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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1answer
183 views

Is my writing original if it is a hybrid of Tolkien and Rowling? [duplicate]

I am planning to write a fantasy book which incorporates the styles of LotR and Harry Potter. The setting is a Middle Earth-like world. The main character attends a magical school. There is a ...
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1answer
116 views

How to create conflict in micro fiction which force reader to interact

Are there some specific rule of thumb or heuristic to consider while writing a micro fiction or a 500 word post on some social media to create conflict or anything which force reader to interact or ...
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12answers
8k views

Is the genre 'fantasy' still fantasy without magic?

Is writing a fantasy novel with no mages, witches, wizards or anything remotely magical a waste of time? Can it still be classified as fantasy?
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3answers
113 views

How can I research non-recent 21st century cultural events?

I'm currently writing a story taking place in the recent past in which (aside from the main plot) my characters get to spend some time in a big city. They end up visiting the tourist joints but also ...
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2answers
158 views

Should a scene break always be put in place when there is change in location, times, and dates?

I have read many books where the character is in one place at a certain time and, without a scene break being utilised, they are all of a sudden in a different place at a different time, but it works ...
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2answers
324 views

Is this allowed to use the name of Templar and other Order like Teutonic, Santiago, Hospitaler, etc as my fiction story?

I'm new here, but I really want to make a question about using real name order like Templar, Teutonic, Santiago, etc in my fiction but not as an Order, but a name for a Cult. To make my question ...
7
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1answer
121 views

Changing POV style mid-story

I'm writing a story that is told by the main character. The idea is that at some point, he decides that what has happened merits documenting, so he's telling part of it in the past tense. The problem ...
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3answers
278 views

Examples of dialog beats and bookism

I was wondering if there is a list of ideas on how to add beats to dialog. For example: "Listen to me!", John said excitedly. "We can sell all these coins now and get rich today." He got closer ...
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4answers
253 views

How to implement a fictional language in my novel?

As a writer, I used to write short stories and poems. As a reader, fantasy is my favorite genre. I created some what of a language for my (first ) novel. It's phoneme, pronunciation, rules and a ...
2
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3answers
306 views

Is it a copyright violation to have the character share some characteristics with a known character?

More specifically, consider the following examples: 1) Say my protagonist is a boy who has a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead, wears round glasses, and has dark hair and green eyes. His name is NOT ...
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1answer
185 views

Using elemental control to aid in daily life? [closed]

My sister is writing a book which incorporates elemental "magic" or control. Each person can use one of the four elements. We want to ensure that elemental control in everyday life seems natural and ...
4
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1answer
308 views

What genre would a fictional eyewitness account of a real historical event fall under?

I've written a short story about a true historical incident which involves a very famous person in history. The incident is true as are the people involved in it. But the story is a fictional ...
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4answers
122 views

Need help cleaning up a sentence [closed]

I'm having trouble with a particular sentence in my book. I had originally written: Monica’s group of friends was a diverse mixture of race, gender, and background. Having once been described as ...
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4answers
179 views

I have a name, and no plot [closed]

So I made a name for a character and his name is quite fancy so I have no idea what I should do with him. I named him, ready? Sir Nathaniel Charles III. Without asking for specific suggestions on "...
5
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4answers
332 views

How to hint at an antagonist's identity?

A significant antagonist in my trilogy is an omnicidal alien by the name of Loki, whose characterisation borrows from Griffith, Keizer Ghidorah, Randall Flagg, Saruman and Hastur. Throughout the ...
0
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1answer
86 views

How can I make it so that my story isn't resolved so easily? [closed]

I'm writing a screenplay for a project in my film studies class and I'm close to resolving the conflict, but as I near the end, it feels like it's being resolved far too easily. In summary, the ...
1
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1answer
194 views

How do I know if my cast is diverse enough or too diverse? [duplicate]

Basically, I am writing a story and I want to know if the characters are diverse enough or too diverse. If I just state the characters' races, sexualities, etc, it might seem forced but I didn't ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Can you pitch an outline?

Here's my question: can you pitch an outline of a novel to an agent? I.e. you have two to three chapters complete to a high standard and at full outline of the rest. Would any agents agree to ...
11
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4answers
409 views

Maintaining distance

I am working on a novel inspired by the Shahnameh - a Persian epic poem by Abul-Qâsem Ferdowsi. The Shahnameh (the title means "The Book of Kings") is structured as a series of interconnected tales: ...
17
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4answers
2k views

Writing about real people - not giving offence

The Spy is a Netflix series about Israeli spy and hero Eli Cohen. In a recent interview, Eli's widow Nadia expresses great dissatisfaction with the series: a lot of changes were made, ostensibly to "...
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1answer
223 views

How would mushroom call mycellium home? [closed]

I'm wondering for some time.. How would mushrooms fruiting body call it own mycelium? Imagine you're that fruiting body and after releasing your spores you are about to die.
19
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7answers
2k views

Detail vs. filler

How can I minimise the "filler" text that I end up writing when fleshing out a scene with detail? An appropriate level of detail seems to me to be a fundamental requirement for good prose. Whatever I ...
7
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3answers
607 views

What are the advantages and disavantages of different triggers for character transformation?

I'm writing a story where my lead character has two forms and he swaps between them frequently. I'd like to know the advantages and disadvantages of various kinds of triggers for the transformation. ...
7
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5answers
864 views

Averting Bathos

Bathos is a storytelling technique that consists in the rapid succession of 2 “moments” with conflicting tones. This trope occurs when a serious moment gets followed by a gag. One of the many, many ...
32
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7answers
5k views

Writing a love interest for my hero

If I'm going to face down a dragon, Mob boss, evil corporation, or a demon from the 7 circles of hell or dystopian dictator, etc, it's not going to be to rescue my buddy Herbert, or cousin Jimmy. The ...
2
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7answers
422 views

How exactly can a writer write a horror story without making it so scary to the point where it's actually hard to read or watch?

I've recently started getting into horror lately and trying to learn how all of the genre works so that maybe I myself can write good horror. But there's been one thing on my mind that's been ...
15
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8answers
4k views

What makes an ending “happy”?

In this answer, Amadeus makes the case for happy endings based on their far greater popularity compared to unhappy endings. This leads me to wonder, what exactly makes an ending "happy"? Before I go ...
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2answers
184 views

How can I create deep personal stakes?

Note: This question deals exclusively with personal stakes (what the character could lose). It does not deal with public stakes (what the world of the novel could lose). In my mind, there are two ...
10
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7answers
685 views

Rapid change in character

A story I am currently working on contains a scene where a figure with a certain character quite unexpectedly has a change of heart, and I am having difficulty finding a way of smoothing the ...
23
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11answers
6k views

Don't look at what I did there

This question is about hiding from the reader the fact that I am skipping some steps. Worse, perhaps, I don't want to show them, and I may have no clue or intention of figuring out how these steps ...
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4answers
348 views

Introducing evil characters before the evil deeds take place

Is it possible to introduce evil characters (be identified as evil) before the action (the crimes committed by the characters) takes place?
2
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2answers
188 views

Is having elaborate metaphors ever a bad thing?

Is having elaborate metaphors a bad thing in a short story (for the purposes of the story being accepted by a magazine)? How can I know if my metaphors are too elaborate?
4
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3answers
469 views

How should I handle amnesia-based plot threads? (interesting vs cliché)

I'm writing for an amnesiac protagonist, in spite of the fact that I feel amnesia in fiction is usually a bad cliché used to avoid some of the background work of creating a character's family, friends,...
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3answers
260 views

Anthropomorphic animals in romantic relationships with other species

Basically I’m wondering whether it’s totally weird or if people wouldn’t give much thought to it. I’ll use Zootopia as an example. If the main characters (a fox and a rabbit) were in a relationship, ...
3
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1answer
171 views

Is it alright to write the characters name when they are thinking?

I am sorry. Its a bit longer than necessary. So as not to put one entire page here, I cut a piece of the paragraph. Ian had difficulty expressing himself, so Lavi squat down in front of him, holding ...
7
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2answers
497 views

Can I say this about real countries in my fiction?

I am writing a visual novel and use a fictional country in "real-world" setting. Some cases have been bothering me and I'm not sure if it's legal to write this because it might be insulting(?): To ...
4
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4answers
237 views

How could the disregard for both plot and dialogue tell the story?

I want people to understand what I write, but I do not want to use conventions such as plot or dialogue to tell a story. Without a plot I have been criticized of not having written a story, but ...
2
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4answers
514 views

How to write disorientation with sensory overload?

My character has super-senses, so anything that we feel, see, hear, etc. are heightened for him. So much so that when a flash bomb is set a few meters from him, he is greatly affected by this. ...
65
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17answers
17k views

Avoiding racist tropes in fantasy

I'm interested in starting a pleasure project: a fantasy story, along the lines of a witch delivering a prophecy to a king about a dangerous and deceitful foe who will overthrow him, and the king ...
7
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5answers
1k views

How to organize ideas to start writing a novel?

Beginner here. So, I have tons of ideas for a novel, and in fact I want to write one (even a series), but I'm struggling a lot in actually starting writing the story. I have ideas for characters and ...
3
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4answers
256 views

What kind of name should a fantasy author go by?

I'm currently in the middle of writing several fantasy books and, even though I'm not done with any of them, I can't stop thinking about how my name will appear on my books once they are finished. I ...
0
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3answers
117 views

Literate Cherokee and English dialogue east of the Mississippi in the 1860s with a nineteenth century narrator [closed]

It is my understanding that the Cherokee, prior to the Trail of Tears were bilingual, being educated in both Cherokee and English. Is it possible that a Cherokee man in his late twenties would have ...
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1answer
59 views

Formatting a conversation

In a novel, how would one best represent a recorded conversation between two people played back to a larger audience? The normal rules apply regarding quotation marks and beginning a new paragraph ...
0
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3answers
205 views

How to make philosophical ideas more relatable?

The consequence of some ideas can be so distant in the future or so foreign to most people that creating a relatable setting or character to exploit them can be hard, I'm being told. In particular, ...
5
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1answer
102 views

Scale: How to handle a personal story set in an epic war?

In both my last writing project and my current one, I have found an unexpected problem. Both tales are focused on a single character and their personal journey, but both tales are also set in the ...
3
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6answers
361 views

Averting Always Chaotic Evil

Always Chaotic Evil denotes an entire species in a fictional setting as outright evil - no matter how one treats them, they reward kindness with treachery and violence. Frequent recipients of this ...
11
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4answers
4k views

Is it bad style if the personal first person narrator of a story dies during said story?

Right now I'm writing a novel in which I use the changing perspectives of two main characters with limited information each to slowly unveil the whole plot to the reader. Both use the past tense and ...
0
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2answers
229 views

What is a good way to come up with original world building ideas? [closed]

I have a hard time coming up with original worlds and plots, but I need a portfolio of original work. Any thoughts on how to come up with ideas?
33
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12answers
7k views

How to write a sincerely religious protagonist without preaching or affirming or judging their worldview?

I am writing a book in which one of my main characters is a devout Catholic. His struggles with reconciling his religion and his experiences in life are crucial to his character and I'd like to ...
15
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6answers
5k views

Do I have to mention my main character's age?

I finished my novel and realised that I never mentioned my main character's age. In chapter two I said that she in in her twenties, but that's the only mention of her age. I know that she is twenty-...

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