Much of the writing is instinctual, born of experience and exposure to good stories and great practice. Writers are more interested in the quality of the writing than quantity. However, to be an excellent writer, you need to understand certain elements to make the story professional and competent.
Where grammar and spellings are the most critical aspects of good writing, there are six elements of writing that make it more intriguing for the readers. These elements are:
- The fictional characters which build the story
- The plot, the flow of the story
- The setting, as in where the story takes place
- The point of view: the narrative of the book
- The theme, the essence of the story
- Style of writing which becomes your voice
Let’s discuss these elements of fiction in detail.
Element #1: Characters
Characters are the foundation of the entire story. Be it storybooks for kids or young adult novels, it involves the emotional and mental condition of the character and set the point of view for the story. It is the experience which your readers can relate to.
You need to make your characters relatable for the readers so they can empathize with the character of the story. Is it a tragic character or an enthusiastic character going through a phase of mysterious events in the story? Make your character relatable so it can develop an experience for the readers. Help your readers to paint a picture without a brush.
Element #2: the plot
A general plot of a fictional novel is divided into five parts:
- The introduction introduces the reader to the setting of the story and the major characters.
- The rising action: it reveals the conflict in the story around which the entire action of the character resides.
- The climax: the turning point, which is the most interesting part of the story. It’s a critical situation where there are mixed emotions and can be a make-or-break moment for the writers too.
- The falling action: when the complexities and the conflict are leading to the resolution.
- The resolution: it’s not necessary for your story to have a happy ending, nor does it have to be a satisfying one. If you think you have a sequel coming, don’t tie the knots. Leave some loose strings to attach the next book to the story.
Element #3: setting
The setting is the physical location and the social environment of the story. It is like the characters (not having feelings) it is something the readers can interact with. It includes the following factors:
- The skills the character has developed to come to a resolution.
- The tools they have (it can be money, weapons, clothes, transportation—something that can determine the status of the character)
- The cultural norm determining the culture and social circle of the character
- The presuppositions the characters bring in the story.
Before starting your story, make sure you have a good idea of all these factors to make your book work.
Element #4: point of view
Point of view deals with the tenses you use in your story. The best writers tend to work with the third-person POV. It is better to be able to write in it as it lets you tap into the character’s mindset in the third person. Other than that, there is first-person POV which works in “I” and “my” and the second-person POV working in “you” and “your”. It is the combination of these factors which makes POV the most important element in fictional writing.
Element #5: the theme
The plot is the essence of the story. It is something hidden that a reader determines as the story continues. Every fictional book has a theme, be it intentionally or unintentionally. It may be something personal related to the author’s feelings or related to the beliefs of the author.
Elements #6: the style
Your unique style of writing is something that sets your story apart from all present on the list. Your choice of words determines the tone of the story. It demonstrates your voice as a writer and is crucial to indicate certain details in your work. Developing a style requires a lot of work and effort. You need to read a lot of fictional work and classics to be a good fiction writer. Not just that, you need to practice your work and become a good listener. It is important if you add dialogue to your work.
This may seem like a lot to handle, but to be a good writer, you need to keep in mind these elements which can make your book exceptional. Write and write more so you can become a better writer. Read fiction to be better at writing it, and if you are a passionate writer, you are likely to make your way up to the top shelf.