The greatest advice you may ever receive about writing is to write what you know. This is great insight because it provides a starting point for any story you want to write. It gives you a basis for creating something new by using characters, settings, or periods you’re already familiar with. While that’s a great starting point, that’s not the only tip you should follow. Here are a few more.
Read, Read, and Read Some More
If you’re not regularly reading, you won’t go far in honing your craft. Don’t be afraid to read poorly written works, either. Critiquing lousy work can be just as effective as enjoying a great novel by your favorite author. The experiences you have as a reader will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. It will also give you more knowledge to help you embellish your writing, but only if you read from a diverse range of authors.
Show, Don’t Tell
The key to any good piece of fiction is its ability to transport the reader to that new and different world. You can never be too descriptive in your writing, so try to explore every facet of a scene. Provide information about what each character is seeing, smelling, tasting, or feeling. Your goal is to help the reader imagine themselves in the character’s shoes, so give them as much information as you can create.
Never Dismiss the Importance of Editing
Many writers groan at the thought of editing their writing, but this shouldn’t be seen as a chore. Instead, this is another opportunity for you to get creative with your story. While editing for grammar and syntax is important, you should also be looking for ways to create a tighter story. This may involve cutting a particular scene or writing a new scene that provides deeper insight into a character’s motivation. Editing provides you the opportunity to polish your writing until it’s your best possible work.
Don’t be afraid to write about things that are unfamiliar to you. While you can start with familiar territory, don’t be scared to explore new types of characters or exotic locations that fascinate you. If these ideas intrigue you, imagine how they will affect your reader. In other words, don’t be afraid to get creative with your fiction writing.