Hot answers tagged

21

Bit of a world building answer, but in a world with fictional aspects it is best to create some ground rules the characters have to abide by (in my opinion it's always better to first create the world, then the characters and at last the story). Make it imperfect. Each time a character is resurrected, the character sustains unfixable (mental) damage, that ...


19

There are many different thoughts on this. If you are writing a novel, then you can do basically whatever you want (and I'll get to that later), but if it's an academic paper, you should be more rigid with your length. For academic papers, your assumption was right-- 5-6 sentences is a good length for that paper. You won't want standalone sentences that you ...


14

It significantly lowers all the stakes in a narrative when death isn't permanent. Even once is enough for the audience to no longer take death seriously as a threat. That can raise significant challenges for you, as a writer. You're running the risk of building a cartoonish, video-game universe, with lots of violence and gore, but no lasting consequences --...


12

You could add a prologue that tells the backstory of what made her decide to join the militia, then skip directly to the story itself where she's already part of the group. Alternatively, you could start in media res and add flashbacks to explain the backstory.


10

It's good that you're starting with the story! Getting straight into the action is my favourite kind of storytelling (and I believe that's the general opinion nowadays?) I've seen this approach taken often in your situation: Slowly reveal her backstory through hints and implications in the rest of her and other people's actions and interactions You can also ...


9

Including real people in works of fiction is extremely thorny from a legal standpoint. Your question states that you are talking about organizations and politics, and not specifically naming people, but since an organization and a political system must necessarily include discussions of the people in them, I'm going to give you that perspective. Have you ...


8

There is no fixed answer to "how many revives is too many" because how a character's resurrection comes across to the reader is entirely dependent on context. If the revive system is just there to allow you to kill of and resurrect characters, thus eliminating any real danger from your story, ONCE is too many. But if the revive system is part of a ...


8

So, don't your characters remember dying? I'd think the memories of the pain, shock, and horror of a violent death would deter people from dying more than necessary. "Too much" is when your characters begin to hate the whole cycle. Do dangerous job Die a nasty, violent death while carrying out job. Revive, and go back to doing a dangerous job. Die ...


8

Bring them back as much as you want, just make sure that they have other conflicts, motivations, things they fear. One simple way to do it is how they did it in Edge Of Tomorrow.


6

People are People: Governments are not going to come after you for portraying them in a negative light unless they are autocratic and you live there or visit. That being said, some states like China have shown a willingness to be extremely petty, so don't expect that your book will get any royalties from sales in China. It's in the future, so it's science ...


6

The famous American satirist and science-fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut advocated starting your story "as close to the end as possible." We also live in an era where most people don't have much patience for slow starts, so if your instinct is to skip the prologue, I think it's a good one. I've been working a lot lately with Hemingway's "Iceberg ...


5

If you're concerned about copyright violation, not a problem, this is completely legal. Ideas are not and can not be copyrighted, only the exact words or pictures or other means of expression used to convey those ideas. As long as you are only copying a general idea, like "magical detective solving magical crimes", and not the specific words that ...


5

Legally, yes, this is absolutely fine! Many authors borrow ideas, characters, settings and plot details from other works. Stephen King writes extensively about how his stories are greatly inspired by other writers' stories. The only thing to note is that if you follow the same character formula as the work you were inspired by - in your case, a magical ...


3

One rule I’ve created in my own work no matter how agonizing it is for me is: I am never ever allowed to bring my characters back to life. For me this answer is pretty simple. It might be different for other authors, but my whole problem kind of centers around death. The antagonist is killing everyone, which is why they need to stop her. If they can bring ...


3

Many questions like this can be answered by taking Sanderson's First Law of Magics, and labeling your particular technology as "magic": Sanderson’s First Law of Magics: An author’s ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic. Its really quite the incredible writing tool. It works ...


3

I am surprised that no one has mentioned this one. What did they miss out on because of the resurrections? If you were assigned to protect a target and jumped in front of them instead of dragging them to safety and was killed as a result, did your target survive? Maybe without your sacrifice the target could have survived but instead they lost your ...


3

Several Options: So I assume you aren't a well-established author, and people don't have preconceptions about how you will write. Obviously, you'll want to use gender-neutral names (like Terry) or establish them as nick-names (Bobby as a girl, for example). Don't use pronouns. It will be a little weird, but in most situations, you keep gender out of it. Use ...


3

This is a really good question! Many stories have gone through phases where they start at different times or need to be reworked. Something that might work for you is writing everything before the story "starts" and then figuring out when it needs to start. For example, my character could find her true love at a bar, but the events leading up to ...


3

If it's a "magic" hidden neighbourhood (like, let's say, Harry Potter's Diagon Alley) or something like that, you have total freedom to do what you want with it. If it's not, I suggest you to create a suburb (or a suburban town, they can be relatively big too) instead of a neighbourhood, 'burbs are in the outskirts and more or less far from ...


2

Publishing a collection of short stories is a difficult matter in general. Usually, if a collection is published all, or almost all of the stories will have been previously published and at least one in some top-tier publication such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Granta or Virginia Quarterly Review. The only recent instance I know of ...


2

You have several options: Rewrite the training so that it links back to something important. Start even later, show important things in flashbacks, or rewrite it so the important things are explored in the present. Start earlier and gloss over the unimportant parts like the training. and more... The main point is, all of these can work.


2

I was also about to quote Vonnegut, but someone else beat me to it. I think you're making the right choice at your current starting position. You, the author, think that the training is boring and unnecessary. A reader will be even more likely to be uninterested because they don't even know or like the character yet. I'd argue that it's much more compelling ...


2

Have you read Endymion by Dan Simmons? People are routinely resurrected using a "cruciform" attached to their body. Space travel actually involves no protection against G - indeed ships are designed to accelerate as hard as possible and pulp the occupants almost immediately. The resulting bloody mess is then resurrected at the other end. Ships ...


2

Periods and other punctuation marks being placed inside of quotation marks is a typographical convention. "Full stop." If you do it differently, it will stand out, and not in a good way. If you want your writing to be published, follow the conventions and style rules of the publisher, institution or organization. This is not about programming ...


2

I am not an expert on this but how about shepherd's pie. Seems like this is both an Irish and English dish and goes bad in about 4 hours at room temperature (source) .


2

In Dickens' David Copperfield, the protagonist, David, is given many nicknames by the other characters. These nicknames do not reflect aspects of young David's personality or actions, but they do tell the reader something about the characters who bestow those nicknames. I think you might approach this question in a similar fashion. To those who do not ...


2

You are righting a story here, not a paper, yes? So I would argue the question might not be, "what pronoun should I always use for this AI?" but rather, I would say that much depends on the characters in your story, their personalities, backgrounds, beliefs, and inclinations. THEY are the ones who are going to be interacting with, and referring to, ...


1

There are alternatives to death to consider. There can be meaningful consequences that don't involve death. For example, a character could break a bone, lose a super power, lose a close friend, or be disabled in some way. This increases the challenge for the character, lets the antagonist have some kind of a victory, and lets you have meaningful consequences ...


1

I'm going to post the complete opposite of A. bakker's reply, basing it on The 6th Day As many times as you like Make that a feature. Make everyone completely blasé about death. The tension comes from the destruction of the technology to do it, not from any inbuilt weaknesses of the resurrected characters. The realisation of the potential of permanent death ...


1

There is a huge difference between Middle Grade and Young Adult books. Middle Grade book heroes are usually Middle School aged. The books are are typically read by older elementary and younger middle school students, but they are usually BOUGHT by parents and teachers. They are expected to be "family friendly," and free of graphic violence, bad ...


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