TODAY’S TIP: Fiction? But I don’t Make Stuff Up!

20 Days to go!

Fiction? But I only write real stuff.  How do I just make stuff up?

For you memoirists and non-fiction writers, who aren’t accustom to spinning fantasy, remember that ‘fiction’ has a broad meaning:

Fiction … deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not ‘real’, but rather, imaginary and theoretical—that is, invented by the author.

Fiction contrasts with non-fiction, which deals exclusively with factual (or, at least, assumed factual) events, descriptions, observations, etc.

from Wikipedia entry for Fiction (check it out – it actually has some useful info about structure)

If the idea of generating original characters and plot out of your own imagination seems daunting, try one of these approaches:

  • Recall a story you heard from a relative – a tall tale, a bit of gossip, something about a person you never knew – and start a story about that. Who? Where? What happened?
  • Write your three words on a scrap of paper and put it under your pillow. keep paper and pen handy. Write down your dreams.
  • Think of a favorite photograph from your early life. Tell the story of that picture. Change the names of people and places.
  • Think of a familiar song, or a favorite painting. Ask some questions: Who is it about? What do they want?  Where is this happening?
  • Think of a favorite movie, replace the characters with your family members!

Just get started now – get something rolling. Maybe you know the ending, maybe you don’t. Maybe you’ll change the story, maybe you wont!


2 thoughts on “TODAY’S TIP: Fiction? But I don’t Make Stuff Up!

  1. I also recommend just starting with a character, a person that interests you — maybe someone inspired by a person you see in a coffee shop, or in the street, or someone that pops into your head. Give them a name, and start writing about them, and pretty soon, their story will come into focus. Follow it (remember, you can always edit later!) and see what you find out! That’s how I did this writing challenge. The words were easy, I just used them as the opportunity arose. And if it doesn’t happen organically, you can just add a sentence with the word when you run through to make the last changes.

    Writing is so cool. Just DOING it, you win…


  2. Pingback: Still here | Themself

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