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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.

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6answers
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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
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1answer
55 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
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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
97 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
255 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 ...
30
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 ...
17
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
164 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 ...
8
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3answers
588 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
198 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
97 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
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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
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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
48 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
43 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
91 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
153 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
105 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
73 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
102 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
47 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
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3answers
89 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
51 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
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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 ...
12
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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
121 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
7answers
520 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
46 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
126 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
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1answer
74 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
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2answers
105 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
213 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
129 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
65 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
67 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
120 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
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3answers
958 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
121 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
89 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
566 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
80 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
198 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
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2answers
118 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
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2answers
146 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
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1answer
40 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 ...
41
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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 ...