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8 Rules To Follow While Writing Fiction Novels

"Fiction is next to God" was rightly quoted at a conference. It indeed takes us into a reality yet unknown but by all means could/can exist. If you're one of those writers who is setting your imagination free to come up with your next fiction novel, here's what you need to remember. Read ON!
Fiction novels

Who doesn’t love a good novel? If you love novels you know that most stories are fiction. Fiction writing consists of stories whose objectives are to entertain and relay the author’s point of view on a particular subject or issue.
If you wish to write great fiction novels, you would need to follow certain rules.

While we know that these tips would add certain value to your writing, we would want you to know these complement any online novel writing course.
Once you have become a part of the thriving community of fiction authors and readers you might want to have a look at the narrative rules explained here to get some initial set of guidelines you might need. 

1. Pick out a topic and create a storyline. Decide on a topic from genres such as crime, romance, and science fiction then create a storyline. You can also combine genres. For example, romance and mythology among others.

2. Identify a point of view. You should decide whether to write your story in the first, second or third person. Most stories are written in the first and second person.

3. Abandon parts of your novel that readers commonly skip. This can be done by putting yourself in the readers’ position and ask yourself what you would rather not pay much attention to. If you find yourself getting bored at some parts, then your readers will not find them interesting. For example, a prologue consisting of long sentences and chunky paragraphs falls into this category.
Fiction novels
4. If you are a new writer, avoid going into too much detail describing things and people who are not essential to the story. This is because if not done expertly in ways that capture the attention of the reader, detailed descriptions often disrupt the flow of storylines or plots. You can find yourself getting too obsessed over the appearance of things.

5. Do not overcrowd your novel with characters. Characters should complement each other and help in progressing the story. Creating too many characters in your story could complicate the story unnecessarily or compromise the story’s logical flow.
Some helpful tips on creating characters in novels are;

- Give characters incentives or motives - Ask yourself questions like, what is this character after? Preferably, do this out loud until the answer is clear to you.

- Consider creating 3 sides to your main characters- The aim is to avoid your main characters becoming a cliché. An example of a three-sided character is ‘‘Andrew Jackson, a talented piano player who stood five feet ten inches with a well-trimmed goatee and of medium built was your average looking family man. He was, however, a highly skilled computer hacker wanted by the police for a string of high profile cyber-crimes.’’ Here, the reader can see3 sides to the character. Piano player, unassuming family man, cybercriminal.

Fiction novels
6. Read your writing out loud. By reading your story out loud either on your own or in front of an audience, can help you single out words that are repetitive or disrupt the flow of your story. Reading your story out loud can also ensure you remove those words early enough.

7. Identify your audience. It is important to know who you are writing to. Delve into the daily lives of your audience and understand what captures their imagination. Whether addressing couples in order to help them jumpstart their love life or pre-pubescent teens figuring out their feelings and changing biological set up; endeavoring to understand your audience goes a long way in becoming a successful writer.

8. Try and introduce cliff hangers to keep your readers on the edge. Like a top-rated T.V. Series, a good fictional novel should have suspense and constantly move the reader from what is conventional to the new. They should not be able to predict what happens next and this will keep them glued to the book.
Fiction novels

Other useful tips to remember on writing fiction novels are:

  • Use short words more than long words
  • Use editing tools like grammarly
  • Avoid clichés and figure of speech
  • Use active voice more than passive voice unless referring to a past incidence
  • Avoid modifying verbs with adverbs as much a possible
  • Take up exercising while you write to relieve back and neck pain
  • Trust yourself and your own judgment as much as a judgment from others
  • Be moved by your story. If you are not moved, your readers will not. 

Lastly, it is important to keep in mind that writing is not as complex as one would imagine. It can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience if done well. It gets even easier when you have an ever lasting notebook that can be digitised and you can go old-school to write with a pen and erase as many times with a wet wipe. Cheers to Rocketbook

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 19th May 2020.

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