Skip to main content
27 votes
Accepted

I'm afraid that my setups will be overlooked

The components of a really effective payoff, in my mind, are these: The reader knows something is coming But: they don't know what is coming. They have open questions; they have doubts. They're in a ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 28.3k
14 votes

I'm afraid that my setups will be overlooked

SHOW, DON'T TELL Avoid "prophesies" or "maid and butler dialog" about those almost-forgotten immortals that would telegraph what is coming. This is "telling, not showing". It should be a surprise to ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
12 votes

I'm afraid that my setups will be overlooked

Answer: In my experience, introduce hints / foreshadow through multiple different devices. The most obvious is to have the character not die early on, as you suggest. This would communicate the ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
11 votes

I'm afraid that my setups will be overlooked

Setups are most rewarding when the reader realizes after the fact that that detail was important but doesn't figure it out too early (i.e. it's not more obvious than you wanted it to be). If a reader ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
9 votes

How do you get solid concepts and stop scrapping ideas?

Let me recommend Stephen King's (and my own) approach, "Discovery Writing." In this approach, you don't begin with a plot, you let the plot develop as you write. Instead, you begin with a ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
9 votes

I'm afraid that my setups will be overlooked

I think the route taken in "Unbreakable" (a Bruce Willis movie) is a good example of how to do this. Mainly, there are compelling clues that can be interpreted as either an effect, or extremely good ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
9 votes

How do I know if my character is a self insert and how do I avoid it or overcome it?

Your character almost certainly is a self-insert on some level. This can be said without even looking at your character for several reasons. All characters are, on some level, drawn from one of two ...
user2352714's user avatar
  • 4,685
8 votes

Does the concept come before other "literary devices" in philosophical science fiction?

Art is, in its truest form, the ability to communicate a concept through its medium; in novel writing, your medium is the story. The fundamental building blocks of a story are the plot, the characters,...
R. Rengold's user avatar
7 votes

How to write a utopia?

How should I write a utopia? I think the utopian fiction you're describing would be challenging to write because it lacks climactic points. Its predictable. You describe it as if there is no wobbles, ...
Featherball's user avatar
  • 4,429
6 votes
Accepted

What is the "acid test" for a nonfiction anthology?

I think "selected literary pieces or passages" is your linchpin here. Let's take that college mainstay, the Norton Anthology (this one is American Literature). This is a book which contains quotes, ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

How to write a utopia?

I think what's being missed here is the idea that what makes something a "perfect" world is not the same for everyone. If you want an example of a utopia, try The Wizard of Oz and the subsequent 13 ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
6 votes

How do I write a maze as a story challenge?

This question is more like asking 'How can I hint at the reader the solution to a problem that my characters face?', since we can't give you ideas for your writing, that's something you need to solve ...
Kyle Li's user avatar
  • 1,688
6 votes

How do speech writers find the contents that make their speeches so impressive?

I disagree with what's comment. There are certain techniques used in these speeches that help convey meaning. I'm going to use Martin Luther King's I had a dream speech in my answer. What kinds of ...
Featherball's user avatar
  • 4,429
6 votes
Accepted

How do I know if my character is a self insert and how do I avoid it or overcome it?

I believe all authors insert themselves into their stories in some way, and that isn't a bad thing. It is an effective technique to use for characters who need possess knowledge of the greater world ...
EDL's user avatar
  • 12.4k
4 votes

How to write a utopia?

Let me give three examples of utopian novels published in the last century: B. F. Skinner’s Walden Two (1948), Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time (1976), and Gidon Rothstein’s Murderer in the ...
Seth Gordon's user avatar
  • 1,733
4 votes
Accepted

Creating a logical framework for the concept of "decisional causality"

Something irrevocable transpires. I would say a decision is made when something irrevocable occurs. Words are spoken and heard, a button is pushed, a trigger is pulled, a letter is mailed, an email is ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
3 votes

How do you get solid concepts and stop scrapping ideas?

It just isn't so that you have to start with plot - some do, some don't. More importantly, you don't have to make up a whole entire new plot of your own that has never before been done. I remember a ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
  • 3,897
3 votes

Does the concept come before other "literary devices" in philosophical science fiction?

The concept is everything, but also not the only thing. In The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin, she explores many concepts but the major one is gender and what gender means to both others ...
Eric James's user avatar
3 votes

Case studies of the use of concept mapping in science fiction writing?

I don't write Sci-fi, but I do write Fantasy and Historical Fiction and do tons of research. I usually use concept mapping only for processes and relationships between characters, places or whatever. ...
SC for reinstatement of Monica's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

How do you get solid concepts and stop scrapping ideas?

It sounds like you are well on your way to becoming a normal writer. There’s a few key concepts in writing fiction that you should cement into your lifestyle. Writers always read. The more you read, ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 1,112
3 votes
Accepted

What should I do when I keep thinking that a concept of a character is boring?

The Straight Man: No, not a heterosexual male. In comedy, a straight man is someone who behaves in the most boring way possible, not responding comedically to comedic situations. They act like the ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 13.7k
3 votes

How do I know if my character is a self insert and how do I avoid it or overcome it?

Use Character voice Inserting yourself into the story isn't necessarily a problem, however, if it happens in several characters and they all sound and think like you, then you have problems. You want ...
Erk's user avatar
  • 6,100
2 votes

What is the "acid test" for a nonfiction anthology?

The core concept of an anthology is a "collection," of things that would otherwise be separate --things that have their own separate identity and coherence. What is anthologized might be different ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
2 votes
Accepted

Having a hard time developing an idea

So, a choise based story game... The first thing that came to my mind was 80 days from inklestudios, which is - as one can guess from the name - something that's based on the famous book from Jules ...
Confused Merlin's user avatar
2 votes

Having a hard time developing an idea

A good, story based video game really has to immerse the player in the world and make them want to play further. Before you worry about your story, develop a character that people will care about ...
Stephen's user avatar
  • 1,124
2 votes

How do speech writers find the contents that make their speeches so impressive?

To answer that, you've got to learn to read like a writer. (Or, in this case, like an orator.) You can study these speeches that impress you to find the answer to that question and to improve your own ...
Jerenda's user avatar
  • 639
2 votes

How to write a utopia?

Although I am a bit lost in terminology here, I would still like to board this train–even a bit late. How do you make a utopia work? For me the terms Utopia, Dystopia and everything in between are ...
Lew's user avatar
  • 3,100

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