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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4answers
308 views

Presenting Fiction as Non-Fiction

I am toying writing a book involving layered stories: There is Manuscript A, written by a character, which is an ostensibly real account/diary of an incident she experienced. In the fictional ...
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1answer
59 views

Is it okay to explicitly explain the core idea of a work of fiction?

First, I'll explain what I mean when I say core idea of a work of fiction. It is the concept that the fictive work tries to be communicate (be it a poem or a piece of prose) through its metaphors, ...
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7answers
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Are modern authors still using colons and semicolons in dialogue?

Not sure if it's just my idea but I rarely see colons and semicolons in dialogue (especially in modern novels). Is it because they don't simulate normal speech? Because their use is more a semantic ...
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2answers
121 views

What options are available to remove the protagonist and still have a story

I will be writing a fictional story whereby there are only antagonists -- conflict instigators. I know what you're thinking: without a protagonist to combat with, how can there be conflict? This is a ...
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1answer
84 views

How do I write a character learning a foreign language?

A story I am writing has the main character teleported to a fictional world where no one knows their language. How do I write having them learn the language of said world naturally? It is a ...
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2answers
81 views

How do I accurately write a prologue, which also works as a character introduction chapter?

I'm in the process of writing my prologue for my book, but it's going to also introduce the main characters. Long story short, the main Character, Devoss, goes into a magical forest to prove himself, ...
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5answers
2k views

Can I use pre-existing mythological characters in a story that isn't about any mythology?

I'm writing a fantasy story where I want to incorporate various pantheons of mythology, without having them actually belonging to any pantheon. Is that possible? I mean. I like the idea. But is it ...
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1answer
82 views

I doubt myself as a writer. Is there anything I can do to better my writing? [closed]

Over the years I have fallen in love with writing narratives. I found the passion when I began to experiment with emotes as a teenager on a Peer-2-Peer program used to download music. Some of the ...
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1answer
162 views

How to write character accents in dialogue respectfully?

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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1answer
70 views

How are serialized web novels promoted?

There are sites where an author can self-publish free-to-access web novels, one short chapter at a time (500 to 1.5k words recommended per chapter). Many of the popular novels are published weekly and ...
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1answer
48 views

Is it economically feasible in the present day to write a book series for an older audience as a series of short novellas?

I want to write my book series as a series of short novellas (about 150 pages each) with each book forming part of the storyline. The majority of books written with comparable lengths are intended for ...
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2answers
134 views

When writing an American Indian character, how to ensure an accurate and sensitive portrayal as a cultural outsider?

(Similar question can be found here, but I think mine is broader in scope, as that question only asks about names.) Background I've been tinkering away at a few of my short story ideas with a friend ...
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15answers
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How do I keep the gender of my main character purposely ambiguous?

I'm a newcomer to this community, and have recently started giving serious thought to my first novel. I'm basically working on an idea I had a few years back. It's fiction, has a lot to do with ...
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0answers
29 views

How can I change my story so it sounds less like Harry Potter? [duplicate]

My story has a main character that starts out in their regular world, the USA, and suddenly finds out that they're not human. They're part of this fantastical race that uses magic(but not spells). So, ...
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7answers
13k views

What is the difference between Tension, Suspense and Mystery?

Can you define the differences between Tension, Suspense and Mystery in fiction writing? Some resources says tension is how much you care about a character but I cannot imagine how it is possible ...
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3answers
11k views

How to replace overuse of "I" in a short story, fiction, written in the first person

I am trying to edit a short story, written in the first person. I have used "I" way too many times, it stands out too much at the beginning of a sentence, but I can't seen to change it without ...
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2answers
70 views

Universal symbols for real vs. fictional entries

I am writing a series of criminal investigation games in an alternative version of the real modern world. To avoid conflicts with real-world information, I am designing my own characters, corporations,...
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6answers
353 views

Am I able to freely borrow or reference real people, places or things without fear of legal persecution?

I'm currently writing my first novel and I can't figure out whether I am able to reference an abundance of different people, places, and/or things. I've had this idea of wanting to sneak in a sizable ...
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1answer
73 views

A location for a big event

My novel I am writing has a Queensland, Australia castle in it, Paronella Park. I did research and I’m using facts, except my characters paid extra to stay inside the castle (which I understand that’...
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3answers
145 views

How to avoid using "she" repetitively in action?

I really like to write but I have a problem. I am starting to write about and I want to make it mostly in 3rd person, but I don't know if I can do that and not repeat the prounon she or he a lot. I ...
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1answer
102 views

How to write scenes of negotiation? [closed]

I'm looking for general tips on writing a negotiation scene, and would be interested in some example novels/short stories in which there are scenes of negotiation (preferably light-hearted but any ...
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1answer
83 views

Writing a speech about a fictional character [closed]

I don't have a story or plot or anything, but I want to write a speech about an important fictional character. Unfortunately, I don't know how to do this. I don't really know how to come up with the ...
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11answers
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Am I starting my story too late in its timeline?

In my story the MC joins this pseudo-militia. The process for every new person is to sign up, go to training, and then be sorted into teams and wait to be assigned a mission. I have started writing ...
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4answers
171 views

I want to explain something in a novel that shouldn’t exist in it

In my novel, the world is made entirely out of islands, but I don’t know how to explain this without using the word islands. In that world, there are only islands so they are just called countries. ...
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2answers
103 views

When a new character speaks, do you describe them in the same paragraph, or in a new paragraph?

I'm making my own book, but I'm not sure what to do in the following situation: If you were to write a line of dialogue when introducing a new character, then describe the same character, do you ...
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3answers
285 views

How to do a non-binary character?

I'm currently writing a novel in my spare time, though I like how it's going. The main character is a non-binary young adult, I try hard to make sure it doesn't sound off when people are using they/...
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1answer
47 views

Writing ideas for regrets someone would have after death and how to overcome them [closed]

Not completely sure if this is the right place for this question, but I had an idea for a story involving teens that have died with regrets/undealt with trauma being sent to an "afterlife" ...
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1answer
84 views

How to Role-Play an eldritch god?

I am currently trying to figure out how to write the actions of an eldritch god that I've created in a Role-Play setting that I have with a few friends, this setting is mainly based on the SCP ...
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1answer
93 views

Real places in Fictional writing [duplicate]

I am writing a fictional novel. Is it okay to add factual information amongst my characters? For example my destination in the story, or geographical areas in my story.
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2answers
99 views

Parallel Universes With Real people [duplicate]

I'm writing a story where the main character is going into different parallel universes. Can you get in trouble for referencing a real person or thing if they’re in one of those different universes?
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4answers
2k views

Using real names in fiction

I'm thinking of writing a fiction novel. The plot I've outlined so far centers largely around one possible path the future of our world could take over the next several decades. In doing so, the story ...
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4answers
976 views

What are examples of fiction books picked up by publishers after being self-published?

I've seen some references to commercial publishers picking up a self-published novel if it's been selling well. Can you point me to a few specific examples of this happening? Fiction only, please. ...
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3answers
191 views

Should I practice writing novels before starting the novel I want to write, or plan to do a lot of editting?

tldr: Though I've been writing fiction for a long time, I have no real training or experience. I've put a lot of thought into a fantasy novel idea (we'll call it the Hail Mary) and am excited to write ...
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14answers
7k views

How can I Switch Protagonists Between Books?

Disclaimer: I am not intending on doing this. It is just a question I thought was fascinating and might be useful to other writers. Here's the scenario. You're writing a series of novels. After the ...
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4answers
4k views

Should I use contractions in my narrative?

Should I use contractions in my narrative, or only use them in dialogue? I have noticed that in some books, like The Passage by Justin Crownin, contractions are used in the prose. In others, like The ...
2
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1answer
79 views

Can I mix different writing styles within a single work?

My editor uses the Chicago Manual Of Style and has told me that even with names ending 's' to show possession, it is still necessary to use 's. I really hate that. Is it acceptable to pick and choose ...
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9answers
10k views

Is it offensive to kill my gay character at the end of my book?

In my novel, while the main characters are building the plot and driving it forward, there is a subplot with a gay couple. One of the gay partners is best friends with the female protagonist. At the ...
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1answer
85 views

How would you describe a character that is ‘dogmatic’ without referring to religion or politics?

I am trying to develop a character who has a very rigid world view but I want to use more than just a single adjective to bring out this character’s “quality”. I also do not want to inject any ...
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4answers
199 views

Can I write a protagonist that speaks broken English without annoying the reader? [duplicate]

I’m wanting to write a protagonist that is from a fictional land with fictional languages and isn’t incredibly fluid in English. I’m thinking that when she narrates in her own head, she sounds pretty ...
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5answers
211 views

When writing about a fictional city, what's important to know?

I want to describe my fictional cities' conditions, so I wrote these attributes for each of them: What is the city administration? Number of employed people Number of homes Number of crimes committed ...
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3answers
543 views

At what age can I publish a book? [duplicate]

I am writing a novel called "Kimberly Rose," but the thing is, I'm 12. I'm not sure if there is an age cap when it comes to publishing books. Please tell me if you know.
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6answers
3k views

Can the prologue's POV be different from the POV of the main story?

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 narrator... and I have 2 ...
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4answers
166 views

Writing an American-style book as an outsider to the culture

I am an aspiring writer from Pakistan. It's a south Asian country rich in culture. Our cultural heritage and history is very interesting, twisting and multifaceted. However, I have grown up reading ...
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3answers
373 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
361 views

How to make the first lines of my novel attractive and hooking?

I am currently writing a fiction/fantasy/horror novel, and I have only written some pages. I have published the first part of the novel especially for this question. How can I make my first lines ...
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2answers
326 views

What type of writing would this fall under?

Would this be considered prose, or poetry? The reason I ask is because someone had told me that I should submit it to a magazine but I don't know what kind, if any would look at it. I write it about ...
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2answers
118 views

How would authorities handle a disappearance caused by paranormal means?

A story of mine starts with a character disappearing in his radio studio while on air. Nobody else was in the building with him. A pair of sunglasses that he always kept in his shirt pocket was the ...
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1answer
54 views

This my approach to make a superhuman combat sport more fair? [closed]

This isn't really a world-building question. Since I im asking for y'all thoughts on my writing and writing a general. In the past, I said it would be hard to add an MMA/Boxing weight class type of ...
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2answers
165 views

How can I create an unreliable first-person narrator who is interesting and effective?

I have a series idea that I am toying with that has one character who becomes a bit less reliable mentally than her usual for a section of the story (this downward spiral is brought upon her largely ...
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4answers
1k views

How do I successfully structure a long fiction piece?

I’ve ‘completed’ three novels – a thriller, a coming-of-age story, and a mystery. I’ve had expert readers for all three including Sue Grafton who read two of them. All the expert readers have the same ...

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