Requirements for Writing Fiction

Writing Fiction Quote by Jann Alexander © 2105

Writing fiction requires two things: The willingness to inhabit two worlds, and the ability to slide between them with ease.  Tweet:

—Jann Alexander

What a gift it is, to write fiction.

To keep alive in your mind a jumble of ideas about characters, their feelings, their motivations, their actions . . . and to be able to summon that up at will.

Stuck in a boring situation? Pay it no mind; spend time with your characters instead, who are infinitely more interesting. After all, you’re creating them. You can imagine them behaving in many ways, for many reasons, and lose yourself in their embrace. See how the time flies?

Can’t fall asleep at night? Don’t count sheep; think about your characters, how pleased you are for them, the ones who leapt past life’s hurdles and gained something of worth along the way.

Find yourself in uncharted territory with unexpected company? Accept it, and take it all in, the better to shore up your characters’ traits. Get inspired by where you are, what you’re hearing, to better inform your characters’ world.

But be prepared to be summoned back to your life’s reality, your reality, at a moment’s notice, by a child who trips and gashes his forehead, or a birthday gift that arrives from an old friend, or a phone call from a distant relative about a death in the family, or a surprise bouquet of flowers your husband brings home. Suspend your time with your characters, resume your life in the moment, and embrace it.

Above all, embrace your dual gifts: you can inhabit two worlds, and you can slide between them with ease. It’s just what writers do. 

Jann Alexander's A Habit of Hiding_Book Cover

Want to learn more about my upcoming novel? 

Get a sneak peek at A Habit of Hiding here

For more on the art of writing, look HERE.

What’s it like for you in your two worlds?

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6 thoughts on “Requirements for Writing Fiction

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      1. Yes got me pegged. I don’t have a lot of trouble with writer’s block nad am actually down the other end of the spectrum but I do have something like avoidance on some projects and just getting caught up in life which for all of us is a struggle. It’s our inspiration and yet at the same time our foe. Have you read “The War of Art?” by Steven Pressfield? I picked it up from another blogger and it is fabulous. Something to keep close at hand. Take care and hope you’re having a good weekend. The sun is shining again after raining yesterday and I am looking forward to enjoying it xx Rowena

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        1. The War of Art, good suggestion, thanks. Got Pressfield’s books on my radar. And you are sooooo not alone in the life-gets-in-the-way camp; just had coffee with a writer I’d met recently, who talked about a family death and its ramifications getting in the way. We all get waylaid; we can all get back on track, eventually. Thanks for furthering the conversation, Roweeee.


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