New answers tagged

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Don't describe him as much as discuss what he feels about it: I think you're looking to say "short and proportional," but that's kind of boring. If your character looks like a hobbit and is proud of it, say that. If he's short and tough and ready to pound you for saying anything about it, say that. If he's insecure about his height and wears ...


-1

Yes. Don't let the guidelines prevent you from putting your ideas on paper. Although in my opinion, your idea doesn't really make sense in the long run. It sounds like you're trying to take "samples" and then incorporate those into your art, like a musician will audio samples.


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It's all about perspective and story: People pay attention to what is relevant to what's going on. While the first time you enter the grand imperial plaza the descriptions will be vivid, the third time, it's a courtyard where they are having lunch, and what is relevant is the princess walking through without her retinue. So the details that are vividly ...


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Fact is... You dont. In general, a common advice while describing a fight, it's that you dont need to be too detailled or "complex". Fights are quite rough and tense moments, and most of them -in real life- tend to be really short. So, especially if you are telling the story from a character's pov, it would be logical that with so many stuff ...


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The first technique is to have your character think about how repetitive it is. Makes it part of the immersion. The second technique is to pare down the description as the character becomes used to it. A character who would notice every scratch on a tool the first time will act much more automatically when acting again.


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I've learned to see every writing project as a learning project. If you learn something from doing it, it's not ever wasted time. And you always put your best foot forward, because that's the only way you learn the most worthwhile things. There's no such thing as wasting your best ideas. Many authors' greatest books have been much reworked versions of themes ...


1

To add to what the others said, nothing says your first novel won't be publishable. It might be! But once it's done, you need to start your next one while you're writing the first one. All can be fixed by writing more and getting better, although it can be a struggle for some (ie. me!).


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Short stories, especially flash fiction, are self-contained (beginning/middle/end). Sharp, hard-hitting, unforgettable. A story you can read in ten minutes but remember for a lifetime. Or at least a month or two... :) No back story, time shifts or passive voice. Readers see and hear everything through your main character's eyes, ears and thoughts. Title =>...


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A hint You can, a few chapters before the timeskip give the hint of the event which will be covered in the timeskip, somewhat like "this-this happened back then" From dialogue, internal thoughts etc. You can get quite creative here. And when the timeskip does come, you can play the event. This would work when you're going back to the past, from the ...


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A few pointers that might be helpful :) 1) 0-0-1-0-0 (No Action) I personally find this quite helpful, since I have a habit of overusing tags as well. Usually during dialogue between two characters (won't work for 1 or more than 2 maybe) people tend to talk a lot more than, well doing gestures, movements etc. So it's a lot better to send emotional cues ...


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Check out "Red Storm Rising," there are several sequences that are different kinds of battle scenes in it. The first thing Clancy does is he describes the action from a perspective. In your case, it would be the pilots. The closer to the action, the better. The next thing he does is, he makes the scenes extremely short. We're talking scenes a ...


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There is no one set of quality metrics when it comes to content, we can say some objective things about the structure and about technical issues like spelling and punctuation (but we don't on this stack, ever), but when it comes to the overall "quality" of a piece one man's doggerel is another's masterpiece. The piece you have presented appears to ...


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There are at least three kinds of issues involved in the kind of thing described in the question: Intellectual Property (IP) issues, defamation issues, and suspension of disbelief issues. IP Copyright Names and short phrases are not protected by copyright. Characters and invented settings can be, if they are sufficiently detailed and distinctive, but brief ...


1

This answer should help a bit: What's the exact format of letters/text messages inside novels? To summarize that answer, as well as including my own notes: Formatting a text message in your manuscript If you don't want to just describe your text message in the paragraph and want it to visually stand out from the rest of the passage, a text message within ...


-2

Yes, you can. You just need to write this on your copyright page- Any reference to actual persons, living or dead, is coincidental.


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Paint a Picture With All Senses: You want to convey the emotions of your story with all senses. It is less the words of your characters that convey the emotion, but more the reaction of your characters to those emotions that causes them to emote. Point of view is also important, as describing the feelings of your character peripheral to their main emotional ...


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Allusion, as already mentioned in your question. An internal allusion, to be more precise, since we aren't alluding to history, another song, et cetera. (One might also consider "spatial deixis" or "anaphora", which are technically linguistic terms.)


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Establish the order and tone of those conversing and then stick to it, your reader will have to pay attention to keep up but you want them to do that anyway. If you have a new character come in part way through make a note of their particular way of speaking by way of introduction "so-and-so's yokel burr cut into X's flow mid-sentence to note ... "....


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Don't use "Character noted." Stick with "Character said." It works perfectly because it gets the job done and because when done right it becomes invisible to the reader. Try to edit out as many "Character said" as you can without forcing the reader to count lines. One way to do this is to use action to "indicate who owns ...


4

You may want to use action words to imply a speaker without outright stating it. John pushed the brush aside. "This is thicker than I expected!"


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Live Fast, Die Young and Leave a Beautiful Corpse: Have you read The Lovely Bones? The MC was on the low end of this age range. The third act of the play Our Town also has an interesting perspective on the attitudes of the dead. I'm afraid we can't tell you WHAT to write, so this needs to be fairly generic. Your dead don't need to have identical motives as ...


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If it is clear which character is speaking(like pincq suggests) you don't need them. You can also establish who is talking in dialogue by referencing their own unique past. Since the others haven't done the event, they can't be the ones saying they did it. Another reason you might not need them is because it doesn't matter who said it. If your group is just ...


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If you have previously established a speaking style of some of the characters then you can try using dialogue tags only where it is not immediately obvious who is speaking. Sometimes in a group scene it may not be necessary to quantify who said what. If you have a section where only 2 characters are talking, you could use this to emphasise their speaking ...


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Have each chapter begin with a timestamp. The time stamp should be consistent in format and not the time of day on a clock (I prefer using military time (i.e. 0000-2359, as it saves three characters (a colon and an AM/PM designator)), the date on the calendar, and the calendar year. If you are traversing time zones as well, then make sure you account for ...


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Use the story The most organic way to show a broken timeline is to use the story itself to show where in the chronology things happen (as opposed to dates in chapters, or mentions in the narrative description, etc). Long time jumps Here are some ways to show long time jumps: Use a distinct before and after state. Maybe someone is dead after and alive before, ...


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The point about the timeskip is to reveal a character's (or situation's, or object's) background - ie, the character was different then. Before the big crucial detail/reveal you're leading up to, think what other details you could include to show these differences - for example in a story about a military general, starting the flashback with 'Private joe ...


2

First think carefully about just how much of the character's back story is actually important, relevant, and necessary. Often one finds that a tangential mention of a particular event is enough without reliving the whole thing in technicolour. If you decided you need the whole flashback chapter then: X/I still remember(ed) the day that... and proceed to tell ...


3

The short answer is, you don't put exposition in a chapter of its own. Here are some questions on writing exposition you might find helpful: How to avoid the 'magic explanation' info dump in Fantasy novels How do I avoid a “mid-story info dump?” Should I "tell" my exposition or give it through dialogue? And here are some other links: ...


2

What you are describing sounds like an encyclopedia. with entries on subjects detailed therein. DUNE uses something akin with its dictionary of terms so we understand what a stoneburner is and why a maula pistol is useful. It also provides historical elements in appendices. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe yields up timely exposition as entries from ...


2

I would never read all that as a single chapter. It's fine for you to write it all down in one place, but you need to figure out how to reveal it to the readers. There are two basic techniques and it's probably best to use both, revealing some one way, and some another: have something happen in which your narrator drops an aside, or have two characters talk,...


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The framework provided seems to allow for some recursion. Looking it over, I would generally consider this a framework for any single literary/screenwriting unit. In a pinch (which is when it usually happens), you can split the arc into two stories, typically somewhere in the "All Is Lost" and "Dark Night Of The Soul" moments. This is ...


1

Put the draft away then read it What you've done is put your draft away for a year and now you've read it. Unless you have a super memory, it's very likely you've forgotten several details in your story. So much so, you might be able to come at it with the eyes of someone that has never seen your story before. This is why, if you haven't finished reading the ...


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What you are describing is not a POV shift, but signals the focus of the POV character’s attention. How to handle shifts in focus to produce a better story is a complex topic. I’ve never read anyone’s discussions on the subject, nor seen any listings of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. Your two examples have subtly implied differences ...


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Been there. This is one reason that, unlike some authors, I don't think putting new material on pause and going back to edit what you have is necessarily a bad idea. There are definite downsides, for instance it kills the forward progress towards a complete story (which is a bad thing when you have a deadline for draft delivery), but the upsides include the ...


1

I'm not finding "corridor scene" as a trope, so this answer will take the term more literally. More generally, "traveling scenes" aka "carriage scenes" in written fiction are good places for expositional dialogue; two people sitting in a car (or in a horse-drawn carriage or walking down a hallway) is a natural setting for them ...


3

More Editing...: Editing is both awful and wonderful. Everything can be changed - for good or ill. Consider your character's goals that changed. You need to either discover a new goal for your character in keeping with the rest of the story, OR you can RE-edit the part you just did, adding back the original motivation. Either way, you have an editing ...


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Since this is apparently a popular rather than an academic work, you are free to adopt whatever standard that you like. Providing evidence to back up assertions is good practice, however you do it. If this is an ebook or online work, providing hyperlinks is particularly useful to a reader. You should be aware that even major sites can change organization or ...


1

You have to compare it to something. Establish what normal behavior looks like earlier in the story, then have it change. An on the nose example: Have a person comment something like: "wow, look how smooth that robot's movements are". Then later, when the robot starts jerking, you know something is off.


1

I would add that corridor scenes can also be used in a single character narrative to build suspense, especially if there is something notably wrong, from the point of view of the character, with said corridor. Similarly if there is an existing sense of urgency staying with the corridor increases tension as the reader hurries to the conclusion of their ...


2

What is infected? Everything has computers in it nowadays. There could be any number of effects depending on what is infected, what the virus is supposed to do, and what the desired literary effect is. Are you instilling fear? Is it comic effect? Is there a specific (criminal) purpose? Your phone starts spamming advertising at you. If it makes a funny noise,...


3

It seems to me that the structure described in the question could apply to any self-contained story, even if it is part of a larger story or series, as an episode or a part of a trilogy. However, if the episode or book does not stand alone, but is really just a segment of a story separated for convenience, then this structure is unlikely to work for it. In ...


1

You don't have to waste all that description you wrote. Just move it. Keep the first sentence like "Jane settled back into her favourite armchair" and then carry on with what you're doing. After a few sentences or paragraphs she can gaze warmly at that painting/decanter/whatever and think to herself about what she likes about it. Or she can get up ...


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