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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Mixing indirect and direct speech in fiction

I often find myself wanting to include bits of dialogue in narratives where I am summarizing a detailed conversation. For example, I am inclined to write silly things like this: Bill and Ted talked ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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How to describe someone whose eyes sparkle mischievously?

I've been told that I'm telling instead of showing when I say my characters' eyes sparkle 'mischievously.' How do you describe something like that? I've been looking it up and trying different tricks ...
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What would the effects of splashing a poisoned alcoholic drink into someone’s eyes? [closed]

Fight scene question, if character a splashed a bottleful of poisoned whiskey into character b’s eyes, what damage would B suffer? How incapacitated would they be for a fight?
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4 votes
2 answers
277 views

Should I start my story before or after an event important to the plot and that included the main characters

My story is about a team and the only reason they formed the team is because of an event that they participated in and idk if I should start the story before or after the event
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2 votes
4 answers
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Is dropping characters between book sections a terrible idea?

I've been worrying for a while about 'dropping' characters between the three distinct sections of my novel. I'm happy with the plot, and it makes sense for these characters to not be present as it ...
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2 answers
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How seriously can the wild wild west nature of pro wrestling be taken in a story or fictional world that takes place in a modern setting?

I wanted to take a realistic approach to pro wrestling when it came to world-building. If you are not a fan of pro wrestling, I would tell you that pro wrestling is an insane concept when taken ...
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12 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is there a word for something that is structured like a parody, but utilizes an idealized or improved version of the original context?

(Edit: title frames the question better thanks to @TheRubberDuck) This has been bugging me for a while; enough to join this wonderful community - thanks for any help you can offer! Keep in mind ...
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1 vote
3 answers
924 views

Are there limits for imagination in fictional work?

To what extent is imagination allowed in literary fiction? By this question, I'd like to know if it is possible to imagine a disease that doesn't exist in reality or that would ruin the work and seem ...
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1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Is it bad to have a character who is similar to an existing character if the stories are very different?

I am on the second draft of my book, and only now do I realize my main character has some extreme similarities to Katniss from the Hunger Games. While there are differences, her backstory and ...
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1 vote
1 answer
67 views

How do you describe the sound of a body being dragged through the snow? [closed]

How to describe the sound of a body bring dragged through snow
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0 votes
1 answer
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Music in written form

I have a very hard time describing music in my writing. There's a particular scene where two characters are dancing along to piano music. It's a nice, romantic moment where they're the only people ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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When it comes to superhero stories, does the law of cool play a role in hitmen, assassins, and serial killer characters usually not having powers?

In a lot of superhero stories, characters that usually have killer-based gimmicks, the assassin/hitmen or serial killer type of characters, are often portrayed as not having superpowers. The majority ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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In a superhuman society, would certain threats be underestimated by society?

Batman has an extremely dangerous supervillain gallery. One of those dangerous villains is Victor Zsasz. He is a very dangerous serial killer. Put him in the real world, and Victor Zsasz would be the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
493 views

Working backwards from "Delete the people, keep the math and jazz." (SciFi short story)

I'm a great lover and a modest consumer of the short story genre. But I've precious little experience writing fiction. A line just popped into my head while listening to music and working problem in ...
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6 votes
12 answers
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Is it an odd concept for a superhero with superhuman powers to use technology/gadgets and also rely on tech?

In fiction, it's usually human superheroes without powers like Batman or Green Arrow, that use tech or depend on tech to make up for their lack of superpowers. Not all metahumans are bulletproof, but ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Best Order of Semantic Parts in a Clause for Clarity

It is not that I want all my writing to be so easily understood, but in some writing of mine, perhaps, I want to be as easily understood as possible, such as in certain kinds of fiction, which I plan ...
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1 answer
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How do I frame this question?

I'm writing a script and there's a question I want one character to ask another but for nearly a month, I just can't construct the question even though I know what I want to ask. Basically, I want to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How can I write a young adult character as very excited without sounding like a child?

I want to show my young adult main character, as being very enthusiastic and excitable about her interests, mainly I want her to make a big deal about wanting to wear her mother's ceremonial (but ...
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6 votes
2 answers
108 views

How important is your first sentence?

I am sure I read somewhere that you need a gripping opening sentence to a story. I've been conscious of that claim when reading since and I find most of my favourite authors (King, Asimov, Iain M. ...
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What are some things to consider when it comes to superpowers and criminal organizations coexisting in the same Superhero world?

Fictional works about criminal organizations, like Scarface, God Father, and Sons of Anarchy. These works are where I get my notes from. I would like to see how superpowers would look in the criminal ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Is it odd to overestimate the danger of peak human characters or characters without powers?

What does peak human mean in my world? There are two types of peak humans in my world: physical types and mental types. Physical types are the top tier in skills that involve hand-to-hand combat or ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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When it comes to superhero stories, particularly the X-Men. Would it be too much to focus on other types of superhumans in the setting?

In most kitchen sink or sandbox worlds like Marvel and DC, the superhumans who got their powers from genetics (i.e. the X gene or DC's Meta gene) seem to be the ones that get the most attention from ...
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  • 119
18 votes
6 answers
5k views

Grammarly editing my effects, should I keep them or listen to Grammarly?

I am a non-native English speaker. Grammarly is an online writing assistant. This is a line in my draft I liked the office, and I liked the environment-- the minimalist furniture, the Macs and Xerox ...
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4 votes
5 answers
1k views

Is it ok to name a character after one in a well-known book?

I'm writing a crime/mystery YA novel and found that I accidentally gave my main character first and middle names from Mr. Darcy (the one from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice). My character's name is ...
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1 vote
2 answers
736 views

How do I warn/prepare my beta readers when giving them small excerpts to read?

I recently shared an excerpt from my writing with friends who are acting as casual 'beta alpha-readers' (I use this term extremely loosely), partly as they have more lived experience with, and ...
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14 votes
4 answers
6k views

My character surprised me with their behaviour while writing them, should I keep that behaviour or stick to how I had planned them?

I was doing some exploratory writing without much planning/thinking and one of the characters acted in a way I wasn't expecting! In the narrative the character (normally kind/warm) is under stress, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
118 views

Pronouns for a character that body hops?

I'm currently writing a paranormal thriller novel where people can inhabit other peoples' bodies -- regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexuality. I'm currently in moral turmoil over how to use ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Would an equals sign as secondary language exact quotes be misinterpreted in literary fiction?

I have chosen to show an accented English that is only comprehensible to speakers of the secondary language. The topic of translated sign language has been beat up and I accept that there is no ...
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0 votes
0 answers
53 views

What character type is a slandered hero?

I am painting the hero of my major conflict with undeserved slander for most of the novel, then exposing the source of the slander. In effect, the reader experiences the villain becoming the hero. I ...
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0 votes
1 answer
33 views

How to write a character that lost his passion , his purpose that he had for his goal after he achives it and how to revive his passion?

So that character is like any typical sports anime character who loved to play cricket a lot and fortunately was gifted and lucky enough to become a big name in world of cricket but with time during ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Questions about deciding place settings in a story

I'm currently... in this quite conflicting situation that I have put myself into. I'm gonna try and explain everything. For my story, I initially (what I have in mind right now) want the place ...
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What is the contemporary method of announcing large sections of existing publications?

I am building out an article published in 1896, wrapping a whole novel series around it. I will be switching back and forth between said article and my additions, with Article: Pt. 1, Novel dialogue, ...
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0 votes
2 answers
56 views

Is it more difficult to unify the narrator after the story is written, than to juggle POVs into the narrator's world during writing?

A lot of my procrastination in writing my story is coming from anxiety over making the finished product come from one "head." I have perspectives from a couple first persons, and some 3P ...
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18 votes
3 answers
5k views

Do I need copyright permission to rewrite an old classic?

I'm planning to rewrite some old classics such as "Oliver Twist", "David Copperfield", "Jane Eyre", etc. in simple English. They will be abridged adaptations (with due ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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How can I write a character who inherits armour/clothing that doesn't fit because they are plus-sized, while respecting my audience's own experiences?

Context: I'm writing a short story that serves as some background for a roleplaying character who is a fantasy dwarf called Fin, and as such I'm not expecting it to ever be published in its current ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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How to find out more about how certain government operations work?

I am writing a Michael Crichton-style sci-fi novel, and at one point, a government operation is convened to fix a problem - consider a national emergency (let say a virus/bioweapon got loose from a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
55 views

How do I make and decide whether a story should be a sequel or prequel?

I have lots of inspirations that I can make into stories, but I face this one question a lot: Should it be a prequel or sequel? Here's the thing: I'm an amateur writer, but I do have lots of potential ...
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how do I describe magic in a fictional story? [closed]

In my writing I need to describe a character being enchanted by a spell and pulled towards a house.
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0 votes
3 answers
103 views

Describing people in a book that is first person

I am writing a novel that is in present tense. I'm worried I'm going back and forth from present to past tense when I describe the physical characteristics of people my main character meets. Here are ...
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2 votes
1 answer
141 views

Can revealing the series finale to open the series be effective?

Considering the Marvel film Deadpool II we open up with Deadpool detonating himself on a warehouse full of explosives, and then he tells the story on how we got there. That was one "book," ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
52 views

What would it be like to have your hand chopped off? [duplicate]

A child character in my book was caught stealing food for their parents and the people who caught them chop off their right hand with an axe as a lesson to "keep their dirty hands off". I've ...
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2 votes
3 answers
139 views

How am I supposed to use bad luck as a disadvantage?

So when I was thinking of a character, I tried my best to not make them a Mary Sue. We all know Mary Sue is the number one horrible character. As such I came up with ideas of characters that I can ...
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8 votes
4 answers
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How do you get solid concepts and stop scrapping ideas?

As a young writer, I usually write when I have the time; after I finish my homework or school. I find it difficult to get a solid idea. For starters, the first thing you need for a story is concept or ...
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4 votes
2 answers
161 views

Is having a magic system that involves carving runes into your own flesh glorifying self harm?

So the way magic is performed in my story's world is by carving runes into the flesh, and lately I've become worried that this may be glorifying self harm. In the story, society generally views magic ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Does third person deep POV inside an epistolary novel detract from the suspense?

My novel is an epistolary à la Bram Stoker's Dracula and there are some scenes that simply have no one around to record. Modern epistolary stories, such as the trend of “found footage” movies like ...
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3 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can I change scene without changing chapter?

I'm writing a short story/novelette (unfinished but at about 7k words) and I have 5 chapters already. I intend to add more content during a second or third pass. I've been using chapters to change ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
90 views

Examples of reverse outlining?

Here is a link to an article about reverse outlining: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/should-you-outline-backwards Can anyone share more concrete examples of this technique in fiction ...
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3 votes
2 answers
104 views

What Test of Intelligence can an Emperor use to decide his successor among his three daughter heirs? [closed]

So, I'm writing a piece of fiction where there is a King with three daughters. In order to decide who becomes the next Queen, he sets three trials. Trials of Heart, Mind and Might. I'm done with the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
137 views

How do I motivate myself to write when I have been focusing on worldbuilding first?

I had been planning a story/novel for a short while and started by focusing on worldbuilding. After I got the basics down, created a character (with flaws, motivations and hooks into the world I build ...
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8 votes
9 answers
4k views

Military plans and the rule of failing the execution

A typical approach when presenting an elaborated plan and wanting to show its execution is to make sure that something goes wrong with it. In this way we can have a fairly detailed exposition during ...
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