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If the scene allows for it you should portray feelings other characters or creatures might have when entering a scene. A bar man that is obviously not concerned in the least bit by a brewing fight between patrons, city guards shaking in fear at the sight of the old man slowly walking down the street, mice squirming away as fast as they can the moment the ...


0

It seems to me that you, and in fact all RPG content writers, should be able to use a purely third person perspective with "there is" statements rather than the second person "you see". This overcomes certain issues that crop up all too commonly with the second person perspective as well. Unusually/willfully stupid/unobservant parties, I have played and GMd ...


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Give your character a "normal" companion Alas, there is no "name" for autism in a fantasy world. Of course you can invent a name for it, and even make autistic people known for various talents. Hey, you can even make them eligible for a special Hogwarts-like school. If you want to follow "show, don't tell" practice, you need to reveal your character's ...


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Since it sounds like you already know how to write a well-rounded autistic character without relying too much on labels and simply want to make sure readers who may not know much about autism learn something from what they read, I would suggest the simplest solution: use the label autistic in the text itself once or twice. A fantasy series I read regularly (...


3

Does your character really need to be labeled? Write her out of your own experience, and people who share that experience will recognize pieces of themselves in her --as will people who don't share that experience. I have a child with a diagnosis on the spectrum (and my wife always tells me I should have been diagnosed as a child!) and while the label is ...


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You know, I never thought I'd see another writer who attempted this kind of thing as well. I've actually written a fair few autistic characters in fantasy, and naturally, yes, there's no word for 'autism', or any kind of formal diagnosis (psychologists tend to be a rarity in fantasy 'verses). First thing you need to remember is that autism is a spectrum. ...


10

Asperger's is not an on/off digital status. It's a gradual thing, some are more than others. You don't need to label your character, just indicate that there's something not typical going on, but, hey, we all know people like that. Anyway, people I know who are - um, whatever - typically say things like "I don't do people" or "I don't do touching", or "...


1

Fire Chekov's Gun, but at a different target. Make this an important detail of your world-building by revealing it to be important, that the god IS dead. You can do this one of two ways: You can either subvert the trope you're concerned about by setting the story up for this twist, or, you can nullify the trope you're concerned about and avoid making this ...


40

I am not on the autistic spectrum, and I confess that it is not obvious to me to what extent and in what manner you plan to characterize your character. On the other hand, I think that your problem could be common to other types of characterizations. To show that a character has certain features, for instance being on the autistic spectrum, there are some ...


19

I shall kick off with anecdotal evidence: when I was a kid I couldn't distinguish the sounds 'v' and 'f' as they both sounded like 'f'. I had trouble with all the voiced consonants (which are produced when the vocal cords are vibrating: v, z, j, b, d, g), but 'v'... I couldn't even hear that sound. All I heard was 'f'. This was over 30 years ago. My primary ...


1

Example. In the first four paragraphs of A Christmas Carol, faced with a similar problem of stretched narrative credibility, Dickens begins by reinforcing the fact of Marley's death, absent-mindedly rambles on about similes, then reminds us, lays more exposition, reminds us again, and shows how such doubts would ruin Hamlet: A CHRISTMAS CAROL. STAVE ...


9

You'd need to highlight the challenges you think most typify the autistic experience. I'm an aspy my main personal challenge is reading body language, I have other issues but that's the one that has traditionally caused the biggest hassles. That's a common trait for those on the spectrum but by no means universal you need to look at the traits you find most ...


2

What you ask is a hard thing to do, because readers have been lied to a lot, precisely about that sort of thing. Enough that the surprise ending isn't really a surprise anymore. Which in turn means others who intend to break the contract have asked exactly the same question, with the intent of reviving the surprise. Except they then do break the promise ...


3

Build on the bones Integrate the body of the evil god into the setting of the story. Its ribs support the pillars of the great church. The crystals formed of its magic are scattered through the world powering steam engines. If a great monster is stabbed through the chest and then falls into the ocean, there is no way to know if it is really dead. If ...


3

Don't tell. Show them It does not matter how many times you tell the reader that something is or that it is not. Telling is so detached from the internal image that readers build about the story that it will not affect the picture. On the other hand you can add elements to the picture to seal a fact for good. In your example you may wish to establish as a ...


5

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this is Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series. In the first book, our protagonists are working to bring down the empire of the Lord Ruler, an immortal God-King tyrant that has oppressed the world for a thousand years. They end up succeeding. (Hopefully it's not too much of a spoiler to say that in an ...


22

The audience takes its cue from you. If you build this up, they'll assume its for a plot twist reason. If you mention it in passing, they'll assume its background knowledge. Imagine two different treatments of your very old, very dead, god. In the first treatment, you're so keen to ensure the audience knows it's dead and how bad it would be if not, that ...


13

It seems you need to come out as an omniscient, reliable narrator and directly tell your audience the fact you want them to have no doubt about. One, often problematic, way to do this is in a prologue. But there are many more ways. A compelling example that comes to my mind, to highlight the general principle, even though I don't think you could easily make ...


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This sounds a little like, how do I subvert or avoid some common fantasy tropes? (This question, I asked, deals with subverting a trope). The reason I do not think this is a duplicate question is unless I am mistaken, you are asking about establishing expectations within the reader that run counter to the classic tropes. Reader expectations Reader ...


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This is really a version of the Chekhov's Gun problem. Things aren't in a story unless the writer puts them there, so readers tend to expect significance from important-seeming things that are mentioned. It doesn't really matter if they know the tropes or not. So the question becomes, why is this detail in here if it's not going to play an active role? Is ...


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I would not exactly try to convince them, just make sure they have some doubt. I would do that by having (or inventing) a conflict: One character that believes the opposite of another character. Have one of them just "believe" the Evil One is still alive, kind of like a religious belief, while the other cites all the reasons why the Evil One is truly dead. ...


43

Readers establish a sense of the story they are reading in the opening pages. That's where you set the contract. If you open with the death of this evil being, the readers will expect that being to be important and assume that the evil being will return. But if you tuck it in after the contract, maybe combine it within local lore of the world along with a ...


0

It really isn't that hard. It is universally known that love is a mysterious thing that defies logic and requires no explanation. Virtually every serial killer on death row has a small cadre of admirers of the opposite sex. As the vast majority of serial killers on death row are men, out of a population of 330 million in the US of A, there are plenty of ...


1

If the female enemy is immature, make the male be emotionally more of an adult, even though they are about the same age. He is merciful; despite her apparent anger or hatred. Invent a situation in which he captures her or disables her power, but instead of harming her, lets her go. Then another incident, she attacks him. He could hurt her, but he doesn't. ...


2

How does love work? It's strange. It needs attraction, it has chemistry and most certainly, it does not care who is friend or foe. The mere fact that they fall in love is not a problem. The real question you should ask yourself is: How to write it in a way that your readers don't go onto the barricade demanding you to burn the story on a stake? There are ...


1

That depends what sort of story this is. And how you killed the character off. If the story is set in a fantasy universe, you could have the character brought back with a magic spell. If it's a science fiction story, you might be able to posit some technology that brings him back. Failing that, I presume you would have to say that he was not really dead, ...


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Don't, The best works of art introduce new characters instead of bringing back dead ones. In real life, people don't come back. So introduce a new character, maybe with some similar character traits, or something else reminiscent of the endeared deceased, if that is what you are looking for. Remember, people don't come back from the dead (with extremely rare ...


3

The first rule of cheating Death in Fiction is "No Body, No Crime". You have to fool the audience into thinking the character is dead, by showing them entering the death trap... but not showing the body after the trap is sprung. This can be tricky and you'll need to work out how to put your character in a spot that they can survive but not. In real life, ...


25

I think the main thing you need to do is figure out what tropes are connected to coming back from the dead, and which of those you want to avoid. This TVTropes page might help. Keep in mind that a common trope need not necessarily be boring - they're common because they're popular. That being said, there's a lot of overused ideas in connection to ...


7

Writers have told me that for my stories believability follows understandability. If the ‘what happens’ is something that is explained and makes sense in the story, then people will believe it and accept it. So, if your character is actually thought to be dead at the end of the first book, but really was alive, and that was important to the story, then in ...


1

How does your fantasy race view humans? They don't like us. In their legends, we're stupid, brutish and disgusting - basically, "human" is their version of "troll". In this case, I'd recommend coming up with new words. It would seem strange to make them use words that mean "troll", "male troll", and "female troll" (except as insults). They feel a kinship ...


1

The child character needs to have a need for a father figure. People have many friends, but generally few parents. Children in fantasy books often have no father figure at all. What is the child character missing that they need a father figure? Do they need protection? Validation? Someone to explain how the world works? The parent character needs to have a ...


1

I think that you need to define your two character's wants, needs, fears, and frailties clearly. Then, have them interact according to their natures, with appropriate levels of openness and vulnerability given their situation. The more circumstances out of their control drive their interaction, the less genuine their relationship will feel. But, if they ...


2

The essence of a good father-son relationship is sacrifice by the father on behalf of his son, it must be a truly altruistic sacrifice, with no reward expected. The essence of a bad father-son relationship is the opposite; the father is selfish and demands (or forces) sacrifice from his son to meet his own selfish wants and needs; so he will force his ...


1

I think if you set the context clearly you can keep the dreams separate from the hallucinations. By that I mean do not have any scenes where it is unclear he is in a dream to the reader. The character doesn’t have to recognize it. By having surreal descriptions or repetitive totems in the dreams people will catch on. The sources of subconscious knowledge ...


0

In movies, many "redshirt" scenes like this avoid showing the redshirt's death clearly. You can use this to your advantage. Here is what I suggest you do: follow the cliche exactly. Then subvert it after the readers/audience have forgotten about it. Let me give you a summary of how I would write this: So, here is the way these scenes typically play out. ...


2

What is a redshirt? A character who seems along for the ride, is capable at their job, but who isn't the primary character in the story. When element X gets introduced, the red shirt is offed to show how dangerous element X is. The red shirt is therefor not a primary part of the scene. To be a true redshirt you must be a secondary character in the story. I'...


3

Misdirection works better if there is something to be misdirected to. To extend the metaphor you used in your question, if you want to make people think someone is a redshirt, it helps to have an apparent yellowshirt. So, for instance, you can have a police detective investigating mysterious deaths. Then a girl comes along that matches the pattern of ...


3

If Maiden is plucky as LoneWolf is terse, perhaps Maiden can simply answer for him until his looks of wild surmise are not enough and he actually breaks into speech. Perhaps she could be funny and clever and if not win him over exactly, then at least provide company and occasional help with bandaging those hard-to-reach wounds. Matilda and Amadeus' answers ...


8

(Note: This answer is basically the opposite of Cyn's answer. I can see arguments for doing it either way; in the end you might have to play around a bit and see what works best for your story. Cyn's answer is certainly nice because you don't need to give any details about the heroine yet, so you can fully develop her later.) The cliché The cliché that you ...


5

Make the character part of the setting. There are various methods for making a person in a story appear to be the main character (or at least a prominent one). For example: Giving her a name (obviously even background characters can have names, but if the narrator refers to her by name, she's more likely to be a big character). Listening to her thoughts. ...


3

Split the POV of the opening scene. Half the time so you are seeing it from the monsters POV where he is focused on the prey (redshirt). But half is from the hero's POV, as magic girl, being aware of what monster is up to, predicting his moves, getting ready to strike. As the scene climaxes the readers will expect the monster to strike, the hero to ...


1

Augment your dialog with narrative and action. What is the most extreme thing he can do and/or say to communicate his dislike of her? Would he hurt her? Verbally abuse her? Why or why not? Write such a scene. What is the most extreme thing she can do? Go ahead and write that scene too. Or turn it on its head, too. Don't make his feeling simple dislike--...


7

You could play them as opposites. He hardly talks at all, she talks enough for both of them! She is not unaware or oblivious to him, but she just chatters along, asking him questions that he doesn't answer, making up her own answers, telling about her life and things that happened and her family and her neighbors and adventures she has had, or heard about. ...


5

Two things come to mind: You don't necessarily need character interaction to develop characters you can work with POV switches and develop the characters through their different reactions to situations arising. You can force the characters to interact within the narrative due to external pressure; if they are beset by dangers that require them to work ...


9

Actually, the fact that one of your characters doesn’t want to talk has the potential of making the dialogue more interesting. You have created conflict between your characters, and conflict is interesting. Mr. Stoic’s reluctance to communicate says a lot about his nature and will give your barmaid the opportunity to bounce her personality off his wall of ...


10

+1, Wetcircuit, though I will disagree on the Buffy angle; she is right on the misdirection. This is difficult to pull off. The way I would do it is a little "close up magic"; you have to write from the POV of the hero but still mislead the reader into thinking she is doing something DIFFERENT than what she is doing. One way to do that is give her a phone ...


70

What pattern are you breaking? In this case, you are hoping the accumulation of other people's writing clichés will carry your opening. You want to subvert the trope, but unfortunately this trope subversion is almost as cliché. It's used when the protagonist is a strong female, and it's used when the villain is a strong female. Maybe the only reader this ...


14

I would do a heroic twist of the very first scene of the Buffy the Vampire series, which opens with two high-schoolers: a rather rough around the edges but still 90s cool boy and a nervous girl who is following him, but he keeps having to assure her that they're safe and no one is in the school building that they are breaking into after hours. Now, if you'...


17

Write from the POV of the monster. This way the prey can be described in more dismissive terms. You can then add inner thoughts of the monster. Dismissive thoughts about how this one does what they all do. First they get scared and their blood makes them easier to find. Then they run, and tire themselves out. Next they die. Hey wait, where did that thumping ...


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