What is literary fiction writing?
To understand what successful literary fiction writing entails, you first need to understand what literary fiction means.
Fiction writing is completely different from non-fiction writing. Non-fiction writing requires an entirely different set of skills that have more to do with research and academic writing.
Non-fiction includes examples like how-to books, self-help books, and other published works. Fiction writing, on the other hand, includes anything from a short story to a full-length novel series.
Fiction writing is a broad term with many genres, categories, and sub-categories. If you have ever written a fiction book, you know that there are far more writing intricacies than with non-fiction.
Writing fiction entails careful world-building, looking at the story from an angle of each person involved, writing separate stories for your characters that all relate to the main plot, and of course, making sure that your stories are like no other.
Writing fiction includes numerous forms of writing, from contemporary fiction to science fiction writing, and it covers both short stories and fiction books.
Who is a Freelance Fiction Writer?
There's no good fiction writing without a prime fiction writer. Some of the best-known fiction writers include Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Jonathan Franzen, David Baldacci, Neil Gaiman, H.R. Tolkien, J.J.R. Martin, and many others.
The list of world-renowned, Pulitzer prize-winning fiction writers is long, but they all have a couple of things in common, such as:
Elaborate world-building. Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, J.J.R. Martin, and other successful published authors all wrote unique worlds that mesmerized audiences.
Relatable life stories. No matter how surreal the settings, the main characters all experience life in similar ways as the average reader.
Unique style and tone. Each person in the story has their unique voice or a specific way in which they speak and express themselves.
But, what if you wish to become a freelance author?
Unlike a regular fiction writer, a freelance writer writes for a client who, upon compensation, becomes the titular owner of the book and is considered its author. To get clients, a freelance author first works on sprucing up their fiction writing skills.
In fact, being a freelance fiction novelist is such a satisfying career that many writers work hard to earn publications just to have a portfolio and references for their freelance jobs.
The reason why so many writers choose to work as freelancers is that ghostwriting provides the comfort of writing for secure payment. Indeed, one relinquishes all rights to the work, but they also don't suffer the frustration of having to publish and promote the book.
Instead, a ghostwriter spends months doing a project that they love for more than decent pay, and are pretty much hands-free with the latter fate of their work.
However, there's no sure way to obtain a regular influx of clients. For that reason, anyone aspiring to become a fiction writer first creates their portfolio and posts it online.
After earning a reputable portfolio, a freelance ghostwriter signs up to various job boards, or applies here with The Urban Writers and joins our fiction writing team!
After that, it is really up to the author to contact hundreds of clients and land enough gigs to sustain their living and meet their professional and financial goals.
Why Hire a Fictional Writer
If you have an amazing book idea but lack writing skills or time to write a fiction novel, then working with a freelance fiction writer is the best solution!
Fiction writing is seemingly easy. You don’t need much writing skills to come up with an extraordinary book concept. Yet, bringing your book concept to life is entirely different.
A very specific set of writing skills is needed for one to craft a real-feeling, compelling story that makes the audience live it inside their minds and hearts, no matter the genre.
The fiction publishing industry has additionally changed with the ability of word processing, and of course, personal computing. Before that, one had to have publishing smarts, if not already established connections within the publishing industry to get all of the formatting, writing, and editing requirements that make a publisher consider your book solely from skimming.
Nowadays, anyone with a bit of creativity can write and publish a book. You can simply choose one of the commonly known self-publishing platforms, and work with freelance contractors, and you have yourself a book!
But, is it going to be a good book? Will you see any purchases, reviews, and downloads? That depends on the fiction writing quality. Of course, your book is going to have to stand out by impressive world-building, carefully selected words, and a layer of mystery to your characters that's welcome in any genre.
Perhaps, you don't have to impress a managing editor of an established publisher. Yet, you still need to grab the attention of your audience. Whether this is your first publication, or you're already an author of romance, mystery, young adult, poetry, or other novels, rules of interesting writing still apply.
What Skills Should Literary Fiction Writers Have?
Writing good fiction isn’t easy! Luckily, there are clear set rules for how to create good fiction stories and novels. From how to design your plot to how to make impossible events seem plausible, writing strategies help sell your book both online and on print media. Start taking notes on the following tips for successful fiction novel writing:
Don’t Commit to Titles and Headers Too Early
First, outline your book well and spend more time planning, character building, universe building, and mapping out character development arcs. Such work is much more important than how the chapters will be named, or how many of them you end up having.
Focus on the “meat” of the book first, and add the bones later. Think of the headings and titles as more of the outer lines that provide a visual framework for the audience. It’s important that they’re well done and appealing, but should only come to turn once you’re happy with the quality of your book.
Focus on Character Experience
Books that open with elaborate scenery and weather descriptions typically fall flat before the reader even got the chance to read and like them. Nowadays, there are too many quality reads for one to put effort into reading a book that’s not appealing.
Instead, make the first sentence of your book count! Many successful fiction writers work out their first sentence, paragraph, and page last, spending days at a time making them stand out. It’s a worthy effort since the tone you set for the book early on might keep the reader engaged all the way through.
No Elaborate Introductions
Avoid long, tedious prologues since they’re not very focused on the reader. Instead, go straight into the heart of the story, even if you’re only telling the beginning. If you feel like there has to be some more background given for the reader to understand the book, thread more depictions into the dialogues and provide the needed information in that way.
Modern fiction writing advice is to be bold and put the reader smack in the middle of the story right from the start, leaving the beginning for flashbacks, memories, or other chapter introductions to further surprise and tease the audience.
Avoid Writing in First Person
Unless you're writing a memoir that details your own life story, opt in for third-person narration instead. Fiction literature notoriously doesn't tolerate writing shortcuts.
You may feel more inspired to use the first person narrative, namely because it's easy to present the characters' language when you write long monologues. Monologues are worth writing if they can make an impact on the story, or contrast it in some relevance. Otherwise, they should be reduced to the bare minimum.
But, there lies the problem! Writing long monologues tends to intervene with the plot, and it reduces the suspense of events that each book should have.
Don’t Narrate Dialogue
This might have worked for classic fiction writers of the yesteryear whose works we appreciate for the nostalgia that comes with the depicted era, but any book whose story is set in modern times adheres to a different form of dialogue building.
“Show instead of tell” is the rule with many mentors advising that dialogues be reduced to most essential information, while any other third-person embellishments should be included in storytelling. Avoid repetitive words like said, gasped, cautioned, etc.
Instead, let the audience know how the character feels and what are they up to by showing their gestures, actions, and even inner monologue at times.
Don’t use common phrases. Avoid them in character dialogues, as well as in the narrative of the entire book. Colloquial speech tends to sound cheesy, and readers of all ages typically read because they seek finer entertainment than what they can find on reality TV.
Even if you wish to present a character as rude, bad-mannered, or otherwise unpleasant, make each of their sentences unique. After all, they are your characters and they carry value, even if they’re supposed to be obnoxious and hated throughout the story.
Avoid Exclamation Marks
It’s easy for an audience to imagine a character shouting. After they’ve acquainted themselves with the character, any fiction fan will easily imagine their tone and voice, so present those by depicting moods rather than using exclamation marks.
Exclamation marks tend to read awkwardly and take away the reader’s attention from maintaining their own, imaginative narrative that happens when they read a book they like.
Describe Instead of Writing Dialects
Avoid using phonetic spelling as much as you can. It’s actually enough to briefly write about what the character’s dialect sounds like, and, believe it or not, this will engrain into the reader’s mind. Beyond that, each character’s sentence should reflect their unique vocabulary and other character traits more so than the dialect.
Use Descriptions Sparingly
This applies to scenes and characters alike. Whether you're writing your first book or your second novel, you don’t have to give a full visual of your character.
Once they arrive at the scene, briefly outline their look so that the audience grasps their style, hair color, stance, and build more than they do their outfits and hairstyles.
Always remember that readers pick up and retain those curt descriptions given in only a sentence or two, so you don’t have to make them too elaborate.
Look back at your favorite new book, and check the exact prose that helped you imagine characters and scenes.
It’s likely beyond a simple description. Skillful writers instead paint the scene through character experience, and they do the same with other characters.
Rather than describing a character’s hairstyle, opt in to depict how another character felt about its color and scent. Did it leave a messy impression? What does the hairstyle make the protagonist think about?
From there, you associate character descriptions with plots and subplots, which is a more compelling way to tell the story than simply describe a lady’s messy bun.
How to Outsource Writing Fiction? Hire the Best Fiction Writers
If you wish to publish a fiction book but you can't manage the project on your own, that means that you should opt in for hiring a freelance fiction writer!
But, how to hire an author and turn over your precious creation if you never worked with freelancers before? The answer is simple: Get ready, post a job, and start interviewing applicants.
As with any other contractor work, fiction book writing begins with a clear set of requirements. Perhaps, you already worked out a detailed outline, and you only need a writer to start working their magic into it.
If not, we advise mapping out your book idea so that the writer knows what you expect.
First, write out your book idea in a way that seems most fit. Some of our clients write a regular book brief, where they outline the topic, characters, tropes, tone, and style that they wish to be used.
These are the core information that any fiction writer needs for quality book writing. Beyond that, you can create your own outline or you can order now from The Urban Writers.
A quality book outline is a prerequisite to successful fiction writing and is an asset that we at The Urban Writers require for each of our projects. Your book outline details the structure of your book, character descriptions, profiles, and arcs, the main plot and subplots, and other crucial elements of the book.
If you have your outline before you start looking for a fiction writer, that's great! Now, you need access to fiction writing talent.
There are several places you can go to find quality fiction writers.
First, you can browse the website catalogs online and reach out to various freelancers personally. However, keep in mind that collaborations like those tend to be more expensive, and that your prospective freelancer might even charge the time they spend talking on the phone with you.
The second option is to try out job boards. Job boards are famous for giving instant access to hundreds, if not thousands, of fiction writers. There, you need to post a job with clear requirements, share your budget or salary information, and wait for interested applicants to reach out.
The third, and arguably the best option, is to sign up to our Platform and start browsing freelance writer's profiles and their writing samples. That way, you can start working with your selected writer immediately.
After looking at interested applicants' profiles, you can go ahead and interview them to see if they have a good understanding of your book requirements. You can ask whatever questions are relevant to you.
Once you've discovered the right writer for your book, you can sign an agreement with them and get to work!
How The Urban Writers Help Successfully Publish More Books in Fiction
If you wish to become a published fiction author, we can help!
If you wish to publish your first fiction book, join us and select your favorite fiction writer! While you remain the author of your title, your selected ghostwriter and our team of editors will take over the written portion of the job.
The steps to getting your book published with the help of The Urban Writers are simple:
Step #1: Work Out Your Novel or Stories Concept
A paragraph or two about your novel written in third-person (from the perspective of your characters) will give essential insight to our writer and editor. Your story concept should consist of brief notes about the genre, plot, tone, and style for the writer and editor to adjust their approach.
Step #2: Map Out a Plot Outline Consisting of Your Book Overview
Write about how you envisioned the main characters for your novel. Anything from their name to physical description and background is a good start. Outline the most important characters' traits point-by-point, so that freelancers who apply for your job post may do so with a head start.
If you have a timeframe for your story figured out, you'll ideally let us know around what date you wish the plot to begin, and when you'd want to see it resolved. That way, our writers have an important direction for how to craft events, prose, characters' arcs, stories, and their development, as well as other important aspects of your plot.
If you find it hard to outline the entire plot of your novel on your own, lay out the main events that you wish to see written out. You may include an imaginary date for when the events are expected to take place, which will give the freelancer insight into how the characters will evolve over time.
Step #3: Write Out Your Novel Requirements
Novel Size and Structure
Do you wish to publish a full length novel, or to have your story divided across a series of novels? Provide an explanation for the type of structure you wish for your story.
Ideally, this is done using a bullet point format. Lay out your thoughts in a free-form manner, and explain each point in your own words for our team to work on.
Novel Genre and Style
Write freely about your style and genre expectations. Ghostwriters find it helpful when clients use a straightforward approach to explaining what they want their novel to be like. Leave literary embellishments to the pros, and "talk" about your book as you wood with a friend.
The Message (Main Point) of Your Story
Knowing the main point behind a novel gives our writing team and editors valuable insight and guidance for how to keep the mystery behind the characters and their arcs. Regardless of the genre, it's necessary for a novel to keep readers in suspense, and it's also important for the consistency of your story.
Step #4: Choose Your Favorite Freelancer
Your writing expert, as well as your editor, will have their samples showcased on their profiles. As an author, you can look for those professionals who have styles similar for what you want your novels to have.
After creating an account on our Platform, you can post your project and start selecting your freelancers.
Step #5: Complete Your Order and Start Creating Your Authored Book
After setting up your order, you can rest and let our team of experts (writers, editors, designers, etc.) work on your non-fiction or fiction books until you're happy with the results.
Wait, that's not all! We also provide assistance with:
Why Wait? Hire a Fiction Writer Now on The Urban Writers Platform
Your amazing book idea is awaiting to materialize. Join our Platform, and choose your package. Post your fiction book project, then watch as fiction writers compete for their spot! All you need to do is place an order and start choosing freelancers–so start now!