The fiction writing posts on the blog were popular this year. Continuing with our annual review, let’s look at the most popular ones.
Fiction writing: emotion, plotting, and suspense
Plotting and suspense are challenges for many authors—and how do we create emotions readers can feel?
Check out these posts.
Entertain your readers: help them to feel the emotions
… how do you keep readers reading?
Emotion is always the key to writing novels which make readers live in the world of your fiction and care what happens to the characters. And emotionally-driven stories start with you.
Plotting your fiction: characters are the key
Once you have the basics of at least one character’s arc for your novel, give all your major characters secrets.
This is fun. What’s each character hiding — from others, and from himself?
Vital: avoid bouncing around in your characters’ heads. That is, your characters’ secrets must be tangible.
Plotting and pantsing novels
If you’re a pantser (someone who hates plotting) try this method.
Outlining as you go is an organic method. Your novel grows, without you being aware of outlining, in a formal sense.
Be prepared to write non-sequentially. In the Draft folder in Scrivener, I keep a “Scenes” folder. If I want to write a scene which won’t come up for several chapters, I place the scene’s document in that folder. Later, when I need it for the story, I drag it out of that folder, and into where it belongs in the novel.
Ensure that your novels are suspenseful
Anticipation builds suspense. You need to delay, and delay some more, to build the reader’s anticipation, and suspense. Delay revealing information which closes an open loop.
The more you can delay, without annoying the reader, the better. For example, let’s say you’re writing a thriller in which your main character’s daughter is kidnapped. The daughter’s boyfriend has disappeared. Is he involved in the kidnapping? You may decide that he isn’t, but you don’t reveal that for four chapters.
Writing commercial fiction is a challenge for many authors. Have you ever said: "I can't plot...?" If you have, your struggles with plotting your fiction are over.More info →
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