If you’ve chosen to become a fiction author, the chances are you truly love writing.
Most authors grew up with the dream of one day writing books of their very own. Perhaps you did too?
But, like anything in life, often the reality doesn’t match up to the dream.
Writing fiction, especially as an independent author with all the responsibility that entails, can sometimes become a grind.
While it’s inevitable that there will be times where your writing flows easily and is enjoyable, there will be times where it’s truly torturous.
When you notice the way you feel about fiction moving into the latter category, it’s time to take action. If not, you run the risk of giving up altogether. Don’t let that happen!
So how can you turn things around and make fiction writing fun again?
Seek inspiration from unusual sources
Want to know one of the fastest ways to lose your love of fiction writing?
Stagnation of inspiration.
When we limit our writing to the same topics time and time again, inspired by the same sources, we inevitably end up feeling like our work is monotonous and mundane.
So how can you break the cycle of boring writing and instead focus on something fresh and enjoyable?
Here are three different ways:
- Try a new genre. Why not try something completely different to what you normally write? If there’s a genre you’ve always wanted to experiment in, give it a go. Or seek out a comprehensive list of writing styles and pick something obscure to try.
- Lean on a tool. If you don’t even want to figure out what to write, try a writing prompt generator. Generators have an advantage over lists of writing prompts as you don’t even have to think about which to pick. If you don’t like the writing prompt generated, try again until you find one you like.
- Go somewhere new. Take whatever device you write with and visit somewhere you’ve never been before. This can be as complex as a different nation or as simple as a cafe close to you you’ve never attended. Sometimes, the act of writing from a new environment will allow you to write with ease once more.
Sometimes, fiction loses its lustre due to a failure to switch things up. Be proactive and feed your muse new information. Your writing might well benefit.
Focus on your favorite story sections
Are you stuck in a situation where a particular part of your fiction project is giving you trouble?
For example, you might be struggling to find a way to transition from the middle section of your story to the end. Or perhaps you can’t come up with a way to make a vital plot point happen seamlessly.
In cases like those, it can be easy to get weighed down with the problem. You try so hard to tackle the same issue again and again that you end up losing sight of any possible way through.
One solution is to focus on smaller sections of a story instead. This makes it more manageable to make progress. It’s like going for a short run instead of attempting a marathon.
So what are some of the bitesize story sections you can practice working on?
- First sentences. A lot of writing advice emphasizes the importance of a strong first sentence to grab readers by the throats and entice them to continue. Try writing only first sentences for as many story scenarios as you can think of.
- Openings. If you want to write something more substantial than the opening sentence alone, try writing a first page or chapter or a genre you find interesting. Who knows, you might eventually expand it into a fuller story.
- Action scenes. If you write the kind of fiction that has a lot of action, or even if you don’t but would love to, try writing several scenes of this type. You can mix it up and try writing chase scenes, or fight scenes – anything you can think of.
- Dialogue scenes. On the other end of the spectrum are scenes based entirely around dialogue. Try thinking of different dialogue topics and different combinations of people talking. When you work on this type of practice you sharpen your dialogue writing skills for other fiction projects.
- Epic endings. Sometimes, ending a work of fiction is the hardest part. Of course, if your ending isn’t good, your reader might go away with a bad impression of your entire book. Why not practice writing endings for stories that don’t actually exist, or even try reworking the endings of famous books in a different way?
Choosing to work on a small piece of your overall fiction craft is an effective way to take the pressure off and make the act of writing enjoyable again.
Brainstorm book ideas
Sometimes, the simple thought of something entirely new and fresh can give you creative life and make you want to write again.
One of the best ways to breathe life into your fiction writing is to brainstorm entirely new ideas for books and characters.
These might be books you never end up writing but conceptualizing them can get your creative juices flowing. Use a technique like an outlining method or a template for a book to give you the framework to plan.
It’s also a great idea to brainstorm as many characters as possible. Some writers keep a note on their phone or carry around a small notebook to jot down info whenever an idea for a character strikes. You might see or think of a small detail that triggers an idea for naming a character, or an occupation for them, or some behavioural quirk they might have.
Often, when we feel frustrated by our writing, it’s due to being so focused on our current project that we get tunnel vision and almost can’t see anything outside of it. By allowing your brain to widen its lens and focus on the art of the possible, you give yourself the chance to regain inspiration and energy, and in turn apply that to your main fiction work.