top of page

Why Fiction Writing is the Best Possible Background for a UX Writer

You wrote a novel–

you’ve lived twice in two worlds.


Expert storytelling

Everybody talks about storytelling but few ever wrote a story.

The beat, pace, hook, arc, hint, foreshadowing, flashback, suspense, turning point, climax, disclosure, epiphany, dénouement—what I used to juggle in plot, now become user journey and flows. 


Deep empathy

Writers are born, not made. Born with what?–an overwhelming understanding of people. As a fiction writer, I think, talk, and behave as different characters—

oh, personas.


Flexibility and adaptability

The first step to be a good fiction writer is to be in other people’s shoes. A story is a world, and a world requires all kinds of writing (email, copywriting, obituary, news, and the list goes on). A fiction writer can write anything.


Precise, nearly captious, about detail and nuances

A good writer conveys accurately, a great writer conveys precisely. Word choice, syntax, sentence pattern, punctuation, contraction, annotation–things only creative writers care to perfect will be perceived by many.  "Fragile" or "brittle," “discover” or “explore”–

they do make a difference. 


Killer writing and editing skills

I write fast, iterate infinitely, feed on inspirations and ideas. I’m disciplined in word-count and a ferocious advocate for minimalistic writing. (A writer who can cut 30k words out of her 110k novel can cut a man too : )


"And there is forever.

With the fear of loss and a presage of doom,

happiness has a texture of permanence,

even though it’s no more than the reflection of eternity

in the mirror of desires."

"I’m infuriated with abhorrence for mediocrity and fear of regrets. I couldn’t bear a single aimless day, yet most of my aims at this time are nothing but survival. 

The infamous neighborhood I live next to is called, The Slice. It has the shape of a slice of pizza, specifically the slice under the heating lamp of a gas station food mart like a piece of rubber, raw crust, dead dough, so salty that your tongue turns into a plant undergoing plasmolysis. Every morning, I leave home as soon as the sun comes out and return before sunset. Not because I have strict working hours, but for the sake of safety. People don’t get up early here. Something about sunrise, the start of a new day, deeply offends them. I try to stay away from The Slice all day long so that I’d never belong to that place. I work all day in different places: coffee shops, restaurants, babysitting, tutoring. On the way to work, I insert my business card into mail slots and boxes. 

Still, racing against the twilight, I come home passing by alcoholics and drug addicts crouching by the wall, scratching, gushing pains, curses, and noises they aren’t aware of. Their bellies pouching out, their spines knobby, their bony legs covered with bruised pinholes like two sticks of a drawing compass. In those sunny days, this image appears extra bizarre that the sun appears sick, as if falling over this land is a punishment. 

In summer, when I moved here, the heated stink steams, spreads wide, and attracts more pigeons that are too fat to fly. Pigeons waddle around those creatures, pecking at droppings covered in flies and ants. Those pigeons disturb me. They multiply like plagues, flocking to The Slice like vultures guarding a loaf of dying flesh. 

In winter, the snow covers this rusty co-habitat, from where all those creatures thin out. I never researched their whereabouts, but I've hoped they wouldn't come back with spring. It doesn’t matter to me how our society generates such habitats. At that time, I care about only one thing: success. 

I haul a five-foot spruce all the way up the stairs to the top floor and spend over a hundred dollar on ornaments, ribbons, lights, etc., while struggling to make ends meet month after month. I spray fake snow on the real tree and decorate it with red and gold, a grandiose color match that appears incompatible to my honeycomb studio, but I don’t care. My persistence in decency is how I keep myself from insanity. I name her Lucy. 
Lucy is the first real Christmas tree I ever cohabit with. My mother doesn’t allow real trees. They drop needles and they die, like all living beings that produce troubles. The same reason applies to her no pet policy: they shit, they shed, and they die. 

I want to absorb holiday vibes, so I leave for downtown past the gift shop I’ve been working at since holiday season. The window I arranged exhibits a porcelain tea set, two china dolls dressed in plaid and cable-knitted cardigans, a miniature of a crystal triangle piano whose keys are playable, fresh hydrangeas I just put in this morning, snowflakes dancing in a crystal ball around a beautiful mansion, a couple, two kids, a toddler and a dog, a wooden pony at the bottom on the white furry rug, and a steam train running on its trail. I stand outside, listening to the open heart-shaped music box with a ballerina moving around in All the Pretty Little Horses, then Greensleeves, then Somewhere Over the Rainbow, until it goes back to All the Pretty Little Horses.

Music wafting, silvery blue lights and shop windows light up every empty street like dressing the dead. I keep walking in the fruitless chill that bears no snow until I hear the chorus of a church. Evidence of people doesn’t save me. I stop and turn around, under an attack of déjà vu. Father, my sore eyes glazing over the fuzzy, echoing street that extends all the way to Iowa, this is it, the moment they were afraid of

Christmas Eve ends peacefully. I listen to O Holy Night over and over while holding a beef noodle soup in front of my window, watching my reflection overlapped with the opposite building that blocks my view, yet hope spills over me tenderly as if the snow started falling. It happens to me often—the ability of hope in any circumstances. It’s a worrisome gift. Like Prometheus who stole fire for men and was punished for so, I’ve stolen hope that is too exuberant for men to carry. "


LEONARDO is a young artist's cut-throat odyssey to God and fame through two distinctive lovers and a family agony. The novel delves into the tragedy of having everything life has to offer too early. It discloses that only after one experiences a worldly and selfish love can one truly understands and resurrects in the love of God. 
Sun and Snow


Winter is hateful

Take away the color

gone with all hopes

the trampled slush

sand hardens the chill

Crows                   are the bald tree's leaves

flutter and


No complacence in their song

Are they missing the autumn as I am

Do they feel sorry 

for their blackness

just like I've been tired of permanence                 

in the lust for things that won't last                  

to last

Why the apocalypse waits so long?

cruel for being late

for the days when we were happy

I was a prisoner


is the past where

diamonds blaze like summer


overthrows the sun

Either they cheat in Bible

or Heaven is in chaos

with no lights on

Now you know why angels dressing white

God is stingy after all

you gotta borrow fire from you old warm


He's sweeping the dustless street

glowing like a lightbulb in daytime 

outside my drowned window

blue and intact

I vote down the scheme of suicide

in dreams,                  

but wake up and find

I was dead

bottom of page