Writing Mini-Lessons: What’s Hard about Writing Good Fiction?


“Fiction is truth’s older sister.
~ Rudyard Kipling

This quote by Rudyard Kipling, a novelist and poet you might know best as the author of The Jungle Book, speaks to the nuance of fiction and the truths it gradually unveils to readers.

You’ve been writing truth in your memoirs/personal narratives and in some of your poetry.   As you move into fiction, you’ll need to stretch as a writer, standing on tiptoe so you can hold your own with truth’s older sister.  Fiction can be such a challenge to write because it’s an act of invention rather than simply an act of thoughtful, thorough description.  Nevertheless, the satisfaction derived from crafting a strong fictional narrative more than makes up for the challenges.

Since we’ve already reviewed some of the major pitfalls that make it easy to write bad fiction, let’s consider what’s hard about writing good fiction.  What do writers crafting good fiction need to think about, create, include, and leave out?

What’s Hard about Writing Good Fiction?

The writer of good fiction has to…