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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10answers
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What are some examples of modern original plots?

In a comment on this answer, a valuable community contributor suggested that it is possible to be totally original in writing, despite the fact that other valuable community members have stated that ...
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Are paired adjectives bad style?

I have the habit of using paired adjectives in my writing: The noise from the engine lulled her with its slow and monotonous rythim ... ... the lights on the ceiling filled the room in a soft ...
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4answers
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Common mistakes made by first time fantasy novelists?

I'm in a writing group. I see repeating word-choice patterns among the fantasy writers. Example: frequent use of certain words (like 'utter,' everyone seems to use that word... ), or certain symptoms ...
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6answers
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I suck at plots. Is there a way to sort of train oneself to think of creative plots, specifically in scifi?

I'm pretty good in the writing department as far as prose, it's just that I'll sit down and have no idea what to write. Perhaps it's a creative problem, I just don't know. I cannot figure out any ...
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8answers
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An engineering student wants to write fiction, where to start?

I'm a computer engineering student, programmer, avid book lover and have a very vivid (some would say "screwed up") mind. I recently thought up an idea for a very cool short/medium story. It's like a ...
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7answers
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Do books have to be written in sequence?

So can we write the interesting action bits first, then add in the in between stuff, that maybe needed to understand the story or characters, but isnt so exciting by itself? For example the ...
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6answers
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Can I switch from past tense to present tense in an epilogue?

I have written my entire novel thus far in past tense. However, I feel like my final chapter/epilogue would work better in present tense. I want to give the reader the sense that everything s/he has ...
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5answers
488 views

How do I respectfully write black characters in a 1930s Arizona setting?

I'm writing a cartoon script aimed at a children/young-adult audience (similar to the audience of Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, and Over the Garden Wall). It deals with the daughter of a Bonnie-and-...
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8answers
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How to develop a story for a novel?

I am looking for some inspiration on where to start writing a novel. I have a general idea for a plot and characters, but I don't feel it's enough for sitting down and starting to write. It needs a ...
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6answers
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Does having too many humorous scenes make the readers unable to take the plot seriously?

The story I'm writing has its epicness and drama, but I also want it to be funny, with jokes, puns, etc., made by a character (mostly) or the narrator himself; funny situations, and so on. But I ...
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6answers
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Introducing the hero first?

In the book I'm writing, the first character I introduce dies before the end of the chapter. She is the girlfriend of my hero and is setting up their date before her untimely end. The hero is also ...
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4answers
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Antagonist lacks motivation - where do I find it?

My triller has an Antagonist who is classified as a sociopath and narcissist. He becomes infatuated with my MC who is an Ex-Army sergeant making a living in close protection services. He sees that ...
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4answers
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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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1answer
832 views

How to show that something is different than in real life?

I'm writing fiction set in the near future (~15-20 years). The world is still mostly the same and thus familiar to the reader, but an important part of the story is that a few things are radically ...
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4answers
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Can the prologue be the backstory of your main character?

A friend and I are writing a story based on our characters. We brainstormed some ideas and now we know what the basic idea of our story is going to be. But I'm having a little trouble with the ...
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4answers
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How do I decide if writing expository scenes that won't be in my finished novel is useful, or procrastination?

I tend to burn out developing my stories before they even reach the page, so I'm taking some advice to plan a novel. I didn't quite follow the advice to the letter; I used an idea that had been ...
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6answers
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Can I use real presidents (past and present) and real companies in a fictional story?

I'm not sure if I want to use real people and companies or make up an entirely different world with different people, presidents, and companies than our real world. If I did the latter I would offer ...
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4answers
229 views

How to share the work, if writing fiction in a team?

How should one split up the work between two people? Should one write the even-numbered chapters and the other the odd-numbered? Does each person tell the story from the point of view of a different ...
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Is calling a character a “lunatic” or “crazy” ableist when it is in reference to their erratic behavior?

I am considering writing a line of dialogue in which character A calls character B (not to their face) "a lunatic". In the context of my story, it is clear that character A has a simplistic ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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8answers
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Is it better to describe the main character's physical appearance early on in the story?

I'm writing a novel, and I just realized I don't describe be main character's appearance until Chapter 3 (each chapter is 1500~2000 words long and there are 25 chapters in total). I do mention that ...
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8answers
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Fiction Writing - has it all been done before?

It's a simple fact the there are more fiction books in existence now than one person could possibly read in a lifetime. Add to this the supposition that all plots, themes and genres have been ...
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16answers
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How long can a prologue be, and what should you not do?

A while back I wrote a prologue about the beginning of time and space and all that. One thing I noticed later is that between the prologue and the story itself, the prologue ate out the chapters not ...
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5answers
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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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7answers
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I have very little technical ability, will this hinder my ability to tell a story and how to improve?

Okay so I will get to the crux of it. I want to write. However that being said I have only a natural instinct as a native speaker and little technical experience in writing. Here are just some things ...
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7answers
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Coming up with names for species in fiction?

When you are writing a story that is set in a fantasy world (maybe our world with just one made-up element, or a completely different world), what is a good way to come up with names for species that ...
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9answers
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Will my readers feel like they are reading a children's storybook if there are illustrations in my novel?

I'm writing a novel. I also have good drawing skills. I would like to add illustrations of the setting, locations, and characters. I may include 8 or 10 illustrations (the novel is approximately 200 ...
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6answers
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Is accurate human nature required for good writing, even in fantasy scenarios, or with fictional species?

I don't know if this is something that is established in the discipline of literature. However, I have found that in any fiction, with all else being equal, the more the characters behave like real ...
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6answers
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“Thought” Verbs: A sign of weak writing or a stylistic choice?

According to Chuck Palahniuk you should avoid "Thought" verbs as much as you can. These include: knew, thought, realized, believed, etc. However, I've seen many of them in books that I read. And I ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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8answers
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The stages of writing - what are they?

So, I'm likely finished with my idea in form of a novel, but now comes the difficult part with the rewriting. That's when I thought: What are the general Stages of writing? Of course I know the ...
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6answers
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Is it a bad idea to write and edit chapter by chapter?

I am beginning to write original novels after writing fanfictions and posting them online for about six years. My usual process is: write chapter, edit chapter, post chapter, repeat. This means that ...
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How do I write a deep conversation scene? [closed]

So two brothers are having a conversation about one wanting not to be a vampire anymore, and asks him if there is a way he can change to human. How do I make the conversation interesting and wanting ...
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6answers
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How should I “remind” the reader of something that they may have forgotten?

Say there is a small detail in the beginning of the book that has a big effect later on. The reader might've forgotten about that by the time they get to that part. How should I remind the reader ...
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5answers
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Can the prologue's POV be different from the POV of main story?

Let me explain my question: 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 ...
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4answers
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Innovative Ways to Provide Background Information

Think action movie. Think two heavily-armed men - one chasing the other over rooftops, down through buildings and into the mean streets of a crowded city. Think big guns, explosions and other loud ...
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7answers
664 views

How to show characters learning something in a non-boring way?

Okay so I want to write a fiction where a character is learning something, for example a language, such as Japanese. I want to show the entire process of learning the language with all the details ...
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5answers
794 views

How does one add puns in another language?

Back in college, I took a regular English course that was required for all majors. The teacher just happened to be a grad student in British Literature, so we read a lot of British literature. All the ...
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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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4answers
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Everyone is beautiful

I've noticed a quirk with the narrator voice of one of the two novels I'm working on. This narrator only describes the beautiful aspects of every character's features. You might think the women are ...
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8answers
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What Can Ensure Re-Readability?

I've come across some answers and questions on this site which have gotten me thinking about re-readability. It isn't something that I think about much, but now that I consider it, I think it could be ...
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5answers
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Should I use the terms “people” “person” “man” and “woman” in fantasy setting?

So I'm writing a story and the setting is that there are two worlds: the world of humans and the world of (insert species name here). Now I'm wondering if it's okay to use the terms/words "people," "...
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6answers
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Third Person POV: What level of telling is acceptable for character motivation?

The novel I'm writing is third-person limited POV in style. This means that the narration's coverage is limited to what the POV character can observe, think, feel, while others' thoughts, feelings, ...
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2answers
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Legality over using a REAL museum and REAL artifacts in a fictional - HEIST novel

I have a question regarding the legality of using a real museum and real artifacts in my Heist book which is almost ready for publication. Initially, it will be self-published via the amazon kindle ...
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2answers
994 views

Out of this world… Giving it time?

I am starting to write a fantasy story. For the first time, i am using computer software to help organize my story. The program confronted me with a question. What is the birthday of a character? It'...
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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 ...
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How can I make believable motivations for antagonists?

I am writing a book. However, I can't quite wrap my head around making my character do bad things, while still making their actions and/or motivations for their actions believable. Here is an ...
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9answers
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How little “fantasy” can be in a story and it still be recognizably fantasy?

How little "fantasy" can be in a story and it still be recognizably fantasy, and not mainstream fiction? The "recognizable fantasy" question is one I struggle with all the time. Fantasy exists on a ...
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2answers
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Is there any hope of a fictional short story being published?

I mean under 100k, probably less than 50k because it's a short story. Actually, I'm not sure how many words a short story has so I have two questions. How short is a short story and is it worth the ...
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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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