How to Write Fiction: 7 Easy Steps to Master Creative Fiction Writing, Novel Writing & Writing Books | Jaiden Pemton | Skillshare

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How to Write Fiction: 7 Easy Steps to Master Creative Fiction Writing, Novel Writing & Writing Books

teacher avatar Jaiden Pemton, Creative Writing Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h 17m)
    • 1. Introduction - How to Write Fiction

    • 2. Step 1 - Building Characters

    • 3. Step 2 - Shaping the Story Through Plot Development

    • 4. Step 3 - Defining the "Where" Through Setting

    • 5. Step 4 - Selecting a Point of View

    • 6. Step 5 - Defining the "Big Idea" Through Theme

    • 7. Step 6 - Developing Style and Finding Your Voice

    • 8. Step 7 - Uncovering the Secrets of Good Fiction Writing

    • 9. Conclusion - How to Write Fiction

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About This Class

Are you ready to dive into the world of fiction writing, but don't know where to start?

Do you feel unclear about how to distinguish and use the elements of fiction writing?

Are you still on the search to unlock your personal writing voice, and write in a style that keeps your readers engaged?

How to Write Fiction is the guide you need! We will teach you how to write fiction in 7 easy steps. This guide is designed to provide you with all the tools you need in a concise, easy to understand format that will answer all your burning questions and get you on your way to successful fiction writing.

In order to have success in the fiction world, you must write in a way that keeps your audience engaged and helps them to establish a deeper connection to your works.

How to Write Fiction will provide you with an in-depth look into each of the elements of fiction. This will help you develop a better understanding of the art of fiction writing as a whole, and help you develop a writing style that will draw your readers in and create pieces they will never forget!

In a comprehensive step-by-step reference format, each chapter corresponds to a specific element of fiction writing. The clear-cut organization makes it simple to follow along and refer back to areas you still feel confused about as you go. This guide is complete with coherent examples to help you distinguish between each element and log them into your long-term memory.

You will find a gold mine of exclusive tips, tricks, and writing exercises, which are designed to simplify your writing process, help you discover your fiction writing style, and learn how to make yourself and your works stand out.

With this guide, you can move step-by-step, taking the fiction writing process at your own pace. The examples provided will help you to model your work and gain a more thorough understanding. The tips, tricks, and ideas will help you to avoid clichés and the most common mistakes among storytellers, as well as ways to keep your audience engaged from start to finish.


  • The logistics of each element of fiction writing (character development, plot development, setting, point of view, theme, style, and voice)
  • Common fiction writing mistakes to avoid
  • Writing exercises to help you get started and keep you on track
  • Top tips to developing a writing style and voice that sets your work apart
  • Exclusive secrets every fiction writer needs to know
  • And so much more!

Whether you're just starting out on the journey of fiction writing and need to develop a clearer understanding of the elements or have been at it for a while and are looking for fresh perspectives and tips for further develop your style, this guide is the companion you need. Let’s get started!

Meet Your Teacher

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Jaiden Pemton

Creative Writing Teacher


Jaiden Pemton is the teacher of the "Creative Writing" course series. He was formerly a literary agent with Curtis Black Ltd. and writes a popular blog on Creative Writing. Pemton turned to teaching several years ago to fulfil his life dream of educating students on the topic of Creative Writing. He lives in New York City.

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1. Introduction - How to Write Fiction: Are you ready to dive into the world of fiction writing but don't know where to start. Do you feel unclear about how to distinguish and use the elements of fiction writing? Are you still on the search to unlock your personal writing voice and write in a style that keeps your readers engaged. How to write fiction is the Guides you need. We will teach you how to write fiction in seven easy steps. This guide is designed to provide you with all the tools you need in a concise, easy to understand format that will answer all your burning questions and get you on your way to successful fiction writing. In order to have success in the fiction world, you must write in a way that keeps your audience engaged and helps them to establish a deeper connection to your works. How to write fiction will provide you with an in-depth look into each of the elements of fiction. This will help you develop a better understanding of the art of fiction writing as a whole. And help you develop a writing style that will draw your readers in and create pieces. They will never forget. You'll learn the logistics of each element of fiction writing, character development, plot development, setting, point of view, theme, style, and voice. Common fiction writing mistakes to avoid. Writing exercises to help you get started and keep you on track. Top tips to developing a writing style and voice that sets your work apart. Exclusive secrets every fiction writer needs to know. And so much more. Whether you're just starting out on the journey of fiction writing and need to develop a clear understanding of the elements or had been at it for awhile and are looking for fresh perspectives and tips for further developing your style. This guide is the companion you need. Let's get started. 2. Step 1 - Building Characters: Chapter one, step one, building characters. Before you can begin to tell a story, you must determine who the people are that are enduring the story. It is the characters who make the story move, who draw the reader into a new world and make them feel a part of it. The most important part of character development is to make your characters feel entirely real. If the character seems flat, aloo or unreliable, your reader will not be able to create a connection with them and they will entirely lose interest in the rest of the story. Therefore, developing real RA and complex characters should be in the forefront of your character developing process. Think back to when you were a child. If you ever walked away from a movie or finished a book and found yourself imagining what your life would be like as the characters. That means that characters were well-developed. Something about the way those characters were represented, even if they lived in a society, era or lifestyle that was entirely different than your own, made you feel like you could put yourself in their shoes. Additionally, rail and rock characters are more likely to portray the deeper messages of the book because the reader will develop a sense of trust and compatibility with them. Character introduction. It is vital to introduce your character to the reader at the beginning of the story. So they may begin to develop a strong initial connection. Certain hard and fast details like age, cultural background, nationality, voice, occupation, and markable physical qualities like tattoos, style of dress, beauty marks or imperfections are important to establish an initial image in the reader's mind. Another way to set characters apart and create individual images for each of them is to give them a tag. Tags are notable qualities such as an accent, a particular piece of jewelry, a unique gesture or mannerism, or a passion unique to that character. If, for example, your protagonist is in love with a girl down the street, was black and white tattoos all the way up her arms. This is not only an initial point of interest, but also a distinguishing element of that character to make them stick in the reader's mind and bring back throughout the story. Additionally, the significance of the girls tattoos can lead to opportunities for dialogue between characters and a deeper representation of the girls personality and life. From the beginning, your readers should have enough details to have a distinguished image and voice in their head. Whenever a particular character enters the scene. Once you have introduced your characters, it is important to establish trust with your reader, giving them credit to use their own imaginations and develop a unique understanding of each character as they read the story. One of the most important elements of fiction writing is show. Don't tell. You should not have to provide a lengthy narrative summary to develop your reader's understanding of the characters rather and the characters back ground story, daily chores, internal dialogue, and the way they orient themselves in the world should speak for themselves. Establishing character depth. After the initial introduction, your characters will continue to unfold into three-dimensional figures. Remember that character development involves creating an entire human being with a past, a present, and a future. You must be thorough. Although you may not reveal every single element of your character's past and the story itself. You must personally be aware of every single detail that composes that character and their experience. Basic descriptions of physical qualities and personality traits are not enough to establish death. Take a piece of paper and write out the elements of your characters live from their birth until the present moment. Where were they born? Or their parents? What did their family unit or lack thereof look like? What sort of impact has this had on their development? What is the relationship status of this character? Do they work or attend school? Do they have any children? Who are the people in this character circle? Do they have a best friend? What are these characters? Hopes, dreams, skills, and talents. What most commonly produces an issue in their everyday life or stands in their way. You should establish a personal awareness of what triggers anger, fear, grief, or trauma in this character and why that is. So, it is also important to assign a personality type to your character. Is this character a peacemaker who sometimes struggles to put their own needs first? Or are they constantly ready to speak up, challenge authority, and fight until they are heard? Perhaps this character is a deep creative who feels largely misunderstood by the world. Or a timid rule abiding personality trying desperately to find their own voice. Making characters relatable. It is impossible to identify or empathize with any character who does not possess human qualities. This means you must have a basic understanding of human psychology. How people's brains work, and what causes people to react to things the way they do. If, for example, your character possesses superhuman strength, is kind at all times and never runs out of patients or energy, has no physical flaws, or never experiences emotional conflicts. You reader will not feel that they can relate. Humans are imperfect and flawed, and conflict is irregular aspect of our lives. It is important to keep this fact in mind when you approach fiction, writing. Your characters should have flaws, just as every human being does. However, because your main character must possess some heroic qualities, you must ensure that these flaws are forgivable, identifiable, and easy to empathize with. It is important to dedicate plenty of time to define your character's flaws. How these flaws impact their lives, and how they move beyond. And in spite of them, your character will struggle, but they should never be portrayed as weak or cowardly. Although they have laws, there should always be heroic qualities present that keep your reader engaged and rooting for character growth and success. Row of as expressed by the character are. In terms of growth, it is vital to understand the character are. The character arc represents the path on which a character grows and changes throughout the story. Just as human beings are constantly changing as a result of what we learn and experience. So it should be for fictional characters throughout the story. Great attention should be given to the character's inner dialogue. What keeps your character awake at night? Do they have any secrets? What is their largest fear, shame, and driving force? At the end of the story, what does your character know about themselves or the world that they did not know before? How is their life changed as a result of what has happened to them? How have they grown as a person? How did they approach the future? In the book, The Alchemist, for example, the young shepherd boy begins the book striving for something greater, but feeling unsure of how to get there. Throughout the course of his journey defined, the treasure is met with insights on his interactions with other people. The fire at the heart of every human being that can act as a guiding force. And the presence of omens to guide people towards that life purpose. His character develops until he has made the pinnacle observation of where to find the truths of life and oneself. Making it personal. When it comes to fictional character development, it can be helpful to take personal inspiration. Consider the complexities of your own life, personality, and those are the people you know. You can take the approach of changing several details of a personal experience to create a new circumstance. What are some ways that particular circumstance could have turned out? How do you wish it went? Could it have gone worse? Infection? You have the freedom to base your characters off of real people in real experiences while changing as many details as necessary to create your own story. We will talk more about personification in later chapters. Writing exercise, putting yourself in their shoes. One of the greatest joys of writing fiction is the freedom to embody the characters you create. Whatever you dream of being the villain, the heroin, someone of a different personal or cultural background. A mystical creature, a young child, a single mother, a soldier. Fiction gives you the space to be that person. Every time you sit down to write on a certain character, take a few moments to close your eyes, breathe deeply and truly become that character. And every twist and turn of the story, ask yourself, what would I do? We're in this character's shoes right now. As you develop your characters, ask yourself which words you can use to summarize that character's personality most accurately. Or they bold and confrontational or shy and reserved. If the character is bold and aggressive, you may write about circumstances in which they stand up for the ones they love and fight for the underdog when no one else. Well, however, there are confrontational nature may also get them into trouble when they grow passionate and have trouble controlling their abrupt reactions. Putting yourself in your character's shoes can guide the events of the story, as well as the characters grow. In the case of the bold and confrontational character, perhaps they feel that in order to be strong, they must not be solved in any way over the course of the story. Their character arc may involve learning about the strength that lies in being soft and allowing their guard to come down. Sometimes. In the case of the shy and reserved character, their journey may involve learning the strengthen their own voice, and how to use it to influence change. Establishing character credibility. A final important detail of character development is establishing credibility. Although fiction writing it gives you the freedom to make your characters whoever you want them to be, you will not be able to develop them without some research fully. If you're writing a character who comes from a different personal or cultural background than your own, has a different passion or occupation than your own, or has experienced a tragedy that you have not. It is not enough to base their story off of simply what you imagine. It might be like to create a well-rounded character for your readers to fully understand and empathize with. You must literally put yourself in that character shoes. One way to do this is by finding interviewees who have had similar experiences to your character and can answer questions to generate a deeper understanding. If you're riding on an ER nurse, for example, you could try calling into a local hospital and asking for an ER nurse who would be willing to book an interview about a day in their life, begin by asking the interviewee to describe a typical day in their life, doing the things that character in your book, we'll be doing, developed several questions to serve as a guide, then follow up with further questions as the interview goes. Be prepared to be surprised and confront ideas you were not prepared for. All of those details are important to include in order to establish true character credibility. Another great option is to go into an environment like that of which are character lives or works in. In the case of the ER nurse, you may want to try to schedule a day to go into that environment and shadow an ER nurse on their day at work. Take field notes of everything you observe. You may even find that you can draw further inspiration from the specific details of that setting and the people you see there. You can go into any neighborhood, classroom, landscape, or other environments with a journal and allow it to move you freely. Write down your observations and any feelings you experience in that setting and channel them into the description of your characters and their lives. 3. Step 2 - Shaping the Story Through Plot Development: Chapter 2, step 2, shaping the story through plot development. As you take on the beginning steps of fiction writing, you will often find that plot development and character development happen subsequently. At times, the plot feeds heavily off of the characters navigating through it and how they develop from the start of the story to the end. When planning out the specifics of what happens in your story, there are several key questions to ask yourself. First of all, you should identify a primary sequence of events and how your characters change over time as a result of those events. What locations does each of these events happen in? How does each of these events contribute to the larger structure of the story? How does it do with the development of its characters? The importance of the five W's. Who, what, when, where, why. The five W's are one of the most important clarifying factors of any story. You should establish straight away who the important characters are, where the story is unfolding. When the story is unfolding, what situation the characters are in, and why they ended up there. The best stories are not only clear about each of these five W's, they also provide room for circumstances to change. You can further engage your reader by demonstrating changes and the WHO as your protagonist finds a new part of themselves and unlocks new strength. Another example of engaging your reader in the who of your plot is if one of the characters turns out to have an identity they had been hiding, that is revealed later in the story. This may bring an element of surprise to the reader and cause them to shift their perspective. Perhaps the where may change as the protagonist gets a new job or moves to a new city. You can also change the what by detailing revelations your character has about what their true goal in life is. Take as much time as you need to generate thorough answers to these questions. Plot development, toolbox outlines, timelines and storyboards. In the beginning stages, you may find it helpful to create an outline that provides a detailed summary of how the book flows and now each event is connected. It can also be helpful to create a comprehensive timeline of events in the novel, which can later branch off into separate chapters. Storyboards are an excellent tool to keep you on track as you move through each of the stories, scenes, on note cards, Post-it notes where something similar you can detail which of your characters will be involved in each scene and what the main point of that particular scene is. You will then have the opportunity to reorder the scenes as the story develops until you end up with the most logical sequence. As you transition from the planning process to the actual writing, you should be able to describe what the story is about using only two sentences. Once you can do this, you know that your ideas are fully developed and the story has a strong foundation on which to build. Plot introduction. What's the main goal? As you begin to introduce your characters at the beginning of the story, you must also introduce the plot by making the reader aware of each character's main goals. Be specific in describing these goals. For example, it is not sufficient to say that your protagonist wants to be a rider in the future. What kind of writing that she wanted to do? Does she hoped to live in a certain area? How do her dreams impacted the way she envisions herself in the future? It is far better to say that she wants to be a famous poet living alone in a mountain cottage and traveling the world than simply that she wants to be a writer. The main goals should be established as a driving force to the character's life. It is the most important thing to them. This goal will shape why the character chooses to act the way they do. What decisions do they make? How does their goal motivate them and define their daily life? Be sure that any main goals you present a realistic and attainable. Remember you want your characters to be established as human beings first and foremost, so that the reader can relate to them and empathize with them. Leave room for the story to continue developing and for the main goal to expand and change after the protagonist is faced with conflict. Large-scale plot developments should be fueled by the basic everyday moments, the character's experience. You can reveal a lot about the underlying themes of the story by giving small details, such as how a character engages in dialogue. Or once sorts of simple actions they take, such as how they make their commute in the mornings, or how they decorate their desk. Exposition. This crucial introduction to the characters and their motivations occurs in the exposition. The exposition is the first part of plot development. Characters are introduced within an established setting. There should be some explanation of the primary themes and main events of the story. The central conflict should be evident from the beginning and it should draw the reader in and make them want to know what happens next. The exposition will introduce whether the structure of the story is linear or non-linear. Linear structure is chronological. It starts at the beginning and build from there. Non-linear structure, however, drops a reader into a moment right in the middle of things. This gives the reader a chance to understand the central conflict in terms of what is going on, but not why it is happening. If the story opens with a woman next to her unconscious boyfriend at a hospital, the reader comes to know both characters and that they're in the hospital. But the readers do not understand how they got their nonlinear structures can create added tension by introducing effects before causes. And this approach can be very engaging for readers, making them hungry for answers. For the purpose of exploring these elements applaud. Let's consider the classic story, The Three Little Pigs. In this story, the exposition of the plot is when all three pigs are introduced in the setting of the countryside. It is clear in the beginning that each pig has one goal in mind to build their own house. From the beginning, we know that one pig is building their house of straw. One is using sticks, and the third is taking their time to build a sturdy house of bricks. We are introduced to the main goals and potential themes from the very beginning when we see how the pigs who use straw and stakes are in a hurry to finish building so they can just have fun. The peg who uses bricks, however, is patient and takes the necessary time to develop a sturdy house that can endure much more due to its rudimentary nature as a children's story, this story follows the linear structure. Rising action. The rising action is the place where everything begins building up to the turn of events. This is where the reader will understand the why and the what that was introduced in the exposition. The protagonist will be faced with conflict, which will lead them to the realization that their immediate goal will not be assembled to obtain as they originally thought, then the character must begin to establish a new goal. The rising action portion of the book should be tense and engaging and the reader should begin to understand everything that is at stake for the protagonist. Character-driven scenes can be used to demonstrate what is at stake. An example of this would be a mother who is trying to shoulder daughter from finding out she has magical powers in order to protect her from being discovered by forces of evil who will use her powers were themselves. Character-driven scenes lead to intense action scenes that keep the reader on the edge of their seat rooting for the main character's success. In the example of The Three Little Pigs, the big bad wolf is introduced as a dangerous character who wants to eat the pigs. He watches them build from afar, plotting when he will attack. It is at this point of the story that the reader understands the why behind the pig. The pig who chose to take the time to construct a sturdy house of bricks. When the big bad wolf arrives, the pigs who built the houses of straw and sticks are faced with conflict. The big bad wolf trying to break in and eat them, then blowing their houses down. This leads them to understand that their immediate goal to build their houses quickly and return to business as usual is not as practical as they thought. This part of the story contains the intensity necessary in the rising action part of the plot. As the story approaches the climax. A climax. The climax or turning point is the point in the story where the protagonist realizes what they must do in order to resolve the conflict. This is the part where the main questions the reader has developed throughout the course of the story are answered. At this point. All of the tension and emotion that is accumulated throughout the first part of the story will be released. This is when the story switches from building conflict to conflict resolution. And it is often the most engaging part of the story. It is important to eat breeders on the edge of their seats by making them question whether or not the protagonist will come out on top and experience a happy ending. There should be some element of doubt present a moment where all seems lost before the protagonist rises above the challenge and ends up on top. The climax is the point where the reader develops in even deeper admiration for the main characters as they observe the characters making brave decisions. Learning an important lesson, persisting through challenge and rising above. Using our Three Little Pigs example, we see the emphasis switched from the main goals of the straw and stick pigs to the main goal of the brick peg. This is the part of the story where the brick pig becomes the hero by allowing the other two pigs into the sturdy brick house. Tension continues to mount as the Wolf tries to blow the brick house down and fails, then begins plotting another way in. At this point, the brick pig exhibits vigilance and quick wickedness while preparing for the big bad wolves next move. When the big bad wolf attempts to come down the chimney of the brick house, raters are left on the edge of their seats wondering if he will get in and eat the pigs after all. However, in the end, the break pig is too smart and the big bad wolf is encountered by a pot of boiling water in the fireplace. The Three Little Pigs are safe at last, a happy ending in which the characters learned an important lesson about being patient, thorough and smart. Falling action. Everything that occurs after the climax is part of the falling action. The falling action should be in alignment with everything that has happened leading up to that point and should feel inevitable. It must be directly tied to decisions and actions made previously and the outcome should seem logical. This is the point where all the primary questions have been answered and all conflicts have been resolved. There are several versions of The Three Little Pigs, but one example of a falling action that can be seen in some of them, when the pigs engage in singing and dancing after the big bad wolf has been defeated for good. As they dance around carefree and enjoying themselves, the reader can see how the pig who made a house of bricks was right? Patients is key. At this point in the story. All of the pigs are happy, safe, and unified together. And they are all benefiting as a result of the third Pigs decision to build a sturdy house at Brex for protection, then place water on the fireplace to outsmart the big bad wolf. Resolution, denouncement. The final aspect of plot development is resolution or denouncement. This draws all events, conflicts, and questions to a conclusion. This is the place where all of the loose ends are tied up by the lovers finally ending up together. The hero receiving recognition or the adventurer returning home. This part of the book symbolizes a new and generally improved reality for all of the characters. At this point, the characters will have undergone great development as well. And we'll have grown into wiser and improved versions of themselves who have successfully resolved the conflict they faced. This part of the story should be logical. Do not introduce outlandish scenarios or new characters here, and leave the reader feeling satisfied. The recognition the third pig receives in the Three Little Pigs when the other two pigs expressed their gratitude for being protected and apologize for judging the third pay for working at a slower pace is an example of resolution. At this part of the story, the reader can truly see how it all paid off. And now the other two pigs have grown wiser and learn from their mistakes. Ultimately, the reader should arrive at this resolution feeling satisfied that all the pigs are safe, happy, and have learned a new life lesson. The use of subplots. Although subplots are not the main idea of the story, developing subplots can be useful supporting the main plot and highlighting the most crucial issues and themes at the heart of the story. An example of a subplot could be the protagonists relationship with the shop owner down the street, who always shows grace and kindness and hold space for people to share about their life issues. The development of this relationship over time could serve to drive in the stories key points about human relationships and a general understanding of the kinds of people the characters are. Clarifying questions. Did you applaud do its job? As you approach the end of your story writing process, it is important to go back and ask yourself several important questions to ensure that you have stayed on track with what you wanted to express in the plot. And the characters changed over the course of the story and the way you hoped they would. One were the key areas of growth or learning for the characters. What led them to change? Did they achieve their goals? Lastly, did you stick to the core themes of the story? For example, true love always prevails. Going back once more to the Three Little Pigs example, the goal of the story is that taking your time to think things through will benefit you later. We can see that this has been clearly demonstrated over the course of the story in the way the two pigs who did not take their time learning from the third pig who did. This is an area of character growth and learning for the pigs. It is also an area of triumph for the pig who is not afraid to go against the grain. At the end of the day, the third pigs goal to live in a house dirty and saved from dangers like the big bad wolf has been achieved. The theme of the story has been achieved by demonstrating how patients and thinking things through lead to a happy ending. For the pigs. 4. Step 3 - Defining the "Where" Through Setting: Chapter 3, step 3, defining the wire through setting. In order to draw your readers into the world you create infection, you must first have a profound understanding of what makes that world what it is. This is where developing a setting comes into place. When it comes to writing fiction, there is often much emphasis placed upon who the characters are, what they are doing, and what is happening to them. And very little emphasis on the environment they're in. The setting is one of the most widely overlooked, yet equally crucial components of fiction writing. Basics of setting, what to do, and what not to do. Before setting out to develop your story setting, there are several things to keep in mind. First, when describing the setting, it is important to use all five senses by describing exactly what the characters can see. Gear, smell, taste, and feel, the reader will feel completely immersed in the story and where it goes next. The setting is not something that you can establish once and expect the reader to stay engaged throughout the rest of the book. It is important to spread setting descriptions out throughout the book in order to pull your reader into each moment. Truly. Whenever the plot is thickening or changing and the character's actions need to be emphasized. That is a good time to provide new details of the setting. While in-depth sensory descriptions of settings are crucial, There's a fine line between being thorough and over describing. If you spend too long describing every tiny detail of the setting all at one time, you read or his shirt to lose interest and become distracted. Not only this, but over describing a setting may also stifle a reader's imagination, making it more difficult for them to envision the world in a way that is captivating to them. Location, context, Social Era, lifestyle. Now that you are aware of how to approach the setting, let's talk about the details you'll need to provide in order to illustrate the bigger picture. First of all, you need to know the general location of your story. This involves the country, region, city or town or planet. If your story takes place in another world. Once you have established a general location, you will break it down into smaller categories, such as specific neighborhoods, households, or places of work or study. It is important to establish context around the social era the story is taking place in as well. If the story is happening during a post-war era or in a city neighborhood that is being newly gentrified. Those elements will greatly impact the journey, the journey of the characters and the unfolding of the plot. You must take into account any element of culture. What country, tribe, or community are your characters involved in? Do they have any special family traditions? What are the foods they eat? It is important to indicate the general social and political climates of the story, as well as how people interact with one another in different contexts. Geography and population. Geography is an element of setting that goes hand in hand with the location as it pertains to the natural environment. Does your story take place in a mountain village off the coast of Mozambique, in a corner of East Harlem, or in a galaxy far beyond our own. You must make your reader aware of both natural geography, oceans, rivers, forests, mountains, and man-made geography, bridges, monuments, buildings, cemeteries. Also to be taken into account with geography is the population of a given setting. The character's experiences are likely very dependent on how many people live in their area. The experience of a character living in a small town versus a city with several million people versus an isolated island will all be vastly different. Climate, mood, atmosphere. The climate of a setting goes along the same lines as its geography as well. It is important to establish the relationship between climate and people's moods and well-being. It is more common, for example, to see a relaxed and carefree lifestyle in a village community on the coast. Then in Seattle on the 200th cloudy day in the deep woods, while a family struggles to survive during a harsh winter. The mood and atmosphere of a story or developed as the characters react to elements of their environment, including temperature, lighting, and other factors that can be detected by the five senses. Before each scene. Be sure to take time to ask yourself what kind of mood your striving to establish. What is the weather like? Is it sunny and serine with puffy clouds in the sky? Or is it a gloomy day with whistling wind that makes the hairs on your arm stand up. If the story is occurring inside, what is the atmosphere of the room? Is it comfortable and cozy? Or is there something unsettling about it? Time of year, time of day, passage of time. Time of year is another important element of setting, which includes seasons as well as important days. These days can be holidays, birthdays of work or school, or significant dates to the characters such as anniversaries, birthdays, dates of death, and dates or past historical events. Time of day is important for describing if events are happening at dawn, dusk, in the heat of the afternoon. We're in the middle of the night. While it is not possible to take the reader on a moment by moment journey as it would be in real-time, it is absolutely crucial to account for elapsed time throughout the story. Flashbacks, foreshadowing and in-between moments can all be used to allude to the passage of time and keep readers from becoming confused or feeling removed from the story. Establishing setting in fictitious worlds. In the cases of fantasy and fictitious world, you will have a bit more work to do in order to draw your reader in and make them feel connected with the setting. As it is a world they have never seen. Begin by creating the world your story is occurring on. Does it resemble Earth in any way? What are the major differences? Establish the name of the world, as well as how it's creatures live and function. What is the terrain like? One very helpful tip for establishing this fictitious world is to draw a map. After you have developed a map of this world, you can narrow things down and determine which particular settings the plot will unfold. Why is setting important? One common misconception about the setting is that it is only the backdrop of the story. This is incredibly false. The setting is crucial to the development of a story because it includes everything that has to do with how the characters navigate through space, time and social environments. Think about the places in your own life where you spend the most time. For example, if you spend most of your time on a college campus, it is likely that you have a favorite meal in the cafeteria. A favorite faculty or staff person who you look forward to talking to, a favorite tree or bathroom stall and a favorite place to study. It is also likely that there is a building or a room that you rarely enter because it is rumored to be haunted. Or because the meanest or creepiest staff or faculty person works there. This is just one example of how setting impacts the way we orient in the world and why it is so crucial to creating a good piece of fiction writing. Every component of the story setting is essential to building the mood and plot of the story, as well as how the characters grow and change within each context. Your settings should be clearly described using literary devices and descriptive language that can clearly draw a picture in your reader's mind to help them envision the environment. When story's setting is done right? It will help the plot to flow from one event to the next clearly and realistically, the story setting should align with the plot of the story. For example, if you're writing about a young musician who was struggling to get by and make it big and New York. You will want to describe the setting of his closet size department. Also the streets where he feels on scene and the subways he falls asleep on every day as he travels home from the barista job that barely pays the bills. A rustic mountain setting would not make sense. Plot. Further benefits of setting. The setting also creates a sense of unity between the characters and the plot by describing why the characters do what they do, and which elements of their environmental lead them to be in certain situations. Additionally, setting draws the reader in to feel like they're truly in that place with the character experiencing the same narrative and emotions. The settings should be aligned with the main characters throughout the story. Going back to the example of the young musician, if it's conflict is being withdrawn and not having the confidence to pursue his dream. It is likely he keeps his eyes down on the city streets and attempts to sit alone and mind his own business on the subway. However, if he has outgoing and willing to talk to anyone or do anything to fulfill his dream. Even when that means failure, it is likely he is trying to talk to everyone and drop his name in any context he can. He may be trying to instigate conversations about his music with everyone he comes across and is likely to seize any opportunity to perform at parks, in cafes and bars, et cetera. In this case, the characters conflict would not be a lack of confidence, but rather lack of opportunity or being noticed. Establishing, setting credibility. Just as it is important to establish credibility with character development. It is important to develop that same credibility with the development of particular settings. If you are trying to describe a real place that you have never been, it is crucial to do research on that plays to make sure what you're describing is geographically and culturally accurate. If it is a place you can visit in person, that is the best way to get a real life understanding of the setting. However, this is not always logistically possible. In those cases, you can make use of media resources such as Google Earth, YouTube, newspaper clippings, images or photographs and encyclopedias. You may also do the same thing you did in the stages of character development, where you visit particular settings and take field notes on what you observe. 5. Step 4 - Selecting a Point of View: Chapter 4, step 4, selecting a point of view. The point of view or fiction writing is the type of narration you choose to tell the story. When it comes to selecting a point of view for your fiction story, you have several options to choose from. First-person point of view. The first-person point of view adopts the perception of a character, generally the main character of a fiction story. His point of view records everything as it is witnessed and understood by the character and uses pronouns such as I, me, and mine. This point of view is useful for giving the reader a closer look inside the mind of the character. Letting the reader know exactly how they think and feel and allowing for a more personal connection between the reader and the character. This close connection is a major benefit to using the first-person point of view. One disadvantage is that you may not be giving your reader a well-rounded view of the setting and the other characters perceptions of things. Point of view is more personal, but also more limited. Second-person point of view. In the second-person point of view, the narrative speaks directly to the reader and adopts pronouns, such as you, your, and yours to tell you your own story. In fiction writing, second-person is most commonly used to guide the reader through interactive books. Third person objective point of view. Third-person objective point of view is when a character serves as the narrator of the story, but without any insight into their personal thoughts, feelings, and perception of what is going on. The point of view aims for neutrality through the use of third-person pronouns. And it is designed to be unbiased and give the reader the freedom to interpret what they are reading freely without the emotional response of the narrator. Third person limited point of view. Third person limited point of view uses both third-person pronouns and insight into a particular character's emotions and perception of the world. In this point of view, all characters will be referred to in third person, but only one. Usually the main character will be followed throughout the story from start to finish. Third person omniscient point of view. Third person omniscient point of view is focused on giving the reader a point of view similar to that of a godly figure looking down on everyone else and seeing what is happening. This point of view provides deep insight into the personal lives of several characters throughout the book, not just one character. In order to ride in this point of view, you must be prepared to provide a details of the emotional states, inner dialogues, perceptions, and actions of multiple characters. Dialogue versus narration. When thinking of how to write a point of view, you must understand how to use the tools, the tools of both dialogue and narration. Even if the narrative is being written in third person, first-person pronouns are still used when dialogue is occurring between characters. This is why it is crucial to symbolize every phrase of dialogue with quotation marks dissented apart from the rest of the text. Point of view, toolbox, moods and dimensions. There are several tools available to you when deciding which point of view to use in a piece of fiction writing. Begin by asking yourself what type of story you are writing and which sort of mood you hope to create. If you are writing a story designed to be suspenseful, you will be better off writing from a first-person perspective, as it is more limited and will inevitably create more tension. However, if you are writing a fantastical story about another dimension, you may choose dried from several third-person perspectives in order to give the reader a better understanding of the world. Using your own voice. The point of view you choose is also largely dependent on the journey of finding your own distinct style and voice to use in your writing. In order to develop your own strong writing voice, be sure to pay close attention to the differences in voices and points of view in the fiction stories you read. Ask yourself how you perceive different points of view differently. Which ones sticks with you the most as a reader, while it is helpful to use the voices of other writers as inspiration, it is important not to attempt to imitate any other, other's voice or force yourself to use any particular point of view. Trust your instincts. You know your story better than anyone. Clarifying questions, observation versus participation. Several important questions to ask yourself before beginning are as follows. First of all, do you want your narrator to be involved in the events they tell about? Perhaps they are simply an observer of those events or are serving to reconstruct a distant events with their narration. Is the narrator far removed from the story or is there a lot at stake for them personally, in the way things unfold? Lastly, is the narrator credible and telling the story? Can you read or trust that they have enough information and experience to portray the story accurately. 6. Step 5 - Defining the "Big Idea" Through Theme: Chapter 5, step 5, defining the big idea through theme. When it comes to fiction writing, every story must have a deeper meaning. When the reader reaches the end of the story, what is the message or topical knowledge they will be taking away. If your story lacks a theme, it inevitably will be lacking the ability to establish meaningful connections between the characters and the plot. And the story itself will act significance or memorability. The theme as a central element of fiction writing. It answers the question, what is this story really about? Before you proceed with a piece of fiction writing, you should be able to summarize the main purpose of your story in one sentence. One important distinguishing factor is that theme is not the same thing as the moral of the story. The moral of the story is a lesson the author wants the reader to take away. While the theme relates more heavily to the deeper significance of the story. Major themes in fiction writing. The most powerful themes are generally those which appeal to common interest or understanding. The theme, good, Trump's evil, is one of the most common themes and literature which expresses that even when the battle is challenging, forces of good always come out on top at the end of the day. The theme of power struggles and dynamics are also popular. And such themes typically demonstrate that one must have secret powers or approaches in order to achieve dominance. A common theme is one that claims the freedom of humans and the challenges of living in a society that tries to limit that freedom. Contrarily, there's a common theme that expresses society as the saving grace that protects humans from their natural animalistic wickedness. Determining your themes. Choosing a theme depends heavily on the general audience you are writing to, as well as the genre you're writing in. For example, the writings of romantic novelists would revolve around themes of love. Begin by determining the broad themes you plan to discuss. Love, loss, power, loneliness, family, coming of age, Self-discovery, mystery, the pursuit of happiness, et cetera. You may determine that you want to write a crossover of several themes. For example, the relationship between the pursuit of happiness, loss, and self-discovery. One way to maintain relevance to the theme is to base it heavily on your characters, setting, or plot. For example, if your protagonist is a professional female swimmer training to qualify for the Olympic team, your themes could have to do with competition, drive the sport of swimming as a whole. The challenges that face women in athletics or any combination of those. Ultimately, the theme is a summary of all the primary ideas of a story. Many great stories explore a variety of topics and sub-topics, but it is important not to go so broad that your reader gets lost. A good rule of thumb is to select anywhere between 25 primary themes that your story will focus on. This will help you avoid getting off track and we'll keep your reader engaged. Lastly, although themes will vary between genres and intended audiences, it is important to select themes that are relatively universal and can appeal to people of all races, genders, cultures, lifestyles, ages, et cetera. Thematic statements. Thematic statements based upon opinions or moral discoveries the characters express throughout a piece of fiction writing which communicate a deeper message to the reader. The thematic statement is what combines and summarizes the main topics of the book in a brief phrase. For example, if the themes of a book are love and equality, that thematic statement could be love your neighbor as yourself. Thematic statements demonstrate how the theme plays out in the world. After you know what your thematic statements are, you can stay on track with the larger purpose of your story and eliminate the details which don't support that larger purpose. It is important to keep character arc in mind when developing thematic statements in order to draw the reader and with a sense of humanity. The manic statements can be present in everything from the character's backgrounds to their current internal conflicts. When writing about your character's experiences, it is vital to ask yourself, how is this experience going to impact the reader? What message is the reader going to take away from this? The use of motive. A motive is a symbol, structure or literary device that is recurring throughout a piece of fiction writing. Geography is one primary example of a motive. The themes in a story about a girl living on a Polynesian Island and a teenage boy growing up in Baltimore, for example, would be very different. The elements of geography can play strongly into the reiteration of the theme throughout a story. Another common motive is the weather and how changing weather patterns can represent a change in mood and expression of the theme. The use of symbol. A symbol is a particular object, image, figure, or character that represents a deeper meaning. An example of a symbol is the bow and arrow catalysts uses in the Hunger Games. While on the outside, this is an object used in battle. It is also a symbol that represents the depth of catalyses, stealth, skill, precision, and courage. The relationship between theme and character development. As previously mentioned, a large part of theme development is dependent upon the character arc. It is vital to consider how the characters experiences, opinions and morals relate to the overarching theme of the story. When considering the timeline of scenes and character interactions, it is important to ask yourself how they all contribute to the overarching theme. If your theme is the concept of marriage, for example, and is focused on a young woman learning the lessons about marriage that the other women in her family never learn. It makes a lot of sense to provide a scene exploring her relationship with a single mother character who left her husband after he was unfaithful. Staying on track. One of the biggest benefits of summarizing your primary themes from the beginning is that you can refer to it as a guide throughout the rest of the process and subsequent development of motives, symbols, and characterization. There is nothing worse than a piece of fiction writing that jumps from one scene to another in a chaotic manner. The leaves the reader with questions and leaves them unable to identify the point of the story. Establishing your main themes ahead of time can help you avoid adding secondary characters, subplots, and random details that do not relate to what you are trying to convey. This scale, also called cutting the fat, is necessary for keeping your reader from becoming lost, frustrated, or bored. Another useful tip for staying on track is to incorporate the primary themes into your outline process. You can have extra assured notice that each senior right is relevant. Because the theme is so dependent on other elements of fiction, such as the characters, plot, and setting. It is rare that writers are able to understand their theme from the beginning fully. Although you do want to establish primary themes to serve as a general guideline throughout the writing process. You may find that your theme will shift slightly as you go. If this happens, you must be prepared to re-evaluate and make adjustments accordingly to ensure that everything still blows out of the box tip for theme writing. As previously mentioned, it's good to be able to summarize what your story is going to be about and what some of the primary topics are. Before you begin writing. That being said, many riders may find it inhibiting on their writing process to try to determine the theme before the story has even begun to take its course. In some instances, you may find it helpful to give yourself a brainstorming session in which you write down all of the possible topics and theme possibilities that lie within your story idea. You can loosely tie the primary topics into your planning process to keep you on track, but allow yourself some flexibility to let the main themes of the story appear as you go. Although you will begin with some general ideas of what you want to express and what you want the reader to take away. It is a great idea to let the process guide you into creating a more concrete definition of your theme. Allow yourself to move with the flow of the story and watch how your themes appear to you. 7. Step 6 - Developing Style and Finding Your Voice: Chapter 6, step sex, developing style and finding your voice. The writing world is brimming with possibilities for self-expression and stylistic variation. The voice and styling you develop in your fiction writing allows you to create worlds all your own, which can serve as reflections of your inner world and personal aspirations. When it comes to developing your personal voice and style and fiction writing, there are several important things to consider. This chapter will explore the most crucial elements on the journey of finding your personal style and voice. Show. Don't tell with style and voice. As previously mentioned, it is important to leave room for the readers imaginations by describing scenes with enough detail to both draw the reader in and inspire them to draw their own mental pictures. However, when it comes to developing style and voice, the way you choose to show is crucial. You should try to think outside the box when generating descriptions that stray from the typical perspectives. Ask yourself, how can I apply my own personal twist to this perspective? Another tip is to utilize expressive vocabulary when using common adjectives such as beautiful or exciting. Try searching for synonyms that can express the same thing in a more colorful way. Determine what makes you unique. Every person sees the world in a different way. Perspectives are formed through life experiences. And because every person has a different story, every person has a unique perspective. No matter how insignificant you may feel, your perspective is, it is guaranteed that there are elements of your perspective that can provide a new way of understanding the world to your readers. A good starting question when it comes to defining your personal voice and style is what makes me unique. You may find it helpful to create a list of things that contribute to your perspective and who you truly are from which to draw your personal style in writing. If you are a typically romantic person, allow that perspective to infiltrate your writing and create romantic story lines with your own unique twist. While your unique qualities may be as broad as a particular personality type or passion, they may also be narrow, such as your quirks, habits, guilty pleasures, strange fears, special objects. Obsessions are what brings you comfort. Allow the unique qualities you notice in yourself and other people to play a role in the way you detail the characters in your story. Perhaps you are writing about a character who wears glitter on their eyelids every day as a nervous habit of shaking their pen when they, or thinking or who has a trademark way of greeting people. As mentioned in the character chapter of this guide, such qualities or endearing and help the reader to build a personal connection with the characters in fictional writing. Be authentic. When you allow yourself to be completely authentic in your writing, you will quickly distinguish yourself as a writer. Some writers are known for writing with an element of suspense. At the same time. Others right from a mystical perspective or explore the depths of the feminine. The sign of pure and engaging authenticity is to draw readers in so far that they forget what they are reading is fabricated. Overtime, this engagement will lead to increased fiction writers developing their own unique presence in the writing world and becoming known for what they bring the original. Another crucial element to establishing your style and voice is to avoid cliches. If you're trying to imitate another story line or style of writing, your writing will be dry and an original and will ultimately lose the reader's interest. It is important to trust your own experiences and perspective enough to let it guide your writing process and avoid cliches. If you find yourself writing a phrase or following a storyline, that seems like something you've heard before. It is a good idea to choose another direction to travel in. Activating the senses. One of the key elements of discovering your voice and personal style is to integrate sensory experiences into your writing. In order to draw your readers into the story, you must write in a way that elicit emotion floods your reader with imagery to keep them engaged, to appeal to your readers senses, you must write in a way that appeals to your own. When illustrating a scene, ask yourself what the character sees, what they hear, what they smell, and what they feel. As human beings, we are all attuned to different details of daily life. This personal attunement gives riders the ability to describe two very similar experiences in a completely different way. Thus immersing the reader in a sensory experience unique to that, authors perception of things allow your personal attunement to certain things to fuel your writing process and set you apart. Spacing things up with metaphor. A great way to unleash your creative side and fiction writing is to create metaphors out of everyday objects. This exercise can be applied to any object in your line of vision. Ask yourself about the backstory of that particular object, giving it a past, present, and future. Ask yourself, what could this object stand for beyond its general purpose? Consider, for example, I chipped coffee mug on the shelf of a thrift store. Day after day, people come in shopping for mugs. But every time they pick up this particular one, they end up putting it back because it's chipped. When somebody eventually decides to purchase the MOG in spite of the chip, this gets serve as a representation of giving new chances and finding the value in brokenness. The importance of intimacy. The more you invite the reader into a rich and experience, the more of an impact your writing will have on that reader. Your descriptions of setting and characters should include minute details which can help place the reader even deeper in the story and help them to feel like they are part of it. Seemingly insignificant details such as the sound of the wind rustling and the branches of a tree brushing against the upstairs window help the reader to put themselves in the character shoes and experience the emotions that character experiences. Intimate details or another tool for distinguishing your writing style and truly bringing the reader into your world. Our personal experience influences voice. A common misconception among writers is that in order to generate fiction, you have to stay far away from any experiences that resemble your own. In reality, quite the contrary is true. When it comes to fiction, writing. Personal experience can serve as an excellent starting line for the journey of a fiction story. From here you can draw inspiration from real people, emotions, life, memories, and personal philosophies. Writing from this place creates space for empathy and authenticity and the story which is sure to draw readers in and allow them to build an emotional connection with what they read. And not only can you base some characters, elements of plot, setting or theme off of things you have experienced in your life. Friction also gives you the freedom to change details or elaborate in any way you choose. In fiction writing, you have the opportunity to use your personal life as a basic guideline, then letting your imagination get to work in carrying the rest of the story. There is plenty of room for imagination and theoretical situations in relation to personal experiences. And the best fiction writers take advantage of this and allow it to influence their personal style and voice. Because every person's life is unique. So then can the way those experiences impact writing? Practice writing every day? Coming to terms with personal experiences, memories, dreams, and philosophies is not a simple process. Human beings are incredibly complex and constantly changing based upon what happens in their lives. One of the best ways to sift through experiences and find what you strive to express in your writing is by participating in writing every single day. When you sit down to write, tried to do so without any expectations or plans in mind. Allow yourself to free ride without paying attention to any of the typical rules of writing. Allow your soul to pour out on the page, then allow yourself to be inspired by what comes from it. Over time, you will begin to notice recurring themes, philosophies and passions. Making an appearance in what you write about. Your free writings can serve as an inspiration for the situations your fiction characters experience. And the lessons they learned. 8. Step 7 - Uncovering the Secrets of Good Fiction Writing: Chapter Seven, Step 7, uncovering the secrets of good fiction writing. Now that you have covered each of the elements of fiction writing, you're almost ready to be on your way. However, any rider can follow the tips and information provided in definitions of each element of fiction. It is not by simply following the previous steps that you will become a strong and memorable fiction writer. In order to become truly distinguished, there are a few secret techniques to bear in mind. One, read, read, read. The more you indulge and personal reading endeavors, the more you will be able to identify the elements of fiction. In practice, you will become familiar with the literary devices, style, and voice used by various authors. Pay attention to how certain stories make you feel and what you take away and approach each of your own projects where the energy you hope to make your reader experience and what you want them to learn. To dare to ask yourself what if and what next. Dare to dream about what you can create in your fictional world. If X happens, what will happen to y? Give yourself space to think of all possible outcomes. Three, take risks and immerse yourself in new environments. If you stay in the same place, doing the same thing, the writing you can based upon your personal experiences, may begin to dwindle. Challenge yourself to try new things and visit new environments and take notes each time you do. How might the observations of this new environment create a unique story idea for giving yourself time to soak in the process. As writers, it is easy to fill a rush to get new stories generated as quickly as possible. This can be a critical mistake. In order to create a story that will stick with the reader. Bring joy to your soul and enrich your experience as a writer and a human being. You need to have the patience to let yourself ruminate in the writing process. This can come by way of sitting in quiet and pondering past memories and experiences of your life, which are fueling your stories. Daydreaming about mystical worlds from which your story settings are drawn, or simply sitting at the moment and letting images and ideas flow freely onto the paper. Not only will giving yourself time and being present make your personal experience more enjoyable and life-changing. But it will also refine your story and make it a true masterpiece. Five, aim to write what is never been written before. Every writer has the capacity within themselves to create something completely unique using their personal style and voice. But this takes courage. You must be vulnerable with the parts of yourself that long to come to the surface. Allow yourself to engage with them and let them flow forth in your works. Learn from your own process, be inspired by what comes. This is the only way to inspire others with your writing. Truly. Six, when you are describing scenes and fiction writing, pay attention not only to the descriptive words you use, but how they flow together. Language has the ability to create rhythm with the way it flows together. Read your descriptive sentences aloud, changing words as needed until the rhythm and sounds reflect the mood. Seven, maintain an obligation to yourself. Although the goal of a rider is always to keep readers engaged, the primary goal at the end of the day should be to yourself, how can you write the stories that are on your soul? How can you see the things that you have been given? The words, experience and passion to say. At the end of the day, what you're writing does for you personally is the most important thing. Eight, live is about choices and live stories are no exception. Before setting out to write any story, consider the series of choices the characters will make. Why do the characters make certain choices? And what impact do those choices have on how the story unfolds? Nine, determined particular writing spaces for yourself. Each time you set out to ride, ask yourself where you need to be. You may take inspiration from writing in a garden on a rooftop, in a junkyard next to a country road, hungered at a corner table of your favorite coffee shop, or settled at a writing desk you have created for yourself with things that inspire you. No matter where it is, make sure that you are in a space where your surroundings can inspire you and put your mind and spirit in the place they need to be. Ten. Just get started. You may find yourself writing 10, 50, or several 100 pages that don't end up going anywhere. That is part of the process. The hardest part of creating a fiction story is often simply choosing to get started. Decide to do that and give yourself grace and patience as you observe where the process goes from, their mistakes are a crucial part of the process. And you often have to sift through a lot of ideas and type many words before realizing where you are really trying to go. 9. Conclusion - How to Write Fiction: Conclusion. Throughout this guide, you were provided with the ends and outs of fiction elements, including the basic elements, things to avoid and tips to apply to your writing process. At this point, you not only have an interest in writing fiction that inspired you to start these seven steps, but also the tools to embark on the journey that is fiction writing. At the beginning of this guide, you learned how to develop characters with whom readers can relate and establish emotional connections. You learned how to add depth to characters and to make that personal growth journey engaging for the reader. Next, you learned about the elements of the plot and how to prepare your story by establishing a character's main and new goals, conflict, and eventual resolution that leaves the reader feeling satisfied. You learned that setting is not just something that sits in the background of the story, or rather an incredibly dynamic force in the way the story plays out. You learn how to discern between the various points of view and how to select one based on your purposes. You then explore the possibilities of theme and how to stay on track with what your story is truly about. After this, you examined how to cultivate your personal writing style and voice, largely depending on your past experiences and personal values. Lastly, you were provided with 10 out of the box secrets for improving your fiction writing. This guide is not the end point of your journey to fiction writing. It is just the beginning. Now that you have familiarized yourself with the elements and secrets of fiction writing, you can continue to use this guide is a map you refer back to throughout your process. Now is your time to change the world through the world you create in fiction writing.