Writing Prose: the Beginning


There are many decisions that a writer needs to take when they start a project. Studying, researching and of course reading are the main sources for a writer, who must be aware of the different writers, genres and of course readers. There are so many questions to ask before starting to write. Where is my fictional territory? Which kind of reader do I want to please? Fantasy may be about dragons and other things that readers don’t relate to – but it needs certain rules, the introduction of a specific time and space. A certain storytelling. Thriller and crime have usually the sort of impatient reader who doesn’t like long descriptions of static scenes. They don’t read for the beauty of writing, but need to move fast, to find, discover something. Tension and suspance are an essential part of it.

Before starting a project, a writer needs to fulfill the unstable relation to writing by answering as many questions as possible. Think about yourself as a reader. Where do you want to be when you read? Do you concentrate on the shape of the words? Do you re-read a page to the pleasure of it or do you want a voice, do you want to be with the characters? Do you write aspirationally? You need to read the genre you also want to write – if you only read crime or fantasy but want to write big literary works, your true readings will leak through.


Style is very important as well. A writer needs to have a clear visual field. A lot can happen in a reasonable amount of words, or nothing can happen in many pages. Sentences can have a fast rhythm or not: they come one after another, so describing things through writing is not the same as doing it through film, when you can show a lot in the same frame.

What you decide to make of your style, your place, your rhythm and your characters needs to have an aim: to make the reader want to spend time with you. It does not matter if you write epic, fantasy or crime: you need to create a connection with your reader. Readers can become addicted to a writer, and that’s the best a writer can do.


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