Literary fiction is nothing like genre or commercial fiction. Unlike other genres of fiction, it can captivate readers with its artistic and intellectual depth because it focuses on character-driven plots. However, writing a great piece of literary fiction is not an easy task.
It requires creativity, skill, and attention to detail to accomplish writing a great piece of literary fiction. So, for your assistance, we have jotted down the top 7 tips to help you compile an awesome literary fiction book. Whether you are a novice writer or an experienced one, read on to find useful insights.
Focus on Character Development
Literary fiction is known for its depth and exploration of the human condition. Therefore, it is crucial to create well-rounded, believable characters that readers can relate to.
To create compelling and strong characters, you can start by developing detailed character profiles that include their background, personality, motivations, and flaws. It is also important to show the characters’ growth and how they develop themselves throughout the story.
In literary fiction, the focus is on character-driven plots rather than action-driven plots. That’s why the story should be structured in a way that allows the characters to grow and develop in a natural, believable way.
Show, Don’t Tell
If you’re a fan of literary fiction, you might have heard the advice “show, don’t tell” when it comes to writing. But what does it actually mean, and why is it important? It is actually a writing technique that encourages authors to use sensory details and actions to convey emotions and thoughts instead of simply stating them.
By showing rather than telling, the reader can experience the story more fully and feel more connected to the characters and their experiences. For example, if you are writing “John was sad”, you can instead show the character’s sadness by describing how he avoided eye contact and spoke in a soft, subdued voice.
This way, you will show readers what is going on in the story without telling them straight away. It will create suspense in your story and you will be able to add sensory details in your plot.
Use Beautiful and Poetic Language
As a literary fiction writer. It is important to focus on language and its impact on the reader. The language you are using is actually portraying the emotions of your characters and the sensory details in your story.
Using poetic language can help transport readers to another world and evoke emotions that stay with them long after they finish reading. To achieve this, you will have to choose words that don’t only describe the details of a scene but also convey the real sense of emotions and atmosphere.
Metaphors and similes can be effective ways to add richness and depth to your writing and make it more poetic. However, there’s one thing you will have to keep in mind. Make sure to strike a balance between using poetic language and overdoing it.
Too many flowery and catchy descriptions can distract from the story and make it difficult for readers to connect with the characters and plot.
Focus on the Emotional Journey
One of the biggest contributing factors of literary fiction is its ability to evoke emotions in readers and make them feel deeply connected to the story and characters. To achieve this, you will have to focus on the emotional journey of the characters in the story.
Readers want to experience the emotional highs and lows alongside the characters, and a writer who can masterfully express and navigate these emotions will create a truly impactful literary work that is sure to be a bestseller.
To make the emotional journey of your characters more interesting, you will have to dive deep into their psyche. Clarify what motivates them, what their fear, and what they hope to achieve in life.
Experiment with Structure and Form
Let us explain it to you. Playing with structure and form means you might choose to tell your story out of chronological order or use a non-linear narrative to reveal information gradually. You could also experiment with different points of view or use a unique narrative voice to provide a fresh perspective on the story.
Another technique is to use different forms of writing within your work, such as letters or even poetry. These can add depth to your story, as well as provide a glimpse into the minds of your characters and their everyday lives.
However, during all this, it’s important to remember that your experiment should serve the story and the characters rather than being a distraction from the heart of your work.
Use Symbolism and Metaphor
Symbolism and metaphor allow you to express complex emotions, themes, and ideas in a way that is both subtle and thoughtful. By using symbolism and metaphor, a writer can create a deeper meaning that resonates with readers long after they have finished reading the story.
If you don’t know, symbolism is the use of objects, actions, or events that represent something else, often an abstract idea or concept. For example, just like a rose symbolizes love, a snake symbolizes evil.
Metaphors, on the other hand, are a figure of speech that compares two things that are not usually associated with each other. For example, when a mother says “My son is like the moon”. This is a metaphor that compares the beauty of a person’s face or body to the beauty of the moon.
Edit and Revise
Writing a great piece of literary fiction is not an easy feat, and you will have to go back to your first manuscript and keep editing and revising your work until it’s close to perfection. When revising, it’s important to step back and read your work as if you were a reader encountering it for the first time.
You will have to look for inconsistencies in the plot, character development, dialogue, pacing, and tone. Ask yourself if the story flows smoothly, if the characters are believable and relatable, and if the themes and messages are clear. By following this approach, you will be on your way to creating a great literary fiction piece.