How to write fiction

How to write fiction in 10 steps (Do the Wikihow listed steps really work?)

Take 2

girl writing on paper
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

And here I am, trying to explain what doesn’t work and what does asbriefly as posible about the 10 steps how to write a good fiction book (and from ones I might have, perhaps, a bit, no idea)


Sarah Domet in “90 days to your novel” explains taking the first thing into mind as an idea is so not a good idea. Which reminds me of my classmates who complained about a teacher whom made them draw about a 100 variations of a logo in the “Open house to the Wind[1]

True to a T, the first idea is probably to fail. Why? Because a mere idea as idea, has no worth regarding writing a plot/tale. To write a plot or tale or novel, we need a conflict and an idea “I’d like it to portray a vagabond castle” doesn’t solve the whole plot of Howl’s moving castle. And the idea wasn’t Diana Wynne Jones in principle. If I remind it correctly, it was a student at a school she was calling at who mentioned it[2].

And it isn’t likely anyone might steal ideas from a nobody (not meant as derogative) just like that. It can happen and has happened but for somebody to read you, you need a certain amount of fame or promotion.

Which doesn’t invalidate the fact; it can really be your first idea coming to you after reading a book, garden or howling the whole choreography if Lady Gaga. The best ideas are not the ones we sit on but those who happen when you’re not thinking over and over about THE IDEA. Let’s say if you can identify this: “the one we don’t call upon[3]

More than “creativity”, what you need is to learn what is conflict and which are the genre requirements BEFORE you have a rain check idea session or start writing for the sake of writing.


Here w ego again with the notion of getting an idea. According to Sarah Domet in “90 days to your novel”, we need to review an idea for there are those who look as pure genious but won’t withstand the toll of a long conflict. At least long enough for a book.

Writing a book isn’t a “Ohm I think the inspiration muse has beat me with her tactical baton”. It requires something that were you not to do on the pleasure of doing by the pleasure of doing it; you shouldn’t write. It requires to study.

Study what? You tell me. Starting for the genre you want to write. Clichés are fun until someone stretches them out too much and it definitely shouldn’t be you who does it. Specially if you ARE an author. Authors note patterns in other narrative texts. Something most people doesn’t (not because they’re simple but because we all are different and can do different stuff). Cinnammon on top of the cinnamon roll, we need a “controlling idea” and “reality” alone is not enough for a good narrative text. Despite it looking as such being the case at times.

ONCE YOU KNOW what is your genre, then it is easier to identify the ideas that are worth from the ones which aren’t. Where the ideas come from, doesn’t matter.

IT IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT to acquire the habit of writing.


In “The creative writer’sworkbook[4]”, Cathy Birch will tell you to get a working notebook where to jot down all the ideas and possible relationships connecting them. Besides writing your ideas, you will have to trace charts and write descriptions of characters. Some authors draw maps to north themselves within their worlds. Others, plan a true structural mapping of the scenes, one by one just for fun, before writing anything else. 

Write no matter how stupid it sounds or how much you can compare it with the genious of ______________ (fill in with the name of your favourite author). Every single book is nonsense, after all. Comparing yourself to others (this author is god and I0m just a lowly maggot…) only HOLDS YOU BACK from doing. Repent more of doing than of not doing.

[1] Casa Abierta al Viento…. Given tha fact that it was built after the student movement in 1968 in Mexico, to avoid more student associations who might question political issues; my “alma mater” has this wonderful phrase to note that the geographical imposition of its buildings has the marvelous trait of allowing very cold wind streams. Specially on the mornings. This phrase is a free adaptation of the slogan “Incalli Ixcahuicopa” or “Casa Abierta al Tiempo/Time welcomed house”. Obviously, it has been a while since the last time I had a stand in there and possibly architectural situation may have changed. When I finished school, a series of refurbishing and windings had taken place already.

[2] For disambiaguation, leave our comment….

[3] No, it ain’t Ha… It was Tolkien. Boromir and Faramir call Sauron this way.

[4] I repeated the first one book just to emphasize that getting the idea isn’t it all…

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