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How To Write Fiction


Some hints and helps toward writing fiction effortlessly.


Many folks like to write fiction and some are very good at it. For a few, it comes naturally while others have to work, with varying degrees of difficulty, to get a plausible story down on paper. Many do well at humor because they are usually upbeat, happy and generally funny themselves. I have studied this category for many years, both as a reader and as an author.

Particularly as a reader did I get a clue to some of the secrets of being a good fiction writer. I've noticed that without a doubt, most of the more accomplished fiction writers have some age to them. I wondered as to why. As I, myself, became older, the solution became more apparent. It was as simple as the fact of life experience.

How could life experience help, you might ask, when a young person, just out of school has all the skills a writer could ask for? The know the rules of composition. They remember 'I' before 'e' except before 'c'. They remember how more words are spelled than an older person. So many things are fresh in their young minds when recently out of school. Only one unique thing is missing. Experience.

That's right. Experience. How could that help, you might ask. Well, stop and think about it. Think about the problem, or question. What is fiction? Webster defines it as literature dealing with imaginary characters and situations; something unreal or invented. Hell, I couldn't have said it better myself. At this point, you younger readers sit back and learn, while I explain as well as give some examples by which you can learn some of these examples will do you in good stead throughout your life, as well as your writing.

Now, for you older ones, both male and female, start thinking about your life and others around you. Yes, your friends, enemies, relatives, in short every contact can give you some help towards writing fiction.

If you're married or have ever been married, you have a great advantage. Any number of professions not only give you subject matter, or theme for your story, but will also help tremendously in the writing, too. Let me give you some examples.

Imagine for a while that you are married, living a normal life with a spouse. For instance, picture a husband going over the checkbook and seeing an unusual withdrawal, inquires, "Honey, what's this check for 75 dollars about? The stub says pullover."

The wife smiles and answers, "I saw the most darling pullover and got it. Don't you want me to look nice?"

He does, of course, so does not question the expenditure. What he doesn't know that the "pullover" in question was influenced by a flashing blue and red light attached to a motorcycle and it was only part of a sentence uttered by a handsome young patrolman, to wit, "Pullover, you were speeding."

That example, according to Webster, constitutes fiction. Some females might even class it in a higher order than a male, but fiction, none the less. How many husbands, after they have been married a while, say they are going out for a while, and when questioned further by their wife, will say, "oh, I'm just going out for a beer with the guys. I'll be back in a while."

In reality, that 'beer with the guys' is a couple of hours at a strip joint, trying to slip dollar bills under a g-string worn by a moving target. Leering is not only approved, it is encouraged.

Young guys don't have to go through the inquisition, thus don't have to hone their improvisation skills. Even young marrieds, as a rule, because they have their new bride, or groom to study.

"Honey, look what happened to the car while it was parked at the mall."

Pure fiction of the finest order. And it works for either sex. As you get older, these situations arise on a daily basis, giving you a lot of practice toward your career of a fiction writer. These skills are encountered elsewhere, too.

As you get older, you may have children, and if you're lucky grandchildren. They'll believe anything. What a wonderful field with which to practice your imagination. Subtle things like, "Of course you have to eat your broccoli. Do you want your teeth to fall out?"

You can claim it's for their own good, but in truth, if they eat their broccoli, there'll be less for you to have to choke down. Hey, self preservation is utmost, here. Then there's always the good old, "If you're not good, I'll shove you under the bed and let the monster under the bed get you." That worked well for me.

Marriage and parenthood bring out the inventiveness in one. It's that life experience which helps to make a good fiction writer. Back to the original definition, inventiveness. Just listen to an old married man trying to get out of the house for a while when the wife has a list of things she wants him to do. That's inventiveness. Listen to a lady that's been married for 15 years explain to her husband why she needs to go to the mall. Inventiveness of the first order.

That's the experience that a successful fiction writer needs, indeed, must have. If you check the bios of the authors of the better works you find, they'll be middle aged or older for the majority, so you young kids keep writing, but take every opportunity to be inventive in your everyday life. You need the practice. I'm definitely not saying to lie. No, indeed. Just be inventive.

"Honey, does this dress make me look fat?" may well be an exception to the above rule. If that question comes up, fellows, lie through your damn teeth if you want some peace, or a piece. For gods sake, have the sense to a know a killer situation when you encounter it, and again, age is a great teacher if you survive.

My thanks to the many mature writers out there who have given me numerous hours of pleasure and more power to the younger ones who are trying. I hope these hints will help.

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