Tips for writing slice of life?

Not sure if this is the correct category to put it in, so sorry if there’s been a mistake.

I’m looking for some resources to help me get started writing slice of life. Overall, slice of life is one of my favorite genres of literature and television. I feel like slice of life can really capture human existence, why also tackling serious issues in a more digestible way. Also, it has some fantastic set-ups for humorous encounters, which is where I feel I shine in writing.

I know slice of life is generally apart of every story. I mean, we’re experiencing the life of a character.

However, a slice of life story in comparison to, say, an epic fantasy is pretty cut and dry. I feel like writing a slice of life will really help me grow as a writer, in learning to include it in my grittier fantasy stories, but also to generally just tackle the idea of getting to know characters as people.

I want to tell a specific story (I have an idea) in a softer, more approachable way. But to be honest, although slice of life is my favorite genre, I’m unsure where to start, or really the formatting for slice of life.

If you guys have any resources to share, or general tips, I would most grateful for your insights.


I wouldn’t call my story a slice of life, but it’s closer to one than a lot on Wattpad. Think about your conflicts in terms of character and not action: nobody’s likely to end up stabbed by the end of your novel, but that doesn’t mean they can’t change, that they can’t have a rise and fall. People use “slice of life,” too, as a pejorative for a story where they think nothing exciting happens, but you can also think about it as an extended study of a certain place or time instead of just a boring story. Lastly, think about the story in terms of immersion: your goal is to give the reader a bit of a break from it all, so make sure they’re so absorbed in your setting they feel like they’re in 1950s Los Angeles and not their apartment in Queens.

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Everything rides on having good characters. If you can’t make your characters interesting, at least make them cute.

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I’m not sure how well this works since I’ve never written slice of life, but I have a friend who does and I alpha read for her, and what I’ve noticed in her work is that she treats most scenes as story, a short story on the microscopic level and hones in on the character and their emotions and how those connect to the actions.
She also uses a overall plot, but unlike in other genres, her plots are usually centered around the character development, and the plot is just a progression of events that help the character with their big flaw / trauma or whatever it is that the book is focusing on at that time.


I tend to write slice of life romances. For me it’s all about the characters and how they grow throughout the story. So I’ll tend to focus on their emotions and their internal lives rather than the world around them if that makes sense.


So if slice-of-life prose features mundane characters, little or no plot or conflict, and no real conclusion — why are literary magazine editors so excited by these vignettes that they’re scooping the manuscripts up left and right? Slice-of-life pieces are short (which editors love)…can encapsulate big ideas in small passages (and often reflect the sensibilities of post-modern life (which many editors want to bring to the pages of their lit mags).

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