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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3answers
87 views

How to Write a Temporary 'Goodbye"

I'm working on my first novel, and my main character is going on a 'no contact' vacation where she doesn't communicate with anyone in her life. I'm struggling to figure out how to write it even though ...
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5answers
138 views

I want to write a magical story about witches and wizards but not make it like harry potter [closed]

I want the premise to be that throughout the 20th century, witches and wizards have faced a steep decline in numbers and due to the Cold War, secrecy has become more important, but with the fast ...
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1answer
59 views

Alternating time-frames and seemingly non related chapters

Chapter 1. A child is kidnapped, her friend (same age) is the protagonist is mentioned, she trie so send him a letter but it never reaches him. Chapter 2. Takes place 10 years later but doesn't ...
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2answers
548 views

Is it outlawed to start Chapter one with the villain and only mention the protagonist?

Chapter 1 takes place in 1953. A girl is kidnapped. She manages to write a note to her friend (they both go to school together but the boy has moved). The letter is destroyed. Her friend is the ...
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3answers
105 views

Help with describing an unconscious character

One of the characters in my book, the narrator, is suddenly knocked unconscious. How would I describe what he sees/feels? Do I just have a big timeskip, with him confused as to what happened when he ...
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2answers
49 views

Writer's Block Over a New Draft

A while back, I finished my first draft and decided to make huge changes in the protagonist. I went back to replanning the entire story I have been familiar with for two years. How I plan the plot ...
3
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4answers
180 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, ...
4
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2answers
134 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 ...
4
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1answer
90 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
84 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
88 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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2answers
98 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
49 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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0answers
34 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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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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3answers
155 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
113 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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2answers
137 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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1answer
92 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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5answers
207 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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1answer
48 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
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
100 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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1answer
74 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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2answers
104 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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1answer
80 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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1answer
92 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
88 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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5answers
212 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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4answers
167 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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2answers
119 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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1answer
82 views

When should one of my four main characters die?

I'm writing a book series (I may or may not publish it, not sure) that I'd like to have as 5 books long. I have four main characters, and I want part of the story to be three of them dealing with the ...
3
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4answers
203 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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2answers
66 views

When a character is mentally recalling prior dialog verbatim, how should it be quoted?

When a character is mentally recalling prior dialog verbatim, should the dialog be surrounded by double-quotes or single-quotes, be italicized, or get no special treatment at all? For example: O'...
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1answer
93 views

Do modern readers like to read rhetorically saturated prose? [closed]

I’m on the path to beginning a short story, of which I will form the plot, the setting, the characters, the conflict, and every element of story according to a plan. But even though I've moved past ...
3
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2answers
259 views

Humanoid vs Bipedaloid Word Diction

I'm doing an extensive write-up project, and I'm stumped for how an alien species similar to the human analogue morphology (Two Arms, Two Legs, and Plantigrade-Bipedal standing/maneuvering) should be ...
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3answers
578 views

How to skip over a long period of time

I'm writing a ficional story about a historical figure. My MC takes twelve years to achieve a major success. But the bulk of the work takes place in three stages: at ages 17, 23, and 29. I have ...
3
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2answers
463 views

Which form of spelling is preferred when publishing for an English speaking audience?

Sample text: Dude had long been sceptical of abrupt changes in weather. (Quoted from an Australian author.) As an American, I was startled to see the alternative spelling of skeptical. Perhaps I am ...
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2answers
141 views

I'm writing blindly and I need help dealing with it

Writing isn't like drawing, and I can't take a step back and look at it and search for flaws in the story, because it's in my head already, and I know it, and I can't forget it. So when I write I ...
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2answers
64 views

Formatting new line options with actions and dialogue in fiction

I am getting confused about whether rules determine new paragraph positions or if it's sometimes arbitrary. Some choices seem clear cut, but in the sentence: 'I regarded...' it reads fine to me in ...
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16answers
5k views

Is there any point where an overpowered main character could be an interesting one?

I just read a novel where the main character is overpowered: he has unbeatable superpowers, many girls that are interested in him, enemies that get scared just by facing him, etc. I find it annoying ...
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1answer
100 views

How do you set a prologue in the present and then chapter 1 is like 5 months before?

Do you just put it like Prologue Present Day And then Chapter 1 Chapter Title 5 Months Earlier Or am I missing something?
3
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1answer
107 views

The "dead all along" trope

I'd like advice. I'm aware that many find the "dead all along" trope to be cliche. In searching for advice, most revolves around a protagonists interactions as, or with, a ghost, which doesn'...
3
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4answers
255 views

How to convert indirect thought to film voiceover without it sounding contrived?

I am trying to convert a fiction book into a film script. The book uses third-person past tense narration that switches between several characters from chapter to chapter and thus is always from a ...
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3answers
136 views

How would a character with a certain personality react in a certain situation? [closed]

I'm at a point in my story where the main character(M17) was in a huge car crash. He'd been in an overturned vehicle for about 10 minutes and had sustained heavy damage. A few of his friends had come ...
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4answers
805 views

How should you describe turning pages quickly? [closed]

I want to describe this action. How should I describe this action?
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6answers
358 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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13answers
7k views

Is there a more modern version of "Acme", as a common, generic company name?

Yes, Acme is an actual company name used by many real companies - bricks, bikes, food, real estate, etc. But more relevant to this point, it has also been used for ages for fictional purposes - not ...

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