What advice would you give to someone who knows nothing about writing fiction but wants to give it a shot?

What things will you tell someone who really wants to write a fiction story, but doesn’t know how to do it? Are you good at giving advice or bad at it? What would you say if it was someone you knew?

My Turn:

I couldn’t be of help to that person. Even though I have been writing for years, I am still learning things and growing as a writer. So, they would be better reading some books on how to master writing fiction or just going for it and writing a short story. I am terrible when it comes to advice and things like that.

Bonus Question:

  1. Is there a writing style from a published author/novelist that you like or has inspired you in any sort of way?
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Plot holes DO in fact MATTER

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Really, how so?

What if the person does not know what a plot hole even is?

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Anything that contradicts earlier rules of the story or basic human logic and is not explained is a plot hole. It ranges in severity, but in especially bad cases, it can ruin stories.

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I see. Most people hate plot holes though.

But I feel like most things in a story can’t be explained because that is just how the creator wanted it to be.

Am I making sense?

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There’s a difference between a plot hole and a mystery box. Mystery boxes are usually intentional.

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Ah, okay. My mistake.

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The best advice I could give such a person is listen to no advice. They’re at a stage in their writing journey that they just need to explore, regardless of how good /bad their craft is. Once they had gotten into the love for writing is when I’d give advice, and that would be from the huge amount of advice I’ve read and understood. We don’t want to scare them off before they’re in it, right?

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Your first draft can be as messy as possible. It doesn’t have to, and it SHOULDN’T, be perfect - perfection is for your final draft. Don’t waste hours on your first line, just get the words and ideas down.

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So, saying nothing is sometimes the best answer???

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This is something that has always made me wonder something about the way I write. What if I am writing my story’s first draft but don’t really know where it is going far as direction? I mean I want to get my point across as best as I could but I wonder if I am doing that. Sometimes writing blindfolded can be risky. So, is plotting necessary even when the story is just in it’s first draft?

Just wondering.

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That’s a pretty personal thing. I don’t plan, I don’t care for it. Some people do.

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So, you tackle the story head on because you already have a clear idea of what is going to happen within it, correct???

Yeah, I “plan” my stories but there are times when I just want to go into it with my eyes closed.

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No. I don’t plan, I just write. :slight_smile:

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Even if it is just the rough/first draft, I should still not plan but rather write?

If that is true then, thanks for the words of encouragement.

:slightly_smiling_face:

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Like I said, this is a very personal thing. What I said is your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. If you plan or not is up to you! :slight_smile:

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Oh, okay! Thank you so very much!

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I agree with this, to a certain extent. It’s good to just start writing without worrying about how. I’ve been scared off from many projects because of too much ““advice”” or too many “”“rules”""

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I’ve been really fortunate to have been asked these questions on numerous occasions. The first thing I would say is to FINISH the story. Don’t be afraid to write horribly; just FINISH it by giving yourself permission to write horribly. You can polish bad writing into something beautiful, but it is impossible to edit a blank page.

Next, I’d tell them to KNOW THEIR AUDIENCE. This is so, incredibly important. That person who hates paranormal is probably going to hate your ghost story. They’re not in your audience. Their opinions on how sucky your story is aren’t quite as important as the person’s who that story is tailored to.

Finally, I’d tell them not to be afraid to ask for help. The writing community as a whole is very helpful and supportive.

Now, for the bonus question, my answer would be Charlaine Harris, Rachel Caine, Darynda Jones, Alys Arden, Janet Evanovich, James Rollins, Dean Koontz, Stieg Larsson, among a few others. Now, if that person was asking me that same question, I’d tell them to read some books in their book’s genre because of that whole “Know your audience” bit. Just because I like a book doesn’t mean they will.

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This is really good advice and the same applies to the knowing your audience one too.

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