The first post of our ‘Fiction Writers’ Repair Kit’ will fall on Friday March 1st, so I intend to post each Friday and the following Wednesday, two posts each week. If I need to change the days or decide to post more as I go along, I will let you know ahead of time.
As we go, I will suggest books you might find useful and why and I will give you suggestions and exercises to try that I have found useful over the years. Many I have discovered for myself, some have come from books I read so long ago that I have forgotten their source. Where I have seen an exercise in a book that I think will help, I will refer you to it.
So where ARE we going to begin? I did say I would follow a loose alphabetical structure but I am not going to begin with the letter A, partly because the advice I have for subjects beginning with A will be more useful to you when we come to later, related, posts and because the best place for us to start is with B for Beginnings.
Having said that, what about the things you might want to consider BEFORE you start a piece of fiction: What if you hate keeping diaries and journals. Is it important that you keep one? What if you don’t seem to get any good ideas?’ What if you make a start and then get stuck? So, for the first couple of weeks we will cover these and then we will get onto ‘Beginnings’ where we will see what can go wrong with the beginnings of stories and how we might prevent it.
I will set out my posts in a question and answer format, so you will see a potential problem followed by a possible solution. Large subject areas such as ‘Beginnings’ or ‘Building a Character’ will require several posts, over a few weeks, while smaller subjects may only need a single post. All these subjects interrelate but to find out how fiction works as a whole, we need to consider them separately. What you find useful will be what works for you. Some of these solutions will not suit you; others will. Writing to a professional standard requires the development of your knowledge as well as the practice of your craft. I hope the posts that follow will help a little with both.
Next Post: Like A Cake – I know writers are supposed to keep journals but is it really important? It sounds a bit tedious. Are there fun ways to do it?