All Questions

13
votes
3answers
5k views

How would we write a misogynistic character without offending people?

In a short story I am writing, I have this misogynistic character who keeps saying misogynistic stuff, and I thought it would be a bad idea to give him dialogue lines. I was thinking that, because I ...
8
votes
5answers
895 views

When does inspiration across artforms become plagiarism

Spoilers for Green Book in the E.g. section I listen to a lot of music and when I come up with stories I often use songs as a source of inspiration. However what I was wondering is are songs and ...
2
votes
6answers
110 views

Will my book have a better chance at being successful if I include more gender diversity in it?

My novel so far only contains female main characters. There are some male characters, but they are few and far between, and only play minor roles. Obviously it's hard to predict if any book is going ...
8
votes
3answers
332 views

Naming things the POV character doesn't know

My middle-grade novel is third person with one primary and one secondary viewpoint character. Sometimes the narrator hovers a bit more, sometimes the narrator is more in the character's head. The ...
50
votes
12answers
13k views

Sometimes a banana is just a banana

Often reading analyses of books and films, I find that the analytics derive conclusions from the specific food or beverage that a character consumes. The food appears to always be symbolic of ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Map-making software

I'm looking for free software, preferably open-source, that would allow me to create maps for my story. I guess what I need is a tool that would allow some measure of 3D modelling. Features I would ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How do we edit a novel that's written by several people?

Two other friends and I have been writing a fan fiction and we basically write a chapter each one after another every week. Now that we're nearing the end of the project, we've noticed that the ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Writing effectively under very brief constraints

I recently noticed a trend to a few of my questions. I am attracted to writing in places with extreme brevity. This makes sense to me on a personal level. I've always been attracted to one-liners and ...
7
votes
3answers
165 views

How large should photos on my blog be?

I sometimes post photos on my blog, like when I'm blogging about food. I've been shrinking the huge pictures my phone takes down to a size that fits more reasonably in a browser window -- my browser ...
3
votes
3answers
79 views

Should an author include user-interactive sections in his website?

Related questions: Should an author have one website or two? As an new author, how important is to have a personal website? Pros and Cons: A blog to get feedback A possible duplicate of, even if I'd ...
3
votes
3answers
48 views

Terminology in sociology & statistics

What is the word commonly used in statistics when the thing that you want to measure cannot be (or was not) measured directly, so you assume that another thing that can be (or was) measured gives an ...
10
votes
3answers
945 views

Criticizing long fiction. How is it different from short?

I recently asked about criticism regarding short pieces of fiction. What about longer works like novels? Surely no one can sit down and agonize over individual word choices in a larger work the way ...
4
votes
2answers
113 views

How many elements can you focus on during worldbuilding?

Possibly related: How can I get readers to accept more than 1 "buy" in worldbuilding? Worldbuilding is a tireless art; that's what our brother site Worldbuilding-SE is for, and why as a ...
5
votes
3answers
114 views

Writing as a second job [closed]

A lot of people here aren't professional writers, but write in their own free time or for their own pleasure. It's not uncommon, though, wanting (or dreaming) to make "something more" out of it, ...
6
votes
3answers
180 views

How can I get readers to accept more than 1 “buy” in worldbuilding?

An alternative "Occult Universe" I open my occult detective novel in what is ostensibly a "noir" style, but through worldbuilding I attempt to show that the story is set in an alternate occult ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

When should we use an ellipsis in a poem instead of a comma or a dot?

The quote come from the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley: I met a traveller from an antique land, Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. . . . Near ...
6
votes
1answer
76 views

How to write a puzzle without being too descriptive or vague?

I have recently joined the Puzzling.SE site and I am excited to ask few puzzles there. However, I am stuck, rather confused as to how a puzzle qualifies as good and precise. I want to ensure its ...
1
vote
3answers
90 views

How do you to turn an antagonist into a protagonist? [closed]

In a piece I am writing, I want to turn an antagonist into a protagonist. I know that numerous ways to accomplish this are somewhere out there, but none of the help with a smooth transformation. Is ...
3
votes
2answers
58 views

Publishers that drag their feet

How do you deal with frustration over a publisher's choices? All the stories and art for an anthology are in the publisher's hands—camera ready in digital form—and approved (deadline was 4 months ago)...
2
votes
2answers
39 views

What are the key elements of a humor story?

I've always loved humor stories, and relish the idea of making one. But the thing I cannot grasp is the key elements of one. Are the key elements the one of a normal story(Problem, Solution, etc.)? ...
2
votes
1answer
23 views

How to use metaphors and similes in a good dose?

If you know me well, you will know that I use too many metaphors and similes. Everybody, keeps telling me to tone it down, but when I try, I tone it down too much. Is there a way to use metaphors and ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

What is this device of using quotes to imply that a character represents or symbolizes someone else?

In the movie Prometheus, David 8 quotes a passage from "Paradise Lost" said by Lucifer. He tells Walter, Serve in Heaven or reign in Hell. One of the crew mate even insinuates he's the devil: ...
2
votes
3answers
356 views

What is the best way to simulate grief?

I am new to the art of writing and have been wondering if there is a way to introduce the grief of loss(character dies) in my story, inturn while making the reader feel the grief. Is there a good ...
5
votes
1answer
31 views

Capitlization of A Named Experiment

I have an experiment which we call 'the krypton experiment'. In referring to the krypton experiment, should it be capitalized? e.g. The Krypton Experiment was used as a source of benchmark data. or ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Should we write a long prologue if the main component of our novel is the original world building? [duplicate]

So I want to write a book that's set in a very different and otherworldly world, so I thought about it and I was wondering if it was ok to put a lot of things into context. However, I think I went a ...
6
votes
3answers
130 views

Approaches to criticizing short fiction

What is a reasonable scholarly approach to breaking down short pieces of prose? Is it word choice? Is it structure? Is it themes, and how well they are used? Use of symbolism and its efficacy? Meter, ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

How do we succintly describe a boxing match?

I am writing a short story, and the boxing match which comes after 2/3 of the story is likely to exceed the length of the entire story, so how do you cut the action short? Do you describe the match ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Everyone is beautiful

I've noticed a quirk with the narrator voice of one of the two novels I'm working on. This narrator only describes the beautiful aspects of every character's features. You might think the women are ...
8
votes
3answers
319 views

Knowing when to use pictures over words

When writing about food, be it a cookbook or a food blog, as long as the media supports it, the use of pictures is going to make a difference in the quality of the work. So when I am writing about ...
6
votes
2answers
811 views

What do you call a fact that doesn't match the settings? [closed]

I am not sure what you call them exactly. I don't think it's a plot hole, because it's not related to the story itself. Let me give you an example: Let's say your novel is set in Italy, but everyone ...
8
votes
3answers
332 views

What is a good way to foreshadow that magic is actually very advanced technology?

In a story I'm working on, humanity had sometime in the past reached a very advanced technological level (far higher than ours), but then had a devastating global war, and afterwards technology had ...
3
votes
3answers
168 views

Do British publishers change US English spelling to British English spelling?

I have read the Red Rising trilogy as paperbacks published by Del Rey, a US publisher. (I bought these books while in the US.) Now being based in Europe, I want to starting buying the follow-up ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Publish the same book under two names

I have self-published books under a name that I used before moving to another country, where I partially changed my name. I'd like to know if I could publish them again with my new name, but not "...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

How do we properly manage the state of transition between unknown and known?

I often have a passage that sounds like this. I don't know why, but I always found these passages a bit odd sounding. A stranger was lying, face into the sands, belly down, on the beach all alone....
4
votes
3answers
54 views

What is in scope for criticizing technical writing

I'm not well versed in technical writing. I'm probably not going to be in a position to give anyone feedback for some time, but I would like to know how to approach it when I get there. I would also ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

What are some techniques to avoid digital distraction?

I'm a modern day writer. I learned to type on a word processor when I was eight or nine. If you gave me a typewriter (which would be super cool of you,) I wouldn't really know how to use it well. I ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

How to write a Stack Exchange Question?

There are a couple questions out there on How to ask a smart question and the FAQ has its own tips, but lets assume you know how to ask what you want. From a purely writing perspective, most of the ...
-2
votes
1answer
46 views

Writing a long description of a sequence of actions while still being impersonal [closed]

When I try to do this, the description feels very dry, and I am not sure if it's possible to make it feel less dry while still being impersonal and super objective (because I am using a omniscient and ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

Finishing up someone else's novel

One of my friends passed away about a year ago and left me some manuscripts. A rough draft and without a proper ending. I was wondering if I should finish it and how. Should I take the draft and just ...
3
votes
2answers
53 views

Switching perspective in battle scenes?

I have written a book with an ensemble cast. Prior to them meeting, I simply gave each character his/her own chapter. Once they met, I narrowed the perspective to only a couple. The battle at the ...
5
votes
3answers
266 views

Should I write a companion book/blog?

As a spinoff to this question: Incorporating research and background: How much is too much? I'm writing a middle-grade fantasy novel with a historical fiction component based in Ancient Egypt. I'm ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Is it legal to write a novel about people playing “League of Legends”?

I was wondering if using trademarked items such as a bottle of "Pepsi", or a video game like "League of Legends" can make you vulnerable to lawsuits. I think so, but I am not sure, because I see a lot ...
6
votes
6answers
223 views

how can I showcase the internal struggles between a man and his demons?

The character in this story is a human-demon hybrid. He is good natured on a normal day, but because of the demon genes and blood coursing through him, as struggled with certain urges his entire life. ...
9
votes
4answers
397 views

How to tag distinct options/entities without giving any an implicit priority or suggested order?

An example of the problem in an aggravated form surrounds the controversy of France changing ‘mother’ and ‘father’ to ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’ in official paperwork - where the controversy suggests ...
4
votes
2answers
91 views

Do I need to get a pen name?

I'm a self-published author, who is going to get a traditional publishing contract. They say it's my choice, but I have a doubt. I have published a thriller novel, two mystery short stories, and also ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Would publishers accept a title which includes the F-word?

I have a title for a novel, however, it would lose its zeitgeist if I couldn't include the F-word. I can't go in to details without giving away the title. Would this limit the potential audience ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

Translating non-English lyrics to English

I am wondering what are some guidelines when translating the lyrics of a song to another language, because lyrics depend a lot on musicality (rhymes, syllables), it's very hard to maintain the same ...
6
votes
2answers
60 views

How to write exciting updates?

For my Pathfinder campaign I write an update each session which I share with my players. The goal for these updates is: Provide a brief recap of the previous session Get people excited for the next ...
2
votes
0answers
16 views

Is there any room in technical-writing for levity [duplicate]

When doing technical writing it is generally advised to be straight to the point. And I understand that. After all if I am reading instructions on how to put together the desk I just bought, or how to ...
20
votes
9answers
2k views

Every character has a name - does this lead to too many named characters?

My tendency when writing is to give every character a name. Even the most minor ones. It says something about a nobleman when he knows every guard and stablehand by name, and it's something I want. So ...

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