Questions tagged [technique]

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

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How can I tell if tension is a problem while writing?

I’ve recently started plotting out the first of many stories I have kicking around in my brain that I’d like to publish. It’s a fairly short one, and I have written stories before, but I’ve never ...
Autopsy Blue's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
97 views

Can you help me find the balance where the prologue character's ending remains ambiguous w/o making the reader think they're a main character?

I'm currently working on an epic fantasy book, and I've run into a bit of a dilemma regarding the prologue and the introduction of my main character's backstory. In my prologue, I've introduced a ...
King's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
111 views

What is meant by deleting the last thing you wrote?

One writing tip I saw was, cutting the last thing you wrote because often it is unimportant, but I think I need a little more direction in what way I should do it.
Pia Moss's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
5k views

Is it better for me to add more advanced words into my book, or is it better to use easy words that any average English-speaker can understand?

To be completely honest, my English vocabulary isn’t that advanced. Currently, my writing-style is very simple and easy to understand. It doesn’t use extremely advanced wording to express things. I’m ...
Nabi's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
117 views

How can I write a character with an alcohol addiction without sounding too repetitive?

This is my first time writing a book and I have been noticing that a lot of my scenes are quite similar to each other. The main character has an alcohol addiction and constantly gets drunk to the ...
Nabi's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
579 views

How can I recognize and take constructive criticism?

Personally, for me, I have ADHD and mild autism, so at times I don't have the same views as the majority. For example, I like the ending/plot of this one book/show/movie, only for me to find out that ...
AmateurWriter's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
64 views

Should I flesh out the start of my fictional story?

The plot I’m thinking of goes from very normal, with fleshed out characters, to surreal towards the end. I want to wrap it around to have strange foreshadowing at the very beginning of the book to ...
Flora's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
130 views

How to find motivation in putting ideas on paper and use literary devices effectively?

I always want to write a book or story and I have very good ideas. However, I can never follow through with my ideas on pen. It feels very frustrating when all you have are a bunch of miscellaneous ...
Newton's cat's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
123 views

What are the benefits of using 'scene cards'?

From what I understand, a scene card is a short description of a scene. I have thus far ignored them completely whilst reading The Weekend Novelist's Writes a Mystery, though the author seems to deem ...
murshad's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
599 views

Transitioning between scenes in a novel

One friend of mine told me that the scenes in my mystery novel-to-be go abruptly from, for example, a scene at the main character's home, and to the middle of his conversation with the detective. The ...
murshad's user avatar
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0 answers
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Non finite (..ing) v finite (..ed) verb form correct usage

The rhythm of these 3 excerpts below are different, they read to me more or less the same though. Are any actually grammatically wrong? It's funny the sort of questions that pop up when you start ...
Bertbarber 's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
55 views

Selectively mute character where language is a barrier

I have a mc that speaks only mandarin and is taken in by pirates that are mostly English speakers. He didn't speak much before being taken by them. So how would I write a character that is basically ...
E. Drake's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
151 views

How do I make my writing flow?

I'm in the skeleton stage, but to get into the rhythm of writing, I write short stories every few days. Upon reviewing them, I've realised that unless I am specifically aiming for abstract and vivid ...
BubbleQueen's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
126 views

How to show slow character development when switching perspectives

I'm in the process of writing the first draft of my first novel (a medieval low-fantasy). In the story, I have multiple characters who slowly get possessed over time. The possession occurs through ...
lost_not_found's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
97 views

How does one describe a setting that is going to be a central location in a story?

I have a location in my story that is a key central hub which much of the interaction surrounds. An example of this might be the bar in Cheers or Greendale Community College in Community. I want to ...
user2352714's user avatar
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12 votes
5 answers
3k views

How do I make sure that a hook is not misinterpreted as a writing mistake or plot holes?

In a scene I had in mind, there's a tricky hook or unexplained event that happened, that I fear might be considered as a mistake or a plot hole. It is basically where a girl (one of the characters) is ...
Crimsoir's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
162 views

How to have subtext with a character who's blunt, direct and straightforward?

I know what makes dialogue interesting is what characters don't say as much as (or more than) what they do. How do I achieve this with a character who prides herself on 'saying it like it is', and not ...
aurorajack's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
82 views

How to write an event in a story with a memory gap (Repressed memory)?

Scenario: The protagonist goes to a party, gets drugged, and is assaulted. This event is not in the characters history. It happens during the course of the story. Perspective: First Person Genre: ...
TehKaoZ's user avatar
  • 111
2 votes
2 answers
185 views

Can I make an irredeemable character likeable?

In my fantasy epic, the protagonist is a destined chosen one who will defeat the dark lord (at least that is what the sorcerer propaganda says.) About 3/4 into the story, he eventually meets the ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 495
3 votes
3 answers
103 views

What determines the value or worthiness of an autobiography?

To make an otherwise long winded story short, I have an uncommon tale of survivorship. Context: From child runaway, to kidnapping victim, to an escape ten years, ten months, and 23 days later. For the ...
BouquetOfProses's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
67 views

'This time' vs 'that time' in past tense narrative

I am writing a past-tense personal narrative and I'm having a hard time distinguishing which term would be best in this instance. Quote for context: My parents always told me not to lie because lying ...
L.J's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
72 views

"morally dialectical" is this phrase usable?

I'm wondering if this phrase can be used to characterize two characters, one who is morally good and one who is bad. Specifically I am trying to say that "I want to examine character A and ...
platypus222's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
148 views

How do I get my detective to find out that one of the characters sent a threat to someone?

I'm writing a whodunnit. At a certain point in the story, the detective finds a letter from one of the suspects (who is the director of a play,) which is intended to intimidate one of the other ...
tylerherronero's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
249 views

How to keep MC from winning "too much"?

Imagine every person you have been jealous/envious of because of their skills/reputation/family influence. Combine all of that in one person, and you get my MC. My MC would be classified as the poster ...
user56271's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
98 views

Complex cardiac surgery story

I will be writing a short story with the title as "Complex cardiac surgery". Can this story written later converted to a documentary movie with the end user audience as MBBS (Medical) ...
Prashant Akerkar's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
156 views

I'm so angry! How can I show that in an interesting way?

This is in a sense a part two to my question on English Stack Exchange about replacement for word "bullshit", which I decided would better fit on this site. A bit of background Optional ...
Reverent Lapwing's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
358 views

How do you write verbal abuse without it coming off as cheesy?

I have a character who's being abused by his father. While most of the abuse is only implied/referenced and readers instead see the fallout or emotional/physical effects of it, there are a few scenes ...
searchingforareason's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
165 views

To explain or not to explain?

In fantasy and science fiction, there's often either magic or advanced technology. Often, these are integral parts of the story and also would seem trivial for someone in the universe. However, for ...
Murphy L.'s user avatar
  • 737
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

Can I tell after already showing?

When writing fiction, I try to adhere to the rule of showing rather than telling. That said, is it ok to tell after already showing? For example, I have a character already shown to be insecure. Is it ...
Richie Hayes's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
316 views

How to extend an idea into a novel?

Whenever I write any story, even with ideas that could constitute a novel, and with as many as three subplots, it always comes out to, at most, 30 pages, and a portion of that 30 pages often consists ...
OprenStein's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
200 views

Is it possible to write a story where every character has the same name?

I know this is probably going to get me a down vote, but I've had this idea for a while. I wanted to know if it would work or if it would be an awful failure. Every character is the same person from ...
Jack W. Hall's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
88 views

What are the respective pros and cons of presenting solutions before and after challenges?

Background I have planned out my (German language) novel and its 16 chapters in considerable detail (for my standards). But as for the sequence of presenting those of the chapters that are ...
Ludi's user avatar
  • 658
0 votes
3 answers
179 views

What ways can be used to make a story secretly horror

I am trying to write the story for a game. It starts off well, only to end up really being horror. The goal is supposed to slowly become like that, but without the player figuring it out until it is ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 495
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can a visual novel with branching plotlines be translated into one single book?

For the uninitiated; Visual Novels (abbreviated as VN) are in layman terms a type of game with it's story presented in plain-text accompanied with illustrations of characters and environments, music, ...
Sir Mice's user avatar
  • 196
-1 votes
2 answers
106 views

Stuck on how to expand my chapter

I am currently working on my first serious story/book. I have written in the past, but I never really paid attention to the structure or word count or really anything that made a story, a story. For ...
kaitlynmm569's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
75 views

Is there a term for the writing method where the author simply sets up a situation and lets character decisons drive the scenes from there?

like obviously most good stories should be fuelled by character. but i mean like... specifically when the author writes without any sort of scene outlines, without any real plans for the overarching ...
curseworm's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
125 views

How do I smartly skip necessary scenes without causing an imbalance in the story?

My character needs to go see a psychiatrist, and as I am someone who is not that knowledgeable about the way psychiatrists talk to their patients, or manipulate them to get answers, or advice them, I ...
Nour Fourti's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
510 views

Working backwards from "Delete the people, keep the math and jazz." (SciFi short story)

I'm a great lover and a modest consumer of the short story genre. But I've precious little experience writing fiction. A line just popped into my head while listening to music and working problem in ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 235
-2 votes
2 answers
150 views

How do I avoid using "the" in a story?

No matter what I do, I can't find a way around "the" when it comes to writing stories or making a story that feels like it's repeating. Here's an example of what I've gotten so far with a ...
Jack W. Hall's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
396 views

Is there a balance on being subtle?

I love literature that leaves clues that readers can connect or makes them discuss their own theorys/interpretations. I'm making my own, but how do I make one. Like, looking deeper in the words per se ...
Carambamucho's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
151 views

Can Word be put in Writing Mode?

I think the title of this question deserves some explanation. For a number of reasons I am using Microsoft Word, Office 365 version. I subscribe to the writing versus editing technique. I clear my ...
ppbitb's user avatar
  • 113
20 votes
5 answers
5k views

How to include deliberate inconsistencies without it seeming like lazy or bad writing?

I'm writing a thriller (scifi/supernatural) and have a race of characters who can bend reality. They've come to earth with the intent of purging humanity. They can do it, but they have limitations. ...
aurorajack's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
45 views

Would using poetry to represent a character's dreams be viable?

In a couple of my writing projects I have used poetry to represent the dreams of the POV character. That way some of the content of the dreams and hopefully some of the emotion/feeling of the dreams ...
Joelle Boulet's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
224 views

Guy's POV when falling in love. Too much, not enough?

Half of my story is told from (1st person) male POV and he falls in love with the leader of a rebellion he's meant to be undercover investigating and trying to stop. He slowly comes round to join the ...
aurorajack's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
130 views

How do you make a place/situation seem brutal?

Up until around the early-through-mid 1800's (of the real world, for clarification), the rights of criminals, disabled people, and the poor were commonly ignored. As a result, the justice system was ...
Dopplegamer's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is there a written equivalent to the "jump scare"?

The "jump scare" is a standard storytelling technique in horror and science fiction film and video games, in which a very rapid transition (stereotypically, a creature literally jumping up ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
312 views

How do I deal with "false filler" scenes necessary to move the plot along?

I wanted to ask this question after seeing this question. The two question are similar but kind of touch on somewhat different topics. Specifically, I am wondering what one should do about "fake&...
user2352714's user avatar
  • 4,685
4 votes
1 answer
177 views

Would an equals sign as secondary language exact quotes be misinterpreted in literary fiction?

I have chosen to show an accented English that is only comprehensible to speakers of the secondary language. The topic of translated sign language has been beat up and I accept that there is no ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 1,112
0 votes
0 answers
38 views

Can supporting characters remain effective during long periods off screen?

My protagonist develops relationships early and gets kidnapped In my literary fiction story spanning about a decade, new relationships develop, they join with the street gang. Old relationships fade. ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 1,112
0 votes
1 answer
105 views

Is the saving sidekick ever used outside of comedy?

I am writing a literary fiction, so it's not bound to genre tropes. Just the same, it has one a sidekick who may also be a foil. I'm not writing comedy although I have elements of humor, which life ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
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