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Questions tagged [technique]

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

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5answers
93 views

I am afraid some scenes in my novel are too graphic for some people (Trigger warning: Sexual Assault)

Just to keep it short. One of my characters is sexually assaulted by her father. While not being descriptive of the act itself, the situation itself is quite an sad scene. This is relevant as the ...
0
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1answer
41 views

What about the linguistics of how famous authors put words together makes the words evocative and meaningful? [on hold]

What about the linguistics of how famous authors put words together makes the words evocative and meaningful? Why do I feel emotion when I read a book?
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1answer
51 views

Changing 3rd person limited to 3rd person omniscient POV for a few scenes

Is it considered bad form to have a novel where the majority of it is 3rd person limited, then change to omniscient for a few scenes? I think I can build up more tension if the protagonist is not in ...
4
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5answers
114 views

Are too many exclamations wrong?

Exclamations, I feel, are a good way to describe tone without actually writing the tone. But most of the time I end up (as per reviewers) with too many of exclamations. Many also say that too many ...
6
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4answers
176 views

How do I write a MODERN combat/violence scene without being dry?

Warning: I have ADHD and this might be a little ramble-y, sorry. I'm completely stumped. I'm trying to get into writing fiction but I feel that I've hit a roadblock. My story is told from the first ...
7
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4answers
701 views

How do you prevent whiplash when transitioning between comedy and tragedy?

I constantly see reviews of people criticizing how it feels like "whiplash" when going from something like a death scene to someone cracking a joke, and I agree, but I don't know why I agree. I just ...
23
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3answers
6k views

Chekhov's gun, but it's just “useless” background info

We all know how Chekhov's gun works: in short, it's the "rule" that whatever is explicitly shown to the audience should be important later, otherwise you should get rid of it. Don't show us a gun if ...
3
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1answer
126 views

What do you call a hidden story inside a story?

People think that in the novel The Wizard of Oz there's a hidden story that alludes to what happened in the U.S. political scene in the 1890s. How do you refer to a hidden story? Do you call it an '...
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1answer
90 views

How is a semordnilap typically used?

I am asking whether I should use it as a hint to make it clear that my story is about the story of Adam and Eve. In my short story, there's a place called "Nede", with two characters called "Mada" ...
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0answers
60 views

“Speed of hurt” meaning [migrated]

I am reading Sadie by Courtney Summers. There is this sentence that I do not understand. I want to live my life on the internet. Everything is perfect there. I found Kendall Baker on a computer in ...
9
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4answers
180 views

Tips and tricks to describe more

I'm careful with the phrasing of this question as it is dangerously close to be opinion based. Everyone has their preference regarding the amount of description they expect to find in a work of ...
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2answers
80 views

Advice on how to beat word repetition in dialogue [duplicate]

Long story short: I default to simple words like "Said" in dialogue much too often. I'm hesitant to abuse the thesaurus due to advice I've been given, as well. Slightly longer version: When I'm ...
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2answers
89 views

Is there such a thing as a “cinematographic metaphor” in novels?

What I mean by "cinematographic metaphor" is that, instead of expressing metaphors using words, you use images that are imprinted in your mind through descriptions in a novel. Here's what I mean: We ...
5
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3answers
76 views

How to show the same emotion multiple times?

I think everyone has heard the "show don't tell" rule. My question is how can I show same emotion multiple times without the description being the same. For example if my character is scared I can ...
5
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4answers
147 views

Can my characters interact with my narrator? (and vice versa)

I know that this idea is not totally 'revolutionary' as this type of narration has been used in Breakfast of champions, for example. But, Unlike Vonnegut, I want the 'Narrator talks to the characters ...
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13answers
6k views

How to present an alien culture with different morals, without it coming across as savage?

For a fiction story of mine (probably fantasy, if I had to categorize it), I've set it in a world that is in some ways similar to Earth, and in other ways very dissimilar from Earth. In place of ...
6
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10answers
247 views

How to end a story without reaching a new status quo?

A popular writing theory states that any story worth telling describes the movement from one status quo to another, and that major uncertainties in the inception and conclusion should be avoided. How ...
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4answers
99 views

Third person story, containing a first person backstory

In several third person (usually limited) stories that I've read, there comes a time when one character shares some of their backstory to one or more other characters. This backstory is always (or ...
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5answers
208 views

How do I make my book longer?

I have a writing tendency where I get straight to the point, especially when I already have an amazing storyline. The ending goes especially quick. I need to figure out how to move the story along, in ...
9
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4answers
809 views

What is a good way to handle lengthy monologues/lectures in a novel?

In my novel, the MC is a woman from London who gets divorced and moves to Wales. Here she meets a Buddhist master with whom she has philosophical conversations about Life, Love, Relationships, etc. ...
18
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6answers
2k views

Not projecting myself onto my characters

I have struggled with mental illness for my entire life. Writing has been an extremely helpful and important mode of self-expression for me, since I was little. But recently, I feel like my writing ...
16
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5answers
3k views

I'm afraid that my setups will be overlooked

I have a main character that cannot die. I'm trying to convey this information to the reader, but since my character isn't aware of this, I've decided to leave hints throughout the adventure. This is ...
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2answers
111 views

What are good techniques to describe eyes? [closed]

I would like to describe the beautiful brown eyes of a character, much like a real-life friend of mine. Are there good techniques for describing eyes? How does one go about describing eyes in writing?
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2answers
120 views

Will it push away a reader if I start my book with the frame story?

So, I'm writing a novel where MC believes he is influenced in some way by an entity he calls Common Sense. He suspects (yet that is weaker than belief) that he is Common Sense's hand in this world, ...
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3answers
110 views

How do I make my characters sound British?

This might sound silly, but I am trying to make one of my characters British and I have a hard time portraying that idea on paper. My novel is set in a fantasy land, nothing like this world and I am ...
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5answers
265 views

How to write a good MacGuffin?

I backed myself into a corner and have to create a [TV TROPES WARNING] MacGuffin for a story. How can I create a good MacGuffin? How to make it interesting for the reader ? I don't know where to ...
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4answers
2k views

Writing as a hobby, where do you learn the basics and go further?

Sorry if I use the wrong terms or make a wrong assumption. I consider myself a beginner, and I know that I still have to learn a lot in the field. I write as a hobby. I do it when I have the time, ...
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2answers
82 views

Music & Focus During Writing [closed]

I hate listening to silence while I write, so I usually end up listening to music, but then I lose my focus. I don't really like classical or lo-fi that much and they don't help me concentrate on the ...
6
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3answers
169 views

David Foster Wallace's technique in “Consider the Lobster”

After reading the essay "Consider the Lobster" by the famous writer David Foster Wallace, I realized that Wallace had employed a rather sly technique. If you're interested in answering this question, ...
18
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8answers
6k views

How should a big universe be introduced without being boring?

If I have a big universe that I need to set up, with lots of characters, lots of locations, magic rules, technology, government rules, is it okay to introduce and explain all of this at the beginning? ...
1
vote
3answers
86 views

Do I need less exposition if I'm going to add images?

So, I'm trying to write something called a light novel, which is a Japanese-type of writing. It's a novel, but spaced throughout different chapters, there are manga-style images, as well as full-color ...
4
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5answers
128 views

How to introduce a large amount of characters in the first chapter?

So, I have a novel idea where the lead characters (seven in total), all have to be introduced in the first scene in my novel. I've already started with a basic idea, but I wanted to know if anyone ...
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7answers
2k views

Facial expressions as part of dialogue - getting rid of a verbal tic

I noticed a verbal tic in my writing: He looked surprised He looked confused He looked abashed Sometimes twice in a row: The prince looked abashed. “I- I thought I was being polite,” ...
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2answers
2k views

Name of the technique where you show a tense scene in the beginning and then transitioning to a peaceful first chapter

What do you call the writing technique that shows an incredibly tense scene at the beginning, and then transitioning to a more peaceful pace in the first chapter? The only novels that I can remember ...
5
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8answers
182 views

How do I handle different PoVs, at different times and places, each dealing with the same event?

As the title says, I'm looking for advice on how to handle changes of scene from one character to another, each in different places, but experiencing the same event. This story is about a bushfire (...
5
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4answers
210 views

How does one discovery-write court intrigue?

Intrigue (any kind, really, but royal courts were particularly known for it) is a series of setups that lead to a pay-off. For example, a handkerchief moved from one room to another, a word whispered, ...
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13answers
6k views

How can you write when you're upset?

I mean exactly this. Writing needs focus, to some extent. Even if you may fall into a state were words flow naturally on the keyboard almost without effort, you still have to reach that condition. ...
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3answers
127 views

Do Science Fiction Stories Follow A Particular Pattern? [closed]

I recently started writing a book expanding myself from my typical fantasy genre into SciFi. I have taken a start however I have reached an impasse and can not really decide how I should structure my ...
4
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1answer
616 views

Realistically obfuscating world truths--what should people know?

One of my favorite parts of The Kingkiller Chronicle is the way that we learn world truths and history. Rothfuss will have different characters explain the same stories or truths to our MC through a ...
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3answers
178 views

Averting Protagonist-Centred Morality

Protagonist-Centred Morality is when a fictional work is eager to point out when an antagonist does something immoral or distasteful but fails to acknowledge when a protagonist does the same or ...
5
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3answers
509 views

Snowflake Method: Step 3 - What is important to a character story line?

I'm attempting to use the Snowflake method to try and get around issues I tend to have with writing. I can pump out words, tons of words; not a problem. But, at the end of the day it's a relatively ...
6
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5answers
370 views

Writing about a topic which you don't have personal experience in

I would like to make it very clear that I'm very young (just graduated to a teen) and only an amateur writer. I have recently become seriously involved in writing in preparation for my IGCSE English ...
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6answers
2k views

How to make a character work for an idea?

One of the main rules for developing a good storyline is to make sure that the characters work for their achievements. Perhaps before they can slay the dragon and rescue the princess the knight has ...
11
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8answers
647 views

How do you escalate a story's plot after killing the Big Bad?

Everyone remembers the Death Star and how it was supposed to be the most potent superweapon in the Star Wars-verse. Then in the Expanded Universe, they needed to add tension to the series since the ...
15
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7answers
5k views

Promoting controversial opinions in a work of fiction

I'm writing a first person novel and main character has highly controversial views, many of which the majority of people would probably consider immoral. Would a character with controversial attitudes ...
56
votes
4answers
10k views

What kind of protagonist or writing style is Jack Sparrow?

I want to ask about a certain style on how to present a character. I know Jack Sparrow is from a movie (and I've only watched the movies too) but I want to integrate in my writing how he was presented ...
4
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1answer
54 views

Are there any set rules to creating a story with audience participation?

I have recently grown interested in the idea of writing a litrpg novel where each two days i will publish a chapter describing a single day of the main character and at the end of the day the readers ...
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3answers
134 views

Describing a strong sexual attraction (on first sight) [closed]

I wish to describe strong physical attraction on first sight by a human towards an alien. A Human meets an Alien but the Alien is extremely beautiful (sorry Humans!) and would wipe the floor of the ...
12
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5answers
863 views

Invoking Deliberate Values Dissonance

Deliberate Values Dissonance is when the morals of a character or culture in-story (whether historical or fictional) that modern people don't agree with are presented in-universe. Not because the ...
7
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5answers
587 views

How to improve a scene where the drama is one-sided and not with the POV character?

I have a scene I struggle with: it has potential for inherent drama, but it reads as an info dump. In a high-fantasy setting (more or less), character Alpha, a 14-year old daughter of a nobleman ...