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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.

4
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2answers
77 views

Prologue or chapter 1?

Ok so, I’m kind of new to writing. I wrote a couple of books in my teens but they were just for fun. I’m now starting to write a book I hope to get published. So, my book starts about a year in the ...
25
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8answers
3k views

How much character growth crosses the line into breaking the character

(not a duplicate of Character Development - How much is too much? because that one is more about "overreaction" to smaller events.) TL;DR: How much can a character change without becoming ...
6
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2answers
88 views

Handling Earth-based religions on a foreign planet

For some context to my question: The story I'm currently writing takes place on another planet. It is never mentioned whether Earth exists (or had existed), but the characters are all human, have ...
7
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4answers
146 views

How can my story describe a world and a society without relying on individual characters?

I'm working on a story which is focused on the conditions of its world and its society and I want to tell the story of its people as a collective, the problems they create and have together and the ...
6
votes
3answers
102 views

Is there a place for an epilogue in a standalone novel?

By definition, an epilogue is an additional chapter after the end of a book. Also, it literally means "additional word". I can imagine a need for an epilogue in a series of novels when there is a ...
21
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7answers
5k views

Showing mass murder in a kid's book

Galastel did a spin off question based on one of mine. Mortal danger in mid-grade literature. And hers has spurred a new one for me. This is an issue I've been grappling with for a while and I still ...
3
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2answers
65 views

What if your narrator’s profession is author and she wants to include her writing process/specific chapters as part of her story?

Does it get too confusing if you include the narrator’s short story that she is writing within the body of her main story?
28
votes
13answers
8k views

Writing in a Christian voice

I'm Jewish. My middle-grade fantasy novel is very Jewish. Most of my characters are either Jews or converts/future converts or people with at least one Jewish grandparent. But some are not. My ...
9
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6answers
163 views

Does it really serve a main character to give them one driving want?

I often feel that we fall into a trap of believing that we must provide a driving goal for a main character at the outset. And yet, as I look at compelling fiction, main characters do not have the ...
8
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3answers
136 views

What challenges are there in writing a fantasy cookbook?

I ask mostly out of curiosity. Obviously, a proper cookbook would involve real ingredients and not fantasy creatures. There's such a cookbook for Skyrim and Lord of the Rings. What I am curious about ...
34
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9answers
8k views

My story is written in English, but is set in my home country. What language should I use for the dialogue?

I'm an amateur writer from the Philippines. I am writing a novelette for an international writing contest. My story is written in English, but is set here, in my country, with my POV character being ...
3
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2answers
73 views

Is there a way to break genre expectations successfully?

Premise: I believe that breaking genre expectations can alienate readers. If you go into a book expecting one thing and get another thing out of it - especially if that other thing is the complete ...
11
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6answers
3k views

Are paired adjectives bad style?

I have the habit of using paired adjectives in my writing: The noise from the engine lulled her with its slow and monotonous rythim ... ... the lights on the ceiling filled the room in a soft ...
10
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3answers
950 views

Criticizing long fiction. How is it different from short?

I recently asked about criticism regarding short pieces of fiction. What about longer works like novels? Surely no one can sit down and agonize over individual word choices in a larger work the way ...
6
votes
3answers
133 views

Approaches to criticizing short fiction

What is a reasonable scholarly approach to breaking down short pieces of prose? Is it word choice? Is it structure? Is it themes, and how well they are used? Use of symbolism and its efficacy? Meter, ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Everyone is beautiful

I've noticed a quirk with the narrator voice of one of the two novels I'm working on. This narrator only describes the beautiful aspects of every character's features. You might think the women are ...
8
votes
3answers
338 views

What is a good way to foreshadow that magic is actually very advanced technology?

In a story I'm working on, humanity had sometime in the past reached a very advanced technological level (far higher than ours), but then had a devastating global war, and afterwards technology had ...
3
votes
3answers
112 views

How may a book and movie be one?

How could a movie be paired to coincide with a book and come out at the same time? I would like to know if a book and a movie can be written to complement each other? Many times I hear how a book or ...
7
votes
3answers
117 views

Is time travel science fiction or fantasy?

The line between science fiction and fantasy is often blurred. And that's okay. Genre is often more about marketing than anything else. As a general rule though: SciFi has science and technology ...
17
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5answers
4k views

Protagonist constantly has to have long words explained to her. Will this get tedious?

A while back, I redrafted my NaNoWriMo 2017 story, but it still needs another draft. This question is about one of the concerns I have. The story takes place in a medieval fantasy setting, and the ...
53
votes
22answers
11k views

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. ...
1
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2answers
41 views

How do I add more details in my story? [closed]

I'm writing a story where two lovers meet then I having one of them die at the end. I am curious to see how much imagery I should add.
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Symbolism of number of crows?

After having read a few books with themes of witchcraft in them (ie. Terry Pratchett's Carpe Jugulum), I have come to want to use some of the symbolism found in those books in my own writing. What I ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Mafia name usage in writing

Is it safe to include names of mafia organizations in your fiction or will they read your work and come after you?
6
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4answers
160 views

Are fictional inventions trademarked?

I am wondering if I can include fictional inventions like the power suits in Iron Man. I believe that "power-suits" are used legally by a lot of media; however, what if the power-suit you're ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

How to make clear what a part-humanoid character looks like when they're quite common in their world?

How can I describe an unconventionally part-humanoid character, so the reader knows clearly what they look like, while in a world where these people are normal and it's not unusual at all for ...
22
votes
7answers
4k views

How to tell readers your story is a re-imagination of a popular story?

If for example, I were to rewrite a story heavily inspired by Romeo and Juliet, but placed it in a complete different setting. Do you have to say it? Also, do you mention it in the title that's it's a ...
4
votes
3answers
124 views

Is my work fiction or non-fiction?

I am currently working on a story. I would like to publish this on a literary magazine website, and this website has only three categories - fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. My story is probably ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Semicolon or better prose?

Word's grammar check tells me the second sentence below requires a semicolon rather than a comma “If you don’t accept your physical limitations, you will burn out.” Elena was analytical again, the ...
6
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5answers
493 views

Writing a trilogy and editing [duplicate]

I planned out to write a trilogy and the first draft of book one is now completed. I want to know if I should edit this draft before starting on the second book.
6
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3answers
106 views

How can I start in media res and provide enough back-story to hook people, all in the first chapter?

My story (novella?) starts in media res, in the middle of the conflict that will set the rest of the story in motion. Currently I am "scene-cutting" between that event and some earlier events that ...
1
vote
3answers
80 views

How to make your paragraphs flow from paragraph to paragraph [duplicate]

I am writing a fictional novel. I have just begun and had my daughter read what I had written up until now, her reply was it is very good, but she feels I am jumping all over the place. Any comments ...
11
votes
5answers
215 views

How do I respectfully write black characters in a 1930s Arizona setting?

I'm writing a cartoon script aimed at a children/young-adult audience (similar to the audience of Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, and Over the Garden Wall). It deals with the daughter of a Bonnie-and-...
7
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4answers
766 views

How do you prevent whiplash when transitioning between comedy and tragedy?

I constantly see reviews of people criticizing how it feels like "whiplash" when going from something like a death scene to someone cracking a joke, and I agree, but I don't know why I agree. I just ...
2
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1answer
88 views

Creating a fairytale for adults

A short story fairytale that I've been thinking about writing and plotting out has recently given me pause. It focuses on a witch and a princess who both cross faeries, but it isn't by any means for ...
-1
votes
1answer
74 views

Continuing a short story [closed]

I got an assignment from my teacher that tells me to continue a story that he started. The limit is 1 page. The scenario is that Rose (the main character) is looking for a missing painting, inside ...
39
votes
14answers
11k views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
129 views

Fictional cultures and languages existing in the same area? [closed]

So I've got this fantasy planet X, where humanoid peoples Y and Z are at war on an island nation about the size of England, and they've been at war with each other for hundreds of years. They are two ...
9
votes
4answers
187 views

Tips and tricks to describe more

I'm careful with the phrasing of this question as it is dangerously close to be opinion based. Everyone has their preference regarding the amount of description they expect to find in a work of ...
3
votes
3answers
151 views

Characters jumping out of their stories

I just read an article online and thought "this is great, I should forward the link to Phoebe." Phoebe is one of my characters. I've already had characters tell me how they would speak or dress, ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

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 home ...
4
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2answers
142 views

Why is it that all the bestselling indie authors are based in the US (and, to a much smaller degree, the UK)?

I find this rather strange given that the English-speaking population of the rest of the world combined is much greater than that of the US (even though the US is the largest single market for books ...
5
votes
3answers
79 views

How to show the same emotion multiple times?

I think everyone has heard the "show don't tell" rule. My question is how can I show same emotion multiple times without the description being the same. For example if my character is scared I can ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of setting a story in a made up country, compared to a real one?

I have story ideas that involve civil wars or revolutions happening while a character is travelling. I was wondering what would be the advantages and disadvantages of setting such a story in a made up ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Is my book to similar to Matched by Allie Condie [duplicate]

I'm currently writing a book about a government that designs its citizens' DNA and assigns them each to a job or purpose in life best suited to improve the society as a whole. My main character does ...
4
votes
1answer
78 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
181 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 ...
21
votes
13answers
6k views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
160 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
322 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 ...