How To Write Fiction

Donny Setiawan
2 min readOct 5, 2023
Photo by Daniel Thomas on Unsplash

Writing is not just a matter of wanting to or not, but more than that. Writing means wanting to give everything, both body and soul, into the form of writing because writing without feeling and action will just be pen on paper. Not something to read and remember.

Writing is about mindset. Mindset here means ‘how you act’. Benchmarks of human action.

Good writers have this mindset. If he follows his heart and is supported by a good and appropriate mindset, he can then write quickly. Not stumbling over a few sentences or choosing diction, or themes, or the reasons why he wrote.

Good writers can write quickly. That way he can master the details, master the techniques, and master the processes and issues regarding writing skills.

Writers who understand or master details, techniques, processes and problems will be able to write quickly. By writing quickly, he became a good and capable writer.

Things a good writer should do:

Writing is like a “conversation activity”, “simple”, and “as is” — here it does not mean writing haphazardly without caring about the effectiveness of the writing.

“Write as if you were having a conversation with your friend.”

Things good writers should avoid:

Write to look perfect — from start to finish. In this way, writing gives rise to excessive words.

“Write quickly, which results in less bad writing. Use simple words, which results in sentences that are easy to understand.”

Show, Don’t Tell

Show, don’t tell is a technique that concretizes abstract concepts.

Such as love, hate, revenge, sadness, frustration, anger.
Such the words awesome, beautiful, sultry, etc.

Concretizing abstract concepts means looking for indirect pronunciations of the concepts above.

Concreting abstract concepts requires detail, for this reason the writer’s task is to have memory of events or be sensitive to the daily life around them.

Fictional stories are events that can be concretized.

Stories bring to life real pictures of someone’s behavior or a series of events that move from one situation to the next.

Fictional stories do not talk about “love”, but talk about “the actions of someone who is in love”. ***

Laksana, A.S. (2020). Creative Writing. Tangerang: Banana Publishers.