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Questions tagged [novel]

Novels are long-form prose fiction, typically over 40,000 words. Questions that use this tag can relate to writing, editing, publishing, formatting or technique as applied specifically to novels. If the question applies to more than just novels, it should probably use the Fiction tag instead.

15
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7answers
5k views

Promoting controversial opinions in a work of fiction

I'm writing a first person novel and main character has highly controversial views, many of which the majority of people would probably consider immoral. Would a character with controversial attitudes ...
5
votes
6answers
160 views

How to sort out a confusing storyline?

I started writing my novel and finished the first draft. I sent it to my dad who gave me some pointers so I started a new document to 'flesh it out' But that document has run away with me, and now I ...
4
votes
5answers
126 views

Sensitivity with disorders/mental illnesses

The novel is overall very distressing and supposed to elicit emotion from the readers, it's practically dependent on it. A few of the characters in my novel will contain depressed and suicidal ...
-2
votes
2answers
54 views

How can I avoid repetition of “I”, while keeping present tense in first person? [duplicate]

I'm writing a first-person fantasy novel. I can't exactly figure out how to avoid the repetition of "I" when explaining the actions of the character. Any way I have ever seen makes the story seem like ...
1
vote
3answers
93 views

Does point of view matter drastically?

I've looked at a few other questions and answers but nothing that I was really looking for. The point of view is a little confusing at the beginning (and probably) throughout the novel. It starts with ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

How to stop rushing writing

I get caught up a lot in what I'm writing and I'm interested in writing a particular scene, but the scene might be chapters away. I don't like writing it before I write the rest and go back to it ...
5
votes
5answers
242 views

How do you make two characters fall in love?

I'm writing a high school romance story. My story centers around two characters falling in love, but I can't find a way to make their romance seem real and believable. Here is the backstory: The main ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Futuristic world with old technology? [closed]

I wrote this paragraph with my character pulling out a laptop, when he literally has a computer Chipped into his Arm??? Greyson entered his study, he got his computer out of it’s briefcase and ...
2
votes
3answers
86 views

How do I get reliable information on things I don't know anything about?

I'm writing a short story about robots and I wanted them to bleed coolant and thought the colour contrast would look good if it was yellow. I've read from multiple sources that coolant can come in ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

How to escape writers block [duplicate]

I've written things for an audience before, but I've never written a small novel like I currently am planning. I haven't wrote anything since maybe December of last year so I am very rusty on my ...
5
votes
2answers
116 views

How to introduce a world previously unknown to the reader AND the protagonist?

I'm working on a novella where the protagonist finds himself in a new world in Chapter 4. How do I avoid infodump and maintain the reader's interest whole furthering plot and theme? The time period is ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Overcoming “Possibility Paralysis”?

I don't often experience writer's block these days. Instead I struggle with a different sort of impediment in my writing: I call it Possibility Paralysis. I have to quickly acknowledge that this is ...
4
votes
4answers
97 views

What should I keep in mind when reviewing and improving already published chapters?

I began writing a fantasy novel as a "last week of vacation fun project", and it hit off very well. It is my first time writing. I'm publishing as a web novel in a popular webnovel site. And of ...
2
votes
2answers
148 views

Is telling one of three convergent plot-line before moving to the next an acceptable alternative to interleaving them?

This is related to a previous question of mine: Convergent, parallel plotlines okay?. It has been suggested that this is might be too closely related to that question, however whereas that question ...
6
votes
3answers
128 views

Can a mystery novel have more than one mystery in it? And does it have to be a “who dunnit” concept?

I am writing a novel and it goes something like this: In the first half of the novel, the protagonist knows who is doing the killing, but they are trying to make sense of it as in "how are they doing ...
19
votes
8answers
7k views

Is it considered lazy writing to have a dry prelude at the start of a book?

I'm thinking of the crawl sequences at the beginning of Star Wars, that just give you the background information straight up, and then start the excitement. I've just been wondering if putting a ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

What ages should I market my book towards?

I'm writing a book, and while I'm not even close to finishing, I can't help but wonder what the age of my intended audience should be. I've read a lot of advice that says that age of my protagonist ...
15
votes
2answers
833 views

Is it posssible to find a literary agent if I'm Egyptian but write in English?

Here is my situation: I am Egyptian, my native language is Arabic but I don't want to write in Arabic I want to write in English. Would a literary agent from an English speaking country agree to work ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

When is a lack of long, sophisticated words to describe an otherwise simple concept bad?

Reading books of Dan Brown and that sort (pardon my inability to produce any other relevant examples off the top of my head) gives off the impression to budding writers that novels need to have a ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Researching Future Technology for a Science Fiction Novel

Because I enjoy reading Science Fiction, I'm thinking of writing a Sci-Fi novel myself. I'm interested in 'hard' (related to the engineering sciences) science fiction with a military bent (think The ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

When writing a novel set in Colombia, do you use Spanish for the dialogue? [duplicate]

The title says it all. I'm unsure whether to go for the realism of the language or the ease of the reader by using English .
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Is my book too similar to Harry Potter? [closed]

The story takes place in a fictional country I created. There are 6 main characters, 3 girls and 3 boys. They are all "gifted" which are people with special abilities. There are 3 types of gifted, ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Why would a novelist choose to use the present tense?

I'm currently reading The Crossing Place by Ellie Griffiths and a couple of pages in I realised that the entire book is in the present tense. She sits on the sofa instead of She sat on the sofa ...
8
votes
2answers
61 views

Transitioning from novel writing to screenwriting?

I've been studying writing for several years, and I feel fairly confident in my ability to write a novel. Before I take the plunge and go for it though, I was curious about a slightly different path: ...
6
votes
3answers
118 views

Is there such a thing as using too Many “I's” in a first person novel?

For example, would you say this section of copy has too many "I's" or even "my's"? I woke in a daze. A drug induced daze. I recognized it instantly, the feeling of being disconnected from my ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

I want to know if this opening is appropriate for my story or if this is confusing? [closed]

Night, when words fade and things come alive. The leaves murmured as the cool winter breeze gushed through them, Grime Street was illuminated by an old lamp that flared to follow the light. Unsure ...
5
votes
2answers
212 views

How do I write about monsters in the 21st Century?

Hollywood and 20th Century Fox used to make movie monsters with organic slime and grotesque puppets, back when CGI was something unheard of that was slowly being practiced. But there were also ...
21
votes
7answers
3k views

Can you have too many story arcs running at the same time?

I've written about 15k words of my story now and the plot is developing nicely. Perhaps a bit too nicely. I have about a dozen of named characters which all have something interesting to do in the ...
6
votes
2answers
124 views

Writing a novel for a charitable cause for free?

I am an aspiring author who wants to write a novel and have it published. Problem is that I am disabled and receive benefits, so I can't receive royalties because the income stream is unpredictable ...
8
votes
2answers
803 views

Sizing of a chapter and how many should I use?

This is basically a follow-up question I asked here: Scene switching and how to do it? I always considered it normal for a chapter to have between 3000 and 5000 words. And people around here thought ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

I need a one-line description for a Christian horror novel I'm writing [closed]

I need a one-liner description for the book I’m writing. There are three main characters, a brother and sister and a young man. My book is a Christian horror novel. The sister must keep her surrogate ...
9
votes
6answers
684 views

Can I include Acknowledgement page in a novel?

I am a new author and I want to mention names of people who helped during my writing. Can I include Acknowledgement page in a novel? I looked in many novels by famous authors and they don't seem to ...
8
votes
7answers
263 views

How to know if the story is going too fast?

I have a question, part subjective, part common sense I think... The conjunction of experience of some writers can be helpful for me. How you know if the story is balanced? ...I mean,how you know it'...
6
votes
3answers
91 views

What are techniques for romantic subtext in a first-person novel?

In a first-person narrative, how do you effectively make it clear to the reader that a second character likes your protagonist, before it dawns on the protagonist herself?
36
votes
16answers
7k views

How do I convey that a relationship is platonic?

I've been toying around with the idea of writing a novel. The story revolves around two characters, one male and one female, and the perspective will shift between them. One of the central ideas of ...
4
votes
3answers
74 views

How to execute a change of the POV in a first person novel POV?

I am writing a novel and I am about 1/3 into it. It is in first person, past-tense. I am at a scene where the main character (the narrator) goes unconscious. The second main character has only ever ...
4
votes
2answers
176 views

Convergent, parallel plotlines okay?

So I saw Over Plotting My Story this morning, and I thought "Am I making the same mistake?" If so I'd rather fix it soon than later. I then did a search for multiple plot branches and found Are ...
18
votes
10answers
3k views

How to derive a first sentence from a story?

There is much advice out there on "how to write a killer opening line". Usually these blog posts or how-to-write book chapters list examples of first sentences from recognized masterworks or group ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

How to open a novel?

Looking at the function of the beginning of a novel, it is clear that it should hook the reader and draw him or her into the story. Different techniques for achieving the hook have been described, ...
19
votes
11answers
6k views

How to avoid writing irritating fan fictions?

I have recently started writing a fanfiction and I am posting it online as I write it. However, I often see in comments sayings 'This fanfiction gave me cancer','The writer of this crap should just ...
7
votes
2answers
77 views

How to quote a book in my novel?

I write as a hobby and so my works are pretty amateur, but I still try to keep my writing as legitimate and proper as I can. My novel is about how a teenage boy (who is notorious for being a bad ...
15
votes
7answers
5k views

What are the signs of accidental self insertion?

I am currently writing a novel where the main character will be far more powerful than most of the people in the world and I am worried that I will end up losing sight of what I am writing and start ...
4
votes
5answers
92 views

What is the role of “flashback” in my novel?

I start my Revolutionary War novel on August 21, 1780, when "boy meets girl." Specifically, the hero is rescued from British captivity by a bunch of guerrillas. One of these guerrillas takes him home ...
4
votes
2answers
110 views

Should I copyright my material before sending to my publisher?

Should I copyright my material before sending to my publisher? Can they steal my content?
4
votes
1answer
70 views

How to describe sound? [closed]

I have this scene in my novel that I'm trying to write. There is this character who is on the boat, rowing. I don't know how to describe the sound of the oar touching the water as he paddles. The ...
3
votes
3answers
89 views

Trying to figure out the correct type punctuation for dialogues

I'm currently writing a story so far is going well, but I reached I point on the story where I don't know how to proceed. when a character is talking I write their dialogue just like this: "I went ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

Describing something that doesn't exist [duplicate]

I'm in the middle of my first draft for my novel, and I can't seem to properly convey to my audience the image I'm trying to describe. That's what I want to show my readers, but it's coming across ...
8
votes
1answer
134 views

How to write a discussion amongst 5 people while narrating a novel as first person singular?

I am writing an autobiographical novel and there is a scene where 5 people will be discussing a subject matter. Now, how can I write the discussion without making it sound like a newbie like I want to ...
6
votes
3answers
596 views

How to write a telephone conversation in a novel?

If Closed Captioning on TV is any guide, then dialogue heard over a phone would be in italics, not in quotes. The same would apply to dialogue audible when the phone is on speaker and as over a walkie-...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...