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11

Not all advice is equally helpful to all writers. Some pieces of advice aren't even equally helpful to the same writer during different stages of the writing process. Like using a satnav, always exercise judgment before blindly yanking the wheel and driving into the nearest lake because a disembodied voice told you to. That said, I think both bullet points ...


7

The answer to "Has this story idea already been done?" is always yes, regardless of what the idea actually is. Everything's already been done. In your particular case, the one example I can think of immediately is the TV show Once Upon a Time, where anyone who enters the town of Storybrook becomes unable to leave due to mysterious forces (there are probably ...


6

If someone else did it well, I shouldn't write it This statement is very easily disproven - by looking at pretty much any mainstream genre. For example, the fantasy genre contains many different good books - LOTR, Mistborn, etc. Some people might begin writing a fantasy novel and then say "Tolkien and Sanderson did it well - what's the point?" I ...


6

Don't toss them out; collect them! What you've got there is a story fragment. You can start a collection of story fragments. Chances are, your fragments are a constellation of related ideas. As you write and collect them, you might start seeing connections between them. Then you can write those in-between connecting parts and assemble them into a larger ...


5

A couple of thoughts. If I see a book or a movie that is advertised as being about an unpleasant subject, sexual abuse or racism or Nazi concentration camps or whatever, I generally avoid it. It's certainly not that I condone such things. Of course they're bad. But that's the point. I know they're bad. I don't want to wallow in the misery of it. I don't ...


4

Do not worry, give it some time. If you have what seems to be a good idea, your mind won't let it go. Eventually you will either build a story around it, or, while working on some other story, you'll discover that the new story and old idea would actually go pretty well together. Don't settle for a bad story around a good idea. Let it work through.


4

What I do is write the idea itself. By the time I have done that a solution or the next idea usually suggests itself. If it doesn't, I go for a walk and try putting random ideas or words together to find a solution. In the rare case that these don't work, I revise something else I have written and then come back to the piece. At this point I sit there until ...


4

Female perspective here! (The first paragraph is the most fundamental part of my answer, about creating a strongly written female protagonist. Also refer to Chris Sunami's answer and links. The rest focuses more on portraying a female character, or character of any marginalized group, in an authentic manner.) Your female protagonist is the hero of her own ...


3

And somewhere between the time you arrive And the time you go May lie a reason you were alive That you'll never know - Jackson Browne - "For A Dancer" Your character must have a very important task to perform near the end of his life. Something subtle, yet critical to the master plan. Perhaps, in his decrepitude, he will be sitting on a park bench ...


2

I haven't read anything quite like it in genre fiction, but there are some literary authors who write existential stuff like that. Mostly Chinese and Japanese... Murakami writes like that... Strange, half-dream surreal stuff... Steppenwolf is probably the closest I can think of to what you're describing. It's probably the most famous one that I've read at ...


2

The typical approach is to personalize the issues. Stalin is reputed to have said, "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic." Although he was clearly a monster, his point is still valid that that we as human beings are much more able to deal with the concrete particulars of a single human being than we are the abstraction of ...


2

Use a structural template to fit it in If you're into some structure in your writing, I'd suggest using a structural template like a Story Circle, and then using that to find a natural spot for your bit of conflict in some broader narrative. The Story Circle is a simplification of the Hero's Journey as specified by Joseph Campbell, further developed by Dan ...


1

When I come to a problem like this I usually write a list of all the characters, ideas, scenes and other things I want to include in my story. Like this: Include a battle scene between _____ and _____. Add a character called ______. Use a twist were _________. And so on... Anyway, after I've done that I try and piece them together like a puzzle as Rolfedh ...


1

I for one, like most people I believe, almost never read personal blogs. If you want your experience to be read, instead of just writing for catharsis, a novel is one of the few options. There are two main axes you can explore: the victim's or the revenge fantasies's. Victim That's the most straightforward, relate your story. The difficulty is to make us ...


1

You might want to consider type of traffic and level of engagement you are looking for. If you prefer to write peacefully in relative obscurity, you can use a platform like wordpress.com or blogger.com and turn off comments. On the other hand, if you are looking for community and engagement you could use a platform like medium.com which has a very active ...


1

Ok. So I've written some stuff on my laptop but I haven't published it yet. I've written stuff like: what would I want my 8 year old self to do to my abuser (mostly drive a knife through his heart and become a child murderer) not kidding Or another one: Here's why I want to slap my 12 yrs old self..... and a few more stuff about how I could go back and ...


1

Since your book is about a young girl coming to understand the world they way it is (which sounds much like a coming-of-age story for a teen or pre-teen, or perhaps a coming-to-adulthood story for an MC in their 20's); I suggest you focus on a metaphor for learning or transition. The Twilight series is for a character metaphorically transitioning (from girl ...


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