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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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5answers
172 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 ...
27
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2answers
2k 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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0answers
46 views

How to make character write about science? [closed]

My character is in an interview where gets asked 'what do you think of science ?' The charcter is very intelligible person who likes to contradict conventional thoughts of people yet deliver a ...
5
votes
9answers
307 views

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

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
362 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, ...
43
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7answers
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 ...
7
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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 ...
2
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3answers
106 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 ...
8
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4answers
822 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 ...
4
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4answers
174 views

Films where the antagonist appears relatively late

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
111 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 ...
36
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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
147 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
207 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 ...
5
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3answers
147 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
147 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 ...
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0answers
43 views

Halting virtual reality advancement [closed]

Imagine a world where a shadow organisation can insert, modify or delete the thoughts and actions of individuals to maintain the status quo in society. Due to one faction of the organisation becoming ...
2
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1answer
97 views

How many times should I mention a character's name when the interactions are among the same sex?

So, most of my main protagonists are female, and the usual him/her doesn't work when dealing with multiple females (or males, for that matter.) So, how would I make dialogue flow without mentioning ...
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0answers
68 views

Which are the fastest-paying literary magazines?

How fast a magazine pays is a function of several factors like their response time for stories they accept, their payment policy (eg., paying on acceptance as opposed to paying after publication), and ...
8
votes
8answers
361 views

How do I draw attention to a girl's chest without making it overly lewd?

So, I have a group of main characters, and the current viewpoint character is going to introduce a... very well-endowed character. How do I write this so that I get the point across that she's that ...
1
vote
3answers
71 views

How to introduce multiple outfits in a short amount of time?

I have seven main characters, each with a different role and outfit. They get their equipment from one shop, and go adventuring soon after. How do I explain each outfit without making it sound like a ...
1
vote
3answers
87 views

How to describe a character without dialogue?

I have a slave who is not sure if she's allowed to speak at the moment, and I want to introduce her owner. How can I do it without bogging it down with an essay on him?
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5answers
115 views

How to introduce a large amount of characters in the first chapter?

So, I have a novel idea where the lead characters (seven in total), all have to be introduced in the first scene in my novel. I've already started with a basic idea, but I wanted to know if anyone ...
12
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8answers
3k views

What to call a main character who changes names?

I'd like to write a story, in the third-person perspective, centering on a character who changes her name several times in the course of the story. She uses her birth name for the first couple of ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Name of the technique where you show a tense scene in the beginning and then transitioning to a peaceful first chapter

What do you call the writing technique that shows an incredibly tense scene at the beginning, and then transitioning to a more peaceful pace in the first chapter? The only novels that I can remember ...
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1answer
64 views

How to describe a character who is sick from trauma? [closed]

I would just like symptoms and/or adjectives about a character when they might suddenly get sick because of a traumatic experience. I just don't know how to describe the character and this is a ...
5
votes
4answers
160 views

How does one discovery-write court intrigue?

Intrigue (any kind, really, but royal courts were particularly known for it) is a series of setups that lead to a pay-off. For example, a handkerchief moved from one room to another, a word whispered, ...
2
votes
3answers
118 views

Split up the section or flow straight through

Is it a good idea to “split” the action/setting to show actions of other characters elsewhere, or make it flow straight through? Example: My protagonist gets kidnapped. There’s a scene where she is ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Class/Course Names in Fiction

sorry if this has already been asked. But how are course or class names written in fiction (both prose and screenplay)? For example, if someone has a second-level algebra course on their schedule, ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Creating fictional names - bands, hotels and companies

There are a nice plethora of "how do I create a name for my fictional country/area/character" but I can't see anything for band names or companies or hotels. Is there a good system to use to avoid ...
20
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6answers
4k views

How to give cartography information in a fantasy setting without being too precise?

I'm writing a fantasy story set in an imaginary world. For the first time, I'm giving geographical information and... I don't really know how to give it, actually. My alpha reader told me it was hard ...
4
votes
4answers
131 views

How should I deal with travel time in fantasy?

I suppose this is more of a question of if its even necessary, but I'll just assume it is. I am currently writing an outline for a fantasy story, and I don't know how to deal with distance. It's ...
8
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7answers
1k views

How to write internally emotional characters?

Over the past couple of days, I've asked questions about writing female characters with agency, and writing female characters as a male writer. Both have sparked some interesting, and for me ...
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4answers
98 views

If a main character is writing the story, can I change who writes the story in the next chapter?

I’m trying to write my first novel and I have come across an issue which I feel like it could change the whole story/flow. Originally it wouldn’t have mattered if I wrote in the third person but I ...
4
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7answers
338 views

How to write female characters as a male writer?

Yesterday I asked a question about writing a female character who has agency. Much to my surprise, it was well-received and generated a lot of great discussion. In reading that discussion, however, ...
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10answers
10k views

How to write female characters with agency?

I'm attempting to write a novel, an historical fiction with a small fantasy component (time travel through a portal). The travelers (main characters) are a young couple from the late 23rd Century who ...
4
votes
1answer
568 views

Realistically obfuscating world truths--what should people know?

One of my favorite parts of The Kingkiller Chronicle is the way that we learn world truths and history. Rothfuss will have different characters explain the same stories or truths to our MC through a ...
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6answers
7k views

How do you normalize a taboo custom in a setting that most readers would not agree with?

This setting' world is populated by witch covens that function as both royal houses and political entities. They are matriarchial, with witches had the head of families who directly control their ...
19
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6answers
4k views

Is head-hopping always bad?

The general consensus nowadays seems to be that being in the head of more than one character is bad. We should be "on the shoulders" or "in the head" of one character, and one character only, if not ...
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3answers
109 views

How to write a character speaking in broken english? [duplicate]

I found a slightly similar question from 2014 on here but a lot of the answers weren't helpful in my case (as they brought up points of the internet and such) so I'm going to try here... In my ...
0
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3answers
118 views

Describing a scene from an animal's point of view [closed]

I am writing a short story which includes a farm animal whose legs were not thoroughly tied escaping the farm. The animal should be anthropomorphic, so that it would have its own emotions and thoughts ...
3
votes
3answers
139 views

When should ideas be scrapped?

I've been working on plots and different characters for a few months now and I haven't really written anything that might be salvageable down the line. I really like the idea, but I feel as though it ...
3
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2answers
77 views

How to adapt a comicstrip to a novel?

Two years ago I pledged to publish my first comic. To do that, I had to learn drawing and learn to make comic strip. I came up with a title for my comic and planned the story in a three-panel comic ...
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2answers
52 views

How do you decide the voice of your narrative?

Any guidelines to consider while deciding the voice of your narrative, i.e whether it should be a first-person account, or should the story be narrated by the voice of an omnipresent storyteller? ...
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0answers
14 views

Is anyone willing to read my book sample and give feedback? [duplicate]

I have currently written two chapters for my first fiction venture, which spans six pages and 3500 words. I really just want to get some feedback to know if i'm going in the right direction and if ...
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1answer
37 views

Suggesting for my book's Blurb

I am working on my upcoming book's blurb. One of my characters is a leader inspired by Hitler. I have mentioned him as "Hitler like leader". But this seems weak in my blurb. What can I write to ...
0
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1answer
47 views

Why an ancient vampire sleeping for centuries under some castle in Europe would come to Brazil? [closed]

A vampire has been sleeping under a castle in Austria for centuries. But now the castle became a tourist attraction. It's really annoying. And the taste of the blood of the people on the region didn't ...
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2answers
72 views

Publishing a book- Age [duplicate]

I wouldn't really consider myself a great writer, but I enjoy it and if my family reads it, they quite like it as well. I've written 2 books before and love doing so. I wouldn't really ask ''A website'...
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4answers
179 views

Will my one sentence prologue work?

I know most readers don't like prologues, so I've tried to make it as simple as possible. I write the following knowing fully well how weird it’ll make me look. — A.B.G. A.B.G. Is the ...
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5answers
2k views

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 person ...