How to Become an Award-Winning Fiction Writer

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Since the printing press was invented, the art of storytelling has evolved significantly. Anyone can write a book today, and there’s no reason for a new writer like yourself to hesitate. Finding your breakthrough is possible if you know exactly what it takes to craft an award-winning masterpiece. Here’s how:

1. Commit to being an author every day

To be a famous author, you will need to treat your craft as though your life depended on writing. Be serious with the work that you do. You must accept writing as an essential part of you before sitting down to write your first draft. To do that, make it a part of your routine to write a few pages in your journal or turn it into a side hustle. Whenever there’s an opportunity to express what you’re feeling, jump on it. Through constant practice, you will eventually become the kind of author you have always wanted to be.

2. Find inspiration wherever, whenever

The biggest roadblock to writing a novel is coming up with ideas that haven’t been used before. It’s challenging for the most part because no successful author wants to write a generic plot with predictable outcomes. You will have to find inspiration somewhere else.

If you are looking for horror or romance plot ideas to fuel your concept, you can look for prompts online and mix different story points to create an original narrative. Your best source of inspiration would be the real-life situations you face each day. A trip to the zoo or sulking on your couch during a lazy Sunday afternoon could be a starting point for a good story.

3. Develop a writing routine

Oftentimes, you will find yourself staring at a blank Word document figuring out what words your characters should say and how to introduce the setting for the next chapter. You can get around these hurdles by pacing yourself and dividing the work into manageable chunks. A good way to start is to give yourself a daily word quota, say, 500 words. You can then set a weekly schedule for looking over your initial drafts and devote at least an hour to improving what you’ve written so far. With this system, you can increase your productivity as you refine your story along the way.

To make the most of your writing routine, try to figure out the kinds of activities that put you in the zone. Famous authors develop certain habits that allow them to think more clearly and prevent writer’s block from setting in. Perhaps your mind works better after listening to your favorite musical artist. Maybe you become more productive if you take a sip of coffee before writing a page. 

You will also need to consider the time and place where you are most focused. If you’re like Hemingway, you might prefer writing just before the crack of dawn when the world is still silent. When it comes to your workplace, you might prefer writing at a cafe if you think working at home is more distracting. Whichever the case, writing where you’re most comfortable can fuel your creativity. 

4. Find allies in the industry

If you want to successfully pitch your story to publishers, it’s important to have an agent on your side and cultivate positive relationships with publishing companies that specialize in your genre. It’s possible to self-publish your book but manage your expectations over the level of success you may achieve compared to established, award-winning authors. The success of your story hinges on how well your agent represents your story. 

Beyond your professional allies, you also need other people outside the industry to read your drafts. This will help you gauge how well your work will be accepted once it hits the market. More importantly, you will know if you have a potentially successful book if other people appreciate your style of storytelling. Even if you think you have crafted your magnum opus, there’s no guarantee that your story will sell, so it’s important to seek advice from people you know and use their feedback to improve your writing. 

Whether you are aiming for a Nobel Prize or a Pulitzer Prize, writing a good book is a long and arduous journey. Through hard work and a little help from the right people, your success in the world of letters will come sooner.

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