New fiction authors should consider learning about the following things:

  1. Story structure – Familiarize yourself with the classic three-act structure and the elements of each act (setup, confrontation, resolution). For example, in “The Hunger Games,” the setup is the introduction of the characters and the world, the confrontation is the actual games, and the resolution is the aftermath.
  2. Character development – Create multi-dimensional characters with a clear motivation, backstory, and personality traits. For example, in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Scout Finch is a curious and empathetic young girl who learns valuable lessons about justice and morality.
  3. Dialogue and voice – Write dialogue that sounds natural and reveals character while advancing the story. For example, in “The Great Gatsby,” the dialogue between the characters reflects their social status and relationships.
  4. Setting and world-building – Establish a believable and rich setting that supports and enhances the story. For example, in “The Lord of the Rings,” the world of Middle Earth is vividly described and integral to the story.
  5. Point of view and tense – Choose a point of view (first person, third person limited, third person omniscient) and tense (past, present, future) that serves the story and creates the desired effect. For example, in “Pride and Prejudice,” the third-person limited point of view allows the reader to experience Elizabeth Bennet’s thoughts and emotions.
  6. Show vs. tell – Use description and action to show the story rather than simply telling it. For example, in “The Diary of Anne Frank,” the reader experiences the fear and oppression of the Frank family through their actions and words, not just through explanations.
  7. Pacing and flow – Control the story’s pace to maintain interest and suspense. For example, in “The Girl on the Train,” the slow revelation of secrets and the sudden twists keep the reader engaged.
  8. Dialogue tags and body language – Use body language and dialogue tags to convey character emotions and tone. For example, in “1984,” the character’s facial expressions and tone of voice reflect the bleakness and control of their world.
  9. Plot twists and surprises – Add unexpected events and turns to keep the reader interested. For example, in “The Sixth Sense,” the twist at the end completely changes the reader’s understanding of the story.
  10. Effective use of imagery and sensory details – Use vivid imagery and sensory details to enhance the setting, atmosphere, and emotional impact of the story. For example, in “Atonement,” the description of a country house party is filled with sensory detail and contributes to the romantic and tragic atmosphere.
  11. The editing process and revision – Understand the importance of editing and revision and be willing to make changes to improve the story. For example, J.K. Rowling made significant revisions to “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” before publication.
  12. Understanding their target audience – Know your target audience and what they want in a story. For example, if writing for young adults, consider themes and issues that are relevant and important to that age group.
  13. The publishing industry, including traditional and self-publishing – Familiarize yourself with the various options for publishing, including traditional publishing, self-publishing, and hybrid publishing. For example, E.L. James self-published “Fifty Shades of Grey” before it became a bestseller and was picked up by a traditional publisher.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *