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“Leaves crackling and sticks breaking awakens little Kassandra. Her small eyes flutter open to a canopy of bony branches reaching out for each other. Between the long finger branches, the moon and stars fight the dark clouds from consuming their light. Beneath her small body. The coldness of the moist dirt floor seeps through her beige nightgown, through her flesh, and into the marrow of her bones.” – Excerpt from Hell’s Half Acre by T.L. Hicks.

Fiction is a form of literary prose we see in short stories and novels. Fiction uses imaginary events and people to tell a story or convey a message. To create fiction, you can use your

  • Experiences (including reading and watching television or movies)
  • Memories
  • Personal history
  • Feelings
  • Desires (secret or non-secret)
  • Language
  • Imagination
  • Observations
  • Ideas
  • Research
  • Interests

What can you use

Fiction takes its breath from the elements that inspire you. Fiction is applying the material you found and creating a world that appears authentic and natural.

Writing what you know is effective. Your form of inspirational material need not be exotic, whimsical, or out of this world. Using details from your everyday life, they can provide you with the materials you require to create great fiction.

Creating your space

Many writers need to have a dedicated workspace. Everything you need as a writer will be there. From your computer to pens to journals and to your reference books.

Your space needs privacy. It is tough to focus when loved ones are coming into the room to chit-chat. It is difficult to write when pets want you to hold them. Television blaring in the background can cause you to lose your train of thought. A cell phone going off every minute can distract you, which will cause you to lose track of your story.

Arrange your area how it fits you. Have a desk you sit at, or a desk you stand at, or a desk that can adjust to sitting or standing. You can have a mobile office, back up your laptop and research file, and head to the local library. Go anyplace that will let you hang out and use their Wi-Fi. If you can handle not having Wi-Fi, then take a trip to the park. You can go to other natural locations and let your imagination take you on a ride.

How you manage your area is up to you. Association for Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association notes that a tidy room encourages responsible behavior. A messy room encourages creative ideas. You chose what is suitable for you.

Display your inspiration

  • Photo(s)
  • Song(s)
  • Movie(s)
  • Television show(s)
  • Newspaper clipping(s)
  • Anything else

Everything can become your muse, your inspiration, and you need to keep it out on display. Doing so will help you keep track of your story and help continue to inspire you.

Keeping track of valuable details

You need a place to compile your facts, research, ideas, and observations. You should have a notebook or a small journal to carry with you always. Use your phone and tablet by using their word processing software to type your notes out. You can also record your notes via video or audio.

What method you choose to gather your information will become a testing place for you to try out your ideas and scenes. It is also essential to examine the data you collected to see where your concentration lies.

  • Did you focus on physical details – clothing, the color of their eyes or hair, their expressions? How a tree, a bird, or other wildlife looked?
  • Did you focus on the event – The attractions, the reasons, or the reactions?
  • Did you focus on the sounds – The way people speak, breathe, or their quirks? The sounds of nature, such as birds and trees, or human-made items such as trucks, cars, bikes, ticking of a clock?
  • Did you focus on the smells – The smell of a cookout, the smell of body order (or lack of), perfume, detergent, cleaning supplies, mildew, or the odor of a gun going off?
  • Did you focus on the feel of things – The coldness (or warmness) of the wind, the heat of the sun, the fur of a pet, or the pain of being punched in the face?
  • Did you focus on taste– washing your mouth out with soap, morning cereal, or late-night ice cream?

Developing a character or scene from your notes

The scene you read at the top of this article is a scene from my book, Hell’s Half Acre. I finished the first draft, and now I am revising it. If you have any constructive feedback, please use the comment section below.

Pick a character to write a 50 to 200-word character sketch on appearance and mannerisms. Or you can write a 50 to 200-word scene using the five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. Heck, combine them both. You can post it in the comments below.

I look forward to reading what you wrote. Others can provide constructive feedback on what you wrote, which will help improve your writing.

Good Luck.

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