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1

What you need to do is put the emotional condition of the viewpoint character front and center, not the gore of the scene. Hannibal Lecter would have a very different emotional response to a gory sequence than, say, Buddy the Elf. Write from the viewpoint character's reaction. Also, consider that what the reader will feel is not gore, but fascination, or ...


1

I'll add something I see my favorite authors use. Basically, you can draw a reader into a scene by doing a three-stage description. Or four. The night was gloomy. (General.) So gloomy, in fact, that no light at all could pierce the ground-level window to the dusky basement. (tighter focus. Now we're in a basement.) Instead, the only source of light in the ...


3

OP: ... because the descriptions aren't attached to a person's actions. But you write as if the descriptions ARE attached to somebody; somebody not as rapt as the narrator, and this person has an experience and an opinion: "we could only see", "Peculiarly enough", and in general an attitude that something is wrong with the people in the room. On top of ...


0

So I'm sure you've read the first Harry Potter book, where Harry is absolutely convinced Snape is the villain of the piece and all evidence seems to point to this. Snape is muttering an incantation as Harry's broom goes haywire during a Quidditch Match, only to stop when Hermione sets his robes on fire and he breaks contact. Later Harry overhears Snape ...


0

Given that is this a serial, you may be misinterpreting the reader comments. From what you've reported, you've done exactly what you planned to. You've introduced a cliffhanger where the hero acts out of character. And you've successfully established that character to the point that people recognize that fact. More importantly, you've made them care. ...


0

If you use a first-person narrator, no problem. Readers expect a first person narrator to reflect the knowledge and opinions of that person. If I was reading someone's diary and read, "I met the boss", and then later he says, "Oh, that wasn't really the boss, they fooled me", I wouldn't say he lied, just that he was mistaken. A third person narrator can be ...


1

In a third-person limited (or first-person) narrative, deceiving the MC and deceiving the reader are pretty much the same thing, since the reader only knows as much as the protagonist. In this case, there's nothing wrong with a little deception. One of my favourite adventure games, Another Code: Two Memories, actually does exactly what you describe: I didn'...


3

This is a fascinating question and I agree with the main response: to explain something like that, you probably need to introduce the mechanism earlier rather than later. You left it ambiguous whether you were talking about a serial that’s already published, or a draft sent out to test-readers. The advice to revise the draft is extremely good if you are in ...


6

You don't necessarily need for your descriptions to be attached to a person or to an action, but you generally do want them to be attached to a point of view, either the character's or the narrator's. "The people sat staring like zombies" is a more intrinsically interesting statement than "The people sat with their eyes wide open" because it carries a point ...


11

+1 colmde. I'd say you can just be careful with your wording, so technically you did not lie to the reader. Don't have the narrator call him "the boss". I will add an example: The fat man listened to the piece in his ear, then said, "The boss will be here in a minute. Show some respect." MC said nothing, he just took his seat. A gray-haired man ...


3

SHOW, DON'T TELL. Don't name the guy, don't say he's a boss or a fake boss. Describe the encounter in sufficient detail, in such a way that the reader is convinced (wrongly) that the guy is the boss, same as the MC.


1

Don't have the narrator mention the word "Boss" at all. The meeting was likely scheduled by someone, they can be the one to deceive the MC telling them, "You'll meet the boss at 123 Fake St. at 2:00", as well as maybe the fake boss themselves (by acting as if they are the boss, etc.) Other clues that this guy is the real boss can be in the mind of the MC ...


5

Agree with the readers Very recently, I came upon a bit of storytelling that almost made me lose interest in the story because I honestly thought it was a logical mistake that would have really taken me out of it. Basically, an action the main character made changed the action of a different character, even though they were completely sealed off from one ...


14

The problem you're describing is one that happens within third-person omniscient narrative, and therefore isn't a problem within your third-person (limited) POV. But I will tackle the problem as if you are writing omniscient. It is really just a case of whether you want to deceive the reader of the MC. Deceiving the MC is quite easy, in theory, as the ...


18

When the narrator is wrong about something in the book's world, it's called an unreliable narrator. When a narrator has a single point of view (sees through one character's eyes) then it's inevitable that some information is unreliable. Readers understand that. With a 3rd person narrator you're also doing some factual description based on what the ...


6

Given the phrase "After releasing an issue", I get the impression that you are releasing this story serially. I think is a significant part of the problem. If you essentially ended this release of your story with this event, then the problem basically boils down to this. You had the main character do something wholly and completely out-of-character. By ...


2

If the narrator is clearly non-omniscient, from the main character's perspective, then you describe things as the main character would describe them. The audience will not feel lied to in the reveal, so long as they know that the narration is from that perspective. Just think of any story involving a mystery, where the narrator character thinks that X is ...


4

There must be logic I believe it is important to always let the readers understand the logic of your character's actions. Even if the character is super evil, his motivation should be one the readers can sympathize with. Rather his methods are what could be despicable. For instance, a villain wanting to save the world... by destroying society and starting ...


27

What you should have done, and should do in rewrite, is make it clear to the reader a traitor exists, perhaps make it clear a poison that does exactly that exists, etc. You can do that early in your book, in a story or fable. The readers already believe the MC would never do this thing. So you need to hang a lantern on this behavior during the battle. Say ...


4

I think it sounds awkward too. First, I would start a new paragraph. Second; "He turned his head toward her" is awkward; "He looked at her" is less awkward. "made him cry a bit" sounds strange to me. I think whatever emotion he is feeling needs to be named. "as she stood beside him" detracts from the expression of emotion because it is a neutral ...


3

But how would I really know if I am any good? It doesn't matter. How can I say that? I cannot stop writing. So it doesn't matter if you are good or not. You're going to write even if you are horrible. And that's OK. Because... The only way to get better at writing is to write more. Sure, you can read all sorts of books about writing and such. ...


0

I would not write the history. The history is background and setting; some of that will necessarily come out in the first ACT (about 25% of the story) and more can be revealed in the rest of the book as you go along. You also don't need a complete history of your main character, or the other characters. You need enough so you feel like you know the MC and ...


1

"I cannot stop writing. I do not seek fame or wealth, I seek an audience. I want my books to be read." Frame challenge: who says you need to deal with traditional publishing, if you don't care about money and you just want people reading your writing? Just start writing a web serial - if you think you can reliably write two or three chapters a week, you ...


4

Here are some thoughts on how to deal with rejection: Rely on your motivation Accept self-doubt and fear and keep writing and submitting Be stubborn Look at rejection from the publisher's point of view Find a long-term balance between writing, family, and friends A few things first. I can see you've chosen your beta readers well (not friends and family) ...


6

I can't say I cope well with rejection. That said, I query in small batches, so I can revise my query (and sample pages) as I go, if rejected. I have books and online resources for how to write query letters (and how to write books), I will revisit them and double-check to see if I have missed anything, made mistakes, left anything out or can think of ...


7

What if I am really not that good? Read a few guides on how to write. When you get to the point of thinking, "this one has nothing new", you've read enough. Make succinct notes on the X-not-Y points they make. (You'd be amazed how few there are in whole books on this subject, partly because it takes a lot of text to explain, defend and exemplify a point.) ...


4

I'm going to focus on one single point: self-doubt. I suffer from self-doubt a lot, so I have come across a strategy to control it. What if I am really not that good, what if I am simply an acute case of the graphomania disease, and nobody will ever be interested in anything I have to say. Writing a good book involves several different areas: there's the ...


9

Several thoughts to consider: There is no reason to expect an agent's opinion to be a better assessment of your writing than a beta reader's opinion. Agents are business people. They pay their mortgages by finding the manuscripts that will sell, and then selling them for the best price they can. The manuscripts that will sell are those that the public is ...


4

What I will give as an answer is based on my personal opinion. I have remarked that you keep asking yourself questions that put you in a negative way and that you can't answer for sure. I often did the same, and I never got a satisfying response to any of them. You put too much expectation upon yourself. I think it's a good thing to question yourself when ...


23

I'll give my two cents, as someone who feels the same struggles. You'll never get completely over the fear of rejection, or of not being good enough. I say this because even accomplished authors reported the same fear. Brandon Sanderson said, in an episode of the podcast Writing Excuses, something along the likes of "Yes, the last book was a success, but ...


0

You can associate your character with something else, thats easier to remember. For 7 you could use the 7 colours of the rainbow or the 7 weekdays. This is only appropriate for some storys though ,probably fantasy. Because the characters are either linked by destiny or some organization or a preordained plan, or because they all found connected artifacts... ...


3

I'd use the phonetic spelling, unless you're planning to publish in a country where both Arabic and English are commonplace. The reason is that it's easier for someone used to the latin alphabeth, like english readers, to read and recognize very unfamiliar words such "alaistirkha". Your audience won't have a clue on how that word is spelled correctly, but ...


3

One approach to this is what I would call a "family first" story; it is a product of our familial and tribal instincts. The idea is that group loyalty trumps all law and morality. The "group" can be actual blood relations, or partners in crime, or the soldiers you fought with, or your classmates, or your cheerleading squad. It can be a gang, or the mafia. ...


5

My current work is one where there are no heroes, no villains - just people doing things. I have characters remark that good versus evil is a naive concept. They go on to explain that so called villains are quite capable of doing good things and that the supposed good guys are often required to do some very nasty things. Life is complicated and so are my ...


9

Remember two things: "no man is all of one stripe" meaning that people are always multi-faceted, villains who seemingly care only for power still love their children and pacifists who wouldn't raise and hand in their own defense may well kill to protect theirs. "people's motives most always seem good to them" people can usually rationalise their way to ...


1

There is a lot the supplied description does NOT tell us about this character. It does not tell us how old he is. It does not tell us his race. It does say whether or not he has a handicap. It doesn't tell us if he is living now, in the past, or in the future. It doesn't say what kind of clothes he likes to wear. It doesn't tell us if he is short or ...


0

I very much dislike these prompts too, as I am very bad at writing personally. When asked to write prompts like this, I often instead of writing about actual experience, I act as if I am writing as the Generic American. I write in broad general terms, thinking as generically as I possible can. I usually use facts and logic instead of experience to explain my ...


0

I suggest that, instead of following the instructions exactly as written, that you write the essay to a particular imaginary person who will be grading the test. For a standardized high-school essay test, the essay will probably be checked by a piece of software for so-called "errors." A human reader, probably an underpaid teacher with a Master's in ...


2

One good strategy for standardized test essays is to think of topics that you can write strong essays on in advance, rather than trying to answer a given question directly. For instance, for each of these points, think of something you could write a short essay on: a time you overcame a difficulty an important historical figure or event a favorite book or ...


1

1) unusually smart, I presume by "smart" you are not saying the same thing as "clever", "insightful" or "thoughtful", which IMO leaves an academic understanding of how things work. You show this by finding an opportunity to have the character explain something others (including the reader) may not understand very well. Of course as an author you can "cheat"...


-2

If you're feeling spiteful or subversive, you could try genie-twisting the prompt to write something that technically satisfies the prompt, but in an unconventional or unexpected way. Example by maximum-overboner: in primary school we had a creative writing assignment where we had to ‘write about a character in a new, strange situation!’ and i wrote ...


1

This is the beauty of the Oracle scene in the Matrix and the Beauty of Breaking the Vase (Upon entering the Oracle's kitchen, the Oracle tells Neo not to worry about the vase. Neo looks around for the Vase, and ends up knocking it to the ground, shattering it. As Neo appologizes, she sums up your noodle baker... er, paradox: If she had said nothing, would ...


0

Make stuff up. Be creative. Have fun with it. Is there a book that you feel should be required reading for everyone? Write an essay persuading your audience to read this book. Create a fictitious book about whatever you want it to be about. Some people think of the United States as a nation of “couch potatoes.” Write an essay persuading readers to ...


11

As a teacher, I never look at the examples given as 'correct answers' when we're talking about personal writing topics. Let me elaborate with two examples: a) Write an essay about Romeo and Juliet. Whatever you write, you must include specific content (characters, plot, etc) for you to get a good grade. No amount of excellent writing style will save you. ...


6

Good writing isn't good because of the specific words or style used. Good writing is good because it communicates an idea clearly, in a well-organized structure, and with a style that is pleasant to read (whatever form that takes). I still freeze up and feel self-conscious when I sit down to write myself. How do I know the words I'm picking aren't awkward? ...


4

Remember that the prompts are basically an excuse for you to practice writing. Of course, it's much easier to write well if it's about something about which you have an opinion, while those prompts are usually about things you don't care much about. There are two good ways around it, and both use mainly one of the two aspects of oratory: eloquence and ...


12

Answer: To answer these sorts of prompts, particularly in the case where example answers trigger a negative response in you, I recommend the following. 1. Look for the structure of the 'perfect answer' and apply that structure to your writing. 2. Identify the specifics that you dislike, in this case that make a passage sound like fan fiction. The example ...


6

I used to do exactly the same thing. In jr. high school, I would routinely turn in blank sheets when faced with this kind of assignment. My solution was to get over myself. It took a long time. I can tell by your question that you have very high standards for yourself. I do too, and trust me, it doesn't do us any favors to demand total perfection of ...


63

You can and should answer these prompts in your own style and voice. I do have my doubts and concerns about these kinds of tests, but if there is any legitimacy to the grading at all, it won't be based on you writing in the style and voice of the sample. (In other words, you're focusing in on the wrong aspects of the sample.) You should be able to ask for a ...


0

Ask his wife Either you're so much inside his head that you're not seeing him the way others do, or you're an outsider suffering from hero worship. You need to get into other people's heads and see him from different angles. His wife knows (mostly) all his flaws. She may love him anyway, but she'll know what he's like to live with. His kids (if any) ...


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