This is a guest post, hosted by Win’s Books and written by Surabhi Kaushik.

I have always been a storyteller. So, it’s no surprise that fiction is my favorite genre. I enjoy reading and writing fiction. I have been writing short stories for a long time now. My stories are mostly about regular people, their relationships and little things that make everyday life more interesting. Every time I create a character, I feel like a potter molding the clay and bringing it alive, with texture and color. Here are a few things that I follow during the process of writing my stories.

1. Enjoy your first draft

To me, my first drafts are like morning dew. Fresh, sparkling, and untouched by anyone else. I almost always love my first draft, no matter how crappy it seems a while later. I have noticed that I am more invested about finishing the story when I have a good time sketching my characters and excited about the storyline. Remember that you are the only one who gets to see your first draft, so it doesn’t hurt to pamper. You have to edit it later, anyway!

2. Write every day

I know that this is easier said than done. It is hard to dedicate a specific time and sit down to write every single day, especially if you are just pursuing writing as a hobby and not a full-time job. But, writing even for a few minutes, if you are working on the same story can help in shaping your characters and adding more value to the plot. It helps in paying close attention to the pace of your story as well.

3. Spend time with your characters

You are the one creating your characters, but it is important to spend time with them. I recommend the use of the Snowflake method which allows you to get down the tiniest details about your characters. It is also a good idea to make a list of qualities of each of your characters and put them on an excel sheet. It helps to go back to the excel sheet as your story progresses and see if their personalities are staying true to their qualities.

4. Keep your characters real

As writers, we often get attached to our characters and love them a little too much. Therefore, we end up making them look nearly perfect. But, remember that they are real people and so it is important that they have flaws and shortcomings just like you and me.

5. Try NaNoWrimo

November is Novel Writing Month. It is not a contest, but a great way to challenge yourself to write a novel of 50,000 words or more within 30 days. I have tried this once and found it extremely helpful in more ways than one. I learned how to outline my plot and flesh out my characters. But most importantly, it gave me the confidence that I can start a novel and take it all the way to the finish line. I highly recommend you try it and experience the deep satisfaction that emerges from being committed to yourself.
These are a few of my tips that help me enjoy writing fiction. I believe everyone has a story to tell and everyone’s story is important. So, pick up that pen or start typing into your device and start writing your short story, novel, novella, screenplay, or drama.

About the author, Surabhi:

Words have always been my best friends, allowing me to find comfort and joy in playing
the role of a copywriter, storyteller, poet or essayist, not necessarily in that order. My blog has links to my work published in several websites in India and the United States. Apart from being a writer, I am also a book addict, love learning new languages and a trained Carnatic music vocalist and binge watch or hike when I am not writing. I enjoy conducting Move to Write<>Write to Move workshops, a unique workshop where movement enhances creativity and writing ignites expression. I am offering these FREE workshops in challenging times of this pandemic, allowing participants to explore ways to express themselves and use writing as a coping mechanism, develop a hobby or use it as a distraction, if they like. After moving to the United States in 2015, I volunteer with public libraries in Charlotte and have a close association with Write Like You Mean It, a writer’s group at Main
library, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Live. Laugh. Love.

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