Fiction Writer

Turn imaginative ideas into books or short stories.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $109,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Fiction Writers do?

Vampires. Ghosts. Dragons. Time travel. These are just a few of the things you might write about when you’re a Fiction Writer.

That’s because Fiction Writers are limited only by their imaginations. A storyteller, you write fictional stories that are based on fantasy, not fact. In other words: While Nonfiction Writers are interested in educating and informing, you’re interested in entertaining. The former write true stories; you, however, write invented ones.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you specialize in fairytales — although you might. In fact, your stories can be extremely realistic, and might even be reality-based. For instance, if you write historical fiction, you tell make-believe stories about historical people, places and events. And if you write science fiction, you use real scientific principles to weave unreal stories about science and technology, often in futuristic or otherworldly settings.

Regardless of your genre — other examples include horror, romance, crime and mystery — your stories always include embellishments, as your craft is based more on creativity than on reportage, although the best fiction typically includes both.

There are just as many formats as there are genres. You might be a Novelist, for instance, who writes full-length chapter books. Or, you might specialize in short fiction, writing short stories for publication in magazines, journals and anthologies. Regardless, you spend your days at the computer, developing ideas, making outlines, creating characters and writing plots, then submitting and selling your work to Editors and Publishers, who are on the prowl for the next Stephen King, J.K. Rowling or John Grisham.

Should I be a Fiction Writer?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Fiction and Nonfiction Prose Writer, Film Writer, Freelance Writer, Free Lance Writer, Publications Writer

    How to become a Fiction Writer

    Most Fiction Writers have a Certificate or no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Bachelor's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9matdd&chl=no+college+%2848%25%29|certificate+%2810%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2835%25%29|master%27s+%283%25%29|doctorate+%283%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,48,48
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