Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ernest Dempsey – Practical Advice for Beginning Fiction Writers

Practical Advice for Beginning Fiction Writers

by Ernest Dempsey

So, you’re thinking about writing fiction. You’ve got this great idea for a story but you aren’t sure what you need to do or how you should do it.

If you’re new to writing fiction, it can be a daunting task. Oh, sure, at first you just think it’s as simple as sitting down and letting the words flow. But eventually, you find yourself staring at the wall trying to figure out where your story went and why you aren’t making any progress.

This is where a lot of new fiction writers give up. But you aren’t going to do that. Here’s a little game plan to keep you going, motivated, and creating the best book you can.


One of the hardest parts of writing a book is creating the outline. Why? Because the outline forces you to make hard decisions. What is your book about? Who are the characters? What are the settings? What happens in the middle? What happens in the end?

Creating the outline is work. And your mind doesn’t want to do that. It thinks writing is just a fun, artsy activity that should just flow when and where it wants.

Nope. It’s hard work. The sooner you put that in your mind, the better off you’ll be.

Just like building a house, a good story needs a good plan. The outline is the story map that will get you where you need to go.

When I create an outline, I write down the beginning scene at the top of a page and the end scene at the bottom. Now that I know where the story starts and where it ends, I can write in the scenes that get me where I need to go.

See, that isn’t so bad.

Sweat the Details

This relates to the outline and your character notes (yes you need those too). You need to make sure you have all your details straight. The last thing you want is characters doing things that are inconsistent with their nature. You also don’t want to make silly mistakes.

For example: You have a scene in a bar where two guys are sitting at a table talking to one another. Suddenly, you write a sentence that suggests one character sits down with the other. Wait, weren’t they both already sitting?

Readers catch that sort of thing. And it’s important that you check every little detail when writing a story.

Identify Your Ideal Reader

Speaking of readers, you need to know who you’re writing for. No, don’t say everyone. You need to narrow it down.

When I write, I think about two people: a teacher I worked with, and my mom. They are both women, educators, working stressful jobs, and just looking for a way to unwind at the end of the day. They don’t care about deep character development.

I write for them and by doing so, I write for lots of people like them. Sure, it eliminates some of the people who love deep characters and lots of thought provoking writing. But I am staying true to my intended audience.

Build Your Audience

You need to start on this before the book is done. Go online and build a simple WordPress Blog and get some cheap hosting. I use Host Gator and it cost like $6 bucks a month. Set up an email auto responder with a service like Aweber or Mailchimp.

Put some content on your site or just announce your book is coming on a certain date and if people want to know more, they can subscribe.

I know a writer who did this and built up a list of 1000 subscribers before her site went live with any real content.

Building up your readership is critical if you want to have any success. They are the ones you can turn to for feedback, advice, and they will carry your message to the masses.

Keeping these things in mind will help guide you along as you’re writing your first pieces of fiction. And they will set you up for success.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre –  Science Fiction

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

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