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There have been treatments of "merfolk" or "sea-people" in fiction that did not simply rework traditional views of such beings. One example that comes tom mind is Home From the Sea by Mercedes Lackey. This novel depicts male mer-folk as wer-seals, based in part on the traditional ballad "The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry". In it ...


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Merfolk, not mer-people As I mentioned in my comment, the common term is Merfolk. That might help in your search for examples that fit your specific idea and flavor. A websearch for "merpeople" returned space opera and battle between worlds type of science-fantasy where the whole point is to show a clash of incompatible societies – the opposite of &...


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You’re human. Just use your real life experience to situations as a reference. In other words, use punctuation to highlight emotion. Punctuation may just be a conglomerate of symbols, but they exist to highlight a phenomenon we as humans undergo in real life. “Hey!” Is different from “hey…”, is it not? So this is one tip: use punctuation to your advantage. ...


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Another good series to watch is Disney's Owl House, which is about a middle school girl named Luz who accidentally stumbles into the magitech (it's a fairly meievel society, but magic is fairly common and replaces tech to a degree that they have magical proxies for texting apps and the internet internet (the Boiling Isle's children love to scroll "...


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Make them proactive and enthusiastic I think there are two reasons such characters can come across as annoying. Firstly, they seem passive, waiting for someone else to sort their problems out and tell them what to do. Secondly, they’re wet blankets. I wrote a character like that and one beta reader told me that they wanted to get all excited about this new ...


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A Few Thoughts on story arc: I have a few ideas, mostly things I've seen from more stories than I can reasonably reference. Create opportunities for unexpected and decisive leadership: Perhaps your character is on a scouting/salvaging mission and [insert dramatic event] happens. They are suddenly thrust into a situation where they must take control or the ...


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Go ahead and use the Burmese words. How many English speaking readers do you think will recognize the Burmese words for what they are? They look "fantastical" enough as they are. Some (few) may know the words as they are - any one in Burma who happens to read to story in English. Some may realize that you've borrowed words. They might look them ...


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One of the best and most concise pointers to building suspense is Philip Pullman's distinction between surprise and suspense in 'Daemon Voices'. In his essay, 'Let's Write it in Red: The Practice of Writing', he writes: It really does help to know that surprise is the precise opposite of suspense, for example. Surprise is when something happens that you don’...


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Suspense is distinctive to other types of writing Writing suspense is very different from writing other genres. It has features that do not come naturally to most writers. For instance, Writer's Digest defines the difference between suspense/thriller, mystery, and horror as: "In a mystery you might find out that a person was beheaded. This occurs ...


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This exact kind of questioning, to the point that it helped make the main character unlikable, was a significant feature of Lord Foul's Bane The first volume of "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant". Of course the fact that the MC celebrated the renewed vigor that the fantasy world had brought him by raping the young girl who had first befriended him ...


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It would be presumptuous for me to offer advice on this, but I would suggest that there's a vast literature of suspenseful novels, e.g. Poe, Conan Doyle, and many, many others since them. You can't do better than to read the masters, and make notes for yourself on how they do it. They don't even have to be novels. Suspenseful movies like Hitchcock's will ...


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