Work will always be an aspect in everything, including writing fiction. The sooner we all learn how to work and even enjoy it, the better off we’ll be. The greatest things in life come with a high price. Working for something actually increases the value. We see that in our lives and in fiction.
Work in the story
In a character’s arc, there are many moments that require hard work. The plot of a story would be nonexistent without work put in by characters. Work is required throughout the story, but more especially in a few essential parts. Like earning the happily ever after. The level of happiness should match the level of difficulty to reach it.
A character has a number of challenges to overcome. While some may require physical labor, others may require mental and emotional work. A character may need to get a job and work for money, or to build muscle to become the worthy hero. Other forms of work may be to change beliefs or attitudes.
Whatever form of challenges your character faces, learn how to express hard work. Conflict comes in really strong for this. Internal and external conflict highlights difficulties and coming up with a solution will express the work a character puts into the story.
Work in Writing
A great way to learn to write about work, is learning to work. Writing is not easy, and it takes a lot more than simply sitting at a computer or pad of paper. You can find hundreds of quotes that try to express the work that goes into writing. From ‘sitting down and waiting to bleed’, to ‘writers are people for whom writing is difficult’.
With the challenges of putting words on paper, the rewards are there to match. The more work you put in writing, the better your results are. I make a special effort to continue writing and doing it consistently. No matter what the topic is, writing a blog, a short story, a novel. All of these help improve my writing and allow me to continue to work at it, even if I hit some form of “writer’s block”.
Good writing requires work through practice and learning. Conferences are a great way to learn and gain momentum and excitement about writing. The great part, is right now, a lot of conferences are going virtual, so you can attend them from anywhere around the world. Practicing will always be hard, but finding sparks of ideas through prompts may allow you to start a short story, or get practice in a draft of a novel.
Work in the Fictional World
The idea of a starving artist is real, but I think it may actually be reduced by extra work. In almost every creative field, you have to have a day job while creating, because you don’t get paid until the creation is finished. Sometimes the extra work needs to be in the creating, sometimes in the day job.
Everyone has a job and has to work for things that have value. Be sure that your characters have relatable lives and have work to do. Be sure that your world has jobs of every kind, everyone has to work, and nothing comes without work. Food will not just appear, and if it does, you have to work to find it, or it isn’t enough to survive on. Every world needs people who perform different jobs, and then a society who trades work. If anyone lives completely alone, they spend their entire lives working to survive. Look at Robinson Crusoe and Island of the Blue Dolphins.
Get to Work
While work has a negative and unenjoyable connotation, it is essential and actually fascinating. The writers that are successful are the ones who kept writing and kept working. Thousands of creative careers exist with a collection of skills that go with them. Glassblowing is an example of one, I was always fascinated by pottery growing up. Shoveling dirt may not seem enjoyable, but results of good work are always worth it. With a world full of types of work, there has to be something we can all love to do. I love writing and all the work that comes with it, because the results are worth it to me.