So you have been thinking of writing your first fiction story, but you don’t know where to start?
Writing is a beautiful thing. It’s not hard, but not that easy either. There are certain things to think of and many steps to focus on the journey of first writing your fiction story and then eventually publishing your book.
This blog is the first of the three blogs in this blog series. In this series, you’ll find information about writing a fiction book as a beginner and the process from the first draft of your story to publishing your first book. At the end of each blog will be a free printable checklist for every step of the progress.
Now let us dive in.
What to think of before writing your fiction story
1. The genre of your story
The genre is simply the type of story you will write. Knowing the genre beforehand will be is essential because it will determine how your story goes.
It will influence how your characters are built and how the plot of your story is built up. Your genre eventually will also play a significant role in choosing your cover and how you will market your book.
In the end, you need to write what people expect to read. So, suppose you market your book as an action or a fantasy. In that case, you need to write with that in mind because when people read it, they will expect scenes that belong in that type of genre.
2. The point of view (POV) in your story
There are many ways you can write a book. The point of view is all about who is telling or narrating the story. Through whose eyes you are telling it. These are the POV types you can use:
- First-person: this is when you write in the “I” form. These stories are written as if one of the characters is telling the story. You read about everything that is happening through their eyes.
- Second person: This POV is written in the “you” form. As if you’re talking to the person reading it. This is not a common POV used in fiction stories.
- Third-person (limited): Third-person POV is writing in the “he” or “she” form. The person narrating the story is outside of the story and tells it to you. Still, the narrator only relates or talks about the feelings and thoughts of one of the characters.
- Third-person (omniscient): This POV is also written in the “he” or “she” form, but unlike the limited third-person POV, the narrator talks about the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of all the characters.
Why is establishing your POV necessary?
It will determine how you write the story. It is important to know when you describe a situation or a scene to know in which way and through whose eyes you’re doing that. More importantly, you must stay consistent in this throughout the whole book.
Not making it clear in which form the story is told can be frustrating, confusing, or unpleasant to read.
3. The outline
The outline is like the skeleton of your story. It includes the characters, the plot, the scenes, the relationship between certain scenes and characters.
You can create an outline very broadly and map everything out, or you can use sticky notes or a notebook to write small notes about where you want the story the go and how you would like to build it up.
Of course, you could just start writing and see where the story goes. But, one of the benefits of creating an outline before writing is that it can help if you get writer’s block or just get stuck with how to continue the story.
You can skip one chapter for the moment and focus on the rest and come back to that part later.
But don’t hesitate to change your outline when you’re busy writing. Sometimes, you may see that another outcome can work out better for your storyline.
4. The setting your story happens in
The setting is created by the place, time, and environment in which the story is being told. It is important to know where and at which time your story takes place.
If your story takes place on a Caribbean island, the scenes and the language in your book will differ from if it was taking place in London. The culture is different, the language may vary, and the locations are not the same.
The same goes for the time. A story in South America in the 1800s will be different than one in 2019 in South America. People acted differently in a particular time of life than they do now. Some acts that are normal now were not even a possibility in the past.
The setting also plays a significant role in a fantasy or science fiction story. Once you create and describe the world the story happens in, try to stick with it and stay consistent in everything you build or describe around and in it.
5. Your characters
Your story can’t take place without your characters. When thinking about the plot and creating an outline, start building your characters.
Start creating their character traits, the way they look, their names, how they talk, and handle certain situations. If it helps, try creating them by having a real person you know in mind and build off of that.
You can also hide some small exciting facts about the story in the characters’ names, and other aspects.
You don’t need to know everything about your character from the start, you can develop them further along the way, but it helps when you have a basis.
6. If it will be a series or not
Knowing from the start if your story will be continued in another book will determine your plot and ending.
If you know you’re going to write a second book, make sure that the current one ends with the readers wanting more, wondering what might happen next.
Of course, some books have open endings without following up in part two, but knowing what you’re working towards from the start, can help you build the climax.
7. Word count goal
You don’t always have to do this. If you’re just writing freely and want to see how it goes, go ahead and do that. But suppose you’re going to publish your book, either by self-publishing or traditional publishing. In that case, it is important to know how many words you will need to pen down.
There are specific rules when it comes to word count. For example, a fiction story with a word count between 1000 and 7.500 words is called a short story. Above that until 40.000 is called a novella. Everything above 40.000 is called a novel. However, some publishers only consider your book a novel when it reaches over 50.000 words.
The expectations in word count also differ from genre to genre. So, figure out what your goal is and try to find out how to build and structure your story to reach that word count in a matter that doesn’t impact it negatively.
And that’s a wrap. 7 things to consider when writing your fiction story. Writing takes time, patience, and dedication. I hope these 7 tips can help you get started on that fiction story you’ve been thinking of.
Another great thing to help you in your writing journey is to read a lot, especially the type of stories you would like to write.
That way, you can learn from others and become familiar with a particular type of writing.
Also, try setting deadlines when you are writing to keep track of your progress and push you to keep going and reach your goals.
Before you go, grab your free checklist and start writing your fiction story.
Keep reading this blog series. The next blog is: What to do after you have finished your first draft.