How to Get Started in Fiction Writing

As an author and a writing instructor, I often get emails from those who are interested in getting started with writing fiction as a passion, and possible income. Fiction can include novels all the way down to micro stories, with novellas, short stories, and flash fiction in between. Here are some resources to get you started, but don't feel overwhelmed. It's a journey.


First, I recommend you study the craft of fiction writing. Here are a few books to get started with (I don't endorse all of their content, but I've gained invaluable help from these books):

Plot & Structure by James Scott BellWriting Fiction For Dummies by Randy IngermansonSelf-editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King (This one contains content I object to such as language and sensual examples. I've blacked those out in my copy.) 

If you don't currently read ebooks, I recommend you get started since they are driving the indie revolution and giving authors a chance to turn their passion for writing into a career or at least a part-time income. You can download the Kindle app on your computer, smart phone or a tablet. You don't have to buy an actual e-reader (though I love mine). You can read more here.

I highly recommend you subscribe to Randy Ingermanson's e-newsletter. I've read it for years and there's never been one that I didn't learn something valuable from.

Second, start learning about publishing options now to see what you're getting into. This is a short ebook with a good overview:

Indie Publishing Handbook: Four Key Elements for the Self-Publisher by Heather Day Gilbert

There are still traditional publishing options which are good for some authors. Some authors do both. But I always warn authors away from "vanity" publishing, an option where you pay hundreds, often thousands, of dollars to a company who promises to publish and market your book but they are often scams, or at least bloated in their pricing. I always steer authors away from paying out buckets of money for a mediocre product.

This is just a scratch on the surface but it's starting point. If you're on the path of fiction writing, I hope the best for you on your journey!