Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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.

4
votes
2answers
59 views

What are the points to remember when the pet is the narrator and is narrating the story of its owner?

I'm working on a novel which is based on a true story. I first thought of writing from the heroine's POV, but later changed my mind and introduced a pet in the plot as the narrator of the story. Which ...
6
votes
2answers
90 views

Given two alternative, strong endings to a novel, how to decide which one to use?

I'm in the final polishing stages of a novel and I have two endings that both blow me away and I feel are very, very strong. Obviously, I can only have one ending. The story doesn't lend itself to a ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Is there a market for all-ages novels?

Historically, books and movies didn't always have a specific target age. While some material was just for adults, a lot of what we think of now as being for kids or teens had a more general market. ...
5
votes
4answers
84 views

Characterizing a sentient robot: sensory data

I have a sentient robot in my novel. Truth to be told, I have many. Sentience is somewhat cheap to achieve, meaning that there are multiple artificial beings that can be considered sentient by our ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

The three acts and their relative length

Let's take for granted that the 3 acts structure is relevant and exists. This, of course, is an assumption. How the three acts relate with the length of the novel? In a standard book - let's say 50k ...
4
votes
3answers
73 views

Introducing a character in the third act?

I'm well into the third act of my novel and I'm introducing a new character that will play a part in the ending and an even bigger part in the roughly sketched sequel I have in mind. Now, I'm pretty ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Is it good formatting to bookend quotations with a comma when they occur in the middle of narration?

Consider the sample sentence below from a novel. As he stared at it, Emma announced “Its blackberry cake! It’s the best cake you’ll ever taste. Honest!” And with that, she stuffed in another big ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I write humor as character trait?

I have a character that likes to make humor, puns and jokes. Humor should work here as a character trait; something really peculiar to this particular char. He says a lot of puns because he find ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Does the reader need to like the PoV character?

I have the feeling this is already been asked, but I can't seem to find it. Close the question if it comes out as duplicate. There's an issue with novels with a first-person narrator, or a third ...
3
votes
4answers
105 views

Creating or identifying secondary protagonists

First of all, this is my first time writing more than a short story, and I am quite new to writing in general, so pretty novice. I am currently in the process of outlining the story for a novel I am ...
7
votes
6answers
481 views

Symbolism of 18 Journeyers

In my story, 12 year old Ruth has visions from another place and time which lead her to gather a group of kids for a quest. She is told there will be 18 kids, but she can only find 17 with the ...
17
votes
11answers
2k views

Describing a chess game in a novel

I have a scene in a upcoming novel where two people play a game of chess, and I realized how difficult it was to describe it. The problem is due to the fact that there are many pieces and you can't ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

How do we distinguish someone talking to another person via telepathy rather than via vocal means? [duplicate]

In my sci-fi novel, some people have the ability to talk via telepathy so how do we distinguish telepathy from other types of communication? I would like to do it, because it's not the same, and I ...
6
votes
4answers
116 views

Is it necessary to take writing classes and learn formal fiction structure?

This is an offshoot from a comment exchange on an unrelated question. What to submit when asked for "sample chapters"? I know a large percentage of traditionally published fiction authors, ...
-2
votes
1answer
68 views

George Orwell 1984. What does this sentence actually mean.? [closed]

"The consequences of every act are included in the act itself".. What does this actually mean??
5
votes
2answers
81 views

What to submit when asked for “sample chapters”?

For a submission (to a grant program, competition, agent, or publisher) that asks for sample chapters, which chapters do you choose? For example, a grant program for unfinished works I'm interested ...
3
votes
4answers
108 views

How can we incorporate poems in a novel?

I am not sure if this is true, but I heard there were short poems in the beginning of each chapter in Lord of the Rings. Although, this could be done fairly easily, I am wondering if there are any ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

How much does translating a novel cost?

I've read that writers and editors are often paid on a per-word basis. Then I did a search about the cost of translating a literary work into a different language and I've found varying information. ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

When a story is longer than a book, is it best to wait until the entire story is done before completing the first book in the story? [duplicate]

I have been working on a story for several years. The manuscript is now currently longer than 1,000 notebook pages (roughly 615 pages in print by my calculations) and it’s only a third of the way ...
5
votes
2answers
64 views

Should I give out specific information about agent interest to other agents?

I've edited the question for clarity following some unexpected comments in the first answer. I submitted my latest novel to a handful of agents, and had a request for a full manuscript. On almost ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

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 ...
2
votes
4answers
111 views

How to choose ideal number of main characters?

As I already mentioned in my previous question, I'm writing a novel with personages both that I created and some already created by others (well, I wrote that when I was younger and now I just ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How do we edit a novel that's written by several people?

Two other friends and I have been writing a fan fiction and we basically write a chapter each one after another every week. Now that we're nearing the end of the project, we've noticed that the ...
10
votes
3answers
950 views

Criticizing long fiction. How is it different from short?

I recently asked about criticism regarding short pieces of fiction. What about longer works like novels? Surely no one can sit down and agonize over individual word choices in a larger work the way ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

Finishing up someone else's novel

One of my friends passed away about a year ago and left me some manuscripts. A rough draft and without a proper ending. I was wondering if I should finish it and how. Should I take the draft and just ...
6
votes
3answers
88 views

Is it okay for the final chapter to be a lot longer than all the other chapters?

In one of my novels (it's a middle grade fantasy novel) the chapters average around 2,000 words. But the final climactic chapter is currently almost 7,000 words. I am considering splitting it into two ...
8
votes
4answers
557 views

Incorporating research and background: How much is too much?

The amount of research I'm doing for my novel is staggering. To the point where my spouse says I need to write a companion book (or a blog) just talking about the research! Sometimes I research for ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

What are the best techniques to show a character panicking as it is seen by the POV character?

So the problem I am having is that the protagonist of the novel I am writing is having a confrontation with another character, who starts panicking. Instead of saying "panic dripped from his face", I ...
0
votes
3answers
87 views

Is It Legal to Use Military Insignias of Defunct Nations?

I'm writing a novel, and the plotline has military terminology and insignias. The basic plot is that there are two continents in my world: one capitalist and allegorically like the US and NATO, and ...
7
votes
2answers
109 views

Sugar-coating a niche genre

I have written one novel, which I believe to be in the steampunk genre. The main plot revolves around a two adventurous women entering in possession of a fabled machine, and using it to chase the ...
6
votes
2answers
105 views

Crossing the line from Middle-Grade to Young-Adult

I would like to followup on this excellent question which outlined differences among works for children, middle-grade, and young-adult. What are some clear differences in theme/story between children&...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

Adapting dialogue from a novel into a screenplay

I would like to adapt a novel I wrote into a screenplay, and I was wondering if there are things to take into consideration before taking the dive. The novel doesn't have a lot of dialogue and I think ...
40
votes
8answers
7k views

Why write a book when there's a movie in my head?

Around a decade ago, I had a dream. An actual middle of the night dream. An entire movie played in my head, all I had to do was write it down. I did a fair bit of research on the topic then I spent ...
1
vote
4answers
183 views

How to keep romance out of my novel?

(Kem uses they/them pronouns.) I'm outlining a story about a witch named Kem who has to protect the world from evil. Kem befriends demons and other witches, but I don't want them to find a crush or ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

What are some ways to implement multiple endings in a novel?

I am thinking of implementing multiple ending to one of my novels and it would be done the following way: There's a scene where the main character is about to do something, but I leave it to the ...
4
votes
4answers
77 views

Time gaps in a novel

I am having issues when it comes to how time passes in the book I'm writing. I usually find myself describing the day from start to finish, and that's just useless material since nothing relevant ...
1
vote
5answers
123 views

I am afraid some scenes in my novel are too graphic for some people (Trigger warning: Sexual Assault)

Just to keep it short. One of my characters is sexually assaulted by her father. While not being descriptive of the act itself, the situation itself is quite an sad scene. This is relevant as the ...
4
votes
2answers
142 views

How to fill novel if you have just some moments prepared?

I read some of my old novels and realized that I often filled them with unnecessary info and pseudojokes so I could quickly rejoin my favourite moments in the planned plot. I found those moments more ...
2
votes
3answers
72 views

Research on an alternate history novel

I love alternate history scenarios; however, I just want to start writing. Should I do research or just start writing and go with it with some research along the way?
4
votes
2answers
68 views

Fictionizing firsthand accounts from history?

I am currently in the research phase of writing my first novel that is based on a true historical event. Having obtained a ton of sources in more than three different languages, I have come across ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Changing 3rd person limited to 3rd person omniscient POV for a few scenes

Is it considered bad form to have a novel where the majority of it is 3rd person limited, then change to omniscient for a few scenes? I think I can build up more tension if the protagonist is not in ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Writing a fiction novel with poetic verses and handling dialogues

I am wondering how you should format dialogues when writing a fiction novel with poetic verses. I believe that the descriptive parts should be written in verses, but what about dialogues? How would ...
2
votes
4answers
85 views

How to search for titles of novels that are or begin with a word or phrase previously used as the title of many nonfictional works?

Say I have a possible title for a novel I am writing, and it's a word or phrase that has been used in the title of quite a large number of nonfictional works, sometimes as the whole of the title. But ...
7
votes
3answers
216 views

How to get my characters' emotions out of the way so I can get on with the plot?

Setup: 18 kids (ages 2-14) from 1995 America time travel to Ancient Egypt just before the Exodus. The MC knew this would happen (or thought she knew) and told people, but no one believed her. Now ...
3
votes
7answers
220 views

Creating and keeping track of characters

I admit to finding this an insurmountable task. My novel has dozens of characters. My first problem wasn't keeping track of them, but creating them. Modern Day: My 20th century characters were ...
2
votes
5answers
123 views

How can I make a talky, idea-based concept enjoyable [closed]

I'm writing a psychological novel about different characters finding the meaning of their lives. But the ending reveals it was all part of an experiment (properly foreshadowed). Someone was trying to ...
18
votes
9answers
5k views

Is it time to start closing up my novel?

I realize this may be a duplicate question. I've seen, for reference [ How long can a first novel be? ] yet I think my situation is a little more specific. I find myself in a similar situation. My ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Is there such a thing as a “cinematographic metaphor” in novels?

What I mean by "cinematographic metaphor" is that, instead of expressing metaphors using words, you use images that are imprinted in your mind through descriptions in a novel. Here's what I mean: We ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Can I write and get a book publish if I'm just 12? [duplicate]

I really want to write a book about the problems I've been having with friendships, but I'm not sure I should write this, because, of course I'm going to change everyone's names, even mine, but the ...
22
votes
14answers
7k views

Should I add racism in my book's world or have my world have no racism?

I've been writing a children's novel inspired by action cartoons, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, paganism/Wicca, mythology and Harry Potter. It's a very dark children's book I'll admit, but Harry ...