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Q&A

Posts tagged fiction

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Q&A How to organize ideas to start writing a novel?

Beginner here. So, I have tons of ideas for a novel, and in fact I want to write one (even a series), but I'm struggling a lot in actually starting writing the story. I have ideas for characters an...

8 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by KLTKGK‭  ·  last activity 5mo ago by arpitsinha‭

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Q&A Avoiding racist tropes in fantasy

I'm interested in starting a pleasure project: a fantasy story, along the lines of a witch delivering a prophecy to a king about a dangerous and deceitful foe who will overthrow him, and the king e...

9 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by weakdna says reinstate monica‭  ·  last activity 7mo ago by James McLellan‭

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Q&A I feel like I'm plagiarizing my story? [closed]

So my fears are kind of taking over my enjoyment of writing my book because I feel I'm doing something wrong. In my story I stole ideas from other stories. I took the idea of Bioshock's infinite so...

4 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by user27125‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Canina‭

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Q&A Do readers primarily identify with or judge heroes in a novel?

In this article about different categories of heroes, Matt Bird states that sensitive and unlucky heroes are hard to write because audiences have a hard time caring about them. He says: "Americans...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by icanfathom‭  ·  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 How do you avoid the problem of a collaborative work having separate voices?

I've not done collaborative writing before, but I've read several works, and sometimes the text strikes me as having a split personality: some parts were clearly written by one author, while others...

3 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by Craig Sefton‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Q&A What to do with cliched metaphors?

Example from my own writing: "Please take care of yourself," she replied. "Health is the most important thing in life, remember that." "I know, Mom." I had already lost count of the numb...

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

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Q&A Maintaining distance

I am working on a novel inspired by the Shahnameh - a Persian epic poem by Abul-Qâsem Ferdowsi. The Shahnameh (the title means "The Book of Kings") is structured as a series of interconnected tales...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Galastel‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Q&A What genre would a fictional eyewitness account of a real historical event fall under?

I've written a short story about a true historical incident which involves a very famous person in history. The incident is true as are the people involved in it. But the story is a fictional eyewi...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by srini‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A How do I know if my cast is diverse enough or too diverse?

Basically, I am writing a story and I want to know if the characters are diverse enough or too diverse. If I just state the characters' races, sexualities, etc, it might seem forced but I didn't re...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by kaleidoscope‭  ·  last activity 3y 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 3y 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 3y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A Scale: How to handle a personal story set in an epic war?

In both my last writing project and my current one, I have found an unexpected problem. Both tales are focused on a single character and their personal journey, but both tales are also set in the m...

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

Question fiction scale
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Q&A What makes an ending "happy"?

In this answer, Amadeus makes the case for happy endings based on their far greater popularity compared to unhappy endings. This leads me to wonder, what exactly makes an ending "happy"? Before I...

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

Question fiction ending
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Q&A Is the genre 'fantasy' still fantasy without magic?

Is writing fantasy novel with no mages, witches, wizards or anything remotely magical a waste of time? Can it still be classified as fantasy?

9 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Chagat Nahn‭  ·  last activity 3y 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 3y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A Introducing evil characters before the evil deeds take place

Is it possible to introduce evil characters (be identified as evil) before the action (the crimes committed by the characters) takes place?

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Yukang Jiang‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Amadeus‭

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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 3y ago by DPT‭

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Q&A How could the disregard for both plot and dialogue tell the story?

I want people to understand what I write, but I do not want to use conventions such as plot or dialogue to tell a story. Without a plot I have been criticized of not having written a story, but s...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by cælvm‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A Is having elaborate metaphors ever a bad thing?

Is having elaborate metaphors a bad thing in a short story (for the purposes of the story being accepted by a magazine)? How can I know if my metaphors are too elaborate?

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Yukang Jiang‭  ·  last activity 3y 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 3y ago by icanfathom‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by sesquipedalias‭

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Q&A Should a scene break always be put in place when there is change in location, times, and dates?

I have read many books where the character is in one place at a certain time and, without a scene break being utilised, they are all of a sudden in a different place at a different time, but it wo...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by N.Houghton‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by DPT‭

Question fiction scene
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Q&A Is there a formula for creating stakes?

I thrive off of formulas. I don't do well with brainstorming or figuring out how things in my stories should happen, but I can make a lot of progress if there's a one-size-fits-all formula which ca...

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

Question fiction stakes
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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 Can I conceal an antihero's insanity - and should I?

I have an idea for an anti-heroic sci-fi character whose character arc runs from spoilt rich girl, to a refugee in the rubble of human civilisation after an alien invasion, to crewmember and then c...

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

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Q&A Is it a copyright violation to have the character share some characteristics with a known character?

More specifically, consider the following examples: 1) Say my protagonist is a boy who has a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead, wears round glasses, and has dark hair and green eyes. His name is ...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Adyescu‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A What are the top most important key elements for a computer game story?

I am a programmer and in the middle of developing a TBS (turn based strategy) computer video game. Those kind of games have a flow of what is commonly known to gamer as 4X, that is, explore, expand...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Stefanos Zilellis‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Secespitus‭

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Q&A What's "fair use" for borrowing someone else's invented term?

Let's say I'm writing a sci-fi novel. I want to use a word which another writer has coined, which has become well-recognized outside the original book, for the name of an alien species in my story....

4 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by Lauren Ipsum‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Amadeus‭

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Q&A Is anything like the propulsion systems (warp/impulse drives) copyrighted from being use in other sci-fi novels?

I'm currently writing a sci-fi/fantasy novel that mostly takes place on a star/space-ship but I'm stuck on if i'm available to use names of the propulsion drives, such as Warp or even Impulse drive...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by SKKennell‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by celtschk‭

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Q&A I have a name, and no plot [closed]

So I made a name for a character and his name is quite fancy so I have no idea what I should do with him. I named him, ready? Sir Nathaniel Charles III. Without asking for specific suggestions on ...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Cecilia‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Amadeus‭

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Q&A How to use professional jargon when writing fiction?

The military, the medical professions, police, etc. - they have their professional jargon. One noteworthy characteristic of this jargon is the extensive use of abbreviations. Those abbreviations ar...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Galastel‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Q&A Is a sequel allowed to start before the end of the first book?

I'm writing 2 stories simultaneously. The first one spans 17 years. The second picks up where the first left off... but only about 25% of the way in. The sequel seems to work best if I introduce ...

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

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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 How do you show, through your narration, a hard and uncaring world?

As I've already mentioned, I'm working on a sci-fi novel. One of the main feelings that I wanted to represent when I started is the sense of a vast, empty, artificial world, mostly cold and uncar...

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

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Q&A Which techniques maintain reader interest when the POV is a spectator? (Sports story as sidequest?)

In my case, my character is literally a spectator. They're at a sporting event. There will be a major event which ramps up their plotline that occurs at this event, but I'm finding the event itself...

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

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Q&A Can the prologue be the backstory of your main character?

A friend and I are writing a story based on our characters. We brainstormed some ideas and now we know what the basic idea of our story is going to be. But I'm having a little trouble with the pro...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Dorito Hub‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Should I use the terms "people" "person" "man" and "woman" in fantasy setting?

So I'm writing a story and the setting is that there are two worlds: the world of humans and the world of (insert species name here). Now I'm wondering if it's okay to use the terms/words "people,...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by zaizen14‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to avoid drifting into a different genre?

My intention is to write a novel that falls into the "contemporary fiction" genre. Also, maybe, the "family drama" subgenre, if such a thing exists. I have a plot point that puts one of my characte...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by iamtowrite‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question fiction genre
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Q&A Do hard to pronounce names break immersion?

I have a character in my book named Jiolluav (with the correct accent, Zholl-you-of or /ʒōl-'yoo-äv/), and I've written my entire "novel" (it's a work in progress) using this name. When I asked a f...

8 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Anoplexian - Reinstate Monica‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Do authors often base their characters off of themselves?

(I previously asked a related question about projecting myself onto my characters.) I've read just few books where authors use their own life experience as the basis for the characters and plot (m...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by weakdna says reinstate monica‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Could the cast of my book be more unique?

Edit: After reading the question I've asked again and the answers I've gotten, I feel I should say that the descriptions of the characters here are definitely the bare basic. There is a full word d...

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

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Q&A Should fiction mention song names and iPods?

In my novel, the protagonist is depressed. In the story which is in my mind... The autumn leaves were falling as I was sitting alone and Gary Jules' "Mad World" was ringing in my iPod. The s...

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

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Q&A Is no religion a bad thing?

(I believe I've asked about a half dozen questions pertaining to this post-apocalyptic novel, including my "is this story too diverse" question. This sort of pertains to that.) Last night, I thou...

8 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by weakdna says reinstate monica‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Can the prologue's POV be different from the POV of main story?

Let me explain my question: I want to write the prologue of the story with the narrator in first person with the point of view of the protagonist. But the story is already written in a third pers...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by V LeFox‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Where is the line between a tough love character and a pure asshole?

So, I have a character who was going to just be an unlikable character at the start of the novel, but now I want to make her more caring towards certain people, like the innocent character. Thing i...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Kale Slade‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How do I avoid the "chosen hero" feeling?

In many works of genre-fiction (I'm talking mainly about fantasy and sci-fi, but others genres can apply), and across many forms of media, the main characters ends up being special in some ways. M...

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

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Q&A Is it bad writing or bad story telling if first person narrative contains more information than the narrator knows?

Here are a few examples of the narrator knowing more than he should. (A) In a humourous short story about Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, Bertie is talking about a situation involving two strangers and...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Prem‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A When can I kill my character? [closed]

When is it acceptable to kill a character? (and if possible, when is it most appropriate?) BTW, I'm not talking just about a protagonist; I'm talking about any of my characters, whether they're MC...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Adi219‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Needing Help Fleshing Out Male Character So He's Not Just a Stock Character

I have been working on a fantasy novel for the past twelve years, during which time there have been drastic changes. The most drastic being that I decided to cut out the first third of the story, a...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by J.Y. Nona‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Confused about when to treat something as a dialogue tag

Background: I'm helping a friend edit their fiction. I'm frequently left confused on anything related to dialogue tags. “Yes, but I mean no,” Steve stumbles over his words. “Not the come hom...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by mh9‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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