Writing Mini-Lessons: What’s Easy about Writing Bad Fiction?
“Fiction writers aim at creating legitimate untruths since they aim to
demonstrate meaningful insights into the human condition. Therefore,
fiction is untrue in the absolute sense, but true in the universal sense.”
~ Dr. Cynthia Hallett
Fictional narrative is a wonderful genre for writers because you can consider and shape issues and experiences, imagine new worlds, explore ideas, and recast them as literature. Fictional narrative writing can help you discover more about yourself, others, and what it means to be human through the creation of imaginary worlds.
Of course, fictional narratives can suffer from a host of problems, most of which stem from the writer’s lack of understanding of the complexities and demands of the genre. Fictional narratives demand so much more than daydreaming on paper or tediously recounting a favorite video game or movie.
Fiction is the most difficult genre to write well. To begin our study of the fictional narrative genre, we will think about what can be learned from our failed attempts at fiction writing. This will help us gain some perspective and avoid the common pitfalls inherent in bad fiction. Below is a list of some of the pitfalls that are encountered when a writer doesn’t fully grasp the work of a fiction writer.
What’s Easy about Writing Bad Fiction?
- The events or the characters’ experiences don’t have to be grounded in anything: it’s a daydream on paper.
- The characters are like cardboard cut-outs or paper dolls you’re moving around: the characters don’t have a character.
- You don’t have to include dialogue; if you do, it can be pointless.
- You don’t have to bother with a climax or high point of the action.
- You don’t need a So what? or theme.
- You can spin as much plot or action as you want.
- You don’t have to provide background and details.
- It can be just a string of events.
- You don’t have to tell characters’ thoughts and feelings.
- The lead/engaging beginning doesn’t have to grab the reader.
- You don’t have to craft a resonating conclusion: it can just end, or it can conclude with “to be continued…” or “and ___________ woke up; it was all just a dream.”
- The story doesn’t have to make sense.
- You don’t have to convince a reader that this is a real world.
- Changes can be made at your discretion.
- You can write it off the top of your head.
- When you don’t finish it, no one will be surprised or blame you.