101 of the Best Fiction Writing Tips, Part IV

by Suzannah Windsor Freeman

Smiling woman writing with marker

What if someone went through the biggest and best blogs on the internet, and pulled out the very best-of-the best tips for fiction writers?

That’s what I’ve done here.

If you haven’t already read through the first three groups of tips, check them out here: Part  I of the best fiction writing tipsPart II, and Part III.

And now, the final installment of 26 tips to inspire and teach. To learn more about the tips, click through to their original articles.

101 of the Best Fiction Writing Tips, Part IV

Read Part IPart II, and Part III.

  1. Trying to emulate the classics can backfire. Today’s reader enjoys a quicker pace and more modern writing style. You Are Not Tolstoy or Dickens. Rachelle Gardner
  2. Don’t worry about mistakes, inconsistencies, and poor writing in the first draft. Second drafts are meant for rewriting these issues. The First Rewrite. Writer Unboxed
  3. Drawing on your own emotional experiences can add authenticity and breathe life into your fiction3 Ways to Breathe Life into Your FictionWrite to Done
  4. Vary the structure of your sentences to help liven up wooden prose. When Your Writing Seems Wooden. Mystery Writing is Murder
  5. If writing an entire novel seems overwhelming, break down the task into more manageable chunks. Chunking and What to Write Right Now. Write for Your Life
  6. When you need ideas quickly, try brainstorming techniques like mind mapping, listing, or freewriting. 5 Brainstorming Strategies for Writers. Daily Writing Tips
  7. Arrive late in a scene and leave early. No need to belabour setups or conclusions in every scene. 25 Ways to Improve Your Writing in 30 Minutes a Day. Writer’s Digest
  8. Character and plot are inseparable. Character makes plot interesting, and plot makes character interesting. Character and Plot: Inseparable! Nathan Bransford
  9. There isn’t (and never will be) a secret formula to writing a bestselling novel. The Secret Formula for Writing a Best-Selling Novel. Fiction Factor
  10. The protagonist should fail many times before succeeding. Plot Like a Bestseller: 8 Things You Should Know. Writer’s Digest
  11. Get your facts first, then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain’s Top Ten Writing Tips. About.com
  12. If you have trouble re-entering a project, stop in mid-thought or mid-sentence so it’s easier to dive back into later. Thirteen Tips for Actually Getting Some Writing Done. The Happiness Project
  13. Pressed for time? Try One Word, a site that gives you a word and you have 60 seconds to write about it. How to Make More Time for Creative Writing. Writing Forward
  14. Subplots are what put the meat on the bones of novel-length fiction. Subplots: Chicken Soup for Your Novel. Write a Better Novel
  15. If your novel suffers from episodic writing, it means your story is a series of events or episodes loosely strung together without any real progression. Plotting Problems: Episodic Writing. Fiction Factor
  16. Anne Enright said “Remember that all description is an opinion about the world. Find a place to stand.” The Best of the Best Advice. Christina Baker Kline
  17. Pay special consideration to contrasting your protagonist’s ordinary world with the new world through which they journey during the story. Key Story Elements: Ordinary World and Special World. Alexandra Sokoloff
  18. Use a beat sheet as an extreme summary of your novel to help guide you during the revision process. The Beat Sheet: Your At-A-Glance Revision Blueprint. Nail Your Novel
  19. Passive voice hides your characters by shifting the focus of the writing away from the characters and onto the things they’re doing. Do You Know the Real Reason Not to Use Passive Voice? Plot to Punctuation
  20. Editors may have personal preferences, but whether you use present or past tense depends on what works best for the story. So Tense about Tense! Kidlit
  21. Picture your story as a full circle. Stories often end up in the same place they started. 6 Best Writing Tips Besides “Read Lots” and “Show Don’t Tell”. Quips and Tips for Successful Writers
  22. Reading your novel out loud can help you identify problems with grammar, pacing, sentence structure and style. 7 Reasons Why You Should Read Your Book Out Loud. The Creative Penn
  23. When writing a synopsis, use the first sentence to hook your reader, just as you would in your novel. Mastering the Dreaded Synopsis—Condensing Your Novel. Fiction Factor
  24. As a chapter ends, where resolution would normally occur, a major new complication is introduced, compelling the reader to read on. How to End a Chapter. Write a  Better Novel
  25. Avoid common or stereotypical secrets unless you can give them a really intriguing twist. Top Secret Fiction Writing Exercises. Writing Forward
  26. Stepping out of your POV character’s head and into another character’s head in the same scene is called ‘head-hopping.’ If you want to change POV, do so in a new scene. Stepping Out: A Look at POV Shifts. The Other Side of the Story

Thanks again to all of the writers of these blog for sharing their wonderful words of wisdom with us!

What do you think are the very best tips of all from this series? Are there other tips you think should be included in a list of “the best fiction writing tips?”

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{ 9 comments }

Ashley Prince September 3, 2011 at 8:20 am

So many of these have been incredibly helpful. This must have taken you a while to do. Way to go!
Read Ashley Prince´s last article ..The Versatile Blogger Award

Suzannah September 3, 2011 at 9:06 am

Yes, I’ll admit they weren’t the quickest posts to write! But people seem to be enjoying the series, so it’s all worth it!

Anne R. Allen September 4, 2011 at 1:35 am

These are all so great! Some of them I’ve seen, but others are brand new to me. A whole course in creative writing packed into four posts–awesome!
Read Anne R. Allen´s last article ..Where Do You Get Your Ideas? There’s an App for That! How to Create Your Personal Idea Goldmine.

Suzannah September 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Thank you so much for reading, Anne!

Nina September 6, 2011 at 4:03 pm

You’re killing me with all these good links, Suzannah. I’ll never get anything done!
Read Nina´s last article ..Why the Rush to Publish?

Suzannah September 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Perhaps the best writing tip of all is to not get caught up reading writing tips when you should be…well…writing! :)

Cricca September 10, 2011 at 4:48 am

Thank you very much Suzannah for this treasure trove! ;-)
…and for the time you spent collecting and selecting them!

Cricca September 10, 2011 at 4:48 am

Thank you very much Suzannah for this treasure trove! ;-)
…and for the time you spent collecting and selecting them!

Lauren @ Pure Text February 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Yeah, these are great! Helpful to me as an editor and a writer. Thank you!

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