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The A to Z of Writing Fiction – Part 1

There is nothing more daunting for a writer than staring at a blank page, especially first-time writers. What I aim to do is kill off your hesitation with my A to Z guide of novel writing, full of tips, advice, and hints on how to get from the first to the last page of that novel.

A is for Artistic Vision

Look deep inside yourself, look at the self-hate, the fear and the insecurity that you don’t have anything worth saying. When you first start to write, resistance will get in the way but the choice is yours – be tossed aside by your own insecurities or stare them deep in the eye and face them down. When you can do this, you can start to see your own artistic vision taking shape in front of you and your writing will begin to blossom. Don’t fear the voices in your own head and you won’t fear the critics on the outside.

B is for Being Busy

When you write the first draft of your story, it is important that you stay busy. Yes, to start with, it will be frustrating but breaking your writing time up with household chores, family business, and other distractions can be a huge help in getting it done. This is because when you know you have so much to do, you start to type with fast desperation. Mostly though, it’s because when you make time to write your novel in the midst of a hectic lifestyle, it becomes a treat and not just one more thing you have to do. It is the smallest of psychological changes but it can be the world of difference to you.

C is for Clearing the Clutter

When you fight clutter in your book, it's much like fighting weeds in the garden. As the gardener is, you will always be just that little bit behind. Think about the prepositions that are draped over the verbs that really don’t need a helping hand. You might think this is a small detail that isn’t worth the bother but, believe me, it can make all the difference. The more you can keep out of your writing that doesn’t belong there, the better your writing will be.

D is for Details – Finding the Telling Ones

If you can make your readers believe the unbelievable, it will be because of your hard work, not trickery. Belief comes in the small details, as does reader absorption. Don’t forget the child’s bicycle, overturned in the gutter in a dead neighborhood; the weeds that grow through the cracks in the pavement, the broken billboard – the devil really is in the details and the details are where a story really starts. No detail means a bland, uninteresting story that your readers will lose interest in very quickly. Add the right details at the right time and your story comes alive on the page and in their minds.

Head on to part two for  E to J in this A to Z.


Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds