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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3answers
882 views

Is it wise to publish a novel as an e-book, and how would I do it?

I'm considering publishing my novel as an e-book (since I'm very techy) before I take the usual "paperback" route. Is this a wise choice? Also what would I need to do? (steps).
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4answers
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Publishing fiction: when do I start looking for an agent?

I am just about finished with the first draft of a novel I've been working on. I've been writing novels for about ten years and I've self-published a couple, but I'm looking to peek into the world of "...
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6answers
11k views

Examples for books that don't use (traditional) chapters? [closed]

I'm a big fan of Terry Pratchett, and he doesn't use chapters (mostly). Are there any other authors who tend to not use traditional chapters or chapters at all in novels?
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3answers
400 views

Is it okay to switch protagonists between books, if the main protagonist is a hidden "actor"?

On my research I stumbled upon this question and it matches somehow with my question, that lingers in my head for a long time. In the mentioned question I read the common thinking is: Switching ...
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3answers
5k views

Should a long flashback be written in first or third person?

In my novel there will be a chapter-length flashback as one character relates a story from his past. The rest of the novel is written in limited third-person, seeing into one person's mind at a time. ...
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2answers
320 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: ...
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4answers
206 views

Do most e-book writers just self publish on Kindle to start with?

On a lot of writers forums and in articles, it seems like Kindle is the main platform most self-publishing writers use just because that one is the one that is referenced all the time. I was ...
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1answer
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What are the poetry/quotes at the start of a chapter/book called?

For instance, "A Rasin in the Sun" starts with the poem "Harlem." I've noticed many (mostly contemporary) novels will start chapters with pieces of Poetry or quotes that are completely separate from ...
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983 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 ...
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3answers
195 views

How much science/medical detail is too much?

I am a former Molecular Biologist and also worked for years as an ICU nurse. I personally liked Crichton's style of writing about science/medical mishaps but found his presentation of science/medical ...
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1answer
990 views

Do Open Source Novels Exist?

Are there any examples of novels that are "open source"? Anytime I run a search of open-source novels, I keep getting results for open source writing software. That's not what I'm after. What I ...
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2answers
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How much agent contact should I expect?

How much contact should I expect to have with my literary agent (from a sizeable London firm, representing my first novel)? Are months of silence to be expected/endured? If so...how many?
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
222 views

What is the standard editorial timeline for genre fiction novels?

I'm signed with a publisher working on my first genre fiction novel. The editor is driving me crazy not getting her work done and putting the rewrites on me at the last minute up against the deadlines....
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12answers
6k views

What can I do to make my book more challenging?

I'm writing a children's novel, and after handing it to my younger sister for her feedback (my sister's seven, the targeted age range is 8-12), she said it was very easy for her, but she appeared to ...
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What makes a good death scene?

I'm looking specifically into the written medium (NOT screenwriting) and the death of an important friendly character. It's supposed to be a scene to make the reader scream "please, don't", not "yes, ...
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6answers
1k views

How to attract the average reader to an "intellectual" novel?

For instance, If I write a novel which has the following: “The universe goes through a gradual transition from one condition, to a different condition, without any abrupt changes.” ...
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7answers
545 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 ...
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5answers
412 views

Can I write my sub stories separately?

I am writing a novel with two groups of characters. They will have their own adventures, and meet somewhere after the middle to take on the main villain. Now in the book, the stories will be ...
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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 ...
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10answers
2k views

Is a male character crying realistic or excessive?

I would like feedback on if this portrayal of male emotion is unrealistic. I have been told (beta readers) that men don't cry in real life (already know this is not true). The character is meant to be ...
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7answers
2k views

Do men fall "in love" (romantic, sensual or desire) with fictional characters?

I was having a discussion over coffee with an aspiring author friend of mine and we had an interestingly productive but annoying argument about in-novel crushes. He said that he had never had ...
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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 ...
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4answers
593 views

How to give the readers breathing space, without putting them to sleep?

I remember reading somewhere that while plots should have tension, too much tension will tire the readers out, so there should be some breathing place, where the reader can get a chance to catch their ...
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5answers
189 views

Sign language in books

If you have a character who is mute and uses sign language, how would you write what they’re saying? I don’t know if it’s literary appropriate to use quotes or narrate. Example. Jon looked at the ...
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719 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 ...
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3answers
180 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 ...
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4answers
15k views

What is the recomended word-count for a fantasy-fiction book?

By recommended I mean what is the standard for it to be not too long and not too short. I know I should write until I am finished but I want to take practicality into account as well. Mainly when the ...
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742 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 ...
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3answers
306 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 ...
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3answers
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How To Write An Unreliable Narrator?

So in my latest works I've decided to make my narrator, whom is my main character as well, pretty unreliable. How do I get this across to readers? I read a few short stories online that were pretty ...
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What should be put on scene notecards? (for novel writing)

Once, a while back, I tried to use notecards when noveling to organize and develop my novel. The idea (a fairly common one, I believe) was that each scene is noted on a notecard, and you can then ...
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6answers
768 views

Is it possible to write a novel completely devoid of dialogue?

I am in the process of writing a novel, and I'm just trying to get some ideas and thought on this. I am not sure yet if I want to completely remove all dialogue, but at this point I feel that dialogue ...
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2answers
142 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 ...
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2answers
856 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 ...
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5answers
691 views

Advice on portraying my protagonist's anger without making her insufferable

Background Info: My main character starts out the story with kind of a sad back story, it's not in a tragic way, just the normal kind of misfortune; losing family members, having to drop out of ...
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3answers
152 views

I struggle to make characters emote during dialogue

I often find myself with two (or more) characters speaking, and too often my descriptions would be "he paused," "he sighed," "he rubbed the bridge of his nose," etc. Too ...
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1answer
421 views

Is posting a work in progress novel online considered previously published by big publishers?

I am almost finished up writing my first novel--a fiction-- and I am considering posting it on sites like fictionpress to see if I get any advice and constructive criticism on things to fix. I really ...
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2answers
2k views

How best to format a novel written in Markdown

I want to use a text editor (Emacs) to write a novel because I don't want to consider page layout and other similar issues. I want to use the Markdown format so that I can convert it to the docx ...
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3answers
265 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 ...
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2answers
297 views

Do popular books use simpler language?

This might seem like an obvious question, but I'm curious if there's been any research into whether popularity correlates with linguistic simplicity. Furthermore, do popular novels use linguistic ...
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1answer
838 views

A Question About Addressing The Reader?

I’m a beginner when it comes to writing. I’m attempting to write a novel. It’s in First Person. I was wondering if I can address the reader, as the main character telling the story. I’ll give you ...
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5answers
456 views

How to handle a pidgin language?

Question: In reference to this question about how to show a foreign language in a manuscript, I am wondering: What is the best way to handle a pidgin language in a manuscript? In a wider sense: How ...
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8answers
3k 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 ...
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6answers
421 views

Early investment in a character who "learns better"

I'm looking for ways to build early reader investment in an unlikable character who "learns better," but not until fairly late in the book. In particular, I'm writing a first-person middle-grade ...
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4answers
362 views

Defining a Prologue

I came across prologues of several novels, and I noticed that they all were different from each other. Some had a short excerpt picked somewhere from the novel, a few included some private notes from ...
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6answers
1k views

How should I have my male character express strong feelings?

I am a woman, and I wrote a book out of the perspective of a guy. His best friend tells him she wants to kill herself. So he writes her a diary (with her in mind as the audience) about everything they ...
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3answers
264 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 ...
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5answers
8k 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 ...
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3answers
454 views

Should I need to add Face Description of all Characters?

I am writing a novel. Should I need to add Face Description ( or the personality ) of all the Characters? Is there a template that can help me? Are there any novels that does not describe faces or ...

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