New answers tagged

1

No and yes. No, you don't need to feel your character's emotions to be able to write scenes that involve them. It's the same in real life -- if a friend comes to you feeling extremely upset about his dog dying, then making yourself feel the same sort of distress is an incredibly ineffective way of helping him. You'll just end up miserable together. What ...


1

First, I'm going to answer no. You're not being homophobic. But, I also think you're asking the wrong question. And most of the answers are starting with that incorrect premise. The more important question is have you fallen for the "bury your gays" trope? It is entirely possible, and even common, to kill off LGBTQ+ characters without being motivated by ...


2

I've heard of Method Acting. But never Method Writing. There are two approaches to portraying a character on film or stage. Method Acting, where the actor gets into character by living like the character, duplicating emotions of the character, or otherwise emotionally identifying with the character. There are multiple approaches and techniques here ...


4

I "roleplay" as my characters. It's not quite the same as you are asking, but it does help me get to what a character wants (their desire vs their need) and how they see their own path to get there. It helps me imagine what their limits would be when sharing their feelings with other characters. My issue with feeling what my character feels times 11 is ...


1

Not when writing them no, I only really do good writing, regardless of content, when I'm at least slightly depressed and to a point the worse I feel the better content I write. When reading back a passage it is very important that it have the emotional impact you're looking to create for your audience.


3

For example, while writing an erotic scene, is it important for the author to feel the same way as they expect the readers to feel when describing the scene? For some subjective feelings or emotions, I'd say its a good gauge for the first draft. If you think you are writing an erotic scene and your first draft of it doesn't seem erotic to you at all, then ...


10

It is not important, unnecessary, and in fact utterly impossible. You need to put yourself in the character's shoes, imagine how he feels, write that, try to evoke emotions in the reader. It helps if you have ever in your life experienced something similar, so you have a reference point. But writing in that moment? If your character is in excruciating pain, ...


-1

I'm wondering whether your dilemma is perhaps the result of two problems, each of which can be tackled. Have you researched what fascism actually means? Your description of the rebel country as "boasting a popular and charismatic leader [in] an authoritarian, fascist dictatorship, in which civil rights are suppressed somewhat and the state has most of the ...


1

Q. How to portray the downfall of [SYSTEM]? A. Show it. There are basically two steps: first some worldbuilding second the writing A note on worldbuilding. I'll just say: before even showing it, and before thinking of what could possibly replace it, you need to clarify to yourself what is the logical believable series of events that would bring an end ...


1

All of these answers are correct. I think this is a more technical way to look at it, which may give you some better direction: All of dialogue has a rhythm, and people reading the dialogue will infer the rhythm from what is on the page. If this were music, the pauses would be demarcated by rests between notes, and they indicate a certain length. In ...


2

Successful in the sense that it is the only viable solution. In this world, democracy has failed as an institution, with the various powers unable to come together in unity and oppose the invaders. That seems highly improbable; it seems you are saying that people that believe in "democracy" would rather die by alien invasion than fight. In WW II, millions ...


1

There are dozens of ways to handle this. The question for you is, how do you want to compare democracy to fascism? Is efficiency the key metric? Is resilience to changing conditions the key metric? How about personal freedom and growth? Compliance with moral and religious teachings? Do you believe that absolute power corrupts absolutely? Or perhaps you ...


2

Insert a dialogue tag in the middle. After that, the juxtaposition of phrase (or the continuing after a question without indication of hurry or rudeness) implies the pause. "Was the computer software hacked?" "No, it was a bug caused by legacy software. Any other question?" Kyle asked. "No? Ok, see you on Thursday." "Bye" You are delaying your ...


0

If it is inappropriate for Eris to tell Caspian, but from the reader's POV it is wrong (or worse: frustrating) for Caspian not to know... Have him figure it out for himself. Instant conflict and all that, while staying true to the nature of your MC. For examples where this has been done, the story structure is called Liar Revealed. It does apply to lies by ...


2

It's ok for your 3rd person narrator to have a voice, a personality and an attitude. I suspect the main problem here might be that you're conceiving of your narrator as dry and neutral and transparent. Instead, try imagining your narrator as a full character in your story, except invisible, incorporeal, and able to read minds.


1

Redundancy is neither good nor bad. It either works for you or doesn't. In your brief lines, you have a lot of redundancy that, not knowing the context, can probably be removed without sacrificing understandability. "Here's the chip. It's very old so make sure you take care of it." "In question" isn't needed. The handing over of the chip isn't needed; it'...


2

Liquid's excellent answer gives the right advice, but I wanted to add the fact that there's a good general rule that covers all such questions: The more current something is, the quicker it goes stale (and the more dated it will seem in the future). This goes across all genres and even across art forms. If a story is ripped from the headlines, if a song ...


3

What I actually wanted to ask is if I can adapt the writing style and not the story content from the forum. That I can say: "I know how to narrate my characters in this forum so I can do so in books I want to write." I used to be a massive forum roleplayer some years ago, and now I mostly write novel and short stories. I've got a few good friends who used ...


2

Amadeus's answer gives a very good insight in the general use of compounding. Strictly related to the use of compounding in titles, you may also want to consider rhythm. In your example, "everytime" produces a single beat, opposed to two beats. It thus flows faster and creates the expectation of a dynamic piece. Rhythm is obviously important in music and ...


7

My answer is relatively direct in this matter. To my mind, true equality occurs, when a person recognizes another person is homosexual, yet this information is not interesting enough to cause any kind of reaction, i.e. it is so normal that one may say, "whatever". Equality is not, "Oh, Greg, Mira told me you're homosexal, that's co cool!". Equality is, "...


6

Satire is best served hot. In my opinion, you should try to publish it as soon as it's ready. If you find an agent or a publishing company interested in the novel they'll give you their (probably very valid) inputs on how to market it and when it would be best to publish it. Chances are that they will have good insights on this, since it's their line of ...


5

Inventing new words, including by compounding, is supposed to be clever, or indicate a new concept that should have its own word, sometimes by linking two words that were previously independent modifiers. Einstein's theory of General Relativity treated time as another dimension of space, thus making space-time, or spacetime. Compounds like "no thing" to "...


0

A character's death is a setting point in a story. It can be a new start for the plot or an emphasis and reality check for the reader. How you deal with this mechanic characterizes whether or not homophobia takes place: If the character dies because of fair reasons or even the very in-universe homophobia (which can be used to describe and criticize actual ...


-1

IMHO no it wouldn't be homophobic. Here is a sort of reductio ad absurdum example. Imagine a story set in a Middle Eastern city in the 13th century (1201-1300) with a population manly Sunni Muslim, with minorities of other Muslim sects, eastern Christians, Jews, etc. The language would be either Persian with Arabic minority or Arabic with Persian minority,...


1

In the palm of his hand was an old, rugged chip. As he extended his arm towards me he said: "It's very old. Take good care of it." Don't know if this helps, but this is what I would make of it. :-) Redundancy in writing is for me as a reader really annoying.


12

I’m going to challenge the framing of this question a bit. The way you’ve asked it, only a troll could answer yes. Of course it’s absurd to give writers a list of predictable dos and donts to check off—especially since the original justification for a lot of them was, “Write something different for a change.” If you want validation on that, you’re right: ...


3

Although +1 to Cyn, I would write it as prose, with italics for the words and the commonly used descriptions or character representations of any emoticons (since more than a handful of graphics is quite frowned upon in novels; publishers don't like them). In other words, describe it as the character reading it, sees it. If there is a laughing face instead ...


11

Write it as it is. When you write dialogue, you don't write it up as formal English (or another language). You write what the characters say. If someone squeals or rolls their eyes or starts choking, you'd narrate that as well. Written communication is similar to speech in that what's said is said and that's how you report it (after having created it of ...


5

The 8-point arc: Stasis (Normal World) Trigger (Inciting Incident) The quest (Leaving the Normal World) Surprise[s] (actions complicating/learning the problem) Critical choice (Understanding, then choosing risk) Climax (Solving the problem, incurring the costs) Reversal (Fallout -- problem solved, underdog on top) Resolution (The New Normal World). I ...


6

What is the emotional context of this revelation, to Eris? You have the option of her revealing her ability, and vulnerability, as a profound moment--it could even be the mirror moment, the rededication moment, at which point the trials of act II are something she has weathered and is ready to accept and move forward. Or it could be a final plot twist. At ...


31

No, I think you're good. Since so many of your named characters are queer, it's not a case of killing off the sole token of a group, like it is with the 'only black guy dies' trope. Similarly, the villain being queer shouldn't be a problem because there's lots of other representation. And as Ash said, you're not killing her off because she's queer.


11

Just get rid of the redundancies, and it will sound fine. Original: "Here's the chip in question." he said as he handed to chip to him. "It's a very old chip, make sure you take care of it." Revised: "Here's the chip in question," he said, as he handed it to him, "It's very old, make sure you take care of it." You don't have to repeat "chip" every ...


1

If Saskia is his biological mother, presumably she was bisexual, not exactly gay. So although in the LGBTQ community, she was not lesbian or gay, you aren't following that trope. But that is nitpicking: The real morally corrupt element of that Trope is making LGBTQ an evil punishable by death, and since you have other LGBTQ characters in the novel (most of ...


2

Homophobia is a state of mind. Actions cannot be homophobic in and of themselves, the intent (or the unconcious bias) matters. Since you do not want to be homophobic, the only way for your writing to be homophobic is if you have a bias against lesbians that you are not aware of yourself. (And to be sure, I have seen queer people who dislike gays because they'...


3

I mostly agree with Liquid, but let me add a few other comments. Well, first I'd say, why not just think about your own life? When would YOU refer to your father or girlfriend or whomever by their job title rather than the relationship? In general, your characters should do the same. Mostly, I'd refer to someone close to me by a title rather than ...


41

Would you kill them if they were straight? If yes then you're not being homophobic, whether you're seen as being homophobic by readers and critics is a different story of course. If the death drives the story forward then its necessary and if you treat that particular death no differently than you do the death of straight characters in the same piece then ...


3

Redundancy is good, but in writing it is better to re-phrase than to repeat. Repeating is ok in dialog, as long as that is just how that character speaks, but outside dialog you should check if you are repeating any words, and try to avoid that. If you need to, walk away for a day and re-read it to see if anything sounds weird/off. "Here's the chip in ...


1

Well-written, compelling dialogue does two different things simultaneously. 1. Good dialogue moves the story forward. The more words you use to say something, the more characters you use to build an impression of a social set, the more place-names or magic-system rules or historical tidbits you weigh your reader down with, given a certain amount of ...


2

Every aspect of writing comes alive when it has multiple levels to it. Characters saying exactly what they mean, in a purely functional manner, is boring, unnatural, and superfluous. But great dialogue is so much more than functionality: Sound: Even in real life, some people have a tendency to speak in unconscious poetry. And in fiction, you have free ...


0

Characters interrupt each other People don't always wait for one another to finish speaking (and say "over" to indicate they are done) before they start talking. To extend Amadeus answer from above: "That is a beautiful necklace, did you just get it? I haven't gotten any new jewelry in so long. I was going to buy myself something but my hus-" "I saw ...


21

Should you avoid redundancy? Yes. How do you get around this? Cut the redundant part and show only the new information. Infinitezero has already given a good example on that. "Here's the chip in question." He pulled it out from his pocket with slow, deliberate gestures. He gave out the impression of an elephant trying to move bohemian crystal around. "...


1

... what are some good ways to distinguish between them without taking the reader too far out of the story? First introduce the main character (unless you prefer to introduce the alternate first). Provide an overview that establishes some characteristics of the person. Reveal additional information about the person later to further develop our impression ...


29

Why don't you paraphrase the action? Say what he is literally doing. How does he give the chip? Is it in an envelope? Does he extend his arm? Is he tossing it? .... "Here's the chip in question" he said as he passed him the sealed envelope, making sure [Jack] had a firm grip on it before he let go. "It's a very old one, make sure you take care of it.


2

Treat it like a play. Read the conversation aloud. Does it sound like something the character would say? Does it build either character, plot or world? If not, why is it there? Is it something that someone would say: "Good morning" may not be building anything, but you don't want your character to sound rude either, as in walking up to someone and just start ...


6

@Liquid covers most of my answer. Sometimes you would refer to your father by his title or office, not to emphasize distance, but to emphasize that role of influence, especially if their blood relationship is known. If everybody knows Jake is the son of the CEO, then Jake saying "The CEO isn't going to like this," means Jake is threatening the person with ...


3

This is a frame challenge. I think your issue could also be that your characters do not have a distinct voice. A 15 years old sounds different from a 20 years old. I am not referring to the timbre of their voices, which should also be different. The vocabulary is different, the ability to articulate their thoughts is different. Even their logic, their ...


11

You refer to someone indirectly when you want to emphasize distance. In your example, saying "the President" instead of "my dad" is a more formal and correct approach, since it underlines the man position of responsibility in a government. This sets a distance between the speaker and the referred person, as it ignores their deeper relationship. In more ...


36

You leave out small talk by focusing on big talk! By this I mean every thing a person says should be something at least one person in the conversation needs to hear, or wants to hear, or is surprised to hear, or if the other person ignores it, should have wanted to hear. Dialogue has consequence. Cut out lines that don't have a purpose, or aren't going to ...


5

Dialog in a story serves to advance the story or develop character. I’ve been taught that dialog isn’t conversation as much as its the ‘best of conversation.’ It condenses while it evoke emotions. It informs while obfuscating falsehoods, making them seem true and vice versa. If you are unsure about your characters dialog when you work your draft, you can ...


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