Writers College Writing Courses

– by Stephanie Laubscher

Web fiction, also known as Web lit, is basically the publication of literature and short stories on the Internet. As opposed to mainstream Web writing, keywords do not play a fundamental role; the focus is on telling an engaging story and interacting with the readers.

Eli James is the creator of novelr.com, a blog about Internet fiction. He claims that Web fiction is a great driving force for writers who would usually be scribbling their ideas in notebooks that no-one ever sees. Web fiction can motivate writers as they can receive direct feedback on their work.

Secondly, Eli highlights the fact that writing Web fiction enables you to find and talk to your readers. Comments and even debates can provide you with invaluable insight into how your readers perceive your story. In addition, other writers commenting on your story can help improve and fine-tune your writing skills, especially if you’re a novice writer.

The principles of fiction writing are the same for online fiction

Most of the basics of fiction writing is applicable to online creative writing as well:

• Make sure you have a fresh new story to tell that hasn’t been heard before.

• Grab your readers’ attention from the start, engaging them so that they want to read  more.

• Your characters should be real and believable, i.e. they must have flaws and not be perfectly good or entirely bad. Flaws are essential to create conflict.

• Including dialogue is imperative; a long narrative might bore the reader. Dialogue can also add depth to the characters.

• Spend time creating your characters, ensuring that the way they act and speak is in character with the age group, gender, educational background etc that they represent. Make sure they stay true to who they are throughout your story.

Web fiction is unique in its medium and the frequency of delivery 

Because of the unique nature of the online medium, Web fiction differs from normal fiction in presentation. Here are some presentation tips to think about:

• Use relatively short sentences, preferably no longer than 17 words.

• Divide text into short paragraphs. Readers can easily digest short segments, more so than long narratives.

• Review your text thoroughly before submitting and remove any unnecessary words. You don’t have the luxury of elaborate descriptions as you do with a novel.

The frequency of updates is another distinguishing factor online fiction writers should keep in mind. Readers don’t have to wait months for the publication of a new book – the chapters are regularly released one by one and are available immediately. This necessitates short, intriguing chapters that ignite the readers’ curiosity and leave them wanting more.

Web fiction indeed opens a world of possibilities for budding fiction writers because of its interactive nature and immediate feedback. It’s well worth exploring.