Simple Solutions to Stress-Free Writing

Stress-free writing

Simple solutions to stress-free writing.

Hello everyone, and welcome!


I haven’t been quite as active with these posts lately as I’ve taken a break and done a little writing myself. But I’m getting back into this where I talk about writing, speaking, marketing, and marriage.

Today I’m again talking about writing. Specifically, some bold solutions for stress free writing.

Lily Needed a Stress-Free Writing Experience

Lily was frustrated. She had been writing on her novel for a month.

Then her friend Alex called and asked her how her writing was going.

Lily expressed her frustration at not making as much progress as she had hoped.

Alex said, “Well, why don’t you take a break?”
Like many of us would, she replied, “I don’t have time to take a break.”
Alex answered, “I don’t mean take a break for a week, maybe just an hour or so. Just take a little break. Clear your mind, relax, and come back and start writing again.”

Lily Needed a Stress-Free Writing Experience
Lily Needed a Stress-Free Writing Experience

Lily was doubtful if that would work, but after they hung up, she took his advice and she went out to a nearby park.

She started walking around and looking at nature and enjoying the sights and sounds.

After that much needed break she went back to her house feeling very rejuvenated, and she started writing. Then she wrote more and more, and it was hours before she finished.

Lily’s story reminds us of the need for solutions to stress-free writing. So here are six simple solutions for stress-free writing.

Writing is A Process

First of all, understand that writing is a process. It’s not just something where the perfect product comes out right away.

When you do this, you will be editing, and you will be perfecting the process.

Some of us are what we call a frustrated perfectionist. This is something that I have to deal with, but I have been able to learn how to do it. In other videos, I’ve talked about how sometimes I will just set a timer and start typing away. The timer forces me to get my thoughts down and move on instead of writing the same sentence over three times.

Just keep going. Later, as I look at what I wrote, I find out that many times that first sentence wasn’t so bad.

Writing is a process.
Writing is a process.

I might find things to shorten and tighten and things to eliminate and reword but perfectionism can keep you from getting anything done and will take a long time.

You need to realize that it is a process, and you will be able to edit after you write.

My favorite quote is “You can’t edit unless you have something to edit.”

Realize that writing is a process that there is improvement with practice. The more you write, the better you get. Then once you produce one book, you will be able to produce another one.

The second book will be easier than the first provided you do quickly enough that you don’t have to learn everything all over again. But you improve with practice.

Start With A Plan

The second tip for stress-free writing is to start with a plan.

Jot down ideas of what you want to write about. Then you can create an outline or you can create a mind map.

If you’re not familiar with a mind map, that’s where you start with a blank sheet of paper and in the very center of it, you write down your main topic or your working title and you draw a circle around it. Then radiating out from that circle. take other ideas that come to mind and place them in little cartoon speech balloons.

A mind map can help with stress-free writing.
A mind map can help with stress-free writing.

So you can write your first point into your balloon, and then you’ll have related ideas that will be subject points.

It’s just the main idea in the center and then you have some of the main ideas related to the main ideas coming out from the center.

Each one of those will be within a circle and then you will have related circles that come off of each of those main ideas. That will be your mind map, and then you can turn that into an outline.

Then when you get ready to write, you can use whichever one you prefer.

Eliminate Distractions

The third tip for stress-free writing is to eliminate distractions.

Get rid of distractions.
Get rid of distractions.

Get in a room by yourself.
Turn off your social media access.
Turn off the ringer to your phone and anything else that might distract you.

Then go ahead with your writing.

Take Breaks

The fourth tip for stress-free writing is to take breaks

I like writing in five-minute to twenty-minute writing segments. Sometimes I can go 50 minutes at a time, but I don’t recommend going much more than that at one time without taking a break.

Be sure to take writing breaks.
Be sure to take writing breaks.

Many people find that writing for 20 or 25 minutes and then taking a five-minute break turns out to be good for them. But be sure to take breaks just like Lily did in our story at the beginning.

Write in Small Chunks

Another helpful tip for stress-free writing is to write in small chunks. Don’t think about the overwhelming totality of your project, just figure out the little parts.

Take it a small amount at a time.
Take it a small amount at a time.

Just think about small chunks and write that.

Also. you do not have to write in order of your outline. You can jump around. That’s one of the great things about composing.

When you are writing, find what interests you at the moment and focus on that part of your project.

That will “prime the pump” for you and then you can go to other sections that are necessary, but maybe not as interesting to you.

But write in small chunks.

Use Software

The sixth tip for six simple solutions for stress-free writing is to use software.

You can use dictation software if you are comfortable with that. That’s one idea for using software.

Using speech to text software can help with stress-free writing.
Using speech to text software can help with stress-free writing.

Another one is to speak your book or do it in a video like the one above. Then you can take the audio and put it into transcription software where it will transcribe many of the words that you spoke. (Speech to text) Of course you will have to clean that up and you will have to edit it to turn spoken speech into written speech but doing that can be very helpful.

In fact, many of the blog posts that you see on my site at Randy’s are first composed orally in videos just like the one in this post. After that, my team and I come together and produce the written blog posts.

Then there is editing software like Grammarly, which will help you with your grammar, your sentence structure and things like that.

There’s another one I am not as familiar with, but I’ve heard of it. It’s called Hemingway editor. You might want to check that out.

At the very least, use the spellcheck, check and grammar check that is on your word processing programs. Most of those word processing programs today do have that capability.

So, there you are: six simple solutions for stress-free writing.

I hope that this has been helpful to you.

Writing tool
Writing tool

If you would like more writing tips like the go to

For the ultimate guide to writing, consider purchasing my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.” It’s available in both e-reader and hard copy formats.

If you’d like to have me speak at your event, fill out the form here and I will be in contact with you.

That’s all for today. Until next time, I’m Randy Carney reminding you, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Writing Fiction 101 – Basic Concepts

A basic introduction to fiction writing.

Hello everyone! Today, I’m talking to you about Writing Fiction 101: Basic Concepts. If you go to college for a particular field, you will have various courses that will come together. Many times you will have undergraduate courses and one or two of those might relate to your field. Then you will have about 30 credit hours of courses that relate to your major. A course with a 101 in its description is usually a foundational course in that particular subject and covers the basic concepts upon which all the other courses will rest. Of course, this is not an actual college course, just a blog discussing basic concepts for writing fiction.

Have Compelling Characters

First of all, you want to come up with compelling characters. In another blog post, I went into this in a little bit more detail, but I will just remind you that your main character would be someone that you would want to spend time with. It is also a good idea to also reveal that character’s weaknesses and things that they might struggle with, and even some of the emotional things that might be involved in their journey. So create some compelling characters.

You should also come up with interesting villains. Sometimes people talk about the villains we love to hate. The villains are often complex characters.

Be sure to make the good guys and bad guys intriguing,
Have captivating characters

Decide on a Plot

Next, you need to decide on a plot. You can do a Google search and find a list of plots, which are the basic stories that are written over and over again. They range anywhere from six to 36. (You might even find more but these are the numbers I found in my searches.) Look those over and pick out one to be the major focus of what you’re going to write about in your fiction story.

Have An Ending Planned Out Before Starting

I recommend having the end or resolution of the story worked out in your head before you start writing. That way you won’t write yourself into a corner of which you cannot get out. That happens sometimes in writing. You’re just writing along and you don’t have a goal in mind as to where you’re going or what the action is building up to or what the climax is going to be, and you get stuck. Get that part figured out. Rough it out a little bit, and then go back to the beginning and work through the other details of your story.

Planning is crucial

Reveal Things Through Dialogue

Another tip is to reveal things through dialogue. Now you could have expositional paragraphs. Sometimes you have to do that in order to save time. But the more that you can reveal through pictorial material, actions, or dialogue between the characters, the better it will be and the more interesting your writing will be.

Overcome Obstacles Along the Way

Now, sometimes you will have a story where the character seems to be going down, down, down, and then you start having the rising action. The last half of your story should be rising toward a more positive direction. But even in that, there is an ebb and flow and ups and downs as the overall story progresses. So have some obstacles that need to be overcome, suchas little failures and victories along the way.

Have Two Stories Going on At the Same Time

You don’t always have to do this, but you often can have two parallel stories going on at the same time. You do not have to add any more characters. But if you will describe their emotions and emotional changes and have an emotional story going on at the same time, your story will be more exciting and interesting.

Have Chapter Goals

You need to outline some goals for each chapter of your story.

Finally, you need to have some chapter goals. It would be good for you to write out a synopsis of your book, which tells what’s going to happen, just a paragraph or so, in each chapter. In my most recent book,(link below) I show you some ways to flesh out those chapter plans in even more detail. Using my system, you would come up with nine to 15 items that you would cover in each chapter and some ways of handling those. That would be a blueprint for your book. figured out in this way.

In Summary

Well, these are some foundational concepts for writing fiction.

  1. Have compelling characters.
  2. Decide on a plot.
  3. Have the or the resolution to the problem firmly in mind before you write.
  4. Reveal things through dialogue.
  5. Overcome obstacles along the way.
  6. Maybeay have two parallel stories: An emotional story and an eventfull story going on at the same time.
  7. Have some chapter goals. For example: How long you would want your chapters to be and the basic idea of what would be in each chapter.

Well, I hope this has been helpful to you. If you would like more tips on writing, go to And also, if you would like to know more about fleshing out those chapters, go check out the book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.

As always, I want you to remember you can write a book!

Book Writing Strategies

Book writing strategies. Are you a “pantser,” an outliner or somewhere in between? One is not better than the other. They’re all equally good. It’s just important that you figure out who you are.


I want to encourage those of you who are writers to find what your style is and what works for you.

Are you an outliner a pantser or somewhere in between?

What is your writing style?
What is your writing style?

Outliner, Pantser, or In-Betweener?

Now an outliner is someone who plans out the project ahead of time and develops an outline.

A pantser is someone who writes from the seat of his or her pants and is able to just start writing and go and have a lot of success doing that.

Maybe you’re somewhere in between.

I remember when I was in high school and grade school, they would ask us to write a paper and they would want us to give them an outline. They were trying to teach us how to be outliners and how to write from an outline.

I was a little bit more of a pantser, or maybe I just didn’t like to plan that much. But sometimes I would write the paper first, and then I would go back and make up the outline from the paper. That’s sort of like how a pantser works, although I don’t consider myself that much in these days.

Now, I have also learned the value of planning your project before you write it. Nowadays, I am more inclined to do at least some type of outline first before I write.

Book Writing Strategies: Be an Outliner

An outliner can be a very extensive outliner.

They may be a person who would write complete sentences for all the main points, all the sub-points, all the sub-sub-points, and so forth. By the time they had that done, they would have a lot of words already.

Sample outline
Sample outline

They know what direction their book is going to go and how it would end. Once that was done, all they would have to do is just go in and fill it out.

Some outlines may not be as detailed.

Some may have complete sentences for the 3-7 main points and then just have phrases or words for the sub-points and then just words for the sub-sub-points.

Or maybe just words for the main points and single words for the sub-points and so forth.

It’s whatever works for them, but they still have a pretty detailed plan before they start.

Book Writing Strategies: Be a Pantser

 Do you prefer to write by the seat of your pants?
Do you prefer to write by the seat of your pants?

Now a pantser would have an idea of where he’s going and just take off writing and keep writing toward the end in view. If it’s someone who is really good at it, that’s all they need to do. Ups and downs and twists and turns that the writing project would take in between just come naturally to them.

A true pantser has the natural ability to go up and down and use literary devices as they work.

Book Writing Strategies: Be an In-Betweener

Then there is the person who is somewhere in between.

In the area of writing fiction, Randy Ingermanson. has developed a method that’s called the snowflake method. That method is in between the two.

I consider myself to be sort of in between, although now I lean more toward a plan than I used to.

The in-betweener uses both methods.
The in-betweener uses both methods.

Let me give you some ideas if you’re an in-betweener. If you are a fiction writer, you might have a story that goes something like this: There is a character, (describe that character) who had a problem (describe the problem). Then you could have maybe three major disasters that happen.

In the first part of the story, you come to a major disaster. Maybe your character overcomes it, maybe not, but it leads to another one. Build that as you continue working on trying to solve the problem. So then the second major disaster comes about halfway through, and another major disaster about three-fourths of the way through. Then you have the resolution, the climax, the ending, and then you tie up the loose ends.

So if you’re a fiction writer, and you want to have the in-between of the outline and being a pantser you might think of the three major disasters and know how the resolution is going to come about.

If you are a nonfiction writer, instead of having major disasters, you will have either steps to a solution to a problem or different ways of solving a problem.

So you would want to have at least an idea of what the problem is and have some sentences or key words that would remind you of what you know to be the solution or the steps to the solution of that problem.

That would be an example of an in-between method for nonfiction writing.

More Tips and Information

There’s also a type of blueprint that you can do with 12 to 15 ideas. Take those ideas and turn them into questions, and have bullet points related to the questions.

Although that’s closer to an outline idea, it still allows your creativity to flow as you go through doing that.

Useful tool!
Useful tool!

I hope this has been helpful to you. If you’d like more tips like these, I would urge you to go to You’ll find many more posts like these; several of them include videos.

You could also subscribe, subscribe to my YouTube channel, or Rumble channel to see all my writing videos.

For the best tips, get my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.” In it, you’ll get three different methods are being able to write a book, even if you’ve never done so before.

Pretty soon I’m going to be releasing a free Writers Roadmap to Success. When you go to the website, look for that. It’s coming soon.

I hope you have a great day. Until next time, this is Randy Carney reminding you that YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Writing Your First Book – 8 Tips to Get Started

Tips for writing your first book

In this post, I’m going to talk about writing your first book: eight ideas to get started


Writing your first book: eight ideas to get started.

All right, ideas to get you started.

Will Your First Book Be Fiction or Nonfiction?

Will your first book be fiction or nonfiction?
Your first decision for your first book

First of all, figure out what kind of book you want to write. Do you want it to be fiction? Or do you want it to be nonfiction?


Secondly, figure out how long you want your book to be. When I say how long you want it to be, I mean, what is the length of the book is it that you want to write? You can look at books in your genre and see how long they are.

Newer books are shorter than they have been in the past. Since you’re writing for the first time, that may be good news for you. It keeps you from being intimidated by the number of words that you need to write.

As a general rule of thumb, it should be somewhere between 100-200 pages.

Now is the time to figure out how many chapters the book will be, as well. An easy way to do that is to use a number anywhere between 6 and 10 and divide that by the total number of pages in the book. That will give you the approximate number of chapters your book will be. For example: divide a 100-page book by 6 (pages). That would tell you that you need 16 or 17 chapters in that case. Further, If you divide a 200 page book by 8 (pages), you will come up with 25 chapters.

If It’s Nonfiction

If your book is nonfiction, figure out a problem and figure out eight steps to the solution.

Now, these are not hard and fast ideas, but general guidelines. So figure out eight steps to the solution.

It’s like you’re on one side of a stream and you’re trying to get to the other side. You have stepping stones that will help you to get across to the solution on the other side.

The options are endless!
The options are endless!

If It’s Fiction

If your book is fiction, you still will want to present a problem. Have a main character who has a problem that he or she needs to be solved. In order to get to the solution, they go on a journey. On that journey, they may come across a guide.

Many times the guide will be someone who has successfully completed the same journey or someone who will help your main character to bear the journey. If that’s the case, then the guide will challenge them to action.

If they don’t have a guide then it will be the situation that will challenge them to action.

So you have a character with a problem, and either a guide or a challenge of some kind.

Then you want to place obstacles along the way for your hero or heroine. It looks like they’re going to succeed and then it looks like they’re going to fail and so forth. Add in some ups and downs. They will go through those until they reach the ultimate victory that you had in mind.

A more in-depth blog about writing fiction can be found here.

So that was the fourth idea.

Method of Writing

The fifth idea is to figure out your method for writing.

Now if you are pretty good at writing, just do regular writing. That is where you sit down and you write sentences and paragraphs and just keep going until you have your rough draft done.

There are some other methods, however, that you might want to consider. Some of these are even faster!

What method you use is up to you
What method you use is up to you

You can come up with a list of questions, and you can have someone interview you and record the interview. Then you could have it transcribed.

Another option is to speak your book: you could do a speech about each chapter and then have that transcribed. It’s not all that expensive to do nowadays.

In fact, there’s a program that is called With that program, you can have a certain number of words per month transcribed for free. So you can speak your book and have it transcribed.

Using that method, you’ll have to clean it up because your written speech will be different from your spoken speech. But you can do that.

There’s also dictation software. When you do that, you speak your book but you do have to speak in the punctuation like commas and periods. Sometimes though, you can do a combination of both. I do this sometimes using dictation software. I will also use the return key instead of saying. “New line.”

Any way you choose to write is fine, just figure out what method you’re going to use to write your book.

So now you have figured out what kind of book you want to write. You’ve figured out a problem or problems to be solved, either in fiction or nonfiction. You’ve decided how you’re going to write.

Write Every Day

Now the key is to write every day except maybe Sunday or Saturday and Sunday. Figure out what your workdays are, and write each of those days.

There are two methods of doing this. The first one has time as the constant and the number of words is the variable.

So when time is the constant, you’ll set a timer and you write for a specified period of time, and when the timer goes off, you either put ellipses there or you hurriedly finish up your thought along that line.

Write every day.
Write every day.

Then you go to the next timed section. I have found great success in writing in five-minute segments, sometimes six-minute segments, and sometimes as much as 10-minute segments. Whatever time segment you use, just set a timer and write. I like this method.

The other method is to have the number of words as a constant. That means that time is going to be the variable. So if you have the number of words as a constant, then you know how many words per day you’re going to write. Are you going to write 500 words a day? 750 words a day? 1000 words a day? 2000 words a day? Maybe even 3250 words a day?

Figure that out and write that number of words every day.

Rough Draft

The next idea is to get the rough draft done. You can’t edit something unless you have something to edit.

Now for some people, writing the whole rough draft first just drives them crazy because they are really perfectionists, and they want to have a good product the first time. Well, the way to do that is to write quickly one day, the next day, start off going back over what you wrote the day before, and do the editing there. That will satisfy most people who really like editing as they go along.

After that, then you would have either your timed session or you would have your session where you’re going to complete your number of words.

But at any rate, get the rough draft done.

Edit and Publish

Once you’ve done that, you can get into the deeper edit. You can get in and put in more interest factors or you can get into tweaking it to your delight. Keep going till it turns out how you would have it to be.

So the final step is to edit it to the best of your ability or decide whether you want to hire an editor and have it done that way.

Edit and publish.

If you’re going to Self Publish then, of course, you’re at that step already. But if you are using a traditional publisher, you’re going to have a professional editor going over your book.

Even when you’re self-publishing many times you will want to hire an editor who will go over the book for you.

Summing it up
Summing it up

Here you have eight ideas for writing your first book.
Figure out what kind of book you want to write.
Figure out what length of book you want.
If your book is nonfiction present a problem, and come up with eight steps to the solution. It could be 6,7,9, or 10 but try for eight steps to the solution.
If it is fiction, you need a character who has a problem and meets the guide who challenges him or her to make a change and solve that problem. Include some obstacles along the way and then give your character the final victory.
Figure out your method for writing. Do you just sit down and write with just regular writing? Or is it better for you to maybe speak your book and have it transcribed? Or would it be good for you to learn how to use dictation software? Maybe you can think of another method that you could use to write your book. Then get a rough draft.
Finally, edit and publish.

The best resource for writing a book!
The best resource for writing a book!

Well, I hope these ideas have been helpful for you. For more tips on writing, go to my blog at and look for the “writing” tab. For the best advice and resources, check out my book on Amazon: “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.”

Always remember, you can write a book!

Writing Fiction Step by Step

Today I’m going to be talking about writing fiction step by step. I want to talk about basically five steps that you can take in order to write your fiction books or stories.


The first step has to do with characters, the second one has to do with types of stories, the third one has to do with where you’re going with it, the fourth one has to do with obstacles, and the last one has to do with tying it all together.

Step One – Characters

Step one is determining your characters. Of course, you will have the main character; a hero or heroine. It’s good if you can also display some flaws within that character.

Then you will have a villain or a villainess. It’s good to make that character more complex. Try to show something good about that character.

include a guide to help your main character succeed
include a guide to help your main character succeed.

You may sometimes, not always, have a guide in the story who helps the main character become the hero or learn the techniques of becoming the hero. Think about the story of The Karate Kid. He had a guide who helped him to learn karate. In Star Wars you had Yoda who was a guide to Luke Skywalker. Gandalf in Lord of was a guide along the way. You may not have that but often it is good if you can include it.

So first of all, you will determine your characters.

Step Two – Types of Stories

Secondly, you will determine what types of stories you’re going to be writing. These are stories within the story. I have mentioned them before. If you haven’t watched some of the previous videos or read the blogs, I encourage you to do that.

There is the external story that deals with the circumstances that can be seen. It has to do with the setting where the character is and it has to do with the external problems that can be seen.

But then there is often an internal story where the main character has his or her own struggles. The hero may save the world but he also may save himself. In Christian circles, he would not be saving himself but he would find salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But an internal story that may be going on even without the religious overtones that are just part of life. Internal struggles that the main character would have some victory over as well as a resolution to the external problems.

Then a third is a story within the story, which may not take up a whole lot of space, which will be an overarching concept of that story. That is a philosophical story. An example I would give would be that you have good versus evil. Most of us in the Western world would say that good triumphs over evil. Most of us who have heard the fairy tale stories, like happy endings.

You don’t have to have that third one explicitly stated. It may not even be on your mind. But in many cases, you do have these three types of stories. So you have to develop your characters. You figure out what types of stories you’re going to write and

Step Three – Climax of the Story

The climax is where it all comes together for your main character.
The climax is where it all comes together for your main character.

Next, you need to figure out the climax of the story. This is where you have the resolution of the problem. You might even write out that chapter first, or at least rough it out, although you do not have to do that. But you do have to know where you’re going and sort of how the problem is going to be resolved before you flesh out the words dealing with the climax and the resolution to the problem.

Now you say well, you skipped a step. Well. when you’re writing it, yes. But it’s best to know where you’re going when you start. Some writers don’t do that. They just paint a problem and keep going until finally, they figure out what the resolution is. But it’s much easier to write towards a resolution.

So you have your characters, figure out the types of stories, and you figure out what the climax of the story is going to be.

Step Four – Obstacles

Next, you need to figure out some obstacles along the way. As you’re writing, you may come up with more obstacles than what you had originally planned and that is fine. But you should plan for some obstacles and some little victories for the hero to have along the way. Problems and victories.

So your main character may get this one thing resolved, but then there is a new problem. Then he gets that resolved, but there comes a new problem. Each time, though, there’s a little bit of progress toward the resolution of the story.

Add obstacles to make the story more gripping.
Add obstacles to make the story more gripping.

Or, it may be a continual descent until one great moment of triumph where the hero rises above it all. Either way, you want to have obstacles along the way. Most fiction writing has obstacles, so you want to include some of those.

Step Five – Epilogue

The last thing would be the epilogue. You don’t have to plan this out in advance, and you don’t even have to title it “Epilogue.” But after the resolution of the story or climax, you probably do want to go back and explain some of the things that weren’t clear. and tie the loose ends together.

Including an epilogue can be helpful in tying up the story.
Including an epilogue can be helpful in tying up the story.

So there you have a great story.

Writing Fiction Step by Step

Determine who your characters will be.
Think about what types of stories you will be telling within the main story: What is the external story? What is the internal story? Possibly, what is the philosophical story?
Determine the climax: How is this problem ultimately going to be resolved?
Then you determine some obstacles along the way.
After you have written your story and have come to the resolution that the story you can tie the loose ends together and you have produced a great piece of fiction.

The book!
The book!

Well, I hope this is helpful to you. I would encourage you to go to Amazon and look for “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.” As my friend Tim Parton says, “Go buy it now. Go get it now.” With that book, you will get much more information similar these tips about how to write fiction.

Another way to get more tips like these, is to visit my blog here to read more about writing.

I would also encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel and/or my Rumble channel. There are a lot of videos on both of them. If, in the future for some reason, one might get taken off one of those platforms there will still be on the other platform.

I hope you have a great day. Until next time, I wish you the best and remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Rules for Writing Fiction

I hope you’re having a great day. Let’s talk about rules for writing fiction. I guess you could say these are Randy’s informal rules for writing fiction.

Walking with Randy Video

I have written a longer fiction book, which I have not published yet, but most of my fiction writing involves providing illustrations for sermons and other nonfiction writing. However, I have picked up a lot of tips along the way.

Rules for Writing Fiction
Rules for Writing Fiction

1. There Are No Rules

Rule number one: remember there are no rules. In other words, you can be creative. Have fun as you’re thinking about fiction. You may come up with a new technique that many people in the future will be following. So first of all, there are no rules.

2. To Your Own Self Be True

Rule number two: to your own self be true. This should take a lot of pressure off as you’re getting ready to write fiction. Just have fun as you’re doing it.

Your story can be a reflection of yourself
Your story can be a reflection of yourself

3. Balance Being True to Yourself & Finding Out What Readers Like

Even though there are no hard and fast rules for writing fiction, you want to balance being true to yourself and finding out what readers like. Well, that is if you want to make money from your writing, or if you want to have a wider audience for your fiction writing.

Then balance being true to yourself, but also do market research. Find out what people like, and then do a lot of reading yourself. Find out what you like in fiction writing

4. GO! When You’re on a Roll

Number four: go when you’re on a roll. When you’re writing, there are those days when it’s just coming easily and just so much fun. On days like those, just keep the words flowing. Now, I would encourage you to have a goal to get the story finished. Get it done.

You may be very analytical and a perfectionist, and you may edit every day. Well, that’s fine, but I would encourage you to be sure that you get your story written down.

While you’re on a roll, just go with it. Don’t worry about correcting everything; even if you’re one of those perfectionists. Then at the end of your writing session for the day, you can go back through and do the editing.

When you're on a roll, keep going!
When you’re on a roll, keep going!

Now many of us, or at least some of us, can do well by just going through and getting the entire project done and then going back and doing the editing. But either way, daily editing or editing when you’re all done will work. But when you’re on a roll, go with it! That’s when writing is the most fun: when you’re inspired.

Although if you force yourself to have a daily goal, several weeks later, you may look back and not be able to figure out which days you were on a roll and which days you just did the discipline of getting the words down on paper. That always amazes me.

5. Find a Good Editor

Rule number five in my unofficial rules for writing fiction is to find a good editor or learn the skill yourself. It really depends on how you’re going about doing it. If you’re going to be self-publishing, then you can either find a good editor editor, or you can learn the skill yourself.

It may be that you’re already good in certain areas. For example, you may be good at proofreading or you may be good with punctuation and grammar. If not, then you may need to find someone to help you. So you need to either find a good editor or learn the skill yourself.

Now as far as the flow of the story, and the overall theme of the story, you are the best editor for your own book. You know it inside out. You know the message that you want to be presented.

6. Develop Interesting Characters

Number six: develop interesting characters. How can you make your characters interesting? Well, they’re interesting to you. That’s the first clue. But you can start by developing a certain type of character. To build interesting characters, you will want them to have some flaws, a backstory, some quirks, and an inner struggle. So the sixth rule for writing fiction is to develop interesting characters.

7. Have a Goal

Rule number seven: have a goal. The story is going somewhere. You’re trying to save the world: you’re trying to solve a problem, you’re trying to get somewhere in the story. You want to have a goal.

Write your story with an ultimate goal in mind
Write your story with an ultimate goal in mind

You also will want to have obstacles to that goal. Include the ups and downs and overcoming of obstacles.

Of course, you want to have an ultimate victory, or at least those of us in the Western world want to have an ultimate victory. Like the old fairy tale genre, we want to have happy endings.

As I said earlier, there are no rules. You can do it differently. But these are Randy’s rules for writing fiction.

8. Have an External & Internal Story

The last “rule” is to have an external story and an internal story. The external story involves the circumstances, the settings, and things you can see outwardly taking place in the story.

Then the internal story involves the struggles that are within the main character or some of the other characters. It’s good if you have these elements in your stories.

One More Suggestion

An additional idea is to add a philosophical point to your story. That is if a certain philosophy is important to you. Again, remember, there are no rules for writing fiction. An example of a philosophical story is, “Good overcomes evil.” You may have a philosophy like that that you want to present, even though you’re writing fiction.

Well, those are my eight rules for writing fiction, plus a bonus suggestion.
There are no rules
To your own self be true
Balance, being true to yourself with finding out what readers want
Go! when you’re on a roll,
Find a good editor or learn the skill yourself
Develop interesting characters
Have a goal
Have an external and internal story
BONUS: Add a philosophical point

Helpful tool
Helpful tool

I hope these eight rules for writing fiction will be helpful for you. For more tips like these, go to the top of the blog and click on “writing“. Or, go to Amazon and get my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death”.

Until next time, I’m Randy Carney and I want you to remember YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Tips for Writing Fiction

Tips for writing fiction

Hello everyone. I’ve been away for a while but I’m back! Today I’m going to give you some tips for writing fiction.


In the past, I have talked about the power of a story and the hero’s journey.

Hero’s Journey

The hero’s journey was first developed by a man named Joseph Campbell, and it involved about 12 steps. Down through the ages, many writers have used those techniques and have changed the number of steps in the story of the hero’s journey, making it less than 12 steps.

Donald Miller’s Approach

Donald Miller
Donald Miller

Here, I want to talk about Donald Miller’s story brand. He has utilized the techniques of the story for marketing and businesses and branding them. So he’s combining techniques of fiction and using them as nonfiction marketing for business. but we’re talking about writing fiction again.

He has boiled it down to seven steps. Those seven steps can be found in a single sentence.

Hero's journey by Donald Miller
Donald Miller’s Hero’s Journey

Now I’ll break down each part of the sentence.

Step 1 – Someone

This is a character. Of course, you want characters in your story. The main character is your hero.

Your main character can be anyone!
Your character can be anyone!

Step 2 – Has a Problem

So someone (your main character or hero) has a problem. This problem can be an external problem. That’s something you see, a situation that the person is in, or the circumstances that are around him or her. It could be an internal problem that the hero or the heroine faces. Those are the thoughts that are going inside the individual. He also talks about a philosophical problem. For example, good versus evil, with good triumphing over evil of course.

Step 3 – Meets a Guide

You’ll see a lot of fiction stories where the main character will meet up with someone who’s had the problem before and come through and is able to guide him or her to success.

Step 4 – A Plan

The plan
The plan

So someone who has a problem meets a guide, who gives them a plan. Maybe there’s some training that goes on. Think about the movie The Karate Kid where he’s painting a fence and he’s doing all kinds of things he doesn’t understand. But, later on, that training will help him to solve his problem. So, the guide has a plan and then the hero is challenged to utilize this plan.

Step 5 – Call to Action

This is where you’ll see the ups and downs. In most fiction stories or screenplays, the character is going on the journey towards success but they have a lot of ups and downs that they face.

Step 6 – Avoiding Failure

The call to action in step five helps the hero to avoid failure. There are obstacles in the way but the hero keeps working to conquer those obsticles.

Step 6 – Success

The hero keeps working the plan and overcoming the obsticales in his path and the journey finally ends and success.

You can see how these seven steps here in Donald Miller’s story brand can be used very well in writing your fiction stories.

How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less WIthout Stressing Yourself to Death
How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less

I pray that you would utilize the seven steps to write a good story of your own. If you’d like more tips like these, just find the “writing” tab on the blog here. Beter yet, for a more in-depth discussion on wrting, go to Amazon and get my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.”

Until next time, I’m Randy Carney, and I want to remind you that YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

Writing the Fiction Novel – Four Things to Think About

Today I’m talking about writing a fiction novel. Well, you’d ask “Aren’t most novels fiction?” I guess that is true; however, you do have a genre of historical fiction, which includes elements of nonfiction history. Here, we will discuss “Writing the Fiction Novel — Four Things to Think About.”

Walking with Randy videos can be seen on Facebook, YouTube, and Rumble

I. Think of Your Characters

First of all, think about your characters. You are certainly going to have a main character. Your readers are going to be spending a lot of time with that character, so it should be someone you and your readers want to spend some time with. Also, as I mentioned in the earlier post (read it here), I think you should also give your character at least one flaw; something they struggle with to make it a little more interesting. (I mean, after all, Superman has his kryptonite, does he not?)

Good character development is important for a good fiction story.
Cast of characters

Then you can think about your other characters. They don’t necessarily have to be the kind that you would want to spend a lot of time with. In fact, if you can write a character that kind of makes you mad, that would be all right too. Your character should have personalities in contrast to one another.

II. Think of Your Stories

Next, think of your stories. Many novels have plots and subplots, or a main story and then a secondary story. If you decide to have a main story and a secondary story, you can flip back and forth between those two. At some point, the stories will probably intersect. So think about your main story and your secondary story.

Talking about the stories within the story: In the main story, you actually have two stories going on with that. You have the external story, which are the events that are taking place, Previously, I’ve written about how to start with a character’s real life, then he goes on a downward slope, hits rock bottom, or at least comes to a point of definite decision. It may be a point of no return. Then he starts on an upward slope, seeking his victory. There are obstacles along the way on the upward slope. Then finally there is victory and you tie it all together at the end. That is the outward story of your main story.

But there is also the inward story, and that is the emotional part that a person cannot see. It is where you will tell or show how the character feels as he or she faces those struggles.

Strong stories make for interesting reading.
Stories matter

So you have the external story, internal story and then you may have a main story and a secondary story, or maybe even some more smaller stories. At some point, your main story and your secondary story will intersect.

Even if you don’t have a secondary story, you still have stories within the main story. Because you have the outer story and the inner story, dealing with the events and the struggles the character faces.

III. Think of the Need to Get Something to Edit

Then think of the need to get something down. Think of the need to get the rough draft done. One of the ways to do that is to write quickly. I have just written a book called “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.” When I say “your book”, in this case, I am defining the word, “book” as having a rough draft and your first round of editing done. In my book, I explain some techniques on how to do that.

Basically, write in five to 10-minute segments, and write as quickly as you can. (Have your story planned out where you can do that.) Think of the need of getting the rough draft done. Why? Because you can’t edit something unless you have something to edit.

I’ve talked about three things to think about so far: Think about your characters, think about your stories, and think about the need to get the rough draft done quickly and then we move on to the need to edit.

It's crucial to the process to get SOMETHING written, and then edit your writing.
Rough draft and editing are crucial steps.

IV. Think of the Need to Edit

Now, you need to go through and do your self-edit first. As you’re doing that, I would suggest that, if possible, you find places to insert more humor if you haven’t already. Go through and sprinkle more interest factors throughout. Go through and eliminate unnecessary words. Read and see where it is bogging down. Then maybe even add more cliffhangers to your story. Once you go through and edit yourself, it should be ready for a professional edit. You should have at least two rounds of professional edits.

There you go! You’re ready to have your novel ready to be published.

How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death
My newest book

Earlier, I mentioned my new book “How to Write a Book and 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death”. You get more great writing tips by following the link and getting the book.

I’m happy to say that when the Kindle version of the book came out it hit the bestseller list on the first day of the launch! I encourage you to go check it out.

It has been good to be with you and I want you to remember, “You can write a book.

Creative Writing Fiction: Eight Steps to a Good Story

Hello, everyone. I hope you’ve had a great Thanksgiving. Today I’m talking about creative writing fiction: eight steps to a good story.

Walking with Randy video

Character Traits

The first step to a good story is to give your main character all kinds of good traits. A little trick to spice things up a little bit and make the story more believable or more challenging is to give your main character a flaw. (Even Superman has his kryptonite.) It could be a habit that he has or something he’s trying to overcome or something that frustrates him or her.

Even the strongest characters have their weaknesses.
Even Superman has his kryptonite.

John was in a cave and it was really dark. He could hardly see his hand in front of his face. He fumbled around in his pockets, hoping they would not hear him. He didn’t hear anything. He found a match and he struck it. They didn’t know that he had a match. John knew that match would soon run out but he also knew that there was a branch with some leaves on it. He had seen it when he went into the cave. So he ran over and grabbed the branch and lit the leaves. They flamed up but he was worried about when the leaves were going to die out. But they finally went down and the wood caught on fire. Now he had a torch and moved around trying to find his way out of the cave.

Real Life/Exciting Trouble

You may want to start your story with the character’s regular life. Or, you also may want to start at a very exciting time or low point or a place of really exciting trouble. Then after that, you would come into the main character’s regular life You could possibly do that in a “flashback” sort of way

The Downward Slide

Next, you start on a downward slide. Things start to slow down or things get worse. Things could start heading toward a problem. So you start on the downward slide. There are some obstacles along the way.

Rock Bottom

The "point of no return" is a part of good story telling.
Rock Bottom

Then the next step is that the character comes to rock bottom. It may be what some would call the point of no return. So you start with the character’s everyday life, you have the downward slope and then the character hits rock bottom.

The Turnaround/Hope

Well, then you have the turnaround where there is hope.

John felt a little breeze coming toward him, so he made his way with his torch to a curve. As he stepped around the corner he could see what he thought was a little light in the distance, so he made his way toward that light. Now he had hope, and he was progressing toward that hope. However, not too far in his path, he found where the wall of the cave had fallen down.

So we had an obstacle to overcome. Now, this is the next step. So far, we have the first one which was characters. The second one was everyday life and exciting trouble. The third one was a downward slide. The fourth one was rock bottom. The fifth one was a turnaround and hope.

Upward Climb/Overcoming Obstacles

Now we are on the upward climb, and you keep climbing.

So in the case of John, let’s say he found a few more obstacles, but he overcame all of them and got out of the cave. Then he was on the upward slope. He wasn’t completely rescued yet. his captors may have come back and tried to find him. He didn’t know where he was. But, he found a house nearby and knocked on the door. The reaction of the people inside seemed a little bit suspicious to him. He decided that they were in league with his captors, so he quickly ran away. Soon, he got to another house. There he got a phone and was able to contact a friend who called the police. Then, before he knew it, he heard the sirens coming.


There is victory! The police showed up the bad guys were captured and we have the victory.

Tie Up Loose Ends

This step is towards the end as you want to tie up all the loose ends. If you’re writing a mystery or something like that, you will probably put some distractors out there that will lead people down the wrong path, and they will be surprised when they get to the end. Here’s where you can explain those distractors and tie up any loose ends.

Some great tips for writing fiction.

In Summary

Well, I hope this is helpful to you. Creative writing fiction: eight steps to a good story.
Here they are again:
1. Develop your characters and give that main character flaw or flaws
2. Describe everyday life and the exciting beginning
3. Go down the downward slope
4. Hit rock bottom
5. Turnaround and hope
6. The upward climb
7. More obstacles to be overcome
7. Victory
8. Tie up the loose ends.

I hope this will be helpful to you if you decide to write fiction. Even if you’re writing nonfiction, which is what I’m doing right now, you can still throw in some fiction stories (Like my story about John in the cave) to spice up your nonfiction. I hope you have enjoyed this.

If you would like to know about stress-free writing, click here.

Happy writing!