6

I would say you need some tragedies; they don't have to be severe. The gay girl gets dates and they go badly, she needs a shoulder to cry on and her friend supplies that. I wouldn't turn that into a kiss or anything, just a soft spot for her friend. She needs to build up some sympathy for her friend, and grow to see nothing wrong with her friend's ...


3

Stop trying to do it with a tag; clarity is more important than brevity. While looking out the window, Graham spoke to John standing behind him. "####."


3

I have questions. First, does the positioning of the players and the direction of the gaze have any meaning? Is the speaker saying something that is painful to the listener? Is the view outside of the window of higher priority? Does Graham trust the listener? Care about the listener? So many questions, so little time. I want to help you but I cannot point ...


3

A novel doesn't have to address every problem with society. A good novel has something it is trying to say (besides being entertaining) but you shouldn't try to shoehorn a treatment of every social injustice into your novel. You'll have some theme you are trying to express, and if you try to squeeze in everything else you'll end up with the point of your ...


3

I expect that a large part of the problem is that you are trying to make cleanliness seem unsettling. This is difficult because it's usually the unclean that unsettles us. It would be easy to make the hospital unsettling by filling it with flies or by making the walls ever so slightly undulate like the lining of a stomach. But something overly clean and ...


3

If you want to avoid outright describing the character as trembling, you could focus on how this feels from the character's perspective and how it affects nearby objects. In all likelihood, the character's hands are shaking. Maybe their teeth chatter, or their knees keep knocking together. Anything jingly they happen to hold or wear (such as keys or ...


2

One approach is to build the plan from the character. An interesting character has interesting desires, which lead to interesting plans. Some examples. Lucifer (Paradise Lost) Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. Jealous and self-obsessed. When God doesn't love him as much as he feels he should be loved, he rejects God, but is never capable of ...


2

I'll Get The Bus Today There may well be other changes in behaviour as well... So, if your character is drinking a lot at night, they might well decide to catch the bus the next day because they know they are still intoxicated, and therefore can't drive. Calling in sick, or working from home. Self conscious about body odor because alcohol does make you ...


2

This Character won't Appear Drunk If a character is self medicating with alcohol, they probably aren't getting wild-college-party-blackout-drunk every night. They are drinking enough to calm themselves - to "take the edge off." If this character is a ways down the path to alcoholism, he will need to drink a LOT to appear intoxicated. And alcoholics often ...


2

I think you did a great job. Comparing a heart to a bird flapping in a cage gets your point across, followed by some accurate-seeming description. I don't see an issue with it (but I'm not too experienced). You used a simile (the bird flapping) to describe the feeling. One idea could be to form it into a metaphor. That is less literal and brings the ...


2

Generally it's a bad idea to do anything that does not serve a purpose for the story. Your readers will wonder why you spent their time on it. If how these characters meet and become friends matters for the story you're trying to tell, show it. If not, don't. The writers of Avatar: The Last Airbender had to show Aang becoming friends with Korra, Sokka, ...


2

Any adaptation of a copyrighted work requires permission to be published. That permission needs to be in the form of a license. A screenplay is not usually published, but a movie made from a screenplay is. The publisher of the movie will need to purchase the movie rights (a kind of license) from the estate of Mr Silverstein, the author of the poem. It’s ...


2

Political correctness is not a challenge to clarity, it IS clarity, without your cruel and hateful or disdainful spin on it. What you call political correctness is what I call not using language I know, on average, is perceived by others as hurtful. I don't use racial epithets because I know people of the race in question typically find those epithets ...


2

Political correctness—the term—is a distraction. It was coined in Nazi Germany to describe what would not be censored, and all applications since have been disparaging. Applied to race relations it’s used for the disparaging sense, to deflect mere criticism and conflate it with full censorship, the better to preempt critical content. Often this usage is ...


2

Rephrase things so that you don't need to start sentences with "I": "Is this a death sentence?" was the first thought that occurred to me. Death scared me to death. The exam table was directly facing the doorway, and I was sitting at its end. I wanted to run away, far away. As I jumped off the exam table, my legs gave way, and I fell back onto it. What I ...


2

I think the elisions work better than the stuttering. Your "Whada hell you doin'?" is good. It's perfectly comprehensible and it gives the clear impression of someone speaking less than usually clearly (especially if the reader comes to expect from the wider context of your writing that the same character, when sober, would ask "What the hell are you doing?")...


2

Ultimately, you are always going to go against someone's reader response. Are you aware of 'The Death of the Author' by Barthes? Basically, your intention as a writer dies once the work is out there because it is completely up to reader interpretation (this is a simplification of the theory). The only thing you can do is write it how you want to write it,...


2

I am a pretty straight-laced person and have only been drunk a few times in my life in the safety of my own home, so I don't speak from extensive personal experience. But if you want a description of what it's like, especially for somebody who doesn't drink a lot, it feels a lot like you are being put under for dental surgery, or you are super super tired ...


1

Firstly, I'm going to assume you've read plenty of First Person PoV novels? I'm reading something that I need to read for an assignment. It's a PoV novel in First Person, and you know the character is an infuriating, pompous ass just from some of the interactions he has. He narrates meeting one of the other main characters and talks about her in a tone that ...


1

Maybe describe the way he looks and behaves rather than making it hard for the reader to decifer what he's saying. If we know the character, make him talk in ways he normally wouldn't. Like the swearing and agressive behavior, is it out of character? He could be spitting while leaning in real close. Maybe he forgot what he just said and repeats himself? Or ...


1

So Alpha lies and manipulates to trick the Lord into thinking one of the neighboring lords is trying to ruin him, and then she asks for his support? Does he know about this? Maybe it can be a possibility for him to figure it out during their conversation (if I am understanding you right). You could also do the classic thing where everything is going ...


1

There are plenty of bits and pieces of knowledge around concerning witches and wizards. If you are concerned about doing something similar to Harry Potter, maybe use other known aspects that aren't included in that series. Research can be fun. Don't use terminology you can find all the time in Harry Potter (like "wizarding world"). Avoid big cliches you may ...


1

One thing you can do is make them be friends first. Any good relationship is developed on friendship. I had a friend who learned that the hard way... back to the point. You have a number options here, like the friend idea. Girl #2 could have been attracted to someone before, and have a flashback about how hardly she was rejected and that would lead to the ...


1

Your first girl is funny and sly but you can make her have a more serious side. To make the other girl realize that she, not all fun and games but if you don't want to change her too much you could have a sweet caring side. like sweet tender moments, where they both get along with each other. Sorry if this isn't helpful.


1

Everything that contributes to the story you want to tell needs to be included, and everything that detracts from your story needs to be excluded. So if your story is about society or the personal experience of the hero, then racism is probably one of the things that are a part and belong there. But if your story is about superpowers and science, then you ...


1

It's clearly seen that you are defining and introducing the characters you had created and included in your book by using their "races". Then it's out of your control to either include the issue of "racism" or not, of course on the side of the readers. As the author, you don't have to discuss, bring attention or express your thoughts on racism and the ...


1

Do both Some of the most beautiful prose was written the authors' second languages (Nabokov, Kerouac, Beckett). Writing in different languages gives gives you access to new vocabulary, new phrases, even new ways of structuring stories. Every story you write in one language will will benefit the next one you write in the other. Of course, writing in a ...


1

Take solace in the fact that most people will not read your story. If you manage to reach 10% of people, that would be a phenomenal success. For the other 90%, the reader response will be boredom and disinterest. I don't think there's ever been a story with universal appeal, and even the most successful ones probably don't get higher than 1%. If you're ...


1

Since this question has received no real (non-nonsensical) answers, I will post an answer based on my own investigations and what other experienced authors and publishers have said about it in other websites by making a few quotations that deal with this question. [One can still sell it to a traditional publisher], but if you [do] sell it to a ...


1

It works for the very few people who are A Stephen King. It does not work for the masses of wannabees who think they can write like Stephen King by pantsing with Smith's approach or other variation of pantsing.


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