By Peeush Trikha
Challenges part-timers writers face while foraying into Fiction Writing
So you have decided to venture into fictional writing. Oh, those chapters after chapters full of twists and turns. Those romantic escapades, developing into something dangerous and spinning into a web of mystery and deception?
So you have read a lot of fiction writers and your love for writing such stuff is making you go mad. You are sure that the story plot that you are thinking of would draw in spontaneous applause from the readers.
You are ready for the hard work because the resulting fame would mean that you have fulfilled your long, cherished dream.
Yet, all things in life are not like those fairy tales where good prevails over bad, and the lead characters live happily ever after. You have a few big challenges ahead before you can get even a fair degree of success while starting Online fictional writing. Here are some of those realities:
- You have a full-time profession, you’re self-employed, or as an employee of a private or a public firm, your time is limited. Often your job might involve odd hours at night, or even attending to work or calls or client meetings even on the Weekends. Many of you might even have to travel a lot.
- You have a family to take care of. After your busy work schedule, your family- your kids, wife and maybe your parents or in-laws who might be living with you, need your time and attention on the weekends to take care of house needs and also emotional needs.
Often, when faced with the challenges of maintaining a proper work and family life, people tend to give up their dreams of becoming a good fiction writer. Yet, despair not, there are ways to handle the challenges mentioned above, and work towards our dream of becoming a good fiction writer.
How can a part-time writer work on his or her dream of becoming an excellent online fiction writer?
Here, I am going to discuss certain tips which can help writers become good fiction writers. Note that I have left out Offline writing because so far I have not ventured into this area. The offline or full-time writing will have its own challenges, but here I will focus on online fictional writing based on my own experiences doing so over the last three years:
- You are short on time, so if you are doing something different from your routine, the best way is excellent “time” planning. Plan your time well. On weekdays, if you get even one hour for your personal use, try to start using it to jot down your basic story idea in bullet points, or in some other form, that you are comfortable with.
- On weekends, try to talk to your family members about your aspirations. Try to explain to them that even though your efforts might not result in immediate material gains or fame, the resulting satisfaction and long term benefits would more than compensate. Use writing apps while traveling to jot down basic story ideas, and use your laptop to write chapters of your story in between client meeting times, while also keeping a tab on your watch.
- Plan what kind of stories you’ll be writing. Are they going to be full novel length, short stories, or a series of short stories? Estimate how much time it will take to write and publish the whole thing, or different stories in a novel series. My personal tip is to plan a mix of long and short stories. If your long story is going to have 12 chapters and will take almost two months to complete, it is not bad to plan and write a short story in between.
- What kind of website would you be writing on? Is it a pay to write site? Does this site favor longer posts or articles? If the site allows very low character limit- say just 100 or 200 characters, it’s not much use to publish your story(s) there, as the site would not give much preference, and people would not devote much time to read what you have written. If on the other hand, your are going to publish on a site like WordPress, or your own blog site, you can adopt more flexibility. However, you will have to devise your own SEO strategy and devote some extra time to monetize. Monetizing your own blog site is not impossible but tougher and getting favorable returns might take time. So plan accordingly.
- If you feel that your story needs editing even one month after publishing, it is not a bad idea, as often poor grammar or syntax can lead to a smaller audience.
This list is not comprehensive, but following these tips can prepare a part-timer to work towards becoming a relatively successful Online fiction writer. Of course, it will involve patience as well as hard work and ability to withstand certain setbacks, but then writing has never been an easy career, has it?
I am Peeush Trikha, an Information Technology professional with over 13 years of experience. Writing is something I have been fond of since I was almost ten years old. I once wrote a story with animal characters (it was written in Hindi) and where those characters were involved in Gun and Tank battles- maybe a big impact of watching action movies of Amitabh Bacchan, Jackie Shroff and Sunny Deol, in those days.
Somehow, I took Science and then Technolgy as my key subjects, and means of livelihood. Yet, the writer in me did not vanish. My interest in reading stories and Novels also helped.
Internet gave me a platform to first try my hand at blogging in 2006, and then writing with Helium in 2008. Working with Helium taught me to work within strict guidelines and helped me write better. Mypage5, Mylot, and Bubblews helped improve my English writing, yet on these sites, my main aim were commercial gains.
Then, Wikinut came in my life, and I attribute a lot of changes and improvements in my writing to this site. It is not a very strict site, yet it has its own rules and a good community which helped to improve my writing in many ways.
Writing on Technology, primarily Software Development and Methodologies, is one of my core strengths. However, I am also passionate about writing on Movies, issues that come out of my heart like Traffic conditions, Economic Issues, as well as Sports- especially cricket.
Looking ahead, I am also keen on challenging and offbeat topics.