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Q&A

Posts tagged technique

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Q&A How can I catch more errors when I proofread?

I have a problem where I often proof my own writing and I don't catch all the errors while I am reading through it. I often miss entire words out of sentences or find myself repeating words. I can ...

9 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by Joel Rodgers‭  ·  last activity 9mo ago by ArtOfCode‭

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Q&A block-quotation narrative with dialogue

Over on the Judaism site, I summarized a narrative text in a block quotation. Because the narrative is well-known, I expected many people to skip the block quotation; therefore, I did not want it t...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by msh210‭  ·  last activity 12mo ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A How can garden path sentences be used (and misused)?

"A garden path sentence is a grammatically correct sentence that starts in such a way that a reader's most likely interpretation will be incorrect; the reader is lured into a parse that turns out t...

1 answer  ·  posted 12mo ago by Paul A. Clayton‭  ·  last activity 12mo ago by gmcgath‭

Question technique
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Q&A How to control safety nets in discovery writing

Even though discovery writing is about letting the story go without interference, you still don't want the characters to get killed in the first chapter. For this exists safety nets, people, objec...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by Mephistopheles‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Canina‭

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Q&A What can a novel do that film and TV cannot?

I have enjoyed writing prose for years and have a few short stories penned. I would like to build up to a novel but believe I have identified a potential weakness in my storytelling. My style is g...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Smeato‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Canina‭

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Q&A How to make the reader think that the *character's* logic is flawed instead of the author's?

Following up on my previous question, "How to make the villain's motives understandable if his logic is flawed?", how can I let the reader know that the lack of logic is on the character's side, in...

9 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Yuuza‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Q&A Time measures in fantasy worlds

I wonder, what could be a good way to provide time measures in a fantasy universe. I don't mean the calendar which is covered in the question: Out of this world... Giving it time?, but measures lik...

5 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Darek Wędrychowski‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Canina‭

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Q&A Which parts of a character's plan should be revealed beforehand?

Two characters (one is a PoV character) come up with a plan to break a third out of prison. They succeed, with only minor complications. If I describe too many details of their plan beforehand, it ...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Razetime‭

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Q&A At what point does a POV character noting their surroundings go from showing/telling to an infodump?

In a story I'm working on, at one point one of the main characters (also the POV character in this case) arrives at a new location which he has never been in before. This is the first mention of th...

7 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Canina‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A How can I make a character sound condescending?

In one chapter, the PoV character meets up with her sister. Her sister is supposed to be fairly stuck-up and thinks she's a complete lowlife, so she talks down to her the whole time. I have the Po...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Canina‭

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Q&A In a dialogue, how can I hint that the characters aren't telling the whole truth?

In one scene, I have a conversation between three characters: A, B and C. A's son and B are involved in something illegal. C isn't aware, and since A and B aren't entirely sure she can be trusted, ...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Tau‭

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Q&A How do I deliver a historical plot reveal?

This question was asked elsewhere by geneaux and is copied here in accordance with the CC BY-SA 4.0 license there. Right before the climax of my SciFi novel, there's a big reveal about who the b...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A What information about a fictional world is unnecessary?

I was able to gain some insight already thanks to How much detail is too much?, but I still need a more precise answer, because my details aren't bound to a particular scene. I was searching for s...

5 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by E.Milla‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A Rapid change in character

A story I am currently working on contains a scene where a figure with a certain character quite unexpectedly has a change of heart, and I am having difficulty finding a way of smoothing the transi...

7 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by A Lambent Eye‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A How to hint at an antagonist's identity?

A significant antagonist in my trilogy is an omnicidal alien by the name of Loki, whose characterisation borrows from Griffith, Keizer Ghidorah, Randall Flagg, Saruman and Hastur. Throughout the se...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Tiarnaard Cheannasach‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A Averting Always Chaotic Evil

Always Chaotic Evil denotes an entire species in a fictional setting as outright evil - no matter how one treats them, they reward kindness with treachery and violence. Frequent recipients of this ...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by System‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A The concept of "Exotic Culture" and the necessity of a new world

A personal point of view on the necessity of a new culture in fiction "A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away", "Pandora", "Dune", "Middle Earth". All quite different worlds compared to ours, b...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by M.N.Raia‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A Detail vs. filler

How can I minimise the "filler" text that I end up writing when fleshing out a scene with detail? An appropriate level of detail seems to me to be a fundamental requirement for good prose. Whateve...

7 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by sesquipedalias‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by DPT‭

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Q&A Does a point of view need to be introduced when or right after the character is introduced?

In the novel I'm trying to write, I probably will have to introduce a second point of view because my initial main protagonist will be mostly unable to act after some point. Now I'm considering to ...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by celtschk‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A What's the difference between time-tested and formulaic?

Maybe this is all in my head, but it seems that novel writing for a lot of genres has become mainstreamed to the point of formula. We have articles, podcasts, and books telling us how to: Create ...

4 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by icanfathom‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by sesquipedalias‭

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Q&A How do we create our own symbolisms?

In the Bible, the apple is a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, the fall of man and sin. The book itself gave the apple a symbolic meaning. How can you as an author give an object like ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by blackbird‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A How to "Start as close to the end as possible", and why to do so?

Kurt Vonnegut has 8 tips on how to write a good story Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. Give the reader at least one character he or...

6 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by theonlygusti‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Amadeus‭

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Q&A How do big creative writing projects with multiple people work, preferably in the videogame industry?

I was reading some questions and answers on this site about writing for video games, when I stumbled upon this answer that mentions some things I am not familiar with. In an ideal world, there wo...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Secespitus‭  ·  edited 3y ago by Secespitus‭

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Q&A Dangers of being sympathetic to the killer

I wrote a piece of flash fiction as a mental exercise. I happened to listen to Glen Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade,” and happened to watch an episode of “Samurai Jack.” “Moonlight Serenade” is a so...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Dave Harris‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Amadeus‭

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Q&A How can I make a character sound uneducated?

Some of my characters have little to no education, and I'm looking for ways to show that through their dialogue. (They're uneducated, but not necessarily stupid.) Here's what I've tried so far: ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  edited 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭

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Q&A How does someone write a moving Declaration of Independence?

Context: I'm among a growing number of people who are becoming dissatisfied with Stack Exchange. In some ways (not all, but some), Stack Exchange's behaviour is analogous to "curation without rep...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by becky82‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by DPT‭

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Q&A How to deal appropriately with an inappropriate sexual relationship

Part of the character arc for my main character from Can I conceal an antihero's insanity - and should I? is that she is a sociopath, prepared to do things that normal people would not. Part of he...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Monty Wild‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Amadeus‭

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Q&A How can a writer point out the merits of his or her own work?

It is generally taken that if I tell you a joke, then have it explain why it's funny - it's not probably not funny. I continually return to one of my own short pieces. If I submit it I believe it ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Surtsey‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A Non-sense question about plot structures

Suppose then you have an story in your mind. Then, to write down this finite series of events, you have to translate your imagination into the paper. This process isn't trivial, of course and plot ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by M.N.Raia‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A How can I make my 'first draft' good enough to be published?

One of my bugbears about writing is the editing process. I'd much rather get it right first time, rather than chop this and change that afterwards. Other industries would not tolerate the rather c...

5 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by robertcday‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Kevin‭

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Q&A Dumping an entire world for dramatic effect?

About 1/3 of the way through my story the main antagonist "wins" and is able to completely remake the world of the story into his notion of an ideal world. The "new" world shares some elements wit...

6 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Mephistopheles‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A Writing slurred speech

One of my characters gets drunk and accidentally kills another. He has a couple of lines where he needs to sound obnoxiously, falling-down drunk. Is there a good way to accomplish this? What sound...

6 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by aparente001‭

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Q&A How to write a nice frame challenge?

When answering questions on Stack Exchange, some of us challenge the assumptions of the author. These frame challenges can often be quite popular answers. This popularity, however, can simply be a ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by AGirlHasNoName‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Averting Real Women Don’t Wear Dresses

Real Women Don’t Wear Dresses is when writers portray female characters possessing traditional feminine qualities as being less desirable, competent and reliable instead of their tomboy foils. They...

7 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by System‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Ambiguous sentences: How to tell when they need fixing?

A story of mine has the following sentence: Alyssa was possessed by a sudden, fierce urge to snatch the teacup out of her sister's hand and dump the contents into her perfectly arranged hai...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Tiptoe or tiphoof? Adjusting words to better fit fantasy races

English is a language invented by humans, for humans. Which means some words don't fit well when you're writing about characters who aren't human. For example: Suppose I write "The demon tiptoed a...

6 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Changing the meaning of well-established symbols

Can we change the meaning of a well established symbol and use the newly defined symbol in our writing? If so how do we go about doing so? It am not talking about using a symbol in the context of ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by AGirlHasNoName‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A I have a dialogue that I can't write directly. What would be a good alternative?

My attempt at the current writing challenge features a flock of sparrows. Since the actual "dialogue" between two sparrows would sound like a bunch of cheeping, I need another way to show what the...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question technique dialogue
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Q&A How can you write when you're upset?

I mean exactly this. Writing needs focus, to some extent. Even if you may fall into a state were words flow naturally on the keyboard almost without effort, you still have to reach that condition....

4 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Liquid‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Will it push away a reader if I start my book with the frame story?

So, I'm writing a novel where MC believes he is influenced in some way by an entity he calls Common Sense. He suspects (yet that is weaker than belief) that he is Common Sense's hand in this world,...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by rus9384‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to not confuse readers with simultaneous events?

In an omniscient third person, I have 8 (practically unrelated) events going simultaneously in different parts of a large mansion. I want to present these events as they happen, but I feel jumping ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Weckar E.‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to make a repeating plot "slice" not annoying

In my fantasy novels, I don't want to kill anyone off, I just want to get them injured, like badly. I made up numerous believable excuses for this (low-violence, a genuine will to live on the enemi...

6 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Mephistopheles‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Help! My Character is too much for her story!

A while ago, I started writing a short story for a competition. It was supposed to be about four girls in a shared student apartment. The plan was to have everyone conflict with everyone until they...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Galastel‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A What is the balance between 'stating a problem clearly' and Hemingway's literary iceberg?

At a writer's critique group, one piece of feedback to me was: people didn't understand where I was going until the very end. They suggested stating something explicit at the very beginning so the...

3 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by DPT‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A When do I successfully kill off an important secondary main character... in a series of five books?

TL;DR: How much time and development is necessary for a character I intend to kill off and replace with a second character so that both feel important to the narrative? I've looked over this a bit...

4 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by LORI‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Classical Style vs. Modern Innovation

For some time now, the matter of classical versus modern writing has weighed heavily in the discussion of my mind-congress. Here is my thought: given the sheer reverence that is given to classical ...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by th0nk-‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Do you need to have an introduction at the beginning of every book in a series?

A series I am working on deals with an underlying storyline that progresses through each book. I'm afraid of confusing a reader if they decide to start reading a book somewhere in the middle of the...

1 answer  ·  posted 5y ago by K. Bailey‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A What Can Ensure Re-Readability?

I've come across some answers and questions on this site which have gotten me thinking about re-readability. It isn't something that I think about much, but now that I consider it, I think it could...

4 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Thomas Myron‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Creating clues for a mystery subplot

I am working on a story in which the characters must solve a mystery. It's a "team-building exercise" at school, in which they must work together. They are graded on how well they work together and...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by FlyingPiMonster‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question technique mystery
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Q&A Suffixing words with -ness, -ish, -like, and others

Background In a huge amount of the books I read the author has coined a little term to help them describe something, or an onomatopoeia. Like: Kindish (adding -ish to the end of a existing word)...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Daniel Cann‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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