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Ideas for Writing Fiction and Using Creative Writing Workshops

By Edited Aug 8, 2015 2 9

Writing Fiction

Have you ever really thought about writing fiction? The thought is scary I have to admit. I want you to be honest for a minute. How many times have you told a fib or made up a story about why you were late coming home from school?

That is the same as writing fiction! Yes, we have all made up little tales to tell our parents to get us out of trouble. In a way that is what fiction is. A collection of ideas and plots with twists and turns leading the reader in a certain direction then just as they work out who done it the author adds a little twist and leads you in a different direction. 

Another word for this is Creative writing in other words using your imagination to create stories.

Finding Ideas for your Fiction story

People say this is the hardest part of writing anything. How do you find or come up with an idea for your fictional story or novel. Now do not get ahead of yourself we would all love to write that inspiring novel, although this would take you months of hard work and lots of luck as well.

To find ideas you need to look around you. Sit on a bus stop or a park bench and watch the people walking past. You need to have a journal or notebook, take notes on what you see. Never rely on your memory. What type of work do you think these people do? Are they in a hurry? What are they wearing? Make a note of the time of day.

Read magazines. Brainstorming is another good way of finding ideas. Write a word then branch out and make ten more words from that. Check out the Google Wonder Wheel that will explain it better still. Go to your dictionary open it up and stab a word, write that word down, do this nine or ten more times.

Now make up a short story using each and every word that you came up with. No cheating either. If you can not use a word into the story look for another meaning of that same word or synonym.

1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More
Amazon Price: $7.99 $5.65 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 8, 2015)
This book could get your creative writing started in the right direction. Part of writing is finding different starting words to your sentences.
Years ago many stories started with: once upon a time. This book will give you a thousand new ideas for starting prompts.

Writing Dialogue

Make sure you use the correct style or wording that matches your story. Do not use American or Australian slang in an Irish pub story. If you are writing about an old drunk, you will need to slur the words of his speech.

Always use a new line each time a different person speaks. Write natural speech, listen to the way others talk.

Kids are the best critics for picking up on mistakes. So if you have written something they will give you an honest opinion on your story.

Writing Workshops

If you are a person that needs inspiration to help you get through this time of learning, then I highly recommend that you join a writing workshop. Most cities and some smaller towns will have some type of writing association. These are terrific because they will help you with your writing. If this is not available then do a search on the internet for writer's workshops. Even some writing sites will give honest opinions on your writing if you ask for it.

Other members will often help you by reading your work and nit picking it. Do not be offended, as quite often they can see what we are missing because we are too close to it. I understand that it can hurt our pride because we thought it was such a masterpiece. I know the feeling. I wrote a novel a few years ago and thought my English was good; but to my horror I did not actually understand the terms of sentence structure. That was a shock to me.

Write and leave for a few days

Quite often, we have trouble critiquing our own work. The best way of doing this is when you have finished writing a story put it away for a few days, then bring it out and read it out aloud. If something sounds wrong and you stammer over it then it usually is wrong. Use your dictionary for new words, do not use the same starting or ending words for sentences.

Types of fiction

Which type of fiction are you intending to write? The detective story, the murder mystery, suspense, romance or are you the comic in the family. In my opinion there is not enough laughter. I am sick of watching murder, rape and tragedies on TV. Bring on the comedies.

Who will you write for?

Have you ever thought of writing for Television, Radio, or even become a playwright.

Books or novels are not the only type of writing.

Writing for children

Then there are children's stories. If you are thinking of writing for children then you need to associate with children and listen to the way they speak. They have a language of their own, especially teenagers.


Writing Fiction For Dummies
Amazon Price: $19.99 $10.85 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 8, 2015)
This is not implying that you are a dummy. It explains everything in simple terms so anyone can understand the way this is written.



If you are considering a career in writing fiction then you will need to read books of the same type as you intend to write. I am not suggesting that you copy their stories. Instead you need to dissect them.

Write your own story around that same theme. Create characters with different names, change the plots and create your own specific title and different story. Then rewrite it by starting it from the middle of your story using action and rearrange the story. If you do not grab your readers' attention in the first paragraph then quite often they will never finish your novel. That is not the way to becoming a successful novelist.

Earn money writing for infobarrel

If you do not feel comfortable writing fiction, then there are other ways of earning money through writing. You can write here at infobarrel by writing articles.

Writing fillers and short sentences

Did you know that you can also earn money by writing short sentences and fillers for magazines. If you have spare time and do not want to write articles then magazines are the best way of earning extra cash. You can bepaid to write your views on certain articles printed in magazines or send funny things to mere male or pets corners.

Dialogue: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Effective Dialogue (Write Great Fiction Series)
Amazon Price: $16.99 $4.48 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 8, 2015)
Dialogue is a very important part of any fiction writing. Learning how to use the right speech to suit your characters is essential.

Find publisher or write e-book

For years writers have written their masterpiece then failed because they could not find a publisher prepared to accept what they thought was a great fiction novel, autobiography or collection of poetry or short stories.

These days with modern technology anyone can write their manuscript and sell it on Amazon.com in the form of an e-book.  That's right, there is no need to look for that publisher any more. Although don't panic you can still publish your books if you would prefer.

And you get to choose how much you sell it for as well.  I procrastinated for years with a book idea I had after breeding birds for years.  I tried the publishers and one offered to publish a 16 page book with several photos for $3000. I had no way of paying that. So it sat in the cupboard. Until I decided to write print and sell it on eBay.  But that was hard work.

Just recently I got up the nerve to have a go at converting this to an e-book. And yes it is a learning curve like anything new.  I am glad now that I gave it a go and have since done some of my other writing as e-books and best of all I have sold quite a few of them.

So if you had trouble getting your writing published why not try this idea.

This e-book will walk you through purchasing the right aviary, setting it up and choosing which birds to buy. Give you ideas for breeding beautiful birds, caring and feeding them.

It covers illnesses to watch out for and many other factors to think of when deciding to have and breed beautiful birds in your back yard.


Sep 6, 2010 9:45pm
Well written article. I had a children's story published a few years ago, and it was very exciting!
Sep 6, 2010 10:01pm
Gee thatis terrific, I believe it is harder to write for children as they are so observant and pick up on any mistakes. What age were you writing for? thanks
Sep 6, 2010 10:41pm
The short story was for children in the early elementary grades and was a cautionary tale about seemingly nice adults who might try to entice children with exotic pets, like parrots. It appeared in a children's magazine, and my own children loved seeing me published. It was the first time I earned money from writing. Today, I enjoy the friends and money I have acquired by writing for InfoBarrel and other websites. I'm sure you do, too! I thought this article on writing fiction was well done, and helpful to aspiring writers.
Sep 8, 2010 10:00pm
That is great, I had a poem published once and I was so excited at the time but it was in a publication that was not going to continue so I did not get paid. But still great at the time. Now like you we are here earning money. so its a win win situation now.
Oct 21, 2010 6:49pm
I have an MA in creative writing - the idea about reading aloud is so important, especially with dialogue. And the only way to become a better writer is the hard way - by practicing! Great article Eileen.
Oct 21, 2010 10:13pm
yes the more we write (in theory) the better we should become.
Feb 11, 2011 6:04pm
Very Good Read Eileen. Really enjoyed it! Thanks!
Tweeted it on http://www.twitter.com

Mar 16, 2013 8:49am
Dialogue is so tricky!!! Lots of fun though. You did an excellent job of summing up some of the major points of crafting realistic and readable dialogue in a short section. But, as we can see, there's enough to learn about writing dialogue to fill book after book. Trying to write fiction would be a great experience for anyone and can teach one MANY skills, both relating to writing and not.

Great post!
Mar 16, 2013 6:59pm
Thanks JStuart for your support, yes it sure is a learning curve and as for dialogue I am still not good at it. Sentence structure is probably an even bigger problem for me. I just write how I feel now and have stopped worrying whether I have a verb or conjunction or clause in my work now.
To me I just love to write or perhaps I should say babble on.
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