Ten Underrated Experiences as a Fiction Writer

I love being a fiction writer. It’s so exciting to start with an idea, see it grow into a plot, and then resolve itself (or does it?) at the end.

Readers get to see the final product all wrapped nicely in a bow, but as writers, we understand how much more goes into making that book fit and come together to give readers that experience.

There are a lot of moments in between an idea and a final book that make writers want to pull their hair out or punch the keyboard. That’s why when we finally get things that work in our favor, we celebrate!

Here are some underrated and wonderful experiences we have as fiction writers besides just writing ‘The End’.

Finding a plot twist you didn’t see coming

Many writers let their characters dictate the novel for them. That’s how my first and second book started. So when I was writing along and not sure where they were going to take me, the plot twist came as a surprise.

There’s a thrill that comes with realizing everything you’ve set up before now has unintentionally led to the most amazing plot twist you could have imagined. If the author didn’t see it coming, you can guarantee the reader will be just as thrilled.

Making yourself feel all the emotions

There’s a reason the ‘Wrote yourself to tears’ badge is something you can get during NaNoWriMo. When you write a scene so harsh, beautiful, sad, or dramatic, you might just force yourself into the emotion.

On two separate occasions I’ve brought myself to tears from a scene I was writing. I’ve also come out of writing a fight scene with so much energy I went and ran one of the fastest miles I’ve ever run. Emotions are so fun when you’re the one manipulating them.

Writing a paragraph without a spelling mistake

This might translate to all writing genres but there’s nothing more calming than reaching the end of a paragraph and not seeing a red, squiggly line (I have already had to fix an error in this paragraph… maybe next time). Gotta love when your fingers can keep up with what your brain is trying to say at a million miles a second.

Knowing exactly what to write

At some point, everyone has experienced the fear of the blank page. That’s why we celebrate sitting down and knowing exactly what we are going to write for that session. Starting a chapter is probably one of the most difficult things for me. I know what the middle is going to be but sitting down and having that first line ready is awesome, even if I change it later.

All your characters behave themselves

Have you ever written in a character that just becomes a nuisance to write? It’s so exciting when you reach a point in the story and you’ve developed them all to a point where they behave how they should. There’s no more fleshing out behavior or quirks or catchphrases. The characters go to their positions, act, and return without resistance.

No plot holes!

I’ve gotten to the middle of the same novel twice now and discovered that I’ve created the same plot hole just in two different ways. Yay…

Just like it’s thrilling to find a plot twist you weren’t prepared for, getting through a novel without running into a plot hole is something to celebrate. All your accidental additions of settings, characters, and material end up fitting together just as you planned.

Naming your character in less than an hour

And keeping that name.

The character’s name can make or break the flow of a book. Sometimes you just don’t feel the connection. That’s why writers spend hours if not days and weeks trying to name their characters just right. It’s like trying to find the perfect first line.

When you research and stumble across the perfect name for your character in less than an hour, you have to celebrate.

Getting an idea at a bad time but remembering it later

Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation with someone and come up with the perfect line, character, or idea? What happens when you can’t interrupt to write it down? What happens if you don’t have a notebook? What happens if you forget it?

It’s a miracle to finally be in front of your journal or keyboard and remember exactly what that idea was and exactly how you wanted to say it. With so much going on in our minds, being able to keep things clear is great.

Remembering the perfect line you had at 2 AM

This is similar to the last bullet but absolutely a separate event than just getting an idea at a bad time. I’m talking about that late night, early morning groggy wake up where you think you have just solved the massive plot hole but you’re so out of it you can’t function to write it down. Or you write it down and wake up to a bunch of jibberish on a piece of paper?

Suddenly remembering your nonsense dream or interpreting your jibberish is deserving of a medal or certificate.

Finding the perfect song for a scene

This might be cheating for me since I actually use song references in one of my book series.

Music is a great way to connect with your piece and take it to the next level. Use that momentum.

Laura Winter is a self-published author dedicated to helping your authorpreneur journey. She has launched her books on little to no budget to prove you don’t have to invest an exorbitant amount of money to be successful. Find her work on Amazon, Patreon, and join her tribe to get more articles like this.

This post was originally published on Medium.

Published by Laura Winter

Authorpreneur and cat lover.

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