Last Updated on March 31, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD
Do you want to write contemporary fiction that packs a punch? If so, you’re in luck! This 9-step guide will teach you how to write contemporary fiction that is sure to impress your readers. From developing your characters to creating engaging storylines, this guide has everything you need to write contemporary fiction that will captivate your readers from start to finish. Don’t wait any longer – start writing today!
What is contemporary fiction?
The present-day is the setting for most contemporary fiction. This means that while some elements – like technology or social media – might be updated, the core of the story will be set in our current time period. As such, contemporary fiction can sometimes feel more immediate and relatable than other genres, which makes it an excellent choice for stories with strong emotional resonance.
A character is the main character (MC) or lead character. Main characters come in many different varieties and with varying degrees of importance. It’s important to know that the main protagonist usually is the main character, meaning you must be consistent when choosing your main protagonist throughout all chapters of your book – it has to be this person at least once each chapter. Most often, however, they are not always the same person because there need to fit through plot gaps by meeting other people along their journey.
Contemporary is a story that happens in the present day, under usually realistic circumstances. In contemporary stories, the characters are similar to us and they may take decisions related to a certain cause or problem which interests them directly. Contemporary fiction appeals to readers’ innate wants and emotions, treating them as if they were their own tales.
Fiction publishing is an expensive business and there are risks involved. The writer has to make a lot of sacrifices for the future result that he is not willing to take because publishing requires lots of money, time, effort, talent, and skills. Self-publishing can be done by anyone who wants to write or publish their own book but it takes a lot more work than self-publishing through traditional publishing services like amazon kindle publishing or the iBooks Author platform.
Ultimate 8-step guide to writing a contemporary fiction
Writing fiction is not about rules, techniques, and someone else’s ideas. It’s a story that gets told well. It may be difficult to create a book. To help you get structured within the field, we have an ultimate 9-step guide for you to write contemporary fiction.
Step 1: Think of a story idea
Ideas are everywhere.
A story is a traditional form of media, such as drama or narrative prose. Any story that can be expressed orally and fixed in a written work has the qualities of a story; some common types are myths and legends, fairy tales, jokes, fables, ballads (including sea shanties), riddles for children’s entertainment (such stories about Julius Caesar; Robert e Howard’s book “the big whammy”  is an example), romances, short stories, and any other story with a beginning, middle and end. A story’s idea is the seed from which it grows.
Step 2: Get to know your character
The protagonist is the one who takes us on a journey through your book. He or she might be someone that you know well or imaginatively create based on traits in yourself or people around you. It can be helpful to set up some parameters for this role early on so that you’ll have something concrete to work with when conceptualizing him/her – these could include things like occupation, age range. You must train yourself to see the seed of a narrative that may grow into a tale. Always take an electronic or old-school notebook with you wherever you go. At any time, jot or dictate the following pieces of information:
- Anything that will help you expand your story.
Step 3: Create memorable and believable characters
Oddly, even if it takes place on a planet billions of miles away or in the past or future, Fiction must be realistic (even if you know its definition). Readers must feel genuine and recognizable in order for them to purchase your premise. Consider building characters who are made up of people you know if you don’t know where to start. One person’s gender, looks, personality, or voice could be used by you.
Give your squirmy reader someone he can relate to, and make him agree that you were fair to his side. The tales and characters we generate should stay in the memories of readers for years, not just months or years. Make your characters authentic and flawed, then heroic and inspirational! Do it whether you learn about them in advance or not, but just make sure they emerge when you write.
Step 4: Structure your story
Your story’s skeleton is built around this structure. Whether you’re an outliner or a pantser, you’ll need a framework to figure out where you’re going. You should align and sequence your tale using the framework you pick:
- The Conflict
- The Climax
- The Resolution
For a thriller, it might be a matter of life and death. A young lady might be faced with two equally appropriate candidates in a romance novel, and her decision may turn out to be a mistake.
Step 5: Create a setting for your story
Sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds should all be included in the setting of a story. Research your location thoroughly, but keep in mind that such specificity should be used as a seasoning, not the meal. The main dish must be the tale. Just by providing evidence, research lends credibility and believability.
Show, don’t just tell. Instead, describe the story in addition to telling it. Even while they’re focused on the action, dialogue, tension, drama, and conflict in a book or movie, readers’ references to how things look and feel and sound register in their theater of thoughts.
Step 6: Write a rough draft
Take off your perfectionist hat and turn off your internal critic if you haven’t done so already. Give yourself the freedom to write disregarding grammar, cliches, redundancies, and any other rules. Just write it down and tell it. Separate your revision from your writing. By that time, you’ll have plenty of time to practice perfectionism to your heart’s content.
Contemporary fiction is a contemporary fiction. It’s usually told in the present setting and focuses on realistic characters with real-world problems.
Step 7: Hook your readers
Rather than wasting your first two or three pages on backstory, setting, or description, the quickest way to hook your reader right away is to put your character in severe distress as soon as possible. As the story progresses, you may layer all of these in. Begin by cutting the fluff and getting straight to the story. Trigger your reader’s imagination, not dictate what he should see as a writer.
The reader is the one who determines the pace of the story. So, when you write contemporary fiction, know what kind of reader your target market will be and how they expect to read a book. Know the difference between dialogue that moves a scene forward versus those things which only serve as filler or some part in the narrative such as thoughts or descriptions. If your main characters are women then make sure that their stereotypes don’t come across too strong in an attempt to appeal to men just because they’re the main characters.
Think about how readers process information and pictures in their heads and write to evoke that same response from your reader. For example, rather than saying “She bit her lip as she gazed at him,” consider something more provocative such as She licked her lips nervously as she met his gaze. In this sentence, the author has done all of the work for you by indicating what is going on in the girl’s mind without having to state it out loud which gives more screen time for suspense or curiosity to take hold of your reader’s mind.
When creating a contemporary setting, you have the ability to be very creative and innovative with your words. Because this type of story is often set in today’s world where new things are happening all the time, it’s easy for writers to get away with describing something in detail that wouldn’t necessarily be necessary for other genres or periods of history. But because readers expect contemporary fiction set within specific parameters (for example, technology must exist), choose your words carefully so as not to disappoint them by using too much information that could easily be found on Google or Wikipedia.
Step 8: Use cliffhangers and grab the reader’s attention
Cliffhangers aren’t just for the conclusion of chapters. Imagine your whole narrative as a single big setup with multiple smaller story-lines layered in to keep the reader interested. In theory, each scenario might be used as a cliffhanger followed by a payoff. Because your hero confronts his closest buddy about the perceived offense, we keep reading. Every sentence and scene should be a mini cliffhanger or a setup that calls for a resolution. Give your reader reasons to continue reading your article all of the time.
Step 9: Write a satisfying and a resounding ending
Your one and only responsibility are to provide a fantastic reading experience. Readers have put in their effort and money, hoping that you will keep your end of the contract-a tale that totally delights. That doesn’t mean that every ending is a Pinterest-perfect fairy tale with everything tied up in a bow. Questions are answered, situations are resolved, and oddities are solved simply to understand what occurred.
In conclusion, writing contemporary fiction is not rocket science. You simply have to follow the steps above and you’ll be fine!
The number 8 may have caught your attention in the process. This was intentional as it’s an often-quoted rule that a minimum of eight steps should be followed when writing any story.
Some people call this ‘the eight-step process’ while others recommend starting with step 1 before going through all other seven ones one after another (it can work but make sure it doesn’t turn into procrastination).
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