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.

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21
votes
9answers
3k views

As a discovery writer, how do I complete an unfinished novel (which has highly diverged from the original plot ) after a time-gap?

I am a reader more than a writer, and fantasy is my favorite genre. I used to write short stories and poems. Some of them are published in magazines and get good reviews. In 2018 January, I read the ...
0
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0answers
47 views

An immortal character vital to the plot thrown back in time during a climatic battle doesn't return to the story until well after. Why not? [closed]

I have a bit of a time conundrum on my hands. In an outline I am working up, there is a character who is key to the "good guys" winning in the end, but during a major battle this character is thrown ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

how to tell if a book will be a bestseller? [closed]

I wrote a novel and it is Science fiction based novel. Almost every close friend of mine read the novel and none of them gave a negative response. What are the possibilities that I need to assume, ...
13
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4answers
231 views

Getting an editor after the second draft

Losely related with my latest question: Should one invest in a professional editor before querying? I've finished - not without sweat - my second draft. While I'm satisfied with the overall result, I ...
9
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4answers
218 views

Is it alright to add scenes that don’t move the plot forwards much but develop relationships/character?

For example, let’s say the main plot is that the characters are on a quest to go find something. Can an author spend three scenes in a row detailing what happens on their journey there, even if the ...
9
votes
3answers
168 views

Do I really need a platform to sell my novel?

Every piece of writer's advice I see will include something about "building a following" online, so that a publisher will be more likely to pick you up. The problem is, I don't have any idea how to do ...
7
votes
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 ...
30
votes
10answers
7k views

Are illustrations in novels frowned upon?

Lately I've been thinking that I don't know of a single novel that has illustrations in it. I've tried finding out the reason why, and came across an article published in The Guardian in 2011, but it ...
7
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3answers
160 views

Avoiding episodic writing

I'm working on a novel that will have at least three distinct sections in three distinct locations (the two main characters start in the first location, travel through the second location, and one ...
0
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3answers
101 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 ...
1
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1answer
52 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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4answers
153 views

In which language does the Russian mafiosi speak in my English novel?

In my novel, the MC goes to a Russian mafia in Moscow. Now before the MC character introduces herself as an English speaking person, will the Russian character start the conversation in Russian or as ...
36
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8answers
8k views

Is the first page of a novel really that important?

I am reading in a few blogs like this that the first page of the novel is really important if it has to get published. Is this true? Can a good story not compensate for an ordinary first page. I have ...
4
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2answers
598 views

Is a fighting a fallen friend with the help of a redeemed villain story too much for one book

In a story I am about to write the best friend of the protagonist is a good, caring and benevolent person, lets call him John. The antagonist is not really a bad person but because of the ...
7
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4answers
659 views

Storyboarding Approaches for the Non-Artistic

TLDR: Tips and Tricks for storyboarding a novel? For someone who can't draw well enough to do the "Draw and describe method" Hello, having read the "Storyboard a Novel?" as well as some sources ...
7
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3answers
105 views

Can I modify and turn my published short stories into a novel?

I'm writing some short stories that are all connected and are set in the same universe, because I planned to put them together into a novel later. My question is: If I publish those short stories, can ...
12
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3answers
5k views

I gave my characters names that are exactly like another book. Is it a problem?

Ok, so, I am currently writing a book and 3 of my characters have the same name as in another novel. I didn't realize it until someone pointed it out to me. The names I picked are fairly common and ...
3
votes
2answers
153 views

How to build up towards a “Moment of Reckoning” when my story is told in the first person?

I had started writing my novel in the first person. Later on, I planned some plot twists along the way. For these plot twists to happen, the protagonist shouldn't be aware of the consequences/...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Is Masterclass worth it for a middle-grade author?

I already read Larry Brooks' very useful book "Story Engineering", and Mary Kole's Writing Irresistible Kidlit. Now I have finished and revised my first middle-grade (MG) novel a few times. Before ...
12
votes
4answers
680 views

I don't want to be introduced as a “Minority Novelist”

I started writing a novel directly tied to my background in which the protagonist and her surrounding environment have many characteristics in common with mine. As I wrote the first chapter, I ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Are there stylistic overlaps between novels and comic books? [closed]

I am going to quote from a novel that in my opinion shows many stylistic overlaps of novels and comic books: The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey. I am holding that novel in my hand now. The use of a lot of ...
16
votes
9answers
5k views

Is it bad to suddenly introduce another element to your fantasy world a good ways into the story?

I'm writing a novel with many POVs, and this is a very flexible story. It started out with a few POVs who had one plot, and now there is a lot more, having been integrated in between those previously ...
25
votes
10answers
6k views

Can a successful book series let the bad guy win? [duplicate]

I have a five book series and I have plotted them all out. The main bad guy wins in the end. My problem with this is my girlfriend keeps telling me that bad guys winning will make readers upset that ...
6
votes
2answers
115 views

Is starting In Media Res compatible with a Three-Act Structure?

I have a story in mind which I am confident will fit a three-act structure very well. However, I am uncertain about the exposition that I have been writing, as it feels a bit stifled, almost as though ...
4
votes
2answers
77 views

Starting from future smoothing your way to present

Ok, so the hook for my novel is a quote from the future that my protagonist will eventually say. But I need a way for my novel to go back to present tense. In what way can I smooth my novel back to ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Writing a book review

I just came across a question that related to the topic of book reviews. I wish to know, how can I start as a reviewer and where can I find sample reviews of some non-technical books or novels? In ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Using indents and line breaks together

I am sorry if has been asked before. I was wondering if that both Indent and Line Break in the same text are allowed (I've seen it used in some old texts and I am wondering if it still an acceptable ...
1
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3answers
75 views

Can monster/beasts be in a psychological horror

I am working on a psychological horror with an extra element. Monsters, and I don’t mean ghosts. My characters will face suspicions, distrust, paranoia and emotional disturbances. They will deal with ...
6
votes
2answers
251 views

Who decides how to classify a novel?

Young Adult fiction is distinguished from Adult fiction typically by the age of the protagonist(s) and the subject matter or experiences involved. You can, of course, have adult novels starring ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Using too much dialogue?

I'm working on a novel of my own and, looking back at the bits of it I have so far brought into light, that almost everything in it is dialogue. Is this a bad thing? How could I fix this if it is?
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Can one start the second draft when the first lacks a proper ending?

I'm close to ending my first draft, literally being to the last or second-to-last chapter. I'm suffering from a strange form of writer's block, though, since I can't seem to come up with a satisfying ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Are there any established rules for splitting books into parts, chapters, sections etc?

I am working with an author, whose approach is to write her text, approximately divided by indicators where she wants the breaks to be, with the idea that later she and I would improve the breaks and ...
5
votes
2answers
150 views

Having multiple epilogues

According to Wikipedia, An epilogue is the final chapter at the end of a story that often serves to reveal the fates of the characters. Some epilogues may feature scenes only tangentially related ...
5
votes
5answers
284 views

Should I release my novel now… or miss a golden opportunity?

I just finished writing the first draft of my novel. (BTW, this is my first) As luck would have it, something just popped up in the news which is directly related to my story. The topic has been ...
29
votes
8answers
6k views

When do you stop “pushing” a book?

Let's suppose you have finished your novel, through all the appropriate stages of drafting and editing needed. You begin submitting the book to various agents and/or publishing companies, but none of ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

In a series of books, what happens after the coming of age?

I'm writing a novel focusing on a single character POV. For many aspects, it can be considered a coming of age story; along with the usual tropes of the hero's journey, my protagonist gradually learn ...
5
votes
3answers
180 views

Should a short story be submitted to a publisher in order to know if they would be interested in a book based on it?

I wrote a very compelling science fiction short story. I am currently writing a book about an entirely different universe, not related to this short story. I made this story rest for a long time, had ...
7
votes
3answers
660 views

Outlining A Novel - How do you make it less of a slog?

I've seen this question asked before but many years ago and no doubt much has changed in terms of software. I find that a book comes together much faster and with a more coherent structure if I ...
3
votes
5answers
220 views

Opening chapter foreshadowing or not?

In my story, a homicide takes place. I want to describe this homicide at the start of the story, through the eyes of the victim, to foreshadow what's about to come. But victim and suspect are both ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

Will a change in perspective “intimacy” confuse the reader?

[Not a native english speaker] I am currently writing a novel, told from the 3rd-person POV, with several characters being followed in different scenes. Will the following confuse the readers? ...
15
votes
6answers
5k views

Do I really need to have a message in a novel to appeal to readers?

I am in the process of the writing a book. It is not my first attempt. My goals for the book are: Naturally, appeal to my target audience and with work and luck, sell well. Invoke the same emotions, ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

English words in a non-english sci-fi novel

In the modern world, english is a well-estabilished technical and scientific language. Some terms have become so commonly used that they are accepted in my native tongue (words like "computer", "PC", "...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Vague vs Specific: When to provide motivation details for action in a story?

I'm reading Wired for Story, by Lisa Cron, where she writes the following about being vague or omitting information that the reader does not know: ...being vague is never a good idea... ......
1
vote
0answers
46 views

How do I attract readers? [duplicate]

When a novel is self-published through something like Amazon, how do I attract readers once it's live? How do I expand beyond just the bubble of people who know me personally?
4
votes
2answers
104 views

If the narrator of the story is a pet, can I still add some philosophical stuff into its narration?

So, the story is about the heroine of the book, but the whole thing is narrated by her pet. Initially the plot is light and easy, but later into the story, it gets a little serious. There's stuff ...
11
votes
10answers
4k views

Is a stroke of luck acceptable after a series of unfavorable events?

The protagonist sets out on a journey to reach a goal. But the further he gets into the story, the clearer he understands that the odds aren't in his favor. He experiences loss, frustration, anger, ...
5
votes
3answers
215 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
131 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
85 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
112 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 ...