A story of fiction has one or more leading characters, who appear on the paper stage, and act according to your directions, and say the things you write into their mouths. You determine if the plot or action of the story is based on real events, purely imaginative events, or a combo of the two.
Puppeteering Your Characters
As one who writes fiction, you wield the power to make your characters do and say what you want them to do and say,
and to create positive and negative situations for them. If you plan your story before you write it, you can create strong characters who react believably to the conditions and environments in which you place them.
You have full literary license to exaggerate, to create impossible conditions and situations, and practically to do what you please with your characters, as long as you produce something interesting to satisfy your readers.
The best stories of fiction are realistic and natural, with characters and scenes drawn from real life, although not necessarily from common, everyday life. Creating extraordinary characters, doing extraordinary things, and saying extraordinary words also works if you provide an extraordinary, and yet possible, environment.
While the mirror of fiction should reflect nature, you do not need to write fiction to reflect only the common things that we see or hear.
Create a Leading Character
Great stories of fiction usually have a leading character or characters—a man and woman, or men and women—who talk and exchange views more intelligently and more brightly than most people we meet. The tame, everyday, average character cannot sustain a leading part in a story, especially a novel. If you choose to introduce ordinary characters in your story, then you should introduce them as “uniquely” ordinary. You can set a story on a “floor” of common ground, but you must make your characters appear to walk faster than most people walk, and scenes—although natural and true to life—somewhat unusual.
Comparatively few fiction stories are without two distinct characters—one a male, the other a female—and the author usually makes them into lovers, and allows them to marry at some stage in the story, but postpones the wedding until later.
Use Portrayals and Betrayals
Few successful works of fiction are without sentiment: portrayals and betrayals of love between men and women. You should reveal the shadows, as well as the sunbeams of love. With the help of one or more vile characters, or villains, you will invariably introduce disaster of some kind.
Even the purest fiction needs a dark setting for the full display of its whiteness. To add contrast to your story, you can introduce characters and situations which allow the hero and heroine to appear in a clear and brilliant light. Adding contrast, or difference, is a necessary component of fiction stories, even of adventure; and love in no way interferes with the excitement of danger, but rather intensifies it.
Inject Action into Your Story
Fiction stories have plenty of action. The characters do not sit still, nor do they leisurely walk, talk, act or react. They do something or say something, except within the pauses of description or explanation. Great characters pass rapidly from one situation to another; meet alternately with good luck and with disaster; a good plot keeps characters on the firing-line, ever ready for action; the power of thought groups characters together in the daylight and transfers them in the dark; and snappy dialogue and constant action make it unnecessary for you to insert long paragraphs of explanation.
Create Your Own Unique Style
Writing fiction is no easy task. It requires you to read a lot of other fiction authors. You should familiarize yourself with literature in general, and intimately acquaint yourself with novels, and the lives, methods, characteristics, and moods of the writer. You will naturally absorb some style of others. To succeed, be yourself, not another writer. You cannot successfully duplicate the success of another writer.