ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Write Fiction!

Updated on January 17, 2013

Want to Write?

When a person is new to writing fiction, they often wonder how to start. This Hubpage aims to offer some practical pointers to get those ideas flowing onto paper.

People become writers for a whole host of different reasons. Some feel they have a particular story to tell, others hope to supplement their income, or find their imaginations brimming over with vibrant images which they itch to share. Having retired from work, some people look around for new hobbies to try, and if they've always loved reading then writing their own tales can appeal. Others might want to simply write their own family's story for their younger relatives as a supplement to genealogical research.

There are roughly two kinds of writers - those who write as a career, who aim to be published and earn money; and those who write purely for fun. (There is also an amusing type of "writer" who talks at great length about being a writer but who doesn't actually write anything - but we'll ignore those funny folk!)

If you wish to write purely for fun, then you are totally free to write whatever you want, in whatever way you want. Your chances of being published are a hair's breadth off zero, but this is not your aim anyway. Have fun with it, enjoy yourself. If you then wish to share your writing with family and friends, I strongly suggest you view my Hubpage Self Publishing Pitfalls (see link below) as this could save you a lot of money and disappointment.

Join a Writers Group!

If you wish to write on a more serious level, then an excellent starting point is to join a local writers' group. A writers' group will be able to offer feedback and constructive criticism for your writing. They might book speakers or hold public events, or publish their own anthology.

Each writers' group is as individual as its own members - therefore some will feel more welcoming than others, or be more to your own personal taste and style than others. As with any social group, it can sometimes take a while to feel at home. If a group feels like an in-crowd with a captive audience, go elsewhere - unless, of course, you actually enjoy being part of a captive audience!

If you cannot find a suitable writers' group, start your own. My Hubpage How to Run a Writers' Circle (link below) offers practical advice for achieving this.

Another option is to sign-up for a creative writing class. Most of these are aimed at adults. Not only would you meet new people but you would have the guidance of a qualified teacher and receive feedback from fellow pupils. Don't be nervous of asking the teacher about how much of their own work has been published.

Correspondence courses might be more to your taste. Primarily a correspondence course is a business operating for the benefit of the business owners. Do check the small print in subscription contracts to be absolutely sure how much money is involved for what you will actually get in return.

Gifts for Writers from Spooky Cute Designs!

Start Writing!

So you want to write but don't know where to begin?

If you set aside a specific part of the day for your writing, and make this a regular unbroken routine, you will quickly find that the task of writing comes more easily. Even if you can manage only half an hour a day between work and school runs, this routine will pay off. You might have the most amazing ideas dancing around in your head, but if you don't sit down and get writing, then that's exactly where they'll stay - and then you risk becoming one of those funny folk mentioned earlier, who talk about writing but don't do any.


There is no need to purchase expensive writing equipment or programs. Use your usual word processing program and set the typeface to Courier New, and the typeface size to 12 point. Use double-line spacing always, and have one-inch margins. Indent the first line of each paragraph by five letters (or one quarter of an inch.) Use one side of the page only, and number each page.

This simple layout makes it much easier for you to read through your work again and make any changes in pen, should you wish to do so. This layout is also perfectly adequate for most submissions but some editors, agents or publishers ask for something different so do check their individual submissions guidelines when the time comes to send work off.

Ideas to Start You Writing!

Many writers can feel daunted by the Big Blank Page! A practical way to overcome this is to use writing exercises.

For five minutes, write absolutely anything, no matter what comes into your head - gibberish, shopping lists, 'must do' lists, rapid descriptions, how you're feeling. No matter what comes into mind, write it down. Some writers find this exercise acts like limbering up before a run.

Next, pick a colour. Then pick an activity. Then pick a location. Don't give it much thought, just choose any random selection, such as 'yellow', 'rollerskating', 'park'. Ok, so we have someone in a yellow dress rollerskating in a park. Think about that for a minute, but for no longer. Ask yourself who is wearing the dress - a child, an old lady, a clown in drag? Why are they skating - for fun, exercise, charity, street entertainment? What's going on around them, what can they see, and who is watching them? Who is telling the story, the person who's rollerskating or someone who is watching? Then take ten minutes to write a mini story about this. It doesn't matter if it's not a great story. The aim is to get writing.

If you are short of ideas, try using my Fiction Story Generator (see link below). Also, most writers take to carrying a notebook with them at all times so they can quickly jot down ideas as they arise. For me, finding ideas for stories has never been a problem. It's finding the time to write them all into stories!

© 2010 Adele Cosgrove-Bray


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • AdeleCosgroveBray profile imageAUTHOR

      Adele Cosgrove-Bray 

      5 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England.

      I've never tried my hand at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) either. I'm too busy writing already! :)

    • CarNoobz profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      I've got several blogger friends who did that NaNoWriMo (I think that's what it's called), where you write like 2,000 - 3,000 words of a novel each day or something like that.

      I don't know. I just haven't been into fiction much (writing it, I mean). I guess it's just not my thing.

      Good topic though. Voted up

    • AdeleCosgroveBray profile imageAUTHOR

      Adele Cosgrove-Bray 

      8 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England.

      You're welcome, Mordechai.

      There are hundreds, if not thousands, of writing contests. Take a look at the listings in the Artists' & Writers' Yearbook, or in the back of writing magazines.

    • MordechaiZoltan profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you Adele! Very good information. Thanks also for answering my question on the forum. I have some work I was going to post here but will hold off and try to submit to traditional channels. Do you know any reputable writing contests? Thanks in advance!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)