4 ways to bring your fiction writing to life
Have you ever read a story where the background is too bland to imagine?
Or the characters are flat and robotic?
And the setting is dull and lacking in detail?
It’s not really an enjoyable reading experience, is it?
Many of these books have great storylines, too, but if they lack real-life detail, they’re never going to get the success they deserve.
So let’s take a quick look at how you can bring your writing to life by adding just a little extra detail.
Add in the everyday life events
Think about the routine of life … the train strikes, the bus strikes, the day the bin goes out, the teacher training days, grocery shopping, the school run … if you use current, real-life events like these in your writing, it’s a good way to instil a sense of time and place. And once you can do this, your reader will find it easy to play out the story in their minds.
Don’t forget the detail
Adding snippets of detail to a scene – a child’s scuffed knee, squished McDonald’s fries in the back seat of the car, yappy dogs, an unmade bed – can bring everything to life and tell you so much about a character or scene without you having to.
Don’t forget to add the everyday clutter we have around us. Including one or two extra details to a character / situation often heightens the atmosphere and encourages your reader to keep on reading. The more credible your writing is, the more your reader will invest their time in finishing your book.
What about the weather?
It’s our favourite subject here in the UK, isn’t it? So, make sure you pepper the elements throughout your writing to bring a scene to life and add tension or even suspense. You don’t need to talk about it constantly, but use it to your advantage – the sound of the wind through the trees can be enough to spook anyone, the spitting of rain on canvas can evoke all kinds of emotions, and how much happier are people when the sun is shining?
Weather is a big part of our lives, so don’t forget about it if you’re looking for a simple way to add more depth to your writing.
Sounds of life
Sit quietly for five minutes and take in the sounds around you. Think about the ticking of a clock, the whirr of the computer, the radio playing in the kitchen, children bickering in the garden, the lawn mower at 8am on a Sunday. And music. Don’t forget to add music to your writing. It’s everywhere – in shops, pubs, restaurants – so sprinkle some sounds into your novel too, if you want to make it real.
So there you have it – 4 simple ways to bring your fiction writing to life.
Remember not to overdo it, though. Sometimes, writers can spend so much time adding in detail and over-explaining that it takes you away from the flow, slows down the narrative and bumps up the word count.
Practice adding new details to your work-in-progress and see how much more lively it becomes. And keep practising until it becomes second nature. You’ll know when you have the balance right.
Good luck with your writing!
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