If you write fantasy, you’ll have heard of “worldbuilding”. It’s the process of constructing an imaginary world, knowing everything about that world from the biggest detail to the smallest detail (including if they have marvelous things called chicken nuggets or not). When you write historical fiction, you need to be a world builder too, but the world you are building once existed and the only way you can do that is with research.
If you think of a book as a train, then the first line is the locomotive. Woo, Woooooooo! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself). Like the locomotive, the first line pulls the story along and gets it going. You don’t want readers getting off at the next stop, or worse jumping off the train! When a first line is strong and powerful, readers know they are in for a great ride. So what makes a killer first line?
Hi everyone! I’m the author in resident for February – woohoo! Please let me introduce myself.
This is me – Kylie Fornasier
How do you know when something is finished?
That’s a very hard question to answer. I know that my residency here is about to end because New Year’s Eve is here. With 2015 comes January and a whole new person to share their writing experiences with you. Just like that, I am done.
Novels obviously aren’t like that. You could keep writing unto your very last breath and still be unsure. You could write “The End” at a place that feels right but how could you be sure?
Despite what I said in an earlier post, stories aren’t magical things, and writers aren’t magicians. Writing is hard work, as anyone who’s tried to finish a novel knows. Sometimes we might be tempted to take a shortcut by writing in an existing world or with another author.
Well, it’s Christmas and all that. What are you up to? Me, I plan to get some writing in before heading off to a family lunch, because I like to write every day, even birthdays.
One of the things new writers are often told is “write what you know”. Like most writing advice, it’s partly right, partly wrong. Obviously, slavish devotion to this rule would mean writing no science fiction, no fantasy, no historical fiction, or anything like that. At its most extreme, you could only write about the people you know and the places you’ve personally visited.
One of the hardest things about being a new writer is finding reasons to keep going. In my early days, I wrote five novels and twenty short stories before selling a single word. That’s around half a million words. What motivated me on days when the dream wasn’t enough?