All Questions

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 ...
2
votes
5answers
114 views

How to create a plot given theme and settings?

I often find myself coming up with seemingly compelling premises and world settings, but unable to come up with equally compelling character or plot. For example, I am currently thinking about a ...
6
votes
1answer
246 views

How do you deal with an abrupt change in personality for a protagonist?

The crawling chaos, Nyalathothep, has formed a cult on the mortal plane devoted to his cause which worships him as a god. This cult has been operating in secret for thousands of years, sowing ...
5
votes
3answers
96 views

How to turn a single narrative into a branching one?

I'm currently writing a story which started out as a short story but kept growing, until I discovered it would work well as a visual novel. I have all of the possible endings in mind, but for now I'm ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

How is character development a major role in the plot of a story

People mostly say that the characters of a story have to be developed first, but I don't really understand why characters play such an active role. Can't the characters simply be classified as objects?...
18
votes
10answers
5k views

Can non-English-speaking characters use wordplay specific to English?

Would it be jarring if in an original (non-translated) story, the characters, who don't speak English in-universe, use "untranslatable" wordplay/puns that are specific to English? By "untranslatable" ...
7
votes
5answers
153 views

20 Minutes into the Future - problem with setting the period

I have just finished a short story, set in what is known as 20 Minutes into the Future - a time frame that's only a little into the future from our own. There is a change from modern times, but it is ...
18
votes
16answers
6k views

How do I subvert the tropes of a train heist?

What are the recognizable tropes to a "train heist", or more broadly the action sequences where a protagonist boards a moving train in order to stop it? My protagonist is the unreliable guile ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it ok to put a subplot to a story that is never meant to contribute to the development of the main plot?

Is it ok to put a subplot to a story that is never meant to contribute to the development of the main plot? In Game of Thrones season 8, a lot of the subplots that were explored in previous seasons ...
4
votes
2answers
64 views

Rebuttals in argumentative writing

I am writing an argumentative essay and it goes along the following lines... Advantage 1; rebuttal 1 Advantage 2; rebuttal 2 Disadvantages Would it be better to address the rebuttals in the ...
2
votes
1answer
29 views

Using indents and line breaks together

I am sorry if has been asked before. I was wondering if that both Indent and Line Break in the same text are allowed (I've seen it used in some old texts and I am wondering if it still an acceptable ...
2
votes
3answers
248 views

What kind of metaphor is “trees in the wind”? [closed]

What kind of metaphor is "trees in the wind"? I saw God in the Forest Teachin' Tai Chi To the trees in the wind Bowing to the sea Excerpt from http://www.bensollee.com/panning-for-...
4
votes
5answers
238 views

How to make a villain fall in love?

How do you show the softer side of a rough person without loosing the gruffness? I have a character that was the antagonist in one story and will be the protagonist in another where he will fall in ...
0
votes
3answers
52 views

How to find different meanings behind metaphors used in speech writing?

I'm looking for ways to discover what others might think when they hear or see a metaphor used in a speech. I tend to think a certain way. I have certain prejudices. I think we all do. If I use a ...
5
votes
4answers
111 views

What if neither the protagonist nor antagonist wins?

This may seem like an awkward scenario for a story's ending. My plot revolves around a constant struggle of the protagonist against the antagonist's forces, and eventually the antagonist himself. I've ...
10
votes
6answers
289 views

Any advice on creating fictional locations in real places when writing historical fiction?

I am currently working on a historical fiction novel set during the tail end of the Harlem Renaissance, in the 1930s. As such, I would really like to have the story take place in Harlem. However, the ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

Are these reasonable traits for someone with autism? [closed]

A little info as to the story: 'Lily' was abandoned when she was young. She is a Deviant, a group of people who are born with powers, and across the universe either seen as either blasphemies, ...
25
votes
9answers
5k views

Plot twist where the antagonist wins

I’m putting together this story and its formative stages are almost complete. However, I am genuinely interested as to how the ending would appear to the reader. My protagonist is a skilled ...
4
votes
2answers
98 views

Why is the construct “'hello' says Pete” most common?

I am asking this from the point of a reader not a writer and just wondering why, so sorry if this is a bad place. I read loads of books to my kids and the construct always seems to go: "What a day,...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Am I a new writer?

I have a very crudely written book that I self published through Amazon in 2013. I did not do any advertising for the book and it only sold about 80 copies. I am now in the process of a query letter ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
238 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Can I publish my novel as a 13 year old? [duplicate]

I’m writing a short novel about a young teenage girl who loses her brother and comes close to death. She travel around trying to find his killer and comes face to face with great challenges along the ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there an online tool which supports shared writing?

I want to write a short story (and maybe later a book) together with a colleague from work. Is there an online service which we can use to do this in a convenient way? Useful features would be (not ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Sentence structure alternatives

Could you suggest a style guide or an exercise book that could teach how one sentence can be written in alternative ways, or how to rephrase a sentence in various structures, especially sentences ...
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
96 views

Is it possible to combine clichés/tropes to make it not a cliché?

I have read a couple romance books at most and so don’t claim to have very much experience with romance and clichés. But here are the ones I can think of: Something happens to make them hate each ...
46
votes
9answers
7k views

The art of clickbait captions

We all have seen at least one of these clickbaits (or some variation thereof): "single mom discovers the meaning of life with a simple trick" or "billionaires don't want you to know this ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Writing style before Elements of Style

I am looking for the representative references on writing style in English that would pre-date Strunk and White's The Elements of Style (possibly in the period between 1750 - 2000). I would like to ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

What weight should be given to writers groups critiques?

I joined a writers group that meets every three weeks. I submitted the first eighteen pages of my work and also sent the same file to a publisher at AuthorHouse. The writers group had varied ...
10
votes
3answers
204 views

Does a repository of analytical breakdowns of stories exist?

I'm a data scientist and for my next project I'm looking for a location where I can find stories broken down by structure. I.e. The basics of the seven point story structure, or wikipedia dramatic ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

Are there specific rules about caesura that restrict us where we can place them?

A caesura is a slight pause that's important in poetry, because for example alexandrines require a caesura in the middle. But the question is where can we put them. I know that we tend to put them ...
2
votes
3answers
186 views

What's wrong with impersonal and lifeless descriptions in a novel? [closed]

It feels like there is something wrong with using impersonal descriptions in fiction. But what is it? As an example, I'm unhappy with the following passage I wrote, because the descriptions aren't ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Using too much dialogue?

I'm working on a novel of my own and, looking back at the bits of it I have so far brought into light, that almost everything in it is dialogue. Is this a bad thing? How could I fix this if it is?
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Introducing new terms (Acronyms and quoted) [closed]

If I were to introduce a quote in my article say special economic zones (SEZ). Was the previous sentence incorrect or should it be Special Economic Zones (SEZ). Does the fact that it's a known term ...
5
votes
1answer
117 views

Foreign words break spellchecking

I am writing a text with a lot of foreign words, and MS Word complained that there were too many ‘errors’ and stopped checking spelling. Is there a way to force spellchecking? (Short of creating a ...
11
votes
9answers
3k views

How to deceive the MC

My protagonist is finally meeting with the big boss of a mafia. At least, he thinks he is. The boss actually sends someone to pretend to be him. I'm writing from the protagonist's (limited) POV. If I ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Cover image formatting for books published on Amazon?

When outsourcing work for a cover image for a book published on Amazon, what should the format of the image be? I have a collection of poems written in a language other than English on Amazon, and I ...
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 ...
13
votes
5answers
6k views

Writing “hahaha” versus describing the laugh

When posting an excerpt of my book on a critiquing site, someone commented on my use of "hahaha" inside the dialogue instead of just having a laughing verb after or before it. They said it took them ...
12
votes
6answers
674 views

How do I write real-world stories separate from my country of origin?

I live in India. And the stories I write don't want to. The thing is, as you all might already know, my country has an extremely- excessively, perhaps- rich cultural and historical heritage. It's ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

How do we properly manage transitions within a descriptive section? [closed]

I wrote the following: She invited him to look out the window, which he did. He looked out of the gray window and saw a field of green vegetables under a lush blue sky. Children were playing in ...
3
votes
4answers
244 views

Where is the line between a tough love character and a pure asshole?

So, I have a character who was going to just be an unlikable character at the start of the novel, but now I want to make her more caring towards certain people, like the innocent character. Thing is, ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How to tease a romance without a cat and mouse chase?

So, my story doesn't have a romance subplot until way later in the series, but I think that there are elements of the romance very early on. A little background info: The story is set in a ...
4
votes
2answers
123 views

How to change the readers opinion of a character?

So, I have a character who starts off a complete ass to everyone. She hates the world, especially the protagonist. Then again, she had no parents to her memory, her people are enslaved and ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Does the word 'authored by' imply the non-existence of co-authors? [closed]

In an article I'm co-authoring, I'm about to say the following: ... d is the number of articles authored by John Doe ... But then I thought this would be better: ... d is the number of articles ...
5
votes
2answers
71 views

Should the audience be immediately aware of the reason for a flashback?

In the pilot episode of "The Americans" Elizabeth has a flashback to something that happened twenty years earlier. Seeing her reflection triggers the flashback, but a reflection seems to have no ...
8
votes
2answers
696 views

Character had a different name in the past. Which name should I use in a flashback?

One of my characters has a flashback to when he was 5 years old. At the time, he didn't have a name (he goes by a physical description instead). What's the correct way to refer to him in this ...
7
votes
1answer
101 views

How can you make up a convincing dialect?

I often need to introduce one, if not several, made up dialects. We're talking about fictional worldbuilding: so any real world dialect is ruled out. They can be used as a source of inspiration, but ...
7
votes
1answer
790 views

Referring to a character in 3rd person when they have amnesia

A section of a story I am writing is being told in third person from the perspective of a character who does not know anything about herself due to amnesia. The reader is also unaware of anything ...

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