It is one thing to write non-fiction. It is an entirely different matter to write good fiction. Many successful nonfiction writers have tried and failed to succeed in the competitive arena of fiction.
About a year ago the fiction bug bit me. I began researching what I could find about the writing fiction as opposed to non-fiction. It was daunting. Nearly every author of fiction who wrote about their early experiences said their first novels were trash and have never seen the light of day.
I have no illusions that I will write The Great American Novel. I do want to recover my costs in getting the book to market. That means I have to sell a few copies at a minimum.
Rather than self-publish a series of terrible novels and ruin any potential brand I might eventually be able to build for myself as a fiction author, I followed the advice of one individual and tried my hand at writing fanfiction. It was a far better endeavor than trying to write my first novel from scratch.
By borrowing a universe and characters created by someone else, you can write stories and concentrate on your storytelling and writing skills. You don't have to invent everything yourself.
Haven written a dozen stories and over 500,000 words in the past year, I took the time to sit down and read my stories in chronological order. I cringed as I read the first story, which at the time I had thought was pretty good. The reviews were critical of my writing but not the story I told.
As time passed, my writing got better and the stories were much more readable. The reviewers, many of whom stuck with me, praised my writing when it was better, pointed out errors that needed to be corrected and cheered me along in the process.
Is this approach for everyone who would like to try their hand at writing fiction? Probably not. But it has been a big help for me in shortening the learning curve.
Want to try your hand at this approach? Visit Fanfiction.net.