Questions tagged [technique]

Common, repeatable methods of achieving particular storytelling effects or of avoiding narrative pitfalls.

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11answers
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Averting Real Women Don’t Wear Dresses

Real Women Don’t Wear Dresses is when writers portray female characters possessing traditional feminine qualities as being less desirable, competent and reliable instead of their tomboy foils. They ...
28
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12answers
5k views

How can I convince my reader that I will not use a certain trope?

Imagine a fantasy story in which there once was a very powerful evil divine being, but it was defeated long before the beginning of the story. For the story it is very important that it was defeated, ...
10
votes
2answers
394 views

How do I make a very short story powerful?

I'm currently working on a project where I write events for a story driven video game. The limitation is that I have to get through a discovery, the consequence and the character's response to that in ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

When is it ok to add filler to a story?

After a couple iterations I came up with the "skeleton" or summary of my story. I have read many places and guides saying "if it's not advancing the story and can be removed without affecting it, ...
4
votes
3answers
164 views

Why do authors use variations on a character's name within a single story?

I am having trouble understanding why authors use multiple version of a character's name in the same story. I feel it can make it harder to follow the story. Why do writers sometimes write the same ...
37
votes
5answers
2k views

How to write a nice frame challenge?

When answering questions on Stack Exchange, some of us challenge the assumptions of the author. These frame challenges can often be quite popular answers. This popularity, however, can simply be a ...
34
votes
13answers
9k views

How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

The main character (which is a girl) of the first romance I'm writing would feel jealous sometimes of her love interest, but I want it to be a cute trait or even a setup for funny scenes, not a very ...
3
votes
3answers
441 views

How can I make some of my chapters “come to life”?

In my current WIP, I re-read through some of my chapters, and they seem completely dry and dull. I need to add some oomph to it- it seems my descriptions, and just plain storytelling (in some of my ...
37
votes
6answers
8k views

Is it expected that a reader will skip parts of what you write?

I have given multiple things I have written to a friend of mine, who is something of a writer himself, to get feedback on them from him. One of these was a piece of mystery-style fiction, and the ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

How do I prevent my stories from feeling rushed?

Many of the short stories that I write feel too short. Now, I know that there's nothing wrong with a (very) short story, but often I feel like I'm rushing the story because I have an idea for the ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Is a lack of character descriptions a problem?

I have written a novel in which none of the characters are ever described. It started out by accident (3 chapters in when I realized). Question: Is this a good/unique approach or shot myself in ...
4
votes
5answers
152 views

I have a dialogue that I can't write directly. What would be a good alternative?

My attempt at the current writing challenge features a flock of sparrows. Since the actual "dialogue" between two sparrows would sound like a bunch of cheeping, I need another way to show what they'...
11
votes
7answers
264 views

Too eloquent characters

Here's a critique I've received more than once: "your character talks like a character from a book. He's too eloquent, nobody really talks like that, unless they grew up in a library." Now, to some ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

What are the differences in writing a narrative between a CV and a resume?

When I googled "The Difference between Resume and CV", the first result I bumped into was this. I am highlighting a few points that are mentioned in it below: The primary differences between a ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

How to make a setting relevant?

One piece of feedback that I got on a story I wrote is that my settings feel irrelevant, or that the entire book could have been a phone call. I am not sure how to go about fixing this. The characters,...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

How to write a good moderator nomination post?

Another stack site I use is currently having an election and I am considering nominating. There are two parts to the nomination process; the nomination itself and the questionnaire to candidates. This ...
1
vote
3answers
66 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Writing slurred speech

One of my characters gets drunk and accidentally kills another. He has a couple of lines where he needs to sound obnoxiously, falling-down drunk. Is there a good way to accomplish this? What sounds ...
20
votes
6answers
3k views

How do you earn the reader's trust?

Recently, I have stumbled upon a problem. After releasing an issue, I think that I failed to earn the trust of my readers. My analysis is that they did not have enough faith in me to make the "right ...
19
votes
7answers
4k views

How to continually and organically let my readers know what time it is in my story?

My novel takes place in a big world, with MANY POVs. Although I know when things are happening, I am afraid my reader doesn't know, due to the aforementioned fact. I do not want my reader to be ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Changing titles, same story different angle

I have written a piece stemming from an idea about a particular process that leads to the attainment of magical abilities. The working title was written for the small, 250 word, treatise that I used ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

How do I write a “take action” scene for a play?

Here is what I mean. My character- Violet- started the play with a lofty attitude, but now her pride has been broken by her mother's death and betrayal of a friend. The scene begins with her reuniting ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

How to invoke interest in readers for second part of story when first part is not so popular + old?

I started a story and published it online in 2016. And then I disappeared due to various unavoidable priorities in life. But now I want to restart. But I am not sure. There are already less views. ...
3
votes
2answers
104 views

How do I improve my “impact” in writing?

I don't know the exact word for it, but I hope I make it clear what I mean by "impact" soon. My favorite pieces of writing are Rosa Luxemburg's Junius Pamphlet, the lyrics to this Phil Ochs song, and ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Is there any checklist for blog post before publishing it?

The Context: I often write through a blog platform. However, sometimes I feel that the content is too long and deep and sometimes I feel the content is written only on a surface-level about a topic. I ...
50
votes
17answers
8k views

How to creep the reader out with what seems like a normal person?

The person in question, though this is yet unknown, is not actually a person. Instead, they are some form of eldritch being of which we cannot comprehend. Though, they seem for all appearances and ...
6
votes
4answers
100 views

Writing about oneself objectively

I was recently updating some of my Stack Exchange profiles and I remembered how much I hate writing about myself. It isn't just Stack Exchange profiles either. It's resume cover letters. It's college ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

The concept of description and the structure of Mckee's view of story design

Consider the following text: Tania is in her living room, in the summer. She looks to the window and the street in front of her house, then she realized how dry and parched they are, this makes ...
9
votes
5answers
150 views

Making science for toddlers easy to remember

I have been intending to create a book for toddlers with basic scientific notions in it. Most books for this target readership that I have seen present whatever content in the form of a story, quite ...
3
votes
3answers
162 views

Fleshing out the character motivation from the plot

I decided to give a try to the snowflake method. The idea is that you gradually expand the story from a blurb into a full draft. This question stems from the character-characterization step, but it ...
8
votes
4answers
92 views

How can I incorporate poetry techniques to improve my prose?

My first question on the site was How do I stop using 'the' to start sentences so much? , One of the answers said: I would suggest reading more English poetry to pick up some techniques. I ...
4
votes
2answers
154 views

Can a third-person narrator ask questions instead of the characters?

In novels, when the PoV follows a particular character, is pretty common that we get to hear his/her thoughts. Sometimes, those thoughts take the form of questions that the character ask himself: ...
3
votes
6answers
185 views

Changing the meaning of well-established symbols

Can we change the meaning of a well established symbol and use the newly defined symbol in our writing? If so how do we go about doing so? It am not talking about using a symbol in the context of its ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Chapters of a Book and Story Structure of McKee

Considering the "story structure" proposed by Robert McKee; like: A story is a large structure composed by acts which are composed by sequences which are composed by scenes, which are composed by (...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Why do professional authors make “consistency” mistakes? And how to avoid them?

I'm currently reading a sci-fi book that has over a dozen characters. The author had written dialog for two different characters using the same odd idiom in two separate chapters so far. I cannot see ...
27
votes
12answers
5k views

Tiptoe or tiphoof? Adjusting words to better fit fantasy races

English is a language invented by humans, for humans. Which means some words don't fit well when you're writing about characters who aren't human. For example: Suppose I write "The demon tiptoed ...
9
votes
2answers
324 views

Delivering sarcasm

Most of us who have spent more than a few days reading things and interacting with people on the internet know how difficult it is to convey sarcasm. There is no tone there is only the words on our ...
5
votes
3answers
93 views

When is using a simile better than giving a literal description?

Definition of simile : a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses) Similes are nice tools that every narrator has (even if I'...
-1
votes
2answers
56 views

How to make writing humorous? [closed]

I think my writing tends to be too serious/intense or whatever, so I'm wondering how writers create humorous writing. I'm interested in writing some humorous short stories in particular. What ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

How to use deus ex machina safely?

One of my main character's traits is that she has some superstitious beliefs. That trait is not essential to the MC, but everyone in the era of my story is. I'm contemplating a plot point near the end ...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

How to write cleanly even if my character uses expletive language?

I'm writing a story that I'd like younger readers to pick up. I and they know and understand that some situations are far better expressed with one f-word than a thousand milder ones. I'm keeping my ...
40
votes
13answers
11k views

How do I hide Chekhov's Gun?

If there is a gun on the mantelpiece in the Act 1, then in Act 2, that gun must be fired. Background I'm a big believer in Chekhov's Gun. I try not to do anything or introduce any new plot point ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Question about the basic elements of Mckee's view of writting

Well, in the first pages of chapter 2 from [MCKEE.R. Story. itbooks. New York, 1997.] Mckee present to us some basic elements of which a story should be costituted of. Of course that this is him view ...
4
votes
3answers
82 views

How to show two perspectives without solely relying on different POVs?

Unknown by the characters involved and hidden from the readers, there's this ability of one specific character that allows him to hear/perceive the truth from anyone's speech. If they're telling the ...
29
votes
7answers
4k views

Help! My Character is too much for her story!

A while ago, I started writing a short story for a competition. It was supposed to be about four girls in a shared student apartment. The plan was to have everyone conflict with everyone until they ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Writing effectively under very brief constraints

I recently noticed a trend to a few of my questions. I am attracted to writing in places with extreme brevity. This makes sense to me on a personal level. I've always been attracted to one-liners and ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

How to write a Stack Exchange Question?

There are a couple questions out there on How to ask a smart question and the FAQ has its own tips, but lets assume you know how to ask what you want. From a purely writing perspective, most of the ...
2
votes
0answers
18 views

Is there any room in technical-writing for levity [duplicate]

When doing technical writing it is generally advised to be straight to the point. And I understand that. After all if I am reading instructions on how to put together the desk I just bought, or how to ...
10
votes
1answer
279 views

Monsters of psychological horror

According to Wikipedia, psychological horror is Psychological horror is a subgenre of horror and psychological fiction that relies on mental, emotional and psychological states to frighten, disturb,...
10
votes
1answer
139 views

How to write a Stack Exchange comment?

We all do it. We do it quite often. Some of us too often, to the chagrin of the mods who have to clean up after us. Many people out there have autocomments but I try not to. I find them impersonal and ...