78

I would suggest looking at the women in your life (family, friends, co-workers, etc). I have a problem with the ideas of 'feminine qualities' and 'femininity'. They imply that without those a woman isn't a real woman. Much like a man won't be a real man unless he is and can do a set of things. You could perhaps think about the stereotypes for 'manly ...


49

It is perfectly fine for your story to end with the "bad guy" winning. Consider for example George Orwell's 1984: He loved Big Brother Complete and utter defeat. 1984 is one of last century's masterpieces. @Wetcircuit mentions tragedy in a comment, for good reason. Tragedy does not necessarily imply that the "bad guys" win, but it does imply the "good ...


44

I am not on the autistic spectrum, and I confess that it is not obvious to me to what extent and in what manner you plan to characterize your character. On the other hand, I think that your problem could be common to other types of characterizations. To show that a character has certain features, for instance being on the autistic spectrum, there are some ...


41

Would you kill them if they were straight? If yes then you're not being homophobic, whether you're seen as being homophobic by readers and critics is a different story of course. If the death drives the story forward then its necessary and if you treat that particular death no differently than you do the death of straight characters in the same piece then ...


38

You're taking "show, don't tell" too strictly. There's no rules in writing - they're more what you'd call guidelines. If you're in doubt about a passage, write it both ways. Then see which one feels more natural, and which one feels weird and convoluted. If you're finding yourself writing in an unnatural and convoluted manner just to follow some rule, don't ...


36

You leave out small talk by focusing on big talk! By this I mean every thing a person says should be something at least one person in the conversation needs to hear, or wants to hear, or is surprised to hear, or if the other person ignores it, should have wanted to hear. Dialogue has consequence. Cut out lines that don't have a purpose, or aren't going to ...


33

Personally the dissonance whenever I have imagined a character for hours and maybe thought about their stories throughout some days because I can't read a book straight in one go is the biggest problem. It's very irritating because some part of me wants to scratch all that I have thought about through the time and rebuild it to have the same image as the ...


31

No, I think you're good. Since so many of your named characters are queer, it's not a case of killing off the sole token of a group, like it is with the 'only black guy dies' trope. Similarly, the villain being queer shouldn't be a problem because there's lots of other representation. And as Ash said, you're not killing her off because she's queer.


27

I think it may be solved using the same term consistently. From what you wrote: "the man", "his older counterpart", "his future self", "his older self", "Older Adrien", and "his other self". Those are a lot of synonyms. While they are correct and they do convey the idea, a reader is going to be pulled out if you change "the name" of a character every ...


27

The answer to your question depends on how strongly the set of names is associated with the preexisting work of fiction. Not just the individual names, but the set of names together. For example, individually Romeo and Juliet are common enough names, if you set your story in Italy. However, if you name the main characters in your story Juliet and Romeo, it ...


23

I shall kick off with anecdotal evidence: when I was a kid I couldn't distinguish the sounds 'v' and 'f' as they both sounded like 'f'. I had trouble with all the voiced consonants (which are produced when the vocal cords are vibrating: v, z, j, b, d, g), but 'v'... I couldn't even hear that sound. All I heard was 'f'. This was over 30 years ago. My primary ...


23

Have other people comment on their appearance. If they are an underdog, a random stranger could be judgmental either to be cruel or out of ignorance. You can easily get broad strokes from an epithet: race, hair color, body type, gender appearance. It could also be a backhanded compliment (assuming they are too young to drink, for example). They might have ...


20

Yes, it is bad. Your description should come pretty early on. Consider the mental image readers have of a scene - in the moment that a character appears visibly, they will imagine the character in some way. (Obviously, if the character is introduced as a shadowy figure at first, you only have to describe them once they come into the light and the ...


19

I believe in this case, a 'sounding board' fits the bill, simply a person to bounce concepts, dialogue, and ideas off of. Just how some characters act as nought but mouthpieces, this one acts as nothing but an earpiece.


18

Agree with Galastel's answer, most writing "rules" are just guides so you understand the general effect on the reader. However, just picking the one that "feels natural" isn't very objective, so I'll try to be specific how each version changes the effect on the reader. Breaking the "rule" is sometimes how you signal subtext that changes the meaning. ...


18

There are two questions hiding in your question, 1. Can the POV character not be the character who's most active? Consider Sherlock Holmes as an example. Watson is the POV character, the story is told in first person by Watson, it's Watson's opinions and emotions we share. But Watson is passive. It's Holmes who is active, it's Holmes who is interesting, it'...


16

You dress the women however you like, and have them take whatever role they wish in their life. You pay them the same (or more) than their male counterparts for equal work, and most importantly, you have men and women alike look to women with respect. Ask their opinion. Listen to it and follow it. Consider their words. See the wisdom in them. If you open ...


14

Have more faith in your process, but run it by others. Rufus Drake is a great name. It has personality, it's easy to pronounce and it's memorable. It's not uncommon but the combination isn't going to be used much. There's nothing wrong with the name Michael Brown. I bet the million other Michael Browns agree. It's awfully generic though. Google and ...


14

I don't understand the dilemma, just write it the way you want. Ultimately if you want a strong women that embraces her femininity, you are going to put her in a dress, have her pay attention to her grooming, skin, hair, makeup, etc, all the clichés of being a girly girl. So she needs to express her strength and heroism in other ways. That isn't difficult, ...


14

Your girlfriend is correct that the bad guy winning at the end limits your audience, and will anger some readers. But it's important that you write your own book, not the book you think you should write. If you really connect with the material, and you execute it well, there are readers out there who will be as passionate about it as you are. A book aimed at ...


14

Pick a name and go with it. If the fact of the new character being future Adrien isn't a secret from the reader, you don't have to worry about names that spoil the surprise. Use whatever name Adrien himself will use. He's not going to refer internally to his future self by his own name or by something long. He'll pick a name pretty quickly, because his ...


13

As naturally as possible, which means it depends entirely on the character's personality and the actions they are doing. One thing to keep in mind is to refer only the most important physical features. Here are a few examples. 1. (partially inspired by my brother) I was already late and wondered if I should spend the time to put on my lenses. I still ...


12

Writer and former editor Jenna Moreci has a great series of YouTube videos that delve into lots of different writing topics. Some of them discuss dialogue, and here are a few cherry-picked tips of hers that you might find helpful: Avoid banal pleasantries. If you're reading a story that has lots of small talk, it may have been poorly written. Small talk ...


12

I’m going to challenge the framing of this question a bit. The way you’ve asked it, only a troll could answer yes. Of course it’s absurd to give writers a list of predictable dos and donts to check off—especially since the original justification for a lot of them was, “Write something different for a change.” If you want validation on that, you’re right: ...


11

Inanna's Journey and "girly" heroes There are traditional "girly" heroes – often they take the pattern of Inanna's Journey. Rather than "leveling up" like a plucky male hero, Inanna's Journey is about maintaining wits/dignity/femininity while losing or descending in status. Once she's lost everything, she wins by proving her worth isn't about superficial ...


10

Asperger's is not an on/off digital status. It's a gradual thing, some are more than others. You don't need to label your character, just indicate that there's something not typical going on, but, hey, we all know people like that. Anyway, people I know who are - um, whatever - typically say things like "I don't do people" or "I don't do touching", or "...


10

I don't believe there is a single term for this kind of character. The terms usually applied to those characters roll in relation to the protagonist are Foil, Confidante, and stooge -- or as I call them Chumley. The Foil serves to highlight the protagonist's qualities and make them stand out stronger by the comparison. The Confidante permits deeper ...


10

I would add one word to that (then I'll tell you why): Visa squared his shoulders, knowing Reino respected confidence. An opinion is part of somebody's internal life; and how they see the world. Without the word 'knowing', it is the narrator telling us something about Reino's internal life, and we have to guess that Visa knows this. By adding the word ...


9

TL;DR No need to worry: when you write a good story, any name sounds great. Good names are as good as the story Good unique names are not easy. In particular, it is not easy to come up with a good fitting name before having the whole story laid out. On the other hand, most of names however sound great not because of the name itself but because of the ...


9

You'd need to highlight the challenges you think most typify the autistic experience. I'm an aspy my main personal challenge is reading body language, I have other issues but that's the one that has traditionally caused the biggest hassles. That's a common trait for those on the spectrum but by no means universal you need to look at the traits you find most ...


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