Tip 2 of 7 Fiction Writing Tips by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Make a detailed outline of your story.

Invent a system Zolaesque…but buy a file. On the first page of the file put down an outline of a novel of your times enormous in scale (don’t worry, it will contract by itself) and work on the plan for two months. Take the central point of the file as your big climax and follow your plan backward and forward from that for another three months. Then draw up something as complicated as a continuity from what you have and set yourself a schedule.

Vinnie Gets A Special Message From His Mom

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“When are we leaving, Mom? Mom? Mom? Are you still mad at Rupert for breaking the angel? He didn’t mean it,” says Vinnie watching his mom make the bed.

Vinnie’s mom straightens up, turns around, and sits on the edge of the bed. She looks at Vinnie holding Rupert standing in the doorway to the bedroom. Dexter is sitting on floor behind Vinnie. She says, “Vinnie come here.”

Vinnie doesn’t move, “Are you mad at Rupert, Mom?”

“No, I’m not mad. I only want to hug you,” says Vinnie’s mom holding her arms outstretched.

Vinnie runs over and crashes into his mom almost knocking her back on the bed. Vinnie’s mom wraps her arms around Vinnie, then tussles his short dark hair with her hand. She moves Vinnie to arm’s length away keeping on hand on both his shoulders. She says, “You know how much the angel meant to me?”

“Yes, Mom. It was your favorite Christmas ornament.”

“I want you to tell me the truth, did Rupert break the angel?”

“Mom? Are you talking to Rupert or to me?” asks Vinnie.

“You, Vinnie. I’m talking to you.”

“Awe, Mom. Rupert told me he’d take the blame for me so you wouldn’t be mad at me. It was an accident, honest. When the sausages started exploding I was opening the macaroni and cheese box I was making you for breakfast and I jumped and threw the box and the box hit the angel and the angel started to tumble and I tried to catch it and I just missed it as it rolled off the table. That’s how it happened, Mom. Honest.”

Vinnie’s mom smiles, “Was that so bad to tell me the truth?”

“Are you mad at me, Mom?”

“No. It was an accident.”

“Why did I get sent to my room?”

“I needed time to get over my disappointment.”

“Are you over it, Mom?”

“The angel is only a thing. You’re more precious than a thousand Christmas angels.”

“I think Santa is going to be really good to you this year, Mom. I love you,” says Vinnie breaking loose from his mom’s grip and giving her a hug.

“When are we leaving for the mall, Mom. There’s going to be a big line for Santa.”

“I promise you’ll see Santa today. We may have to stand in line for a while, but we won’t leave until you see him.”

“Can Rupert come with me? Rupert loves Santa. Maybe Santa will bring Rupert a present this year. Santa forgot to bring him a present last year. I don’t want Santa to forget Dexter, either.”

Dexter hears his name and saunters into the bedroom expecting a treat for answering to his name. When he realizes there is no treat, he saunters back out and heads toward the kitchen, the source of happiness for him.

Tip 6 of William Faulkner’s 7 Fiction Writing Tips

Don’t exhaust your imagination.

The only rule I have is to quit while it’s still hot. Never write yourself out. Always quit when it’s going good. Then it’s easier to take it up again. If you exhaust yourself, then you’ll get into a dead spell and you’ll have trouble with it.

Source: Open Culture 

Tip 4 of William Faulkner’s 7 Fiction Writing Tips

Know your characters well and the story will write itself.

I would say to get the character in your mind. Once he is in your mind, and he is right, and he’s true, then he does the work himself. All you need to do then is to trot along behind him and put down what he does and what he says. It’s the ingestion and then the gestation. You’ve got to know the character. You’ve got to believe in him. You’ve got to feel that he is alive, and then, of course, you will have to do a certain amount of picking and choosing among the possibilities of his action, so that his actions fit the character which you believe in. After that, the business of putting him down on paper is mechanical.

Source: Open Culture 

Tip 3 of 7 Writing Fiction Tips by William Faulkner

Write from experience–but keep a very broad definition of “experience.”

To me, experience is anything you have perceived. It can come from books, a book that–a story that–is true enough and alive enough to move you. That, in my opinion, is one of your experiences. You need not do the actions that the people in that book do, but if they strike you as being true, that they are things that people would do, that you can understand the feeling behind them that made them do that, then that’s an experience to me. And so, in my definition of experience, it’s impossible to write anything that is not an experience, because everything you have read, have heard, have sensed, have imagined is part of experience.

Source: Open Culture

Tip 1 of 7 Fiction Writing Tips by William Faulkner

Take what you need from other writers.

I think the writer, as I’ve said before, is completely amoral. He takes whatever he needs, wherever he needs, and he does that openly and honestly because he himself hopes that what he does will be good enough so that after him people will take from him, and they are welcome to take from him, as he feels that he would be welcome by the best of his predecessors to take what they had done.

Source: Open Culture

Rule 9 of Elmore Leonard’s 10 Writing Tips

Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.

Unless you’re Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language or write landscapes in the style of Jim Harrison. But even if you’re good at it, you don’t want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.

Source: New York Times