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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8answers
382 views

How to Introduce Something Potentially Laughable?

Here's the set up. You're reading a traditional fantasy. Something is attacking the land of the elves. At long last the invaders are discovered, and they are... intelligent rabbits. My idea isn't ...
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5answers
434 views

Inside your character's head - when does it become too much?

I've read that leaving your character alone for too long can spell death for your novel. That you should put them out there in the world so they can interact with other characters. That you shouldn't ...
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6answers
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Where do I write 'The End'?

Background Woohoo! I literally just finished right now my masterpiece trilogy that I have worked on for what seems like, ages... I'm a bit vexed as to where I should write 'the end'. The epilogue ...
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5answers
1k views

Should I name my characters based off of their personality? [duplicate]

So I'm writing a book, and in my book, I have a habit to name every one of my characters based on their personality. My main characters, Luna and Cyrus mean sun and moon, but not only are they soul ...
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4answers
2k views

Using real names in fiction

I'm thinking of writing a fiction novel. The plot I've outlined so far centers largely around one possible path the future of our world could take over the next several decades. In doing so, the story ...
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4answers
484 views

Misleading facts in the About the Author section

In the 'About the Author' section of Cuckoo's calling, it says that Robert Galbraith spent several years in the military etc etc. But now that we all know who Robert Galbraith is...does this not ...
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2answers
512 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 ...
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8answers
1k views

Can I write same scene from 2 viewpoints?

I'm writing a romance novel and want to include some scenes that are described first from the female protagonist point of view and then from the male. Will readers think it's a waste of time (as the ...
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3answers
471 views

Is it good to publish a novel online for free?

I am not after earning money but to spread knowledge about something for free. But if money is neglected, what else can be the disadvantage of publishing it online?
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4answers
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Is it strange if a novel starts the first chapter without one of main characters?

I'm writing a novel with the following structure (I'm not very sure what's the technical term): Chapter One (based on the POV of Character C): C sees B for the first time Chapter Two (based on the ...
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2answers
1k views

Guideline on turning points in a novel?

What are some popular guides regarding structuring a novel, specifically what turning points the story should hit and approximately at what point in the manuscript? I'm looking for something more ...
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5answers
869 views

Do I need to know anything to write a short story that I wouldn't know by studying how to write novels?

For a long time now, I've been reading books on how to get the first draft of a novel written. I've finally begun putting the knowledge I've gathered to practice and look forward to the results. In ...
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4answers
207 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, ...
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2answers
184 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 ...
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5answers
582 views

Does self-publishing one's eBook online hurt a writer's chances of later selling the same book to a traditional publisher?

Prior to asking this question, I have found and read similar questions posted by other people and I have come away each time deeply dissatisfied and frustrated by the responses given. Here’s an ...
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2answers
249 views

How do you write a story with someone else overseas?

My friend and I have wanted to write a story together for a while now. But she lives in a different country, so we are just confused on how we can do this over calls. Because I know that we can't call ...
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2answers
314 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 ...
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3answers
703 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 ...
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2answers
205 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&...
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6answers
680 views

What is the best way to generate ideas?

I want to write a novel, but I want to write that novel using my best idea currently... it's just that, I don't have an idea, at least not one that I deem worthy of the time and effort involved in ...
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2answers
577 views

Breaking the 'cooling down' rule after finishing the first draft

I've read that after finishing the first draft, you should distance yourself from the project at least a month. I just finished the first draft of my novel (10 chapters). I've been trying to not to ...
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4answers
196 views

How do you deal with burnout? How do you break through writer's block?

I've been working on a book for about four years now. Every time I reach the middle, I get stuck and I go back and edit and rewrite everything. I've probably rewritten the whole thing at least seven ...
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3answers
858 views

A question about Past Participle vs Simple Past in a novel

The novel is in past tense and the character is recounting things that happened before the novel began. Should I be using the past participle? Everything I read says that using the word "had" is a big ...
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6answers
431 views

On the role of "accidents" in "realistic" stories

Accidents are a part of our real life. It is possible to see an old friend accidentally. It is possible to find a fallen comet accidentally. It is possible to kill someone by an accident, etc. Many ...
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2answers
430 views

Is it a bad idea to turn a short story into a full-length novel?

I've written a couple of short stories. I'm really satisfied with some of them, and I would like to turn them into full-length novels. They were meant to be short stories from the beginning, but I ...
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2answers
332 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 ...
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7answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
10k views

Referencing real and fictional people/characters in novels - legal implications

I've been going out of my way to avoid referencing famous people in my novel as well as fictional characters, but I keep seeing pop culture references in other books I read as well as in TV shows, ...
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6answers
295 views

How to collect my ideas in one story?

I start to feel that I'm mad. I make stories from everything that I see on the street. A dialogue, an interesting personality, a funny couple, a hard question or a perfect view to write about. Words ...
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1answer
243 views

Include book cover in query letter to agent?

I'm emailing a few agents about a novel I wrote. Typical query letter, attaching a summary and the first three chapters, as they request. I happen to have commissioned a book cover for the novel, ...
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1answer
388 views

Can I quote an infamous line from a satire written in the 18th century in my novel?

I marked it with a footnote containing the writer's name, the work's title and copied the "Publisher" section from Wikipedia so far. What about the English translation of the original French quote? ...
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2answers
140 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 ...
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3answers
365 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?
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1answer
191 views

What exactly is an editor "summary"?

An Australian literary agent just knocked me back after reading my debut novel manuscript. He advised me to find an editor and said he'll entertain reading my work again but would like to first see ...
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3answers
117 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 ...
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1answer
113 views

Do self publishers need to support punctuation differences for different markets?

I am an Australian, first time author, intending to self publish. I have prepared the manuscript using the Australian English dictionary in MS Word. Many words are spelled differently in different ...
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1answer
92 views

Are there any online writing groups dedicated to critiquing synopses?

I wrote what others believe is a killer query letter, but now I have to do a synopsis. There appear to be lots of writer's groups, but I was hoping for a free one that focuses on reading synopses. ...
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8answers
2k views

Should a writer be a good reader?

Someone who wants to be a writer, has a good idea in his/her brain but is not much of a reader. Can that person be a good writer given that he/she has read a few novels but wants to write a great ...
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6answers
7k views

How do I realistically describe using a whip?

I'm writing a character who is going to be using a whip. While the scenario is clear in my mind, whenever I try to describe the character's usage of the whip while fighting, the only thing I can come ...
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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 ...
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7answers
422 views

What's the most marketable title?

I am writing a novel about someone being chased by the Russian Mafia. A hitman is sent to save her and that's where the books takes off. I have way too many titles floating in my brain - three to be ...
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3answers
270 views

Is it really necessary to add things like "I thought, I wondered, etc," in first-person narrative?

Example: The whole thing sounded a bit strange. How had she gotten my number? I wondered. I didn't know anyone called Maria. The whole thing sounded a bit strange. How had she gotten my ...
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5answers
2k views

How to progress a fantasy novel that is also slice of life?

I am currently writing a novel where I mix the genre fantasy, sci-fi, and slice of life. My plan is to make the main character to save the sci-fi city using fantasy. And beyond that, I also use slice ...
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5answers
326 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 ...
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7answers
3k views

Where does the "black moment" fall in a novel?

I'm currently learning about story structure and there's not much consensus on the "black moment" or "all is lost lull" that happens around Act 2. Is this moment of defeat before or after the second ...
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5answers
344 views

Is trying to write an entire novel in one month possible?

Lately I've been thinking about trying to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where the idea (at least I think it is) to write an entire novel in one month. Is this even possible?
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Writing Montage in Novels

I have a similar question as the one asked in 'How to write montages in prose? (fantasy novel)' however, there has been no answer in this and it is far too general. The question I wish to ask is; ...
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6answers
3k views

Hang on - where's the main conflict?

I've recently been struggling with a very strange problem in my writing: I can't find the main conflict in my novels. This has inspired quite a bit of thought and reflection on exactly what a main ...
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1answer
1k views

Same plot but different story, is it plagiarizing?

I'm writing a novel and is planning to publish it but then, I found out that someone else has already written a novel similar to mine. Both of our novel has similar plot but different story and ...
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3answers
186 views

When should ideas be scrapped?

I've been working on plots and different characters for a few months now and I haven't really written anything that might be salvageable down the line. I really like the idea, but I feel as though it ...

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