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Questions tagged [fiction]

Fiction is a form of prose writing that deals with at least partly artificial or imagined events and characters. This tag should be used for any questions relating to fiction, including fiction formatting, techniques and publishing.

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How should tv broadcast dialogue be formatted in a story?

Supposing a character or characters are watching a show on TV (news maybe) how should that be formatted in the text? I've found some explanations on how to format TV broadcasts in a screenplay (in ...
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3answers
141 views

how can I portray a culture that practices human sacrifice as not being uncivilized?

In our world, we consider human life to be precious and valuable. It is meant to be preserved, and a deliberate act of taking a life is considered deplorable by society. This is considered normal. The ...
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13answers
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How to present an alien culture with different morals, without it coming across as savage?

For a fiction story of mine (probably fantasy, if I had to categorize it), I've set it in a world that is in some ways similar to Earth, and in other ways very dissimilar from Earth. In place of ...
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2answers
134 views

How to write a joint book with each writer writing a character?

I have been looking through various books with a dungeon being the main character. Regardless of the book, however, the character had to gain a physical body in order to forward the plot, which I ...
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6answers
182 views

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 (most ...
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8answers
2k views

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 doc ...
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15answers
15k views

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 thought ...
3
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1answer
78 views

What exactly is a 'series' in indie publishing?

Is it a large seamless novel chopped up into several parts, or is it a collection of independent novels with recurring characters?
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1answer
121 views

Crafting an organic female platonic relationship [closed]

There has been a story in me for quite a while. It is of two girls, set in a feudal/medieval era. They met as children. One is a antisocial bookworm, highly opinionated with a quiet steely composure. ...
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8answers
3k views

The use of footnotes to translate foreign words in a novel

I'm writing a fantasy novel and one of my characters speaks in English, but sometimes utters single words in an ancient dead language, and I don't want to abusively use that language. For example: ...
7
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1answer
56 views

A Question About Addressing The Reader?

I’m a beginner when it comes to writing. I’m attempting to write a novel. It’s in First Person. I was wondering if I can address the reader, as the main character telling the story. I’ll give you ...
7
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2answers
466 views

Approach to pop culture quotes in fiction writing

I am contemplating writing a fictional character [nerd] who speaks in a pop culture references. I appreciate this question somewhat overlaps Referencing modern pop culture in science fiction The ...
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2answers
477 views

Is my book legal? Is my story too similiar to Harry Potter

I have been creating a story in my mind from early childhood. Now, I am very talented in writing, so I decided to give it a try one day. It was awesome! The book I imagine in my head was being written,...
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7answers
4k views

Is it a bad idea to have a character that has an “imaginary friend”?

So in a story I'm working on, I'm adding a side character to travel with the 2 main characters because I realized I didn't have very much planned for actually showing who the main characters are and ...
9
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4answers
802 views

What is a good way to handle lengthy monologues/lectures in a novel?

In my novel, the MC is a woman from London who gets divorced and moves to Wales. Here she meets a Buddhist master with whom she has philosophical conversations about Life, Love, Relationships, etc. ...
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8answers
3k views

Quote at the beginning of a chapter, is it advisable for fiction novels?

I have read a few non-fiction works (mostly scientific) where there is a quote at the beginning of each new chapter. Sometimes the quote related to the chapter along with the title, sometimes it was ...
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6answers
4k views

Should we add a character in a story for realistic effect?

In my novel, the protagonist is divorced and moves from London to another city in Britain. The setting is 2013. The protagonist is depressed and stressed out; in real life, such a person would see a ...
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3answers
108 views

Short sentences vs. long sentences in fiction

I understand that short sentences are a way to build tension. Do long sentences have a defined emotional impact in fiction writing?
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5answers
3k views

I'm afraid that my setups will be overlooked

I have a main character that cannot die. I'm trying to convey this information to the reader, but since my character isn't aware of this, I've decided to leave hints throughout the adventure. This is ...
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7answers
141 views

Should I be myself and write what I really want even though it isn't getting much traction? [closed]

Or should I dumb down my writing and pander to what I think most people like to read? (Note: This isn't necessarily about me. It's a general question for many writers facing such a dilemma.) NB: I ...
7
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6answers
225 views

If one's first book is one genre, will publishers be less likely to accept books of a different genre by the same author?

I currently have two books, both roughly the same length and at the same point in the editing/rewriting process, and while I would like to eventually publish them both, they are from two completely ...
11
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6answers
2k views

Is accurate human nature required for good writing, even in fantasy scenarios, or with fictional species?

I don't know if this is something that is established in the discipline of literature. However, I have found that in any fiction, with all else being equal, the more the characters behave like real ...
0
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1answer
18 views

Do I need Permission for Acknowledgements or Reprinting Articles?

I can not recall the book, but one of Isaac Asimov's novels ends with an article on muon-catalyzed fusion. I remember that because it was so impressive to find out that such a thing was real. I've ...
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8answers
8k views

How to avoid turning dialogue into Q&A session?

I noticed a problem I have in my fictional writing. My dialogues quickly turn into interrogations. Here is an exaggerated example. "How did you do it?" he asked. "..." "Will it kill us ...
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4answers
110 views

Should I change my method of indicating internal monologue (parenthesis) to something more conventional?

I am writing a fantasy novella that ends up using a lot of internal monologues, often mixed with dialogue, descriptions, and other character's monologues. For example, this excerpt from the first ...
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2answers
224 views

Fiction: Living next door to a CEO [closed]

A CEO moves next door to a 3rd year college student who babysits and tutors for a rich family to keep the rent paid in her expensive apartment. It seems strange for a CEO, who probably has a ton of ...
5
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1answer
145 views

Protagonist who is morally compromised and antagonist who is “good”?

My protagonist is Eris and my antagonist is Ezrith. In a post-apocalyptic world, my unreliable narrator Eris has the ability to control and manipulate life and subsequently kill any living thing at ...
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1answer
124 views

How do I prevent my protagonist from ending the world?

My protagonist is an immortal person that’s powerful enough to end all with but a thought. She has amnesia due to overusing her power when she recreated the world. The amnesia part is very important ...
34
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6answers
4k views

How do you make characters relatable if they exist in a completely different moral context?

Usually when I read books in ancient-like settings (settings that are either in real ancient civilizations on Earth, or fantasy settings similar to those), there are relatable characters who employ ...
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10answers
10k views

Would readers feel cheated if the villain is successful in convincing the protagonist to change sides?

So I'm writing a story where the main character is sent to kill the main villain. I have the basic world set out before me, and now I focus on story. I was planning out the main storyline and I hit a ...
5
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2answers
194 views

Running four parallel stories

In my story, I have four important people (1 Protagonist and his friends). All four play a major part in dealing with the main conflict. Initially they do not know each other. They meet after a series ...
2
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1answer
48 views

Is this attribution clear and sufficient?

My characters are well read and some like to recite poetry. My MC is particularly fond of Paradise Lost and is known to quote a few lines here and there. In one scene he is thinking some of the lines ...
2
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2answers
123 views

On Characters' Motivations

I'm currently writing a sort of serious superhero thriller. The main character finds out his father is a kingpin and drug lord. At the beginning of the story the main character, who has been living in ...
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2answers
63 views

genre for serial killer/character transformation

My novel is about women supporting each other through trials and tribulations (character transformation) while at the same we watch a deviant (in parallel) intruding upon their lives. Their ...
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5answers
3k views

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, as ...
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5answers
340 views

Why using the “It Was All Just a Dream” Trope?

There is a particular trope that became quite infamous across many media: the "it was just a dream" revelation, where, usually at the end of a important story arc, everything turns back to the start ...
34
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2answers
3k views

What is meant by “purposeful, habitual, and gratuitous” actions?

In his "Characters" essay, Samuel R. Delany purports there are three types of actions to characters: "purposeful, habitual, and gratuitous." He also defends that, in a novel, if "a character [is] ...
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9answers
347 views

Why do expert fiction writers often give conflicting and contradictory advice to novice writers? [closed]

Lots of writers give writing advice -- but why do they so often contradict each other? For example, some say that "good writing is rewriting", while others (like Dean Wesley Smith) say that rewriting ...
4
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2answers
389 views

How to turn an Alternate Universe into an original story?

So, I have an Alternate Universe (I'll call it an AU from here on out.) of one of my favorite shows, called RWBY (link to wiki: http://rwby.wikia.com/wiki/RWBY_Wiki) It takes the premise of the show, ...
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6answers
8k views

How to avoid mentioning the name of a character?

I am writing a short story which features a character known only as Old Man, but there is a part of the story where someone calls the Old Man by his name. Only once, and I was wondering if there was a ...
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2answers
1k views

How different does a retelling have to be in order to publish it even if the original story is not yet in the public domain?

I wrote a 101 Dalmatians retelling, and as far as I know from the research I have done, 101 Dalmatians is not yet part of the public domain. But my retelling is almost completely different from the ...
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4answers
155 views

When should a supporting character be scrapped?

So I'm wondering if this supporting character, who I use for exposition purposes, can be made more vital in some way. When does a supporting character become necessary for the plot? What criteria do ...
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4answers
848 views

Is writing solely about writing a plot?

I often hear that a writer should not write something that is not tightly linked to the plot. "If you can narrate it without it, drop it from your story" - that's what I see. However, is it really ...
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4answers
240 views

Films where the antagonist appears relatively late [closed]

Usually the antagonist is introduced as early as possible. However, are there films where the antagonist appears rather late? The earlier parts of the film should center on the mystery of this ...
2
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4answers
123 views

Having Trouble Writing An Opening Scene With A Shy Character

I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with the opening scene for a fantasy story I'm writing, about a mousy but passionate girl from a family of entertainers who inherits the entertainer's blood. She ...
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17answers
7k views

How can I avoid a predictable plot?

When writing a novel, authors generally don't want the reader to know how things will end. This is especially true of mystery novels, but obviously applies to any creative story. (A few stories show ...
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3answers
159 views

How much realism do I put into a war simulation story for Young Adults?

I am writing an action/thriller light novel for YA audience. The story involves characters "playing" in a war-simulation game in an extremely realistic and full immersive Virtual Reality. By "full ...
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3answers
223 views

How to resolve a conflict between a girl that left you vs. a girl who abandoned you? [closed]

Ok, so in an upcoming project of mine, I have an MC in a romance with two women. The first girl left him for no apparent reason, and another one told him she was visiting family, and never really came ...
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3answers
165 views

Portraying the Brutality of War

I'm writing what might be described as a gas-lamp fantasy novel set in a realm similar to the Durrani Empire. Part of the main character's backstory is his experience growing up the son of a ...
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4answers
157 views

How young can a “motherly” character be?

So, in my novel, I have a mother-type character that's a little young to be a mom (am planning on having her have a child she's planning on saving). So, I wanted to know your opinions on how far I can ...