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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32 views

Firing Squad Escape Scene [on hold]

Is it possible for a highly trained elite soldier to escape a firing squad? Details: The soldier asks for a blindfold and the MP obliges. The MP walks over and the soldier headbutts the MP's crotch. ...
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7answers
1k views

When to ask for constructive criticism?

I have 40,000 words of a novel and I am not sure at what point to ask for constructive criticism.
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2answers
207 views

Using ”as” after dialogue tags

Should a comma be used after a dialogue tag and before the word ”as”. For example: ”I don’t like this at all, ” he said, as the door closed behind them. Or ”I don’t like this at all, ” he said ...
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1answer
152 views

Do modern fiction writers adapt their style to the 21st century reader?

With shortening attention spans and the way we consume content nowadays, is there any shift in the way modern fiction books are written? Do contemporary writers write differently than those living in ...
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3answers
2k views

Is it stylistically sound to use onomatopoeic words?

I'm writing a non-comedic fantasy novel, and I find myself using onomatopoeic words, like "SLAM!" and "TWISH" (for the shooting of arrows). To my knowledge, onomatopoeic words are almost only used in ...
2
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1answer
119 views

Is Masterclass worth it for a middle-grade author?

I already read Larry Brooks' very useful book "Story Engineering", and Mary Kole's Writing Irresistible Kidlit. Now I have finished and revised my first middle-grade (MG) novel a few times. Before ...
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2answers
139 views

Is my Fantasy YA series idea interesting and unique? [closed]

For a while now I’ve had an idea for a YA series brewing in my mind. The series takes place in an urban setting much like our world now, but each human has the ability to wield an Element ...
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3answers
267 views

Any Tips On Writing Extended Recollection In A Novel

So, I've been working for about a month now on my latest novel but have come across some issues in regards to recollections of past events. I'll outline what I mean, because that's a bit general... ...
13
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4answers
730 views

Does it make sense to (partially) create a conlang that you don't intend to actually use in the story?

The story that I'm currently working on is in a very far future. Clearly, people will speak a different language then. Now, I wondered if it can make sense to (partially) create a conlang for the ...
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3answers
90 views

What tense to use for events that are still happening?

The question is similar to this but the answers does not answer me. In my general fiction novel, which is told in first person singular past tense, I encounter moments where I am confused whether to ...
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6answers
231 views

Can I use spoken English at some places over 'technically accurate English' in a general fiction?

I have written my novel as a 'first person singular' and in past tense. There are lot of times in it where I have written it as I will say it while speaking. I have used phrases which have implied ...
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14answers
6k views

How do I present a future free of gender stereotypes without being jarring or overpowering the narrative?

My story takes place in a relatively near future setting where gender stereotypes have become a thing of the past. Unlike a recent question on another site, physiological sex-specific traits are still ...
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3answers
85 views

Alternatives to Second-Person POV Narration

I am someone with no formal writing background, who has come to love writing for the fantasy adventure role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons (fifth edition) during my free time. I am currently ...
7
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4answers
798 views

Will writing actual numbers instead of writing them with letters affect readership?

This question sounds similar to this but I am asking something different. It is said that Stephen Hawking removed all the formulas except one because with each use of a formula the readers of book ...
3
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5answers
791 views

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 ...
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4answers
2k views

When two first person POV characters meet

NOTE: I've seen this question asked when the POV is third but not first. I write psychological thrillers that move quickly and focus heavily on what is going on in the mind of the protagonist. As ...
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2answers
464 views

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 the ...
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1answer
69 views

In fiction, can I write about Downing College, Cambridge? [duplicate]

I have included, in my fictional book, several mentions about Downing College, Cambridge. Now they have a fete on their lawns. Two Russians are killed there during the fete. No mention of staff ...
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2answers
95 views

Exhaustive research vs artistic license?

I'm working on a post-apocalypse novel set all over the world. I'm fairly flexible on where some of the events take place, but there are often specific requirements on the look, layout, general region ...
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7answers
2k views

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 uncaring ...
18
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8answers
3k views

I wrote a scene that the majority of my readers loved. How do I get back to that place while writing my new book?

I wrote a scene that I put my heart and soul into. It was received well by most of my readers, but I'm struggling with crafting a new scene for a book I'm currently writing. Here's some comments from ...
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6answers
1k views

How can I add depth to my story or how do I determine if my story already has depth?

I am new to writing. I wrote a lot when I was a kid and teen. I wrote my first book at 6 and then again in high school. I was also in journalism. After high school, life happened. I took an almost 20 ...
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4answers
2k views

How to provide realism without making readers think grimdark

So, I have a couple moments in a fantasy story where I want the heroes' actions to actually have consequences (Well, that are really impactful to the story.) One is where the MCs kill a minor lord, ...
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1answer
51 views

Writing a book review

I just came across a question that related to the topic of book reviews. I wish to know, how can I start as a reviewer and where can I find sample reviews of some non-technical books or novels? In ...
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3answers
2k views

What is the most important characteristic of New Weird as a genre?

Recently I've stumbled across China Miéville's novels. Apparently, they fit in a genre called Weird Fiction, or to be even more specific New Weird, where the "new" is used to distinguish new writers ...
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3answers
127 views

Where's the line between confident and upfront and being a jerk?

Disclaimer: Also works for guys, if you have the problem, but genderbent. So, in my plots, I typically have a "tough girl" character in my thing. She's confident and upfront, and is stubborn to the ...
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2answers
1k views

How to make the POV character sit on the sidelines without the reader getting bored

My POV character has been seriously injured and is bedridden for three months. But life stops for no one. In fact, a major epic battle is brewing and to delay it would be unrealistic. If anything, ...
18
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9answers
5k views

Can non-English-speaking characters use wordplay specific to English?

Would it be jarring if in an original (non-translated) story, the characters, who don't speak English in-universe, use "untranslatable" wordplay/puns that are specific to English? By "untranslatable" ...
10
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6answers
299 views

Any advice on creating fictional locations in real places when writing historical fiction?

I am currently working on a historical fiction novel set during the tail end of the Harlem Renaissance, in the 1930s. As such, I would really like to have the story take place in Harlem. However, the ...
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3answers
69 views

Can monster/beasts be in a psychological horror

I am working on a psychological horror with an extra element. Monsters, and I don’t mean ghosts. My characters will face suspicions, distrust, paranoia and emotional disturbances. They will deal with ...
12
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6answers
694 views

How do I write real-world stories separate from my country of origin?

I live in India. And the stories I write don't want to. The thing is, as you all might already know, my country has an extremely- excessively, perhaps- rich cultural and historical heritage. It's ...
3
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4answers
258 views

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 is, ...
11
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4answers
2k views

How to tease a romance without a cat and mouse chase?

So, my story doesn't have a romance subplot until way later in the series, but I think that there are elements of the romance very early on. A little background info: The story is set in a ...
4
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2answers
132 views

How to change the readers opinion of a character?

So, I have a character who starts off a complete ass to everyone. She hates the world, especially the protagonist. Then again, she had no parents to her memory, her people are enslaved and ...
7
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1answer
113 views

How can you make up a convincing dialect?

I often need to introduce one, if not several, made up dialects. We're talking about fictional worldbuilding: so any real world dialect is ruled out. They can be used as a source of inspiration, but ...
7
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1answer
794 views

Referring to a character in 3rd person when they have amnesia

A section of a story I am writing is being told in third person from the perspective of a character who does not know anything about herself due to amnesia. The reader is also unaware of anything ...
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0answers
31 views

How to write that a character waits a certain amount of time? [duplicate]

Let's say the character of the story has to wait a day and you need to write in the story in a smooth manner that they waited the day for the thing they were expecting?
3
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2answers
79 views

How do you “develop characters” using an event driven format?

For instance, in my high school novel, I have the main characters attend a football game, the Homecoming Dance, the basketball game, other dances, the Prom, etc. Then I have the characters react to, ...
5
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2answers
120 views

Having multiple epilogues

According to Wikipedia, An epilogue is the final chapter at the end of a story that often serves to reveal the fates of the characters. Some epilogues may feature scenes only tangentially related ...
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2answers
4k views

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 ...
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5answers
3k views

In a series of books, what happens after the coming of age?

I'm writing a novel focusing on a single character POV. For many aspects, it can be considered a coming of age story; along with the usual tropes of the hero's journey, my protagonist gradually learn ...
8
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1answer
88 views

Character Accents

When writing dialogue how should one tackle accents? Changing the spelling for certain words (V for W in German) is effective but may come off a little cheesy. Then again, not doing this might cause ...
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3answers
77 views

How to write the action of someone reading in a story? An example, please

I am rather a very amateur writer, who is trying to write a thriller/fiction novel for a class, and I find myself absolutely dumbfounded as to how to write into my story the action of a character ...
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4answers
970 views

When an imagined world resembles or has similarities with a famous world

Arguably this might belong in worldbuilding.stackexchange.com, but the question has to do with a fiction story and its relation to other fiction in the real world. I have a plot which involves an ...
3
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1answer
70 views

If I have an idea for an animated series how do I write it out?

So basically I’ve come up with a story that I believe could be an interesting animated series, but I’m not in the stages where I’m ready to try and pitch it or anything. How should I approach writing ...
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2answers
94 views

Tackling backstory while writing multiple POVs

I am trying to write from multiple points of views with my first fiction book. I need to handle backstory (part of the overall plot) where all those multiple characters were involved in the events of ...
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1answer
28 views

Punctuating narration [closed]

In a passage of narration, how would one punctuate the following sentence? Italics or quotation marks? The boy walks across the living room as words like weapons, barricades and deployments pass ...
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5answers
219 views

Is my book too weird to be published?

This question may have already been answered, but I'm just making sure. So, I'm just making a silly book for fun. It's short (compared to other books) but I'd say it's decent. However, let's say I ...
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0answers
28 views

What do I do if my story is too similar to another? [duplicate]

Hello my story is about a kingdom that got conquered by an empire with an anti-wizardry anti-paganism regime, where wizards get burnt at the stake and pagans get forcibly converted to a religion ...
9
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5answers
234 views

How to subtly portray a secret relationship

I currently have a set of characters in which two of them have had (and still do have) history together, however I do not intend to drop the ball on the reader and write down their backstory because ...