83 votes
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How to detach yourself from a character you're going to kill?

You don't. To put it in more words: the audience has to get attached to make the death relevant. You want her death to be a wake-up call, a touch of realism and a reminder of what war is. Sure, there ...
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35 votes
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Making him into a bully (how to show mild violence)

When I was a kid, I was bullied a lot, and I don't usually see accurate depictions of bullying in the media. The bullying I suffered was mostly verbal, but some was physical. What adults don't ...
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  • 8,733
31 votes

How can you write when you're upset?

Honestly, if it's outright impossible to write due to overwhelming emotion, don't write. Wait until after the upset has passed. However, if you're upset, but yearning for creative expression, use that ...
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  • 9,114
30 votes
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How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

This is something you need to be careful with. In popular Western culture, going back decades or further, jealousy is often seen as a positive trait. "His jealousy proves he loves me so much." ...
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29 votes

Outlining the climax made me lose interest in writing the actual story

I am a discovery writer, I have been for many years, and I complete stories. Scrap your outline. Most discovery writers (including me) have struggled with what you are talking about; finding the ...
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  • 92.2k
26 votes

How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

This is something that I've seen Japanese writers (in Manga/Anime) do especially well. From what I've seen there, I'd say... The key to pulling this off is in how your MC reacts to her jealous ...
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  • 1,344
22 votes
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How to write a vulnerable moment without it seeming cliche or mushy?

There is a trick for this in The Emotional Craft of Fiction. It's called 'me centered narration.' Essentially, you have the character express at length in narrative (protest too much) what she ...
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  • 23.5k
20 votes

How can you write when you're upset?

I DON'T DO IT MUCH, BUT I HAVE FOUND THAT HAND-WRITING IN ALL CAPS IS AN INEXPLICABLY-GOOD WAY TO LASSO A FROTH OF EMOTION WITH YOUR PEN. IT MIGHT FEEL STUPID FOR THE FIRST LINE OR SENTENCE OR ...
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  • 411
20 votes

How to detach yourself from a character you're going to kill?

Don't detach yourself emotionally from the character. Rather, experience the character's death as a major part of their arc. This is not a real person who is gone once dead; this is a fictional ...
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19 votes

How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

One way that I have seen in real life is the combination of self-awareness and levity. It is important that self-awareness happens in the moment. Many people realize too late that they had done ...
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  • 4,401
19 votes
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How to "show" a "Yes" head confirmation

The word you are looking for is "nod". Mike nods his head, confirming that he was okay. "Shakes" his head would be used for negation. It's usually a good idea to include context that reinforces ...
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18 votes

How to detach yourself from a character you're going to kill?

You don't detach yourself from the character. On the contrary - you let yourself feel the pain of her death, experience the loss, and you pour all of that onto the page. When a character dies, it ...
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17 votes

How can you write when you're upset?

Writing is where I run to, from everything that upsets me. I read the last scene I've been writing, from the beginning, and by the end - I'm in that moment, I've found my focus, I can proceed from ...
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17 votes

Can disgust be a key component of horror?

TL;DR: * Fear (or equivalent shock) followed by disgust -> horror * disgust alone -> disgust A significant effort in analyzing the concepts of horror, terror and sublime times back to the XIX ...
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  • 10.5k
16 votes

How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

Jealousy isn't, and shouldn't be seen as, a cute trait. Is it human? Understandable? Absolutely. But make no mistake, the possessiveness of your fellow man, no matter how understandable, isn't a 'cute ...
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  • 9,114
16 votes

How do you write about the human condition when you don't understand humanity?

Jihad: Writing is about the human condition. But the human condition is a big, messed up gnarly thing - and guess what, if you're human, you're living it. Fiction is rarely about people with nice, ...
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  • 12.9k
15 votes

How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

Acknowledging that the top answer cautions controlling another person is abuse, and abuse is never cute, I'll try to suggest ways to minimize the issues. Avoid Blame: The lover is not at fault and ...
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  • 24.3k
14 votes
Accepted

Can disgust be a key component of horror?

As a component of "horror" it has a role to play - and it can be quite effective. On it's own? No. Seeing internal organs up close can as you say invoke a disgust/repulsion response. But context will ...
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  • 6,597
14 votes

How can I write a panicked scene without it feeling like it was written in haste?

I've noticed something about many books and movies. Just as two characters are getting into a deep conversation, either sharing something important or showing emotion or leaning forward slowly to kiss,...
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13 votes
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How important are the author's mood and feelings for writing a story?

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 ...
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13 votes

How do you write about the human condition when you don't understand humanity?

This is a big problem for me, because I don't really get the human condition to begin with. If you are human, then whatever your experience is by definition part of the human condition. The human ...
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  • 2,952
12 votes
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How to NOT get sad when writing

Marium, As writers, we often find ourselves in the middle of someone else's pain, suffering or turmoil. It comes with the territory. But in any area of life — including writing — we never produce our ...
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11 votes

Outlining the climax made me lose interest in writing the actual story

The only way to resolve it is to write. I'm a discovery writer too. I get excitement from just "imagining" how things could go, how the world might be, and how the character should react. Did you ...
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10 votes

How to detach yourself from a character you're going to kill?

How to kill a character you are attached to? ANSWER: Write a few alternate versions of the scene--in one the character dies, in others the character does not die (coma, loss of limbs, etc). Then get ...
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  • 23.5k
10 votes

How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

Why this is difficult. Jealousy is a natural trait, nearly everyone that falls in love is subject to it at some time. The reason is that the extremely high emotional value of the love interest ...
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  • 92.2k
10 votes

How to "show" a "Yes" head confirmation

As noted in another answer, the word is nod. However, you can add additional aspects to show how that nod is modified. Mike shrugs and, after a short delay, nods. A grudging acceptance. Mike grins, ...
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  • 4,904
9 votes

How to detach yourself from a character you're going to kill?

I think this may be a matter of opinion; different psychologies will answer differently. Personally, my characters feel real to me; but I remind myself of a few things. I go back over what I wrote ...
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  • 92.2k
9 votes

How to represent jealousy in a cute way?

Let's back into what "cute" jealousy would look like. Inspecting the other answers, a common theme is that jealousy is a step towards potential abuse, or it is simply poison to a love-relationship. ...
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  • 7,891
9 votes

What is one way to write about feeling someone's sadness?

This is a question of show vs tell. It's easy to say that he became sad, but if you write it like this it also easly sounds cold and distant. If that's what you intend - good, keep it that way. You ...
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