Hey Jessica! What did you learn from journalism that you've taken into fiction writing? And what about fiction writing is totally different from journalism, craft-wise?
Great question, Nina! I think journalism and fiction are, at their heart, both just storytelling. So I think being able to tell a moving, concise story is something that working in journalism taught me. I also learned a lot about structure from being a journalist. Nonfiction articles can't just meander, they have to be structured straightforwardly so that they are understood.
Craft-wise, I find writing fiction is freeing in a way, because I can just make things up! I also get less blocked writing fiction, because I can include whatever details I think are best. With journalism, you usually have limited space, and you do more research than you could ever put in a piece, so you have to pick and choose sometimes what you can feasibly include. That teaches you a certain cold discipline--if something isn't working in the narrative you must discard it, which is also useful in fiction. But in fiction I don't have to be as cold with my favorite details.