34

You need a counterweight - a character (or characters) who have to deal with the fallout from the main character's attitude. Maybe a friend (or coworker) who recognizes what a colossal jerk your main character is and tries to keep him from going completely off the rails. Maybe a boss who has to keep smoothing over problems and incidents - your main ...


9

My advice is to show in-universe that the character's actions or thoughts don't make sense, preferably in a way that's all too common in real people. Show , don't tell; we don't need another character to contradict them. Your need reminds me of a short story covered in one of my English literature lessons at school, and I wish I could remember its name and ...


8

While not a monumental jerk, Lemony Snicket is a great example of a narrator with a subjective side to them. He takes time out of his narration to point out his subjectivity, almost as a disclaimer to the story he's telling. You could invert this by having the narrator take the time to go on racist diatribes, rather than Lemony's subjectivity disclaimers. ...


7

Sounds like you're mind is writing faster than your hand, which gets frustrating sometimes. There are a few things to try to help stop this. Take breaks. Whenever you see yourself deteriorating, stop, take a break, and then get right back to it a minute or two later. Hopefully you'll be able to start going further and further without breaks when you keep ...


6

One of the best examples of an unreliable narrator is found in Lolita. Basically, you don't have to, and you shouldn't try to, signal to the reader that you're just faking it. Quite the contrary - you must believe in the character entirely and report the world as you see it through his eyes. The contradictions in this will be obvious to the reader. Those to ...


6

I think that is not necessary to make your standpoint as author explicit. It will be revealed through the story arc. He starts out as a jerk but because he is not a bad person he is able to learn from experience and become a better person. That is probably part of what you want to tell: Even (modestly) good characters can be full of prejudice and stereotype, ...


6

It is not that simple. Do you want a very rough draft or a finished novel? And it will depend on your experience and your process. So what is your writing background and knowledge of methods to do a novel? Writing will not be able to be predicted in exact amounts as 'X' words/week. It is much harder to write all day than for an hour or two at a time. And ...


5

One idea is to add a prologue in the form of a note from another character explaining the main character's bigotry and prejudice. Suppose this other character is your main character's niece. She could start by explaining how her uncle, despite being pretty intelligent, also held a wide variety of prejudiced beliefs of all kinds. She could say that she found ...


5

I enjoyed thinking about your question. I interpreted it as having two parts. 1.) How can a writer accomplish this? 2.) How can a writer keep their work from being misinterpreted? I have better clarity on the first part. 1.) How can a writer accomplish this? The Luck of Barry Lyndon is excellent prior art you could consider. I agree with @hurreechunder's ...


5

Let it be inferred indirectly from the narrator's attitude Consider the two passages. I picked up the phone and dialled the customer support number. It was an elbonian. I don't like elbonians because they are stupid. We now know that the narrator thinks elbonians are stupid. I picked up the phone and dialled customer support. My heart sank as the heavily ...


5

Research is how you find out what you do not know. Look at the acknowledgements in many books and see that they use experts to help when google is not enough. You use experts who do know to guide you when you need more research info than google gives you. You could try paramedics to see what they do with an accident victim after the police call for help. ...


5

Firstly, I think it would be funny if the characters couldn't remember if it was five or six realms. But seriously, if you are worried about some fantasy trope being used before then you're going to have to invent alot of things that no one has thought of in hundreds of years. Have there been magic stones? Oh yes, lots of times, but those were different ...


4

It's not so much that the narrator character is "wrong"; it's that most readers aren't going to like him. You have two problems: how to keep people reading, and how to let them know that you, as the author that created him, don't like him either. There are lots of unlikable protagonists but first-person makes it harder. There's a very real risk ...


4

I'd advise caution in writing a character without trying to understand them first. Otherwise they come out very flat. Narrators especially need some depth. No one thinks they are the villain, everyones the hero in their own story.* A director friend of mine called me out cold on being judgemental of the character I was playing. "You have to ...


4

What is 'better' is entirely subjective. You need to consider what your story looks like, and at what powerful point you want to begin telling it. It will affect so much about how it will ultimately come across. There is little point describing a normal day in their lives and then kill them, because most modern readers (and editors) won't let you get to that ...


3

If you will be submitting your work to a traditional publisher, that firm's house style will control such formatting, and you shouldn't worry about this. If you plan to self-publish, you will control such things, but even then it should not be a major concern, because most readers will not carefully notice such things Flashbacks should be clearly indicated ...


3

I would suggest looking at shows like "The Wonder Years," "How I Met Your Mother," and similar series where the main character is telling the story from a point in the future but the main story is set in the show's "present." The primary difference in the series is that "Wonder Years" was made in the 80s and set in ...


3

These days, this is probably acceptable. But is it effective? Not for me. What value do you think it adds? And how does this relate to you and your personal essay? If this is a lead-in to something that actually relates to you, then I would focus it and make it tighter.


3

We often picture writers sitting down and effortlessly composing perfect, flawless sentences, but in real life, good writing is almost always the result of lots of rounds of rewriting. When you write the first draft, try to turn off your inner editor, and don't worry about how good the writing is. This is just to get your ideas out of your head. No one will ...


3

Probably the best suggestion is to change the name (it would be one thing if both characters were "Jesse" and helpful if both were spelt differently "Jesse/Jessie" but Frosten is quite uncommon (This is the first time I've heard it). That might not be the same but it combined with other similarities would make a case. No one thing ...


3

This is a tough question to answer because, in many situations, there just isn't a way to be sure of something like this; it's subjective. Does In the comments you mentioned that there are specific works that are concerning you, so with that at hand I'd do these things: Break down the elements in question -- character archetypes, plot points, and ...


3

The Wikipedia article defiens "numerology" as: belief in the divine or mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events. It is also the study of the numerical value of the letters in words, names, and ideas. It is often associated with the paranormal, alongside astrology and similar divinatory arts. (citations omitted) But ...


2

This is risky. Nothing ages faster than the near future. Imagine having written a story in the year 2019, but set in the year 2021. Could you have pictured any of the intervening events that actually happened? For that reason, given that you're not actually interested in the future timeline or setting, I'd make it as minimal as possible. You could actually ...


2

Old Loves, betrayal, plot twists: So if you really want a love triangle, you need to make a reason why the love between A and B get split by C. Why do people fall in love inappropriately? A and C were previously in love, or at least have intense chemistry. Maybe they were first loves. The relationship between A and B might even be a little illicit. It doesn'...


2

If the love triangle is no longer in service of the story, just don't write it. MC is happy with her current partner? Let it be so. You might need to restructure some of your plot going forward, but if you think it will ultimately result in a stronger narrative overall, it's worth doing. Alternatively, if a character is "too perfect," that could be ...


2

There are a few methods of writing several stories/books at the same time. So far you have used the 'every next day you do a bit on the next book'. An other that works for many people is 'work on one book till you either get stuck or get a good idea for one of the others and then switch and work till you either again get stuck or get inspiration for an other ...


2

This one can be super tough, honestly. I like to sort of treat it like shots in a film -- what will convey close shots, slow zooms, or sweeping pans? Know where and what your "camera" is looking at. Will a quick swing over the set be more efficient for laying the land, or are the details too crucial to gloss over? The specific elements that you ...


2

What does your point of view character notice? Put in details that they would notice and omit those that they would not. Consider what details catch your own attention when you open a door. The space on the other side, the people, the smell, the temperature, the humidity, differences in air pressure, the list is nearly endless. Certainly including as much ...


2

Either way could work well. I have read novels in which a character dies inn the first chapter, even inn the opening scene, and the repercussions of that death are a major driver of the plot. David Weber's Mutineer's Moon is an example that comes to mind. Another is the killing of King Brion in the first chapter of Kurtz's novel Deryni Rising. The ...


2

Another Answer touched on it, but I think an "unreliable narrator" would work here. Show, don't tell Show how the narrator is just plain wrong about the people he's talking about. Have him say something about how completely horrible a person is, then have that character be a regular person or even a "goodie 2 shoes". This would be ...


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