I find writing fiction a lot harder than writing facts. Writing my thoughts, logic, or opinion are much easier than writing either fact or fiction.
Fiction has to be more real than reality. It has to be distilled reality.
I don’t really read fiction. It is rather confusing that I feel compelled to write it. I feel like no one is writing fiction that I actually want to read for the most part. There is most likely someone doing it, but I have no method of finding out who they are.
For me, good fiction is something that makes me think. I don’t really get lost in a story and imagine myself as a character within it. There is a better chance I see myself as every character and try to understand why they are taking the actions they are.
This means that good fiction for me is difficult. It has to challenge me. I want the protagonist to be clever and there to be a mystery. It is important that he guides the story. My favorite kinds of characters are the ones who face difficulty and fail. The difficulty has to be something I am facing as well.
Failing isn’t enough, though. I need to see how the character fixes the failure. Not only that, I want them to have that failure make them a better person.
I am trying to write that kind of fiction. Playing around with some ideas, it has become obvious to me that I can’t tell a complex story on every level. I need to use easy tools like the hero’s journey and draw from archetypes. The characters should be in an awesome world and have awesome things happen to them. It doesn’t mean they should be completely unique themselves.
Further, there is a definite set of things that must happen in a story. I think that the Anatomy of Story by John Truby basically has it right. Characters need to go through challenges, have opponents, and have allies. I think having an opponent who is real that also grows with the hero is important.
I am pretty good at the ideas of what should be in a story. It is easy to write an outline. The steps after that are a bit more challenging.
It is very easy to write something that should be simple and have it become complicated. It is even worse when I look at the thing that is complicated and I can’t see how I can make it simpler.
I am getting closer. Blogging helps a lot in making myself be more concise and get my ideas across.
The next step is most likely being willing to refine things I write. I need to get better at reading over something and taking steps to make it more than the first time I wrote it.
I realize now that I need to rewrite my first story that I thought was complete. It won’t take me too long. I really like the character and direction of things. There is just a need to make it actually have something happen throughout each chapter. The character has to be the one driving the story, and there has to be a story.
My writing style focuses a lot on why someone is doing something. I need to find out how to do that while also having more layers. It seems possible and I think I know how to do it. Once you know a character, it isn’t as important to know what that character is thinking.
I should start in a characters head, doing something interesting. Then I should zoom out. That is my plan. I hope it works.