Answering Google’s Most Searched Questions in 2021 about Fiction Writing


I did a Answering Google’s Most Searched Questions in 2018 about Fiction Writing. I wondered, after 3 years, has anything changed? This is the screenshot of my desktop after looking up “is fiction writing” in Google in 2021.

is fiction writing haram?

So, the first question actually has not changed. That’s interesting. Whether fiction writing is haram or not is still a hot topic. If you are unfamiliar with “haram”, it is something which is forbidden by Islamic law. If you follow the chain of “is fiction writing haram” you will see there is a lot of debate as to what aspects of it is or isn’t.

It seems that as long as you don’t lie about real-world things, it’s okay. You can talk about dragons. But it might be a little bit debatable on whether you can say a dragon caused a historical war. Perhaps those of the Islamic faith can weigh into this for me.

is fiction writing profitable?

Previously, in 2018, people were asking if writing fiction was hard. Now they’ve gone past that. Now they want to know how much dough they can make out of it 😛

Honestly, I think it has something to do with the pandemic. More and more people are at home now with more time because they don’t have to commute. So, they decided to pursue that hobby and maybe eventually leave their commuting job and become a full-time fiction writer.

Whether or not it’s profitable… Erm, well, (looks around the room nervously) not until you make it. As it is with any creative job. You can make money off of it, yes, but one that will sustain your livelihood?

You gotta pull a Stephen King, a few Terry Pratchetts, and some J. K. Rowlings there. It also depends on how much marketing you do of your book, whether you go the traditional route through a publisher, or go the self-publishing route and do everything on your own, even the genre you choose to write in, a lot of things can affect profitability.

I know I couldn’t answer the question, but I hope you can see why. Can vary from person to person, situation to situation.

is fiction writing dead?

Haha, no 😛 Sorry.

I’m wondering why this is a question here. What makes people think it’s dead?


and this is my theory,

because there has been chatter about the fiction book market being so super saturated that publishers are publishing whatever they can get their hands on.

Everything seems to have been done. Now what?

So, maybe people wonder if the industry is dying?

Speculations. Speculations.

is fiction creative writing?

In the 2018 version of this post, there was a question “Is creative writing fiction?”

This kind of twists my brain XD I have no idea what is being asked. I…well, I suppose this is in comparison with academic writing. I also do academic writing (whether I want to or not) and academic writing is not fiction.

Wait! I got it! I should get the definition of “fiction” here. Hold on a sec…

Oxford Dictionaries says: “Literature in the form of prose that describes imaginary events and people” (Lexico: Fiction).

And let’s get “creating writing” up in here as well.

“Writing, typically fiction or poetry, which displays imagination or invention (often contrasted with academic or journalistic writing)” (Lexico: Creative Writing).

It seems that fiction is a type of creative writing. So, yes, fiction is creative writing.

is science fiction writing?

Well, science fiction is a genre of fiction. And people do write science fiction novels. One I like to talk about (because it’s the only one I really know), is Robert A. Heinlein’s “Tunnel in the Sky”. So, yes, science fiction is writing.

What a weird question. Do people think movies aren’t written first? You guys, let me tell ya a shocking truth.

Screen writing is fiction writing, too, you know.

So, if you see a science fiction movie, it has been written. There is a screenplay. Someone wrote that.

Science fiction has been written. Yes. It is writing. Uh-huh.

is fan fiction writing?

Oh-ho! We got into some controversy over here! 😀 I’ll tell you why it’s a bit controversial in a moment.

To those of you who have been under a rock and don’t know what fan fiction is,

Oxford Dictionaries says: “Fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, film, etc.” (Lexico: Fan Fiction).

Trust Oxford Dictionaries to have a definition for everything.

A popular story about a fan fiction novel goes to “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E. L. James (if you are not the age of eighteen, do not read this erotica novel). This book started out as a fan fiction of “Twilight” by Stephanie Meyer. It was apparently frowned upon on some fan fiction websites because of how R-rated it was but James did not want to give up on it seems. She changed the characters’ names and published the book.

The story of Fifty Shades and the story of Twilight, as far as I know, are quite different. This is where I think, okay, fan fiction can create original stories.

Note that I said CAN. The controversy is that some people think fan fiction is lazy writing and non-original. Yes, it is writing, but in a lot of fan fiction, the world, the characters, and some times even the plot are the same. So, they say, it is not ORIGINAL writing. Fan fiction can tickle copyright issues and claiming the story as your own sounds like a bit of a stretch.

Another thing about fan fiction that might make people roll their eyes at is that a lot of fan fiction can be in the romance area for other fans to gush over. It can exclude readers who are not familiar with the fandom, like a secret club or something.

“Shipping” characters and putting them in romantic relationships happens so often. Popular ships would be straight characters in same-sex relationships. If you ever go to Wattpad and type in BTS or One Direction, you would probably find them dating each other or dating some same-sex original character. So, fan fiction is often seen as this sort of romantic, gushy, cliché teen fic that excludes readers who are not familiar with the fandom.

Others would argue, of course, that fan fiction can be good writing. It can help new writers dip their toes into the world of creative writing by starting out with something familiar. New fiction writers, uncertain of what kind of stories they want to write, can write a fan fiction instead. And who knows? Like Fifty Shades, it can lead to great success. Fifty Shades went on to becoming a movie (R-rated).

Well then, is fan fiction writing?

Yes, it is a kind of writing, but one with controversy. Pick your side or be neutral like me 🙂

So, there you have it. I answered Google’s most asked questions about fiction writing in 2021. What did you think? Did these answer your burning questions about fiction writing? Do you have some unanswered questions? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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