How to Write Fiction on Medium: Your Complete Guide

Posted on Oct 18, 2023

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Written by P.J McNulty

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If you’re a fiction writer exploring new avenues to share your narratives, might just be the platform you’re looking for.

Known for a rich variety of content, Medium also offers unique opportunities for fiction writers, from reaching diverse readerships to potential monetization.

This guide is here to walk you through the practicalities of how to write fiction on Medium, highlighting its distinct advantages and providing you with a roadmap for success.

This guide on how to write fiction on Medium covers:

  1. Why choose Medium for your fiction?
  2. How to get started as a fiction writer on Medium
  3. How to craft fiction that’s perfect for Medium
  4. How to choose your Medium fiction format
  5. How to write better fiction on Medium with storytelling techniques
  6. Successful fiction writer examples on Medium

Let’s start by taking a look at why Medium is worth your time.

Why choose Medium for your fiction?

You might be wondering why you should take the time to write and publish fiction on Medium.

Here are four of the most compelling reasons to do so.

1 – Expand your reach

Medium’s international user base is an untapped treasure for fiction writers.

With readers spanning globally, your stories can travel far and wide, potentially connecting with audiences you wouldn’t reach otherwise.

It’s not just about sharing your work; it’s about discovering communities where your stories resonate.

2 – Engage and connect with readers

Medium isn’t just a publishing platform; it’s a social one.

The ability to receive and respond to comments lets you interact directly with your readers, gaining valuable feedback and understanding what strikes a chord with your audience.

It’s this direct line of communication that helps foster a loyal reader base.

3 – Easy path to publication

No need to grapple with complex website builders or distraction-heavy interfaces.

Medium offers a clean, intuitive experience for writers, letting you focus on your words.

This ease of use means more time writing and less time wrestling with technology.

4 – Earn money from your fiction

The Medium Partner Program is a way to earn money based on how readers engage with your stories.

For fiction writers, this can be a game-changer.

It’s an opportunity to support your passion with tangible earnings, calculated through a transparent, engagement-based system.

How to get started as a fiction writer on Medium

Here’s a step by step guide to help you get started on Medium.

Step 1 – Building your writer profile

First impressions count, and on Medium, your profile is exactly that.

Here’s how to ensure it’s a good one:

1. Use a professional profile picture that clearly shows your face.

2. Craft a bio that succinctly tells readers who you are and the kind of stories you tell.

3. Make it easy for people to connect with you, whether through social media or email.

4. Choose a username that’s memorable and reflects your persona or brand.

5. Highlight your top stories to showcase your writing skills right out the gate.

6. Keep your profile fresh by updating it with new work or achievements.

7. Link out to your other platforms, creating a comprehensive network around your writing.

Step 2 – Navigating curation guidelines

Curation on Medium boosts your story’s visibility.

The platform’s curators look for high-quality, original content when choosing stories to recommend.

Understanding these guidelines is crucial; it influences how you write and format your stories, increasing your chances of reaching more readers.

Step 3 – Learn Medium’s tools and processes

If you’re new to Medium, you might not know the most important elements of the platform to learn.

Here are three things you should focus on when you’re getting started.

1 – How to publish

Publishing on Medium is straightforward: write your story, add images if you want to, insert links, and use tags to help the right readers find your work.

The process is streamlined, with a focus on functionality to save you time and hassle.

2 – How to edit your work after publishing

Everyone makes mistakes, or sometimes, a story evolves.

Medium allows you to edit your stories after publishing, ensuring you can always put your best foot forward.

3 – How to format your fiction for Medium

Online reading demands clean formatting. Medium supports bolding, italics, bullet points, and more, all to enhance the reader’s experience.

Using these tools wisely helps maintain reader interest and makes your stories more enjoyable to consume.

How to craft fiction that’s perfect for Medium

Writing fiction that captivates on Medium requires a blend of traditional storytelling prowess and a knack for digital content nuances.

Here are five tips to help you strike that balance:

1. Begin with a bang

Online readers have countless options.

Capture their attention from the get-go with an intriguing hook, compelling question, or a unique scenario. Your opening lines should pull readers into the narrative, making them eager for more.

2. Embrace serialization

Medium readers often enjoy content in smaller, digestible pieces.

Consider breaking your longer stories into series or chapters. Serialization can help build anticipation and make your content more manageable for online consumption.

3. Interactive storytelling

Use Medium’s unique features like embedded links, videos, or social media posts to enrich your narrative.

These elements can add depth to your setting, offer insights into your characters, or provide background information without overloading the text.

4. Visuals matter

Incorporating relevant images can enhance your story’s appeal.

Choose visuals that complement your narrative tone, setting, or character descriptions. They should add aesthetic value without distracting from your words.

5. Consistent posting

Regular updates keep readers engaged and attract a loyal following.

Establish a realistic writing and publishing schedule that matches your pace and stick to it. Consistency helps build reader anticipation and retention.

How to choose your Medium fiction format

Just like with any type of fiction writing, you’ll need to choose the most suitable format for Medium.

Here is a quick guide to your two main options.


Serials involve breaking a longer narrative into sequential installments.


They can create suspense and anticipation, encouraging readers to return for each new chapter. Serials allow for real-time feedback, which can influence subsequent parts of the story.


They require a consistent publishing schedule and steady narrative pacing to maintain reader interest. Delays or inconsistent posting can result in losing the audience’s engagement.

Short stories

Short stories are self-contained narratives designed to be consumed in one sitting.


They cater to the online audience’s penchant for quick, impactful content. A well-crafted short story can showcase your storytelling ability succinctly, often leading to more shares and reads.


They offer limited space for character development and plot complexity. Without a continual narrative, they may not encourage repeat traffic as effectively as serials.

How to write better fiction on Medium with storytelling techniques

Fiction writing is an art, and like any art form, it thrives on technique.

Here are five literary techniques crucial for captivating fiction on Medium:

1. Show, don’t tell

Dive deep into scenes and emotions, showing action rather than summarily telling it.

Use sensory details to paint pictures in readers’ minds, making them experience the story rather than just read it.

2. Dialogue for character depth

Authentic, purposeful dialogue can reveal character traits, historical context, and relational dynamics without explicit description.

Ensure your characters’ conversations are as revealing as they are natural.

3. Foreshadowing

Plant subtle hints about significant upcoming events or plot twists.

This technique builds tension and anticipation, encouraging readers to keep turning the virtual page.

4. Varied sentence structure

Use a mix of short, punchy sentences and longer, more descriptive ones to control the rhythm of your narrative.

This variation can convey mood, pace, and emotion effectively.

5. Active voice

Employ a strong, active voice to drive the narrative forward and keep readers engaged.

Passive voice can be used intentionally at times for effect, but a story led by active verbs is typically more compelling.

How to grow your audience on Medium

Attracting and maintaining a dedicated readership on Medium amplifies the reach and impact of your stories.

An engaged audience doesn’t just mean more views; it means meaningful interaction, constructive feedback, and a community that’s invested in your narratives.

Strategies for building your readership

An audience doesn’t just happen; it’s built.

Here’s how you can grow your readership on Medium:

1. Engage with comments

Respond to comments on your stories.

This interaction shows readers you value their input, fostering a community around your work.

2. Network with other writers

Follow, clap for, and comment on other writers’ works, especially those who write in your genre.

This camaraderie can lead to mutual readership and shared audiences.

3. Promote your stories on social media

Share your Medium stories on your social media accounts to direct your followers there.

Use relevant hashtags to extend your reach beyond your existing network.

4. Write consistently

The more you write, the more chances you have to be discovered.

Consistency keeps you on readers’ radars and helps you appear more frequently on Medium feeds and recommendations.

5. Utilize tags wisely

Tags increase the discoverability of your stories.

Use relevant, specific tags for each story you publish, making it easier for readers interested in those themes to find your work.

How to engage with Medium Publications

Publications are themed collections of content, akin to digital magazines, curated by Medium users.

Getting your stories featured in relevant publications can significantly boost your visibility and credibility.

Research and submit your stories to publications that align with your genre or writing style, and adhere to their submission guidelines to increase your chances of acceptance.

How to succeed on Medium by going wide

Broadening your presence beyond Medium can also enhance your audience.

Here are five platforms where you can engage with readers and writers alike:

1. X (formerly known as Twitter)

A haven for writers, offering opportunities for real-time engagement with readers, writers, and literary communities.

Share snippets, story links, and engage in writing-related discussions.

2. Reddit

Subreddits like r/writing and r/writingprompts are robust communities.

Share your experiences, seek advice, or post snippets of your Medium stories.

3. Facebook groups

Join groups dedicated to writing and fiction.

They’re platforms for feedback, networking, and sharing your Medium publications with like-minded individuals.

4. Instagram

Use visually-driven storytelling by sharing images related to your stories, quotes from your work, or behind-the-scenes peeks into your writing process.

5. Writing forums

Platforms like Absolute Write Water Cooler or are dedicated spaces for writers to discuss craft, share work, and network.

They’re valuable for getting nuanced feedback and discovering new readers.

How to master the Medium Partner Program

Medium’s Partner Program is uniquely democratized, allowing writers to earn money based on the engagement their stories receive from paying members.

For fiction writers, this means your earnings are directly tied to how captivating your stories are, incentivizing creative excellence.

The more members read and interact with your story, the more you earn, making it crucial to understand your audience and what keeps them engrossed.

Proven methods to increase your Medium earnings

Boosting your income on Medium isn’t just about prolific writing; it’s about smart strategy.

Here are five ways to increase your earnings:

1. Consistent posting

Regularly publishing new stories keeps your content fresh and your profile active, encouraging readers to return for more.

2. Utilizing stats

Medium provides insightful statistics.

Analyze which stories resonate most in terms of engagement and try to understand why, then replicate that success.

3. Engaging readers

Respond to comments, interact with readers, and create a community around your work.

Engaged readers are more likely to keep reading.

4. Clapping strategy

Educate your readers about clapping — Medium’s way of applauding that also affects your earnings.

More claps can signal more engagement, potentially increasing your income.

5. Promotions outside Medium

Use social media or personal blogs to direct traffic to your Medium stories.

More views from Medium subscribers mean more earnings.

How to balance creativity with responding to Medium analytics

While it’s important to use Medium’s analytics to guide your strategy, it’s equally vital not to let numbers dictate your creativity.

Write what you’re passionate about and let your authentic voice shine through.

Readers value originality, and true success comes from striking a balance between what your audience wants to read and what you want to write.

How to avoid common mistakes writers make on Medium

Of course, not everyone succeeds on Medium.

To avoid falling into the category of those that didn’t make it, follow this advice.

Why do fiction stories fail on Medium?

Common reasons fiction pieces fail on Medium include not meeting readers’ expectations, poor story quality, or insufficient engagement strategies.

Understanding your readers, crafting high-quality narratives, and actively engaging with your Medium community are crucial steps to sidestepping these pitfalls.

How to keep up with Medium’s changes

Medium’s platform, policies, and algorithms are not static; they evolve.

Writers must stay attuned to these changes as they can impact story distribution and earnings.

Regularly visit the Medium Blog and engage with other writers on the platform to stay informed and adapt your strategies as necessary.

How to manage expectations and plan ahead on Medium

Success on Medium doesn’t happen overnight.

Here are five ideas for setting realistic expectations:

1. Patience is key

Understand that building a readership takes time. Focus on gradual growth rather than instant success.

2. Set achievable goals

Establish short-term and long-term goals for things like follower count, story engagement, or earnings, and celebrate these milestones no matter how small.

3. Prioritise quality over speed

Don’t rush to publish; quality content is paramount. It’s better to have a portfolio of compelling stories than numerous mediocre ones.

4. Stay informed

Keep abreast of successful writers’ strategies and Medium’s evolving landscape, but understand that what works for one may not work for another.

5. Persistence pays off

Even successful writers face rejection and slow periods.

Keep writing, keep improving, and stay persistent in your passion.

Successful fiction writer examples on Medium

Success on Medium is achievable, as demonstrated by these fiction writers.

Here are five fiction writers who have made a notable impact on Medium:

1. Benjamin Sledge

Benjamin is noted for his heartfelt and often poignant short stories, attracting an enthusiastic audience on Medium by sharing thought-provoking and deeply human content regularly.

2. August Birch

With a focus on crime and thriller genres, August attracts a dedicated audience by consistently providing gripping stories.

3. Elle Griffin

Elle explores the gothic genre and has effectively used serialization for her novel, highlighting Medium’s flexibility for different content formats.

4. Shannon Ashley

Shannon successfully combines personal essays with fiction, creating a distinctive style that attracts a wide readership.

5. Simon Black

Simon specializes in science fiction and fantasy, offering readers an escape to imaginative realms and attracting fans of these genres.

Practical tips from our Medium success stories

Learning from those who’ve achieved success on Medium can provide actionable steps for your journey.

Here’s how you can emulate the strategies of the successful fiction writers:

1. From Benjamin Sledge’s journey, grasp the value of emotional resonance.

Publishing content that touches the heart can create a strong, loyal readership that looks forward to and deeply connects with your stories.

However, remember, emotive writing requires authenticity and vulnerability.

2. Drawing from August Birch, focus on knowing and captivating your audience.

Delve into what excites your readers and tailor your stories to fit those interests, all while injecting your unique style and voice, making your work both fulfilling to you and engaging to those who consume it.

3. Taking a leaf from Elle Griffin’s book, don’t be afraid to experiment with different formats.

Serialization of novels or longer-form fiction can work well on Medium, offering something that readers can look forward to, while also giving you the flexibility to adjust based on feedback.

4. Inspired by Shannon Ashley, prioritize authenticity in your writing.

Readers gravitate toward genuine storytelling.

Share your truths, and don’t shy away from blending styles or genres if that’s what helps your authentic voice shine through.

5. Following in Simon Black’s footsteps, embrace your imaginative side.

Medium readers enjoy being transported to new worlds.

Don’t hesitate to push the boundaries of your creativity, especially in genres like science fiction or fantasy, as it can set you apart and captivate a dedicated fanbase.

Are you ready to write fiction on Medium?

You’ve been equipped with strategies and examples of writers who have thrived on Medium.

Now, it’s your turn.

Utilize the insights and tips provided to establish your own space on Medium. Begin writing, engage with the community, and explore the potential to monetize your work.

Your opportunity starts now; it’s time to write.

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