Fiction Writing Tips, Own the Story – Not the words


Fiction Writing Tips, Own the Story – Not the words

“Own the story. Words are like shades of paint. Get too hung up on them and you’re just turning everything shades of blue and that sucks… unless you’re Van Gogh.  Here are some good fiction writing tips for you.”

So you wrote a novel or, you’re about to write one? Either way we all need help from outside our own heads.

Well, have you written a screenplay? How many books have you read? Do you like graphic novels? How about this… Do you have a degree in creative writing? If you said yes to all of these things, then look elsewhere. I’ve got nothing for you.  If not, here are a few ideas to get your brain going.

First of all, your first draft sucks. I mean that in the nicest way possible. I know, you’re proud of it, you love every word you wrote and you did something most people don’t do. You edited as you went along, so there’s no real need to go back and make changes. I totally get it, it’s a masterpiece.

It’s not your fault that all the agents aren’t picking up on your genius. After all, Harry Potter was rejected 38 times or something like that.  A Wrinkle In Time was kicked to the curb by many agents and it’s a classic. Your work is just as good, and it only takes the right person to peek at it right?

Well, you might be right. But, more likely… it needs work.  I’ll be brutally honest about myself to help you with the perspective. basically, my fiction writing tips come from my mistakes.

I wrote a novel. I thought it was awesome. Everyone said no.

I met up with a guy (he’s a best selling author in the genre I want to get into) and he gave me some advice. He gave me some great Fiction Writing Tips in the form of one sentence.

Own the story, not the words.

Words are like shades of paint.  Get too hung up on them and you’re just turning everything shades of blue and that sucks… unless you’re Van Gogh.  You might be, but you gotta get your foot in the door first.

Stories get better every time you tell them, so tell them a lot. That means you should write something, give it a rest and rewrite it at a later date. Some people might even go so far as to call this a revision.

Writing is an art, it takes practice, time, effort, forgiveness, diligence and least of all humble regard.  What you write can always be made better.  So… make it better.

Okay, if you haven’t written yet and have a strong desire to leave a lasting mark on the literary world with your prose, then I suggest the following.

First off, quantity breeds quality with writing.  The more you write, the better you get.  Start telling stories on paper and as time goes on, you’ll refine the way you tell them and find your voice. Any agent will tell you that the voice is what sells a novel.

Every time. Period. That’s the darn truth. VOICE! Well that, and a well constructed plot. 

I’ve written a novel, I’ve written most of the sequel, I’ve written story after story after story and I’m finally getting to the point where my writing is something enjoyable for other people to read. I needed practice, revision and respect for the effort it takes to make something beautiful.


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