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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In Alan Bennet's The History Boys Mrs Lintott says to Irwin 'If I was a better teacher..'. Why does she not say 'if I were a better teacher? [closed]

I don't understand why Mrs Lintott does not seem to be using the subjunctive
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5answers
805 views

Where to go next in the writing process?

I'm a new writer, have been working on a novel length piece of work for the past couple of years, and I have always been the kind of person to just "wing it" and see what happens. After ...
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3answers
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Is it bad practice to use “ahem” in dialogue?

I'm writing a bit of fiction and what i have is an uncomfortable character who is clearing his throat before speaking. Is it better to say so literally: Louis cleared his throat. "I'm not sure.&...
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1answer
44 views

Is this beginning good for A STORY [closed]

David Gemstone dives his head in a bucket full of water. "Bang" he hears a sound outside. He pulls out his revolver and walks out of the bathroom. "Who is it?" he asked with a ...
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3answers
166 views

Writing a good flashback

I am having the main protagonist find their imaginary friend that they had previously forgotten. How would I make some flashbacks without making the plot too confusing or sounding choppy and forced? ...
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5answers
140 views

What pronoun to use for a sentient, self aware AI?

I have a sentient AI in a story. He sentience aspect is mostly an unexpected result and some characters in the story do not believe it. When they refer to the AI, should they use the "it" ...
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2answers
46 views

A typical American food a grandma could cook that would spoil if left outside the fridge over night [closed]

This is oddly specific and I'm not sure this is the right place for it but I'm writing something set in a contemporary American setting and I need a typical American food a grandma could cook for a ...
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1answer
94 views

Is it acceptable to put the period after the quotation mark?

As a programmer, it always bothered me when the period was inside the quotation marks, like so: His nickname was "Quincy." I'd much prefer to do it this way: His nickname was "Quincy&...
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13answers
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Am I bringing my character back to life too much?

This story is about a person in a sort of technologically advanced secret government organization that is basically SCP. The organization is very advanced and, in most cases, can revive dead people. I ...
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4answers
179 views

With this degree of violence, is my book a Middle Grade book, or a Young adult book?

I am a young author writing my first series. I’m not writing my books simply because I want to or that I am frustrated with other books, but those are some reasons. The book I am writing is pure ...
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3answers
246 views

All my characters sound the same. How can I change this?

I am writing a fantasy series. I am a new writer. I am almost done with the first draft of the first book, I have about 400 pages. Everyone who has read my work, even complete strangers that I have ...
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2answers
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I want to use the premise of a story that I think wasted its potential, can I do this?

I have been pondering on a novel idea that would likely utilize a large chunk of a premise of a novel that I read several years ago. To be clear, the elements that I would want to use are the premise (...
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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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0answers
62 views

If I use a real building in a real city could I be liable for some sort of lawsuit? [duplicate]

I want to use a real building (skyscraper) in a real city that will be the subject of a terrorist attack and partially brought down with disastrous effect on the surrounding neighborhood. Good idea ...
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2answers
320 views

How do I keep my character's gender a complete mystery?

At first my protagonist was going to be a female role, until I started having an inclination for male characters and the fact that I am a total BL (“boy’s love”, stories about male homosexual romance) ...
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11answers
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Am I starting my story too late?

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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1answer
63 views

Struggling with using correct tenses, please help! [closed]

I am writing my first book, which I am very passionate about, but there are small details in the art of writing that have me second guessing myself, and then comes the confusion. I am writing in deep ...
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0answers
18 views

Writing a fictional book with real places [duplicate]

Hey I started to write my first book, and im a newbie in this whole field of book writing. I will write a thriller / stalker book which is of course fictional, and i was thinking if i could use real ...
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5answers
3k views

How long should each paragraph be in fiction writing?

In high school and even college most students are told to aim for around 5-6 sentences per paragraph. I am now trying to write fiction, fantasy specifically, but am hitting a wall when it comes to ...
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1answer
530 views

How to cut down on using too many pronouns (he, she, his etc.) while writing paragraphs (fiction)

I'm a relatively new writer and decided I would try and write something for fun. For the most part I have been finding it alright, however, I am really having trouble with repetitive sentences with ...
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2answers
65 views

I'm trying to write a short story for an assignment and my word count is 5263 and 12 pages on google docs, is this too long? [duplicate]

I just need help with writing my short story, I don't want to make it too long and I don't know if I'm over thinking this. Help?
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8answers
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Everyone has a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay. Does that apply to me?

Everyone has a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay I'm not an author. I'm retired. The last time I wrote fiction was probably an essay when I was 10 years old. For years a ...
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3answers
174 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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2answers
149 views

How do you write a flawed character without it seeming forced, or making it painful to read

This is more of a general question, but I am wondering what is the proper way to create character flaws, without it being too forced or annoying to read. For example, in my story one of the main ...
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2answers
118 views

My character is a child abductor; can he drive a brand-name car?

I'm about to self-pub my first novel, a domestic thriller with a time-travel twist, and in the story, one of my main characters abducts a child (he's not a pedophile). He owns a 1970 Barracuda--the ...
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2answers
102 views

Can I get sued for a fictional version of a news outlet?

In the fictional book I'm writing there are the institutions, Focs Schools and Focs Net. These institutions greatly distort history, science findings, etc. Can I get sued by Fox News for the fictional ...
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1answer
47 views

Should foreign personal titles be capitalized in English text?

Should foreign language personal titles be capitalized in English fiction text? E.g. "How are you, Señor Rojas?" Do we follow English language rules for capitalization? In Spanish it would ...
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9answers
4k views

Do I have to start my story with my main characters?

What I mean is, does my story have to start with my main character being introduced, or can I start with their parents and then ease into the main character after a time skip?
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30 views

When Truth Meets Fiction [duplicate]

Is there such a category in books as a fictional memoir (tales about one's own life with exaggerated elements included for entertainment)?
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0answers
42 views

How can concurrent/dual dialogue be implemented in short story/fiction writing?

I am currently writing a short story that has two intertwined narratives told in inverse chronological order from each other. The two narratives meet/converge at the moment the protagonists receive ...
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4answers
70 views

How to call a paper or book holding charms/incantation/magic formula? [closed]

Hope the title is clear enough. I'm also looking for any vocabulary related to the act of writing magic ( 'runes' as a magical writing system for example).
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3answers
139 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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1answer
86 views

How do you format dialogue within a parargraph?

He made his way over to the crimson red telephone box that basked in the afternoon sunlight. Ted knew she was hiding in there. “You can come out now." He swung open the door, with a callous look ...
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11answers
6k views

How do I write “fantasy counterpart cultures” without being accused of cultural appropriation?

In my book series, the various planets of the galaxy are inhabited by different cultures, most of which are based on or inspired by, at least to some extent, by real-world cultures. For example: ...
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2answers
60 views

Publishing of Collection of Short Stories

I have a collection of short stories--48 in total, a word count of 80,000 and 156 pages. Regarding publication, is such a collection likely to be too large? If I were to split it into two collections, ...
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2answers
113 views

Where should I post my unfinished story I'm still writing?

I've written a few bad stories before, but I post them online anyway. All my past ones have been put on a fanfiction site, but the one I'm working on doesn't go there. It's still a work in progress, ...
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1answer
132 views

Do I Have Too Many Characters? [duplicate]

I have been working on a story for the past several months. Basically, it is about a group of orphaned girls whose parents were all part of a secret organization unbeknownst to them. I know, I know, ...
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2answers
93 views

If a story includes a cross country road trip, do the highway and city names need to be real? [duplicate]

If a story includes a cross country road trip set in the USA in 1970’s, do the highway and city names need to be accurate / real? If she takes a train cross-country, do the routes need to also be real?...
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7answers
308 views

Is it true that the need for marketing/promoting one's books is a “myth”?

For indie fiction authors, is it true that if one simply writes and publishes regularly, one will begin to see sales (as Dean Wesley Smith proclaims), and that book marketing/promotion is actually ...
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1answer
84 views

Can I use a print on demand service for my novel with an explicit scene?

I am looking to print the first novel I ever wrote for personal use—one physical copy to sit on my bookshelf as a token for completing the first one (there have been multiple after this one). This ...
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6answers
2k views

A smooth way to make Dialogue

I am an amateur fiction writer and a key feature in most of my pieces is dialogue. There are often 6-12 characters in the exciting scenes and a lot of the content depends on who said what and how the ...
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1answer
97 views

How does war work? [closed]

I am currently writing a story about an interstellar war. Here is the general idea: this war is taking place in Jupiter, the largest planet and one of the main areas of conflict everyone in this ...
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2answers
175 views

Korean sensitivity reading for a modern fantasy world

I've been working on a YA/adult contemporary fantasy novel for a while and I had some questions about sensitivity reading. The world featured in the novel is entirely new but it's inspired by ours. ...
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2answers
118 views

How to add various social themes in the story?

I'm working on my first novel, which revolves around revenge and violent cycles of human nature for more than 1.5 years. While working on some sections of the book, I feel like how do I add more depth ...
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1answer
92 views

Name of the argument for defending in-fiction atrocities based on historical accuracy?

I remember reading up about an argument, but I can't recall or find what it was called. It basically boiled down to this - because in either our real history or the history of a given fictional world ...
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4answers
149 views

Building a Fictional World upon a Real Setting [closed]

To save time with world building an focus on the tale, is it justified to borrow heavily from a real world setting and take enough liberties to allow creative freedom? Can this be done without ...
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2answers
95 views

How to research and create an authentic setting for a story set in a foreign country? [duplicate]

As a writer, for authenticity and to avoid distracting errors, I need to portray my story setting correctly. For example, I live in the UK and need to know whether guests can tay overnight at ...
0
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1answer
108 views

How strange (or not) is it for the protagonist in a tragedy to overcome their central flaw only for it to not matter?

I have a story idea for a science fiction tragedy where the protagonist starts off with a central flaw that he eventually overcomes. However, it ultimately doesn't matter because humanity has the same ...
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6answers
225 views

Inhibitions when writing personal experiences

I write for myself and have no intention of publishing anything. However, I still become uncomfortable writing about events in my life because I think about how people who are involved or who know me ...
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3answers
116 views

seeking advice - screenwriter looking to write novel

All. I'm looking for some advice. I'm interested in writing a young adult mystery novel, but I don't believe I'm a good writer in the traditional sense. My background is in screenwriting, so my ...

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