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Boomers Write – Writing Genres - Fiction

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Fiction Writing Takes Great Imagination

Fiction writing is base on imagination and if you have a good one, your story will be good. The story can also be plot-driven, or based on an idea or concept. One thing to remember however is that although your story is fantasy, it must still make sense.
You will need to consider the physical setting of your story. It must be authentic enough to be believed and include everything from scenery, to atmosphere and perhaps even weather. These elements might have a profound affect on the actions or moods of your characters. For instance, does your story take place in a run down factory, a dance hall or spaceship? All of these evoke extremely different images. You need to ask yourself, do I want my setting to be simply a background or something more powerful?
Choosing the right ‘point of view’ from which to write and the ‘narrative voice’ for your story is also important. Writing in the first person, gives the reader the impression that you are personally invested in your story. A third person ‘point of view’ is more detached.


Time is another element that must be established. First of all, what time of day is it? Although you don’t need to specifically state that it’s 2 p.m., your story must indicate through other details that it is mid-afternoon. Different time periods also immediately create pictures in the minds of readers. For instance, there is a world of difference between Washington in 2006 and Boston in the 1800s.
Next, the characters in your story must be considered. Are they the primary focus, rather than the plot? Who is the main character and how will you write your manuscript to show that this person is the most important? A good way to answer these questions is to write down character outlines. Describe not only how they look, but also their character traits (strengths and weaknesses), personality, views and moods.
Your main character will be the one who is most affected in the story and/or plays the biggest role. He or she will be the one with the most force of action, the biggest problem, the most painful hurt or seeking to accomplish the most tantamount goal. This is the character that you want your readers to know best, to perhaps identify with and to care about.
Then unless you are placing yourself in the story, decide which character will tell the tale. This is the ‘viewpoint character’ and the reader will experience the story through this character’s eyes. It is also possible to have more than one ‘viewpoint character.’ It should be added here also that when naming your characters, make sure it reflects something about them.

Next, consider the plot or story line. How will you let the plot unfold in a natural way and follow it through to the end? Where and at what point will the climax occur? Will there by semi-climaxes as the story moves along and at what points? If you are writing a plot-based story, the intricacies of the plot will be what create the most interesting tale. This, of course, will take some planning. In this case, it helps to take your time and write all of these details out ahead of time.
Dialogue is a vital aspect of any written work, as it can really bring out the personalities of your characters. It can also serve to fill in necessary information, without just stating it. It can be used to establish the time and place and also to develop conflicts between characters. Whatever its purpose, writing dialogue is something that can be difficult to create, if you haven’t done it before. Don’t try to recreate actual conversations, as they’ll likely be very boring and annoying. For instance, most people repeat certain phrases and non-words like ‘um,’ ‘aha’ or ‘you see.’
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “double speak” at some point. In dialogue, it means that what your characters say and what they really mean are two different things. What are your characters saying “between the lines” or “subtext?” This can happen when one or more of your characters don’t really understand themselves or their own motivation. Showing a different side to a character through dialogue will tell the reader more about him or her than if you just outright said it. Knowing how to write this kind of dialogue can set you apart from other writers.
Also if your character has a slang or accent, that’s fine, but just don’t overdo it. Dialogue should also flow, without a lot of ‘he said,’ ‘she said.’ Also try to intersperse your conversations with associated actions. Finally, always remember to begin a new sentence each time another person speaks and put their words in quotations.
Assuming you know what genre or category your writing falls into, there are a few things to consider when writing your story. You need to be aware that there are certain conventions of structure, character and conversation that automatically come with specific genres.
For instance, writers of science fiction often use the term “faster-than-light travel” or “warp speed.” The sci-fi writer needs to know how and where such terms are used, if he or she intends to use them. In mystery writing, the plot generally begins with a discovery, such as a dead body and ends when the mystery is solved. A great way to become familiar with the conventions of your particular genre is to read similar stories by other writers.

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