21 votes

How to write a character who's better than you at sounding professional and doublespeak

Take full advantage of your ability to revise. Take a long time thinking about and drawing up his dialog. That he comes up with it on the fly makes him better than you, but you can probably do it ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 8,939
18 votes

Is there a way to make text feel like an unhinged rant while still being readable?

Don't write incoherent text. Deranged people have their own logic, their own weird beliefs, and completely fail to see holes in their logic. "It's the Illuminati! They control everything! The, ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
14 votes

How to safely pose this Mary Sue character?

teaching Classical Mechanics to humans is her mission If she were to act as the hero, there would be no villain that could even scratch her. A villain does not need to physically scratch her to foil ...
Michael Borgwardt's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

How do I keep a villain's menace after they've suffered so many defeats?

The villain's goal is not directly counter to the hero's goal. Consider that the villain and the hero are clashing over what the hero is protecting. The hero believes that it's the villain's goal to ...
Chthonic One's user avatar
10 votes

How to safely pose this Mary Sue character?

Just give her one power, the power of illusion. Or alternatively, instant hypnosis. All of those things you've got? She can create illusions that do the same thing. And as magical illusions, they have ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
10 votes

Is there a way to make text feel like an unhinged rant while still being readable?

Make sure you understand why and to what effect your want to write such a passage and whether that is the best way to achieve the intended effect. Collect examples of "unhinged rants". I ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 6,914
9 votes
Accepted

How to safely pose this Mary Sue character?

Those powers sound more interesting than the mechanics she wants to teach Your Mary Sue has all sorts of powers - but what about social skills? What about expectations she comes in with? What about ...
Lio Elbammalf's user avatar
9 votes

Is it okay if I use a historical figure's name for a work of fiction completely unrelated to history?

You don't give an example, so I'll assume you want to call your detective Julius Caesar or your murderer Oliver Cromwell. When does that make sense? If you want to play with the similarities and/or ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 6,914
8 votes

How to write a character who's better than you at sounding professional and doublespeak

The politician thing of never saying what they mean, never answering questions directly and lying without a flinch. Consider the reverse: Politician's always say what they mean, always answer ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 13.5k
8 votes

Should I change my character's name if it's a variation of mine?

You're overthinking this. There's a difference between choosing a name because it's similar to yours, and choosing a name because it fits the character. Example: on stackexchange my username is ...
Wyvern123's user avatar
  • 1,734
8 votes

How do I keep a villain's menace after they've suffered so many defeats?

If the antagonist is supposed to remain threatening, the hero mustn't ever completely best the antagonist. If the hero is clearly stronger than the antagonist, and the reader knows the hero will ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 6,914
8 votes

How can I make a character memorable and not stereotypical?

Realism A character becomes non-sterotypical if you describe the person in realistic detail. A drinking addiction is a sterotype. But what made the person begin drinking; what ongoing difficulties the ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 6,914
8 votes

How can I fit a protagonist and his character arc to an existing world and plot?

Don't try to write your story to satisfy the demands of some how-to-write book! That's stifling your creativity. Put everything away, put a pencil and notebook in your pocket, and take a walk. Let ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 6,914
7 votes

How do I keep a villain's menace after they've suffered so many defeats?

Just have the villain win sometimes. Obviously, there are certain victories that would render the premise of your series irrelevant and bring it to a premature end. What those are will depend strongly ...
Obie 2.0's user avatar
  • 578
5 votes

How to safely pose this Mary Sue character?

Actually her magic does not make her a Mary Sue. It might even hinder her in her mission: Just imagine her telling someone: "Look, this stone over there does not move without any force being ...
Manatee_on_ICE's user avatar
5 votes

Is it okay if I use a historical figure's name for a work of fiction completely unrelated to history?

I wouldn't do that, unless I wanted my character to be embarrassed by it. Mark picked up papers from his desk. "I have your application, here. 'B. Josiah Franklin'. What does the B stand for?&...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
5 votes
Accepted

Is there a way to make text feel like an unhinged rant while still being readable?

Generally speaking, the people who we describe as "deranged" are not really incoherent. Rather, they typically have views of the world which are wildly different from everyone else. They ...
Xander Henderson's user avatar
4 votes

Is it okay to use words from other languages as names?

Many names in English are just regular words from other languages. I know someone called Aimee, which is "loved one" or beloved in French. She is "named after" her father, whose ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
  • 3,761
4 votes

Is it okay to use words from other languages as names?

I wouldn't deem it offensive if I ran across a name in your story that forms a word in my language, but it's a little too likely I might find it funny or distracting. Same goes for other languages if ...
Divizna's user avatar
  • 3,283
4 votes
Accepted

How to describe a character accepting congratulation in a modest, self-deprecating fashion

When I try to write this, however, I am getting caught up in minutiae about how to describe the body movements and expressions. Then don't describe body movements and expressions This isn't a movie. ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
4 votes

How to write a character who's better than you at sounding professional and doublespeak

Sounding Professional is profession specific. A lawyer doesn't talk the same way as an engineer and a doctor doesn't talk like a politician, when they are speaking in their professional capacity. To ...
EDL's user avatar
  • 12k
4 votes

Should I change my character's name if it's a variation of mine?

Are your readers going to notice the similarity between your name and your character's name? Of course they will! Maybe not every single reader, but the majority will. If readers didn't notice and ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 6,914
4 votes

Is there a smooth way to indicate that third person pronouns don't matter so much in my worldbuilding in English?

You cannot gracefully represent the grammmar of one language in another. This is not only limited to gender, but to grammatical case, grammatical tense, syntax and so on, as well. If your characters ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 6,914
4 votes

Is there a way to make text feel like an unhinged rant while still being readable?

One thing that makes a rant a rant is that it does not stop when it has already clearly made its point. The speaker keeps wanting to drive the same point home, over and over. As the rant progresses, ...
Flater's user avatar
  • 3,137
4 votes
Accepted

How to write "The Breakdown Scene"? (cosmic horror)

If this is a huge big part of the story, where what happens and it outcome are really important to story, then you could steep yourself in the manifestation of madness so you have a solid ...
EDL's user avatar
  • 12k
4 votes

How should I switch between different pronouns when writing a nonbinary/genderqueer character?

It is confusing when a speaker or writer refers to a person by different changing pronouns. Every listener or reader will be always unsure who those pronouns are referring to. "Here." Tam ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 6,914
4 votes

How do I write a major character from scratch?

Try auditioning characters for the role Brainstorm a list of 3 or 4 characters (motivations, backstories, personalities, etc), and the write a scene with each of them interacting with the main ...
Arcanist Lupus's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

How do I include a woman on her period in a Fantasy novel?

A novel is not a travel guide or ethnological treatise that describes a place and the everyday life of its people in all its aspects. A novel is a narration of everything that is relevant to its story....
Ben's user avatar
  • 6,914
4 votes

How can I make a character memorable and not stereotypical?

A stereotypical character has no surprises; just about everything they do and say is consistent with their "type". This is fine for characters that appear in one scene as supporting ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
3 votes

Mako Mori test: independent character arc in a plot?

Characters Change As characters have meaningful interactions, they change and grow. To use the Lord of the Rings as an example: The Frodo who left the Shire was willing to carry the One Ring. The ...
codeMonkey's user avatar
  • 1,890

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