Writing fiction has often been a challenge even for the most imaginative mind. At the end of the day, what you are doing is taking the story out of your head and using various methods to tell it to your readers. That process is made easier with planning, but your style and choice of words need to be considered at that moment if you want your story to be immersive and enjoyable.
I have 5 tips that will make writing such fiction not only easier, but better. Let’s jump into it!
1. First-Person, First-Person and First-Person
Perspective is important. Only beginner writers still think it doesn’t matter if you choose to write in third of first-person. Both perspectives have their benefits and with them in mind, no perspective is better for immersive fiction that first-person. People spend all their lives thinking in the first-person, making the perspective not only comfortable to read but easy to relate to.
It may sound like such a small thing, but the word ‘I’ is enough for a reader to slowly place themselves in the story. Feel the same emotion as the main character when they are rewarded and punished throughout the story. The thrill they feel when they say they dodged, shouted, shot and cried.
In addition to this first point, another important part of writing more immersive fiction is tense. Present tense is recommended for more immersive writing, as past tense softens the blow of more impactful scenes.
2. Create an Unbelievable Believable Story
There is a fine line between creating a believable fiction and unbelievable fiction. You easily turn an interesting, immersive story into a story that no reader can relate to. There are some situations or ideas that are too bizarre for anyone to invest themselves in. Considering that most readers can still be immersed in a world of dragons, fairies and magic or a world filled with alien-like technology, these are some extraordinary limits.
Yet, these are still limits to keep in mind and limits is the right word to use. If we take the bizarre and wonderful realm of Discworld from Terry Pratchett’s writing, you will find that there are almost no limits to what can happen in that world. As such, these worlds can only be enjoyable, rather than immersive.
However, if we take more realistic fantasy worlds like that of Game of Thrones or even Harry Potter, you will notice that there are limits. There are fundamentally many human moments that ground the story, while still maintaining many of its unbelievable elements. If this sounds like a balancing act, that’s because it is. As long you keep the limits of your world in mind, you should have no problem in breaking the immersion.
3. Visual Writing, It’s a Must
Visual writing is essential, at least it is in my mind. While this constitutes a change in writing style, I cannot help but emphasise how useful visual writing is in capturing the reader’s attention and making them feel the right feelings.
Visual writing is a tool used often by scriptwriters to lend a more ‘visual’ idea to a director through writing. The visuals are what sell the story in the movie business, not just the dialogue. How a character is portrayed, how an action is executed. Often, novice visual writers will add this form of writing on top of their own, resulting in a gross amount of verbiage for the reader to sift through.
In essence, focus on the visuals of a scene. Describe it as you see, even compare to something that anyone can relate to. It’s a simple form of writing, which strangely is what makes it more difficult for writers. It’s far easier to write with flowery language, especially if one is inspired, but difficult to simplify these thoughts down to simple, but powerful descriptions.
Actions and appearance, focus on this to help immerse your reader. If your reader can visualise a scene better with your help, then they can be further immersed by it as well.
4. Build-Up to a Climax
Not every story is going to have a fantastical climax that wraps up most of the loose ends in a novel. There are many novels that end in an anticlimax and in many cases, this is for the best. However, having a grander result for one’s actions helps also convey the seriousness of the events of a novel.
For example, if our main character is a criminal, an outlaw on the run committing crime along the way, it would be far better to have them go out with a bang rather than a whimper. Imagine a journey filled with many interesting characters and tense situations that our criminal gets into that their story ends with tripping down the stairs.
It would be just as disappointing if we wrote the story from the police’s perspective. A cop chasing after a criminal only to turn a corner and find them crumpled at the bottom of a staircase? It would make for a pitiful final chapter.
Construct a powerful ending as soon as possible, keep it in mind when writing each chapter. Ensure that each chapter will not only add to the story or characters but add to the impact of that final chapter.
5. Escapism, Keep it in Mind
Your reader wants to be immersed in the world you have written. The reader wants to take a break from the mundane or aggravating part of their lives. The problem that many writers are having with immersive writing is that they make the world too realistic. As such, they include unnecessary and uninteresting details.
There are no great stories centred around taking an allergy pill before going into the garden, or an average job to pay average bills. These parts are all too familiar and as such ruin the feeling of escapism. In the second point, we covered that your story can’t be so bizarre that the reader can’t feel immersed in it. For this final point, you need to ensure that your details and story aren’t so mundane that your reader does not want to be immersed in it.
Luckily, this is a simple problem to rectify. Make sure you don’t use excessive detail to immerse your reader as it will often bore the reader or lose their interest.
Immersive fiction is one of the leading forms of writing for a reason. Readers around the world want to hear stories of all types, from the adrenaline-fuelled adventure to the heart-warming romance. Immersion is what captures their interest through relatability and it’s truly a wonderful feeling to be immersed in an unrealistic world.
Keep these tips in mind and you should have little to no difficulty in keeping a nice balance between believable and unbelievable. In addition to that point, look at fiction writing that immersed you. It can be anything from high-fantasy to thriller. Compare a similar scene from that novel to the one you are writing, find what made that scene so immersive and use it to your advantage.
With that final point said…
Good day, goodnight and happy writing!
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Thank you for reading!
Matthew Dewey, Writer
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