Questions tagged [technique]

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

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2answers
79 views

MC has selective mutism; what to do with dialogue?

In a book I’m writing, the main character (a 15-year-old girl) has/struggles with selective mutism. I’ve quickly run into the problem where she is in a “mute situation” where she doesn’t talk. I’ve ...
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2answers
38 views

How to format quick flash cuts of photos in a screenplay?

I am writing a script where there are quick flash cuts, where the current present action is then 'captured' in a still photo which is representing a 'highlight' on an Instagram post/story shown for ...
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0answers
25 views

Capitalising after punctuation within speech?

I've notices that Emily Bronte does not always capitalise in dialogue after exclamation marks or question marks, for example (light spoilers): "Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! ...
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1answer
66 views

Share expert insights about a field without sounding arrogant or gaslight my audience

I've worked for a good number of years for a couple of big-tech companies (FAANG). I've seen just how efficient they are comparing to the rest of the IT industry. I plan to tweet/linkedin about these ...
11
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1answer
111 views

Translating analogies in a 100 year old fairy tale

I am having a hard time translating analogies and descriptions in a fairy tale written a century ago. My fear is today's children will not understand the analogy at all or misunderstand it, and as ...
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4answers
181 views

Is it okay to explicitly explain the core idea of a work of fiction?

First, I'll explain what I mean when I say core idea of a work of fiction. It is the concept that the fictive work tries to be communicate (be it a poem or a piece of prose) through its metaphors, ...
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2answers
105 views

Bursts of plot development versus slow rising action

From most of the stories I've read, the plot development tends to follow a smooth curve. This has obvious advantages given the reader can start to use his/her imagination more, anticipating/worrying ...
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2answers
135 views

What options are available to remove the protagonist and still have a story

I will be writing a fictional story whereby there are only antagonists -- conflict instigators. I know what you're thinking: without a protagonist to combat with, how can there be conflict? This is a ...
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2answers
97 views

Novels with big time jump

In a father/son novel, there are two parts to the story: half the book follows the protagonist for a few years. Part two is twenty five years later. The story transitions with a 10 - 12 page narrative ...
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1answer
117 views

How can garden path sentences be used (and misused)?

"A garden path sentence is a grammatically correct sentence that starts in such a way that a reader's most likely interpretation will be incorrect; the reader is lured into a parse that turns out ...
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2answers
72 views

Trouble finding two-syllable and three-syllable rhymes (or near-rhymes) for "eld" as in "field"

I am using The Complete Rhyming Dictionary, edited by Clement Wood, as a reference as I work through a poem. I can't tell if my search is not thorough enough or if there is a shortage of this ...
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3answers
1k views

How can I flavour quote-only dialogue?

When writing dialogue, I know it's sometimes normal/useful to drop attribution and provide only the direct quotes during dialogue, like so: "Like we used to Mamma?" "Einmitt, my little ...
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3answers
208 views

Why does Faulkner get a pass for purple prose?

I've been accused of purple prose for single words. People will go through my work with a fine-tooth comb and interrogate me. "Why this big word?" It feels like, if everyone doesn't ...
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4answers
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How do I describe an accent from our world in a non-Earth fictional world?

In my writing, I feel it can give a character distinction if they have an accent; our main character(s) have an American accent, but the newly-introduced one of them has an Irish accent. My problem, ...
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3answers
98 views

Least confusing way to structure 2 plot lines merging when one starts several years before the other

My story has two POV characters, Delilah and Jack, who start separate and meet ~ 1/4 of the way though. Delilah's story starts several years before the Jack's and is the entire reason he even has a ...
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2answers
179 views

How to "show not tell" hero's thought process?

This question is inspired by a different one - How to communicate characters' inner states?. Although it may seem similar at first glance, I find the difference quite profound. My question regards ...
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how to write the word "so as if it is slurred or exagerated [duplicate]

How should I write the word "so" as if it is slurred or exaggerated for example: I'm sooo sorry. I've been so miserable and lonely.
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3answers
153 views

How to communicate characters' inner states?

This is a huge question, parts of which have been answered on this site. However, this is one of the biggest challenges writers face, and so I think the question's relevancy matches the amount of work ...
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2answers
85 views

How to revise or edit an extremely long story?

I have a story that I am working on that is extremely long. The first volume in the series is about 120,000 words, and that is only about half of its predicted wordcount. Counting the other entries in ...
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1answer
88 views

How would you describe a character that is ‘dogmatic’ without referring to religion or politics?

I am trying to develop a character who has a very rigid world view but I want to use more than just a single adjective to bring out this character’s “quality”. I also do not want to inject any ...
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3answers
173 views

How best to write an anxious character?

A character is shy, anxious, anti-social, nervous, etc. So, when speaking, she often pauses or makes noises like “uhm”, err”, “uhh”, etc. I’m asking a couple questions: What would be the best way to ...
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1answer
708 views

What is the process of creating a word using Latin and Greek word parts?

I am trying to create a word that means "division of a single God", but I am having some trouble. If I understand correctly, any word must have a suffix, root and prefix, but sometimes I ...
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3answers
139 views

What makes you turn off from reading a blog immediately?

What tell-tale intro elements are a red flag a piece of writing isn't worth your time? I write commercially but am conscious that my online pieces often have a lower-than-hoped-for time on site. My ...
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6answers
3k views

How to avoid overdoing deconstructive tendencies in writing?

The Issue I'm a person who likes to take things apart to see how they work, and someone who likes to poke holes in ideas. As a result, it's not surprising that I've always been drawn to a writing ...
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1answer
114 views

Is it possible to use an intentional plot hole as a literary device?

Is it possible to use an intentional plot hole as a literary device? If not as a literary device, can you use a plot hole intentionally for other reasons? I am wondering if there are authors who use ...
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4answers
167 views

Writing an American-style book as an outsider to the culture

I am an aspiring writer from Pakistan. It's a south Asian country rich in culture. Our cultural heritage and history is very interesting, twisting and multifaceted. However, I have grown up reading ...
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1answer
60 views

What are some common purposes in using run-on sentences as a literary device?

Generally, this is considered grammatically incorrect, and called a stylistic error. There are many examples of run-on sentences used as literary devices in literature. However, not all long sentences ...
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94 views

Deciding potential scenes and keeping the tension in my short story

To give some background, my short story is written from the perspective of person K. His school friend A (they are both in their mid-twenties now) invites him to stay in Vegas for a short time, and K ...
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1answer
54 views

This my approach to make a superhuman combat sport more fair? [closed]

This isn't really a world-building question. Since I im asking for y'all thoughts on my writing and writing a general. In the past, I said it would be hard to add an MMA/Boxing weight class type of ...
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1answer
68 views

Is "small-c conservative" or "capital-T Truth" redundant?

In English speech, it's perfectly normal to refer to the capitalization of a term to clarify if it's a proper noun or not—"The party's new approach is small-c conservative", because the ...
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2answers
64 views

How do you preserve emotions in a poem?

I am just another person who writes poems to vent out emotions. I discovered that the amount of emotions that I feel my poem has during the time of writing, slowly evaporates away. When I re-read it ...
2
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1answer
152 views

How do you avoid "rushing to the good stuff" with poor pacing as an inexperienced writer?

I was recently watching a writing review talking about the pacing in the recent Invincible adaptation. One thing that the author of this video pointed out is that when authors are very inexperienced ...
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29 views

What's the purpose of using the same verb, but using a different tense

I was born aiming for the light Bound by a bond, a thin string From the fortune of awakening for a mission Spinning many proud memories Into this world, for your sake Gratitude and a bouquet filled ...
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1answer
46 views

What are some ways to do recurring dreams effectively/better?

I am using a series of recurring dreams to illustrate a character's mental state and to also throw in a change of pace in amongst the regular non-dream action. The dream format really allows me to do ...
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1answer
85 views

How can I compensate for lack of decision-making due to a non-sentient protagonist?

I intend to write an adventure novel where the protagonist is a (divine) plant. Though it cannot move or speak, it's necessary for the plant to be the main protagonist (there will not be any subplots)....
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2answers
121 views

What are non-obvious ways to make the reader sympathize with the protagonist?

I was thinking of ways to make my audience like my characters. I always try to figure out my target audience and make the main hero as relatable as possible. Quite often do I embrace their integrity. ...
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3answers
3k views

What should phrases like “um” or “erm” be replaced with?

It is generally considered bad practice to include these in your writing, so what should be used instead? How would you show that your character is pondering something, or unsure about something, ...
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1answer
87 views

What type of rhetorical figure is this?

What type of figure of speech/rhetorical figure are the following: “You are dearer to me than myself, as you yourself can see.” (Bob Dylan) “Them I will forget, but you I’ll remember always.” (Bob ...
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2answers
116 views

How can I raise the stakes for my villain protagonist?

I'm currently writing a story about a psychopathic serial killer that meets a detective (the murderer owns a restaurant and the detective and his wife meet him there) that is investigating the victims ...
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2answers
141 views

I'm writing blindly and I need help dealing with it

Writing isn't like drawing, and I can't take a step back and look at it and search for flaws in the story, because it's in my head already, and I know it, and I can't forget it. So when I write I ...
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8answers
5k views

What can I do with a part that I feel is necessary to a story but it's an absolute drudgery?

I've just written such a paragraph: He turned around and started walking to the nearby store. He bought a bread and a yoghurt. Then he came back and gave the groceries to the homeless guy. There are ...
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3answers
126 views

Often, weasel word, and absolutes

I'm writing about large subjects such as human society, human culture, and human behavior. I need to identify and discuss various phenomena, and make specific arguments, but I also want to avoid the ...
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4answers
124 views

How to keep all my sentences from having the same structure?

Been reading through my writing and I noticed that 90% of my sentences follow the same basic structure of [phraseA], [phraseB]. The few exceptions I could find were very short sentences I put there ...
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1answer
150 views

Rhetorical analysis: How do you examine a line of reasoning without mindlessly repeating the argument?

In AP Language and Composition, I am often tasked with identifying and examining the line of reasoning of an argument. While I can reliably internalize an argument and understand what the author uses ...
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2answers
89 views

What are some strategies to integrate historical facts to a storyline?

What are several different ways to incorporate true facts into historical fiction without just giving a massive info dump? Whether big or little details, I want to inform the reader of facts without ...
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4answers
923 views

I have too much exposition in my stories. What to do?

I’ve posted several chapters of my in-progress trilogy on several writing critique websites, and while many of my fellow writers have praised my worldbuilding abilities, they have remarked that I ...
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4answers
1k views

I feel like my stories are too short considering the amount of action described. How can I extend them? [duplicate]

I have a story in my mind and put it onto paper. The contains a lot of content: characters appearance and personalities, plot, action. My issue is usually I end up having several pages while giving ...
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4answers
222 views

Is it possible to write a serious story without any humour?

I'm planning out and (will hopefully be writing) a trilogy takes that takes itself pretty seriously and very dark while having a distinct absence of comedy. The reason is behind this choice that I ...
2
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1answer
53 views

Character's point of view when using empathic powers

I am writing my first novel in the third person semi-omniscient. I am aware that I ought to still structure passages from a primary character’s point of view, as in, if two or more characters are ...
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1answer
87 views

Structure of argumentative writing essay?

When writing an argumentative essay what is a good way to structure my writing? What general rules should I follow when starting off an essay?

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