How to write fiction

How to write fiction: understanding the basic mistakes

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So we haven’t even begun to write anything and we’re already being warned against mistakes. And that is WEIRD. If you’re to do something, you ARE to make mistakes. But then again, you might not be here to learn to do something. In the opinion of some copy bloggers, people is too busy doing stuff that they don’t really want to learn anything when they read blogs or watch YouTube videos. They only wish for entertainment. Which might be the reason why I started researching how to write fiction… Or my mother curses at every other video too chatty to explain quickly and accurately how to change the guts of the WC’s tank.

There are NO basic mistakes. There are no basic mistakes there where there are so many ways to express oneself. Maybe COMMON mistakes and: lack of experience,  procrastination, lack of practice, laziness and lack of love to the job. One can be unable to write fiction or be a master designer, cool engineer but never because lack of talent. It is the missing spirit of perseverance.

Whatever, I’m reviewing the site and the first dare is[1]:

  1. Don’t start too late:

The advice remarks fiction depends on conflict and the rookies can’t stablish a nice rhythm to grow tension so they should start as soon as now.

The site mentions what the famous Kurt Vonnegut says, and since I don’t know him[2], please refer to the Wik… you know page to disambiguate.

Do you remember Mike Nappa? The guy who wrote “77 reasons why your book was rejected”. He says a good book starts with a single genial initial phrase. Chuck Wendig says we should start from the first page… and he matches Mike Nappa about starting from the first line. I don’t know if they know the name of such initial first line.

Wodehouse in A damsel in distress remounts how the modern reader has no time for the author to dissert about this and that and it is paramount to start as soon as possible. Which is kind of a beginning quite dissimilar to those he recommends since; we have learnt nothing about any character or conflict yet. Nonetheless, it is. It makes us wonder: what’s next? And such is the mineral vein or the gold nugget. To create anticipation is good to have people wanting to get wet and go get themselves in mud to screen the gold out.

Of course, good starters or incipits happen with practice and research. So let it be and write. But research too, there are some really good pages with nice incipits in them.

2. Set what the dispute is as soon as possible:

I mean, stablish the conflict as soon as you can. Once again, as if we were not intelligent enough, and hadn’t understood point number 1; let’s shake it as rattles.

It speaks again of advice by Mr. Kurt Vonnegut and how all characters wish for something and how they are scared of not getting it (something new…). Up to now, neither Robert Mckee nor Sarah Domet or Wendig, neither Ronald B. Tobías; had mentioned anything about the fear of the character to not fulfill their goal. As you might remember, they talk about conflict as what the main character wishes for and EVERYTHING we do to avoid them getting it. The abysm between what he wishes for and the outside reactions… And this is what they call conflict.

The very well known website mentions it better to leave the apocalyptic game and world saving in hands of elves and hobbits… Very weird since James Bond, Kim Possible, Ethan Hunt, the Avengers and Bruce Willis do or used to do so every other day. It forgets to explain what McKee thinks about common places and/or genre requirements. If the plot doesn’t fulfill the genre expectations, the audience will remain unsatisfied.

I prefer the definition without fear. Most main characters won’t even stop thinking what it is they really wish for. These leading characters, who run into action without thinking, are the ones who by landslide, use to monopolize the claps.

3. Avoid dialogues filled with exposition. Dialogue has to be natural.

Real life expectation —and this will come up later in the website — we use ahem, er… I mean… Small things. The dialogue isn’t clear water running.  We’re interrumpted or we interrumpt (sometimes being rude and others because of excitement). Not everybody waits for their allotted — mainly in an argument . For a beginning, dialogue in novels and stuff ain’t natural. If it were, we would drop dead bored. It has to flow like a creek.

Starting from there, the unnatural side of the dialogue raises its head. People use to repeat what they said. You tell B what you think of the actual president and you repeat it to C who didn’t listen because they weren’t on scene and you repeat it again in a coffee outing with both C and B. For sure, B has already forgotten what you said because B cares shit of your political opinion.

Our readers have no idea what it is that they want — most of them ignore they read us due to the conflict and ask for non reasonable stuff like the sweet home life the heroine is leading now and the growth spurt of every one of the three gorgeous babies she gave birth to…. The most enthusiastic fan of “nice heart warming” or “wholesome” plots would stop reading as soon as she read it because… IT IS BORING. This has zero conflict. But readers aren’t idiots.

This kind of dialogue is repetitive. You can have A telling B and then C but not D. Twice is more than enough when reading the same information. And if you read Three is the magic number… you know what I’m talking about.  Good writers obviate this process even if there is something they need to explain to the reader by replacing this process with a simple: “and he told them what had happened the eve before, last year, the wedding day or … __fill in with an alusive summary__”.  Even the fact of repeating an explanation as ambient and then reproducing it as a dialogue tires. It undermines the reader’s patience. They will lose the will to keep on reading.

Remember, love the writer in the same way you love yourself.  Do you like being presented the same memory again and again like they do in K-duramas[4]?

Dialogue is a force to make info agile or create a convincing atmosphere, not to tell the whole novel in one go. I agree with the website.

Now, don’t make the mistake of forgetting the like, subscribe and stuff. Or make it. Maybe you get something out of it.

[1] In the original in Spanish, i make a reference to a TV programme: El juego de la oca. They had challenges like putting balls into small baskets…

[2] I personally have never met any other author but Big-Choma. I mean I haven’t read anything from him. Of all the books I’ve started reading about how to write fiction I haven’t finished none.  My apologies. I read along I write my vampire moronga and this strange corner where fiction becomes reality.

[4] I like k-duramas yet there is such a thing as the forward button to skip memories of what happened last chapter.

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