Skip to main content
23 votes

Creating a story in which the hero(es) lose

warning: TV Tropes links ahead Downer endings are okay There's nothing inherently wrong - or, to be honest, all that original - with a downer ending. Stories where the villains win, or the heroes only ...
Werrf's user avatar
  • 667
20 votes
Accepted

How to provide realism without making readers think grimdark

Realism means variety, because real life isn't all one thing To some degree, you've answered your own question: I want there still to be hope in the story after these two events happen If a ...
Jedediah's user avatar
  • 8,669
17 votes

Creating a story in which the hero(es) lose

I for one, would love to read a follow up novel about a world ruled by orcs. So let me ask you this: Why not write that book instead? In fact, why not make the orcs the heroes of your story? ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

How do you explain the details of something technical to a non-technical audience?

When explaining concepts of any kind to an audience unfamiliar with the knowledge domain, the following methods are highly effective: analogy & metaphor - compare (albeit inexactly) what this ...
warren's user avatar
  • 320
12 votes

Creating a story in which the hero(es) lose

Saving Private Ryan is probably the best example I know of a well-received movie where all the protagonists died. Looking at it, its pretty clear that it got away with this because their deaths were ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 1,289
12 votes

Creating a story in which the hero(es) lose

In fiction there are protagonists, the characters that the writer wants the readers to identify with, and antagonists, the characters who have opposing goals and seek to stop the protagonists from ...
M.A. Golding's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Is an audience really required to develop writing?

If you are doing it for the enjoyment of writing, then just do it. Write what you like, as you like, when you like. An audience of real readers isn't required. On the other hand, everyone likes a ...
JRE's user avatar
  • 3,157
10 votes

How does one write from a minority culture? A question on cultural references

Yes. Both of the examples you gave (more so the LotR one) "work" in their own right without the need to "get" the reference in order to continue understanding the story. The more likely a reader/...
motosubatsu's user avatar
  • 7,283
10 votes

How do I write for the majority, without alienating my minority?

You should be able to use memory (or flashbacks, but I dislike them); or tell it from the Jewish girl's POV, but give her a reason to have conversations with a non-Jew, e.g. a teammate, an ambassador'...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
9 votes

How does one write from a minority culture? A question on cultural references

Sure. There are two possibilities. Oh, you used religion as the example so let's continue with that example. Similar things would apply to an ethnic heritage, or for that matter to the subculture ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 25.7k
9 votes
Accepted

How do you get feedback when sharing your ideas makes you not want to write?

As somebody who has lots of story ideas but really struggles to get them written to completion, I can personally relate to this, and I would love to offer some advice that helped me to get through ...
Sciborg's user avatar
  • 8,752
8 votes

Creating a story in which the hero(es) lose

No one seems to be addressing Would creating a story that ends with the enemy winning be something interesting to others? Are you telling a “big picture” story, or human (orc, dwarf, elf, whatever) ...
Mawg's user avatar
  • 241
8 votes

How does one write from a minority culture? A question on cultural references

Absolutely. My own book is filled with references to Judaism and to American Jewish culture (the number 18 is one). In lots of those cases, it's explicit, but not always. I would venture to say you ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k
7 votes
Accepted

How do I get more exposure as an author?

Write something that captures the imagination, from page 1. First, +1 to DPT answers, those are practical. This is like asking "How do I write a #1 book". There is a lot of advice out there ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
7 votes

How do you explain the details of something technical to a non-technical audience?

The tactic I use most often for this is analogy. By creating an analogy to a commonly understood topic, you can introduce the core ideas in a way that feels familiar to the audience. That said, ...
thesquaregroot's user avatar
7 votes

How do I write for the majority, without alienating my minority?

Amadeus and Logan's answers are already good. I'd like to expand a bit about the "no explanation needed" that Logan presented. Your assumption is that the majority-readers needs explanation. This is ...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 15.9k
6 votes
Accepted

YA novel with old protagonist?

Your listed themes and goals are at cross-purposes. You have: finding your place in the world living according to your values figuring out what really matters to you questioning assumptions sticking ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Fantasy Series - YA or Adult protagonist?

I don't think there is a strong commercial reason. YA with YA protagonists is a commercial audience, but note it is also an audience heavily influenced by parents, that want fantasy for their "coming ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
6 votes
Accepted

How do I maintain effective documentation for different audiences while avoiding duplication?

I think this depends on the tools you're using to create the documentation. Doxygen has some manual commands you can use for conditions: http://www.doxygen.nl/manual/commands.html In most structured ...
Stephani Clark's user avatar
6 votes

How does one write from a minority culture? A question on cultural references

Most definitively! In fact these types of cultural references serve two purposes. On one hand, they are for the reader: if the reader identifies it, it may resonate with the feeling that the ...
NofP's user avatar
  • 10.6k
6 votes

Is the replacement of "slaves" with "enslaved peoples" in common usage now?

When you use a noun - slave, prisoner, billionaire -- to refer to a person, you are assigning them an identity, you are saying this is what they are. There are some people these days who feel that ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
  • 3,897
5 votes

Representing minorities without cultural appropriation

Is it cultural appropriation? Well, yes and no. Yes, because the historic people you're writing about have the culture of someone else. No, because the story has them as having that culture. It's a ...
Andon's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes

How do I get more exposure as an author?

I was just at a talk on this. It was run by a publicist. It was a useful talk, but also depressing. You could hire a publicist. She also said that entering contests is important, and creating media ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
4 votes

Creating a story in which the hero(es) lose

Consider these possibilities: The hero achieves what he desires, and what he desires is good. The hero does not achieve what he desires, but what he does get is better, because he desired wrong. (...
Paul Chernoch's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible