How To Write Fiction: General Writing Structure

The best way to understand writing structure is to pick up your favorite books and see how it’s done.

Look at how these authors describe something or make their characters talk to each other. Study the way they weave in the theme and communicate complicated ideas.

Learning from excellent authors through their writing is key to understanding how you want to write your story. Monkey see monkey do.

So what are you really looking for?

  • Action
  • Narration
  • Dialogue

These three core concepts are all used to create an interesting pattern that will hold a readers attention.

Your writing style is up to you, but you need to use all three for your story to flow better

Dialogue: Conversation between 2+ people.

Narrative: A spoken or written account of events connecting a story.

Action: What the characters are doing.

Here is an excerpt from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:

Harry raised his fist and knocked three times, a dog started barking frantically inside.

“Hagrid, it’s us!” Harry called through the keyhole.

“Shoulda known!” said a gruff voice. They beamed at one another under the cloak; they could tell that Hagrid’s voice was pleased. 

“Bin home three seconds . . . Out the way, Fang . . . Out the way, yeh dozy dog . . .” The bolt was drawn back, the door creaked open, and Hagrid’s head appeared in the gap. Hermione screamed.

“Merlin’s beard, keep it down!” said Hagrid hastily, staring wildly over their heads. “Under that cloak, are yeh? Well, get in, get in!”

“I’m sorry!” Hermione gasped, as the three of them squeezed past Hagrid into the house and pulled the cloak off themselves so he could see them. “I just — oh, Hagrid !”

“It’s nuthin’, it’s nuthin’!” said Hagrid hastily, shutting the door behind them and hurrying to close all the curtains, but Hermione continued to gaze up at him in horror.

Hagrid’s hair was matted with congealed blood, and his left eye had been reduced to a puffy slit amid a mass of purple-and-black bruises. There were many cuts on his face and hands, some of them still bleeding, and he was moving gingerly, which made Harry suspect broken ribs.

Notice how dialogue, action, and narrative are interwoven. They each help tell the story, help it transition, and give a natural sense of what is happening.

It is important to remember that writing this way takes time and practice.

At first you may struggle to write like this, but if you keep reading and keep writing, you will eventually get the hang of it.

And if you don’t, just know that every author has their own style of writing, and if it works, then it works. There isn’t any one right way to do anything in writing.

Published by authoraidwriting

Helping Writers Write!

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