All Questions

6
votes
2answers
131 views

How to Write about Events the 1st-person Protagonist Hasn't Witnessed?

I’ve written a few stories now just at home, however I haven’t seemed to crack one thing. I always write in 1st person as I enjoy the intimacy between protagonist and reader, however what if I wanted ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Is accurate human nature required for good writing, even in fantasy scenarios, or with fictional species?

I don't know if this is something that is established in the discipline of literature. However, I have found that in any fiction, with all else being equal, the more the characters behave like real ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

Can I publish a book based on the Library of Babel?

So I want to write a fictional book based on Borges' Library of Babel idea. The only thing I would preserve is the setting. However, I am unsure of the legality of it. Is the setting copyrightable? ...
23
votes
6answers
5k views

What keeps most authors writing after receiving multiple rejections?

Last year, I completed a heavily researched 95,000-word novel about an emerging pandemic that targets primarily children. I am a former scientist and current nurse and wanted to do teaching about what ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Do I need Permission for Acknowledgements or Reprinting Articles?

I can not recall the book, but one of Isaac Asimov's novels ends with an article on muon-catalyzed fusion. I remember that because it was so impressive to find out that such a thing was real. I've ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Punctuating dialogue that is interrupted by thoughts/internal monologue rather than action?

So I've got a bit: Alta blinked. She pushed on, smiling, “—the argument. When the argument succeeds, which I still don’t fully deem, even after that—it looks to me like you’ve still got to do all ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

how many copies of Hitchhiking with an Angel [closed]

My brother wrote and it was published in 2003. Not a novel but it was published and can find even in amazon.He has never recieved 1 penny. he asked me many times to find out what I could His name as ...
63
votes
8answers
8k views

How to avoid turning dialogue into Q&A session?

I noticed a problem I have in my fictional writing. My dialogues quickly turn into interrogations. Here is an exaggerated example. "How did you do it?" he asked. "..." "Will it kill us ...
3
votes
4answers
131 views

How do I stay motivated while planning a series of novels?

I've been working on a fantasy series for the past few years. When I first started, I wrote my first draft (for the first book) in one go without any planning at all. Even though I enjoyed myself, ...
5
votes
4answers
110 views

Should I change my method of indicating internal monologue (parenthesis) to something more conventional?

I am writing a fantasy novella that ends up using a lot of internal monologues, often mixed with dialogue, descriptions, and other character's monologues. For example, this excerpt from the first ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I indicate a magical compulsion to protect someone without truly disclosing it?

One of the characters in my book feels the need to protect a woman she barely knows and later on it will be revealed that they have a magical which causes the character in question to want to protect ...
2
votes
2answers
223 views

Fiction: Living next door to a CEO [closed]

A CEO moves next door to a 3rd year college student who babysits and tutors for a rich family to keep the rent paid in her expensive apartment. It seems strange for a CEO, who probably has a ton of ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

How can I describe someone wanting to make someone happy?

So I'm writing a story and I'm having trouble with one part. The main character says that someone will never like her because she's weird and the character's sister says something along the lines of, "...
3
votes
3answers
198 views

How to avoid “power creep” in my novel? [duplicate]

I am aware that many books and comics have this problem. The hero defeats someone and then the next bad guy has to be tougher so that there is suspense and the hero has to grow stronger in order to ...
6
votes
5answers
149 views

Is there a balance between a page-turning read and an exhausting 'too much' reading experience?

I have learned over the past fifteen months of writing fiction that every scene needs to have tension and advance the plot. This is good. But, I find that as I read my novel (again and again) to ...
3
votes
2answers
41 views

Categorizing paragraphs in a stack exchange answer

I stumbled across the question on Writing Beta about "How do you write a stack exchange answer?". The best answer says use headings. What would the headings be for? The main idea/topic of each ...
6
votes
5answers
117 views

What are the chances that agents or publishers will accept my manuscript if there are some grammatical errors in it?

English is not my native one, but I can talk and write with it, but maybe not as well as I would like to. Many readers have told me that my stories I wrote are really good, but still, I make some ...
5
votes
1answer
144 views

Protagonist who is morally compromised and antagonist who is “good”?

My protagonist is Eris and my antagonist is Ezrith. In a post-apocalyptic world, my unreliable narrator Eris has the ability to control and manipulate life and subsequently kill any living thing at ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

Is there a test for cliches in plot?

I know there are already questions about cliched phrases, but are there resources to help identify plot and characters that are cliches? I found some (like this), but they weren't very helpful for ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

How do I prevent my protagonist from ending the world?

My protagonist is an immortal person that’s powerful enough to end all with but a thought. She has amnesia due to overusing her power when she recreated the world. The amnesia part is very important ...
4
votes
3answers
177 views

How do I know if I should be a writer?

I have been writing on and off, without really paying attention to it, almost impulsively, since I was sixteen. It's been mostly therapeutic, for me. I found recently that putting dreams to paper ...
6
votes
5answers
208 views

How to keep darkness from piling up

I'm a big fan of ongoing stories and longer series. But one thing I've noticed about my writing (and a lot of the works I read/watch) is that as a story goes on, the tone gets progressively darker. ...
6
votes
6answers
167 views

Writing a crying scene

Writing a crying scene makes me accidentally do repetitions like "the tears which were on her face broke down into a slithering stream..." and then putting the word tears again and again. What ...
9
votes
4answers
756 views

Struggling with the number of themes in my work

So, I'm a big picture person. What I like best, in life, and when I write, is bringing a lot of very different elements together. But as a result, both my fiction and non-fiction tend to be ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Can I give a lecture about my book without disclosing my real name?

I have a non-fiction book about language learning, entrepreneurship, productivity and personal growth in general. The problem is: I have published this book using a pen name (pseudonym). I would ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

A handful of gems

So I'm facing an issue after many years of writing, and several unsuccessful novels. In my own estimation, all my books contain a "handful of gems" --wonderful scenes that really come to life. But ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Repetitive sentences

How do I start off sentences without them being too repetitive and boring? I have a problem of starting a sentence with something like "The person" and end up using "The person" in the next one again.
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How can you humanize infanticide of the evil-tainted?

The world is surrounded by an alternate realm called the spirit world. Humans existed as separate physical entities, but maintain an attachment to the spirit realm due to their connection with god. ...
34
votes
6answers
4k views

How do you make characters relatable if they exist in a completely different moral context?

Usually when I read books in ancient-like settings (settings that are either in real ancient civilizations on Earth, or fantasy settings similar to those), there are relatable characters who employ ...
4
votes
4answers
63 views

Do I quote the author or artist from a comic? MLA

I'm kind of confused on how to quote a scene in a comic/graphic novel. I understand that if you are quoting something that a character said, that you would do the usual (Author's Last name, Page ...
71
votes
9answers
14k views

Using real words from a foreign culture feels like 'Calling a rabbit a “smeerp”'

I'm working on a novel, that's set in pre-Islamic Persia, in the same general way that The Lord of the Rings is set in Britain. (Meaning, it's set in a world all its own, but there's this source of ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Penalties for copyright infringements [closed]

How the infringement damages are calculated (EU countries) if there are few images failed to licence for copyright. For example, if the profit of a publication is 1000 USD and there are 3 images out ...
0
votes
2answers
247 views

Why does pricing one's ebook at $1.99 tend to result in far lower sales than pricing it at $2.99 or $0.99?

This is what I keep hearing but no one seems to be able to provide an explanation. Is it because 2.99 is high enough to be make the book respectable while 0.99 is low enough to make it easy for people ...
35
votes
10answers
10k views

Would readers feel cheated if the villain is successful in convincing the protagonist to change sides?

So I'm writing a story where the main character is sent to kill the main villain. I have the basic world set out before me, and now I focus on story. I was planning out the main storyline and I hit a ...
0
votes
5answers
269 views

How do you fill pages with fluff?

I'm writing a book and I'm finished but it is way too short. It's not choppy but it's missing pieces. The difficult part is my writing style revolves around a confusing and mysterious character. I ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Is it true that setting your book price low (without making it clear that it is a sales price) makes people assume it is of low quality? [duplicate]

I’ve heard from some authors that setting your book at a low price without making it clear that it is a sales/giveaway price tends to devalue your work and makes people assume that it is of low ...
2
votes
4answers
166 views

If two characters are blood relations will it seem coincidental?

I have a character who is a seasoned CIA agent and is part of the task force that is bringing in my MC. I have another character, a semi retired assassin who was one of my MC’s instructors. I want ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Citing the same page multiple times in MLA

I'm doing an assignment in which I am summarizing a short, (6 paragraph), section of an article. I have my summary written, with my complete MLA citation. However, I just noticed that the instructions ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Short sentence(s) to be creative to ask Uber passenger to tip?

As a Uber driver, I did not earn much. Uber cut down the pay to drivers recently, it hurt a lot. I want to write a sign to remind people to pay tips. I want to be a bit creative to remind the rider ...
5
votes
2answers
194 views

Running four parallel stories

In my story, I have four important people (1 Protagonist and his friends). All four play a major part in dealing with the main conflict. Initially they do not know each other. They meet after a series ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Running multiple, multi-niche blogs as an individual

If you're a member of Community Building Stack, please check out the alternative version of this question at https://communitybuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/3005/establishing-yourself-in-regular-...
7
votes
5answers
143 views

Using big words without sounding like a thesaurus junkie

I have a problem; my natural writing style is very high-brow. It often utilizes complex, flowery language. Much of the time, however, I find that it gives the impression that I am but taking a simple ...
0
votes
7answers
149 views

Naming my characters

I'm writing a fantasy novel. The story takes place in England (1900's) No matter how much I research I'm unable to move forward in naming my characters. For example, When we look at all the characters ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

I noticed that several already-existing poems used the same highly specific puns and phrases that I used. Is this unintentional plagiarism on my part?

A bit of context: Exhibit A) I wrote a poem that had the line "crystalline crystal lines." I googled this phrase, just to see if it was out there, and I saw that it was. I had never read the poem ...
0
votes
2answers
96 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?
0
votes
0answers
14 views

AP style for attributing a fragment quote and block quote in one sentence

I can't find anything in the 2018 Stylebook that says this should be avoided, but maybe someone here can find something. "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet," Emperor Nero said as fell deeper into his own ...
2
votes
3answers
181 views

Once written down it's set in stone

What's the strange property/disease/habit called in which you need everything you write down to be 'the truth' once it's written down. Even while drafting, resulting in not daring to change past ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Is this attribution clear and sufficient?

My characters are well read and some like to recite poetry. My MC is particularly fond of Paradise Lost and is known to quote a few lines here and there. In one scene he is thinking some of the lines ...
1
vote
2answers
127 views

Is it plagiarism to use an item from another story in my own story?

What if I use an item from another story in my story? For example, in my story there is a metal called adamantium which obviously came from the story of Wolverine. Can it be considered plagiarism?
2
votes
2answers
123 views

On Characters' Motivations

I'm currently writing a sort of serious superhero thriller. The main character finds out his father is a kingpin and drug lord. At the beginning of the story the main character, who has been living in ...

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