10 Steps to Becoming a Better Fiction Writer

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Fiction Writer June 23, 2015

For those of you pursuing a writing life.

Here are my tips:

1. Make stuff up

2. Use puns

3. Work the word “tergiversation” into your dialogue somewhere, preferably several times, as in “Her tergiversation whispered to him like the breath of a dying mastodon.”

4. Create as much conflict as possible as quickly as possible by placing your characters in fierce competition for a bathroom in the opening paragraph.

5.  Everybody loves time travel.

6. Always have a character who says, “And that is how we do that!”

7. Readers love the adjectives “geckoesque” and “teeming”.  They are also partial to to the adverb “suddenly”, the verb “careered”, and the nouns “Cary Grant” and “kookaburra”.  For instance, “Suddenly, a geckoesque Cary Grant careered into a teeming nest of kookaburras”.  If you don’t know why you would writes such a sentence, see Guideline 1.

8. Accurate spelling is for the weak.

9.  Appeal to all the senses in your descriptions, including neglected ones like balance, rhythm, nausea, confusion, and ennui.

10.  Avoid writing in Sumerian or similar dead languages unless your story involves ancient curses.  If you do wind up using Sumerian, be sure the pages of the text are, in fact, clay bricks.  This may cost extra.

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