy/friend go on a quest to solve the riddle of a stone with mysterious markings. They’re caught in the middle of a massive war and one side want’s the stone. This leads them to a hidden Temple that contains the most powerful and dangerous weapon even known, and one side thinks they can control it. It’s called The Temple of Armaan Suun. I’m considering writing part 2 for nanowrimo.
November is National Novel Writer’s Month. This year I’m considering taking the NaNoWriMo challenge: write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. That’s almost 1700 words per day. To prepare, I’ve decided to write a specific word-count on a fiction story (most of my writing is non-fiction) every day until I’ve made it a habit. Then, I will raise the word-count until I reach 2000 words per day. I have some ideas for my NaNoWroMo novel. I won’t start writing until November, but it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead. It’s just around the corner.