45

Permitted by whom? The Big Book of Writing Laws was abolished in 1849. You can use any POV you feel comfortable with for any reason or none at all. Ask yourself why you want to switch to a hitherto unseen POV. Do you have a compelling reason? As a reader, I've spent the story inside the head of a character I've either come to love or love to hate. A sudden ...


19

Storytelling is a skill Storytelling is not only a skill, it's a multi-faceted skill, a whole family of skills. To describe a scene, to set a mood, to foreshadow things to come later on, to develop interesting and engaging characters, to draw the readers in and get them emotionally committed, to plot within scenes and across scenes in an order and manner ...


15

We write best the things we love best. People are the real world model for characters, so if you want to write better characters, pay more attention to people. Try to see them as they really are, not just your image of them, or their demographic categories, or your judgements about them. If you can love someone because of their flaws, not just in spite of ...


12

"Had" changes the meaning slightly: The last time he had stepped into a convenience store was a year ago. He hasn't stepped into a store between that moment and a year before. The last time he stepped into a convenience store was a year ago. He hasn't stepped into a store between now and a year before. This will not be true if he goes through ...


11

As you’ve written it, I think had is necessary. It reads off without it. But re-arranging things, it's not needed. Standing in front of the sliding glass door, sweating, he remembered last year and stepping into a convenience store. And, now the statement has some suspense to it. \o/! I’ve had this argument with another writer, who insists that had needs ...


10

This is a scattershot answer because I'm a washed up literature student. I just finished reading Ann Leckie's The Raven Tower, which is entirely narrated by a rock. The fact that a rock is narrating the story is gradually revealed, and its unusual perspective builds some anticipation. I also recall a chapter of Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow is ...


8

There are two potential problems with having a non-living thing share its perspective in the last chapter. The first is that you are switching your point-of-view scheme at the last moment. This is often jarring even with ordinary characters. If the entire story is told from John's point of view until the last chapter is Jack's, readers often are ...


7

I'd say this isn't a deus ex machina - those usually occur suddenly, resolve the story's conflict/dramatic tension, and in many cases occur from outside the narrative context. Here you've essentially got a co-incidence (which aren't actually as unlikely as you'd might think) - two aggrieved parties with a common foe encounter each other and team up. This is ...


7

I assume you're talking about the author, while revising their work, making that change. And that's perfectly fine. It's a good idea, in fact, to try out different points of view. Try writing a section in first person just to see how it makes the story sound. Or read the whole thing to yourself as if it were first person. It might improve it or not. There's ...


7

In the present context, it's not necessary to include 'had' in the sentence. Using 'had' would indicate the past perfect (pluperfect) tense, which is used for conveying a sequence of events. The simple perfect just conveys that an event occurred in the past. Either is a reasonable reading of your sentence. You can read more about past perfect here.


7

Yes, but it would be highly unrealistic. The reason humor exists is it's a coping mechanism... people make jokes to deal with uncomfortable topics or get through fears. It's not that it detracts from the work... it's that in a real situation, someone is going to try and bring a smile to the room, even if they're in an inappropriate situation. The work ...


6

I can see several problems here. One is that your conflict is utterly one-sided. Your monster-hunter group has no redeeming features whatsoever, no deeper motivation to their actions beyond hatred of the other, and overall comes off like a faceless adversary with no personality. They show no complexity to their behavior beyond "kill the werewolves and ...


6

This is a big question, so I'm not even going to attempt to give a complete answer. Let me just mention a couple of points that I really notice when an author does NOT do right. One: In real life, people often have complex motivations. When making an important decision, a person will routinely have several reasons for deciding the way they do. I sometimes ...


6

This may sound odd but don't put yourself in a character's shoes. Put the character in uncomfortable shoes. What I mean is this: People are more different than you can imagine. I developed a neurological problem that gave me a taste of what it was like to be someone else. To filter out different things from the world; to form beliefs differently; to ...


6

Ask yourself, what is a successful or even great novel? To begin with, you as the writer have no input on the judgement of your work. That judgement lies entirely with your readers. When you write a novel (or any other creative work), you engage in a conversation between you as the writer and the readers of your work. That necessitates that there is common ...


6

A villain doesn't have to be physically present to be "present" in the story. From the sound of it you introduce the villain pretty early on by reputation, and spend most of the story working up to actually meeting/confronting them. There's nothing wrong with that. This happens in a lot of stories. If your story has pacing issues, then it could ...


5

G.K. Chesterton said: A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. Two things are apparent from your question: You want to avoid writing a "bad" novel with a one-sided plot and two-dimensional villains. You, the author, don't particularly like, understand, nor empathize with your villains, the ...


5

You wouldn't be breaking any rules because none exist. The rules are a bundle of advice at best, and not all advice is equally useful. Yes, you can have a non-linear narrative in a three act structure. Take this outline for example: (1) A man accused of murder appears in court. (2) He reflects on his relationship with the victim and the events leading up to ...


4

I'm not quite sure what you mean by throat clearing. Based on the title, however, I'm assuming you mean introductory info-dumps, and am writing my answer based on that. There is no hard rule for this that I know. Meaning, I'm not sure there's any official limit to how many introductory remarks you can add. The main concern is holding your reader's interest. ...


4

Frame Shift Challenge: Logically, why wouldn't a culture from an alien world come off as "exotic" to the reader? People have noticed that other groups of sapient beings (including this as a qualifier since we are talking about aliens and non-human sophonts like centaurs) around the world have different cultures. It's an observation that goes back ...


4

This particular example is easy. The plot was apparently reviewed only from one viewpoint - the plot itself. Reviewing it from characters' viewpoints would immediately detect the inconsistency. The leader would never reacted that way (unless he wanted to teach a lesson in humility). In short - develop your characters, and stay true to them.


4

First, you need a reason why they did not show up in the first trilogy: was it set on a different continent, where the Nukui-Paub were not operating? (Have they decided to expand, or has your protagonist moved?) Were they working against the antagonist of the first trilogy? (This may let you "redeem" a popular villain from the earlier books, ...


4

First, can you even believe why these two particularly powerful characters would remain hidden? If if you can't convince yourself, you won't convince a reader. Second, does it have to be in the same setting? Your antagonists clearly do not. How about your protagonist and support characters? Can you separate them from your world and plop them down in a ...


4

My Sister's Keeper starts with a prologue a few hundred words long. A nameless girl writes how, when she was three years old, tried to smother her sister with a pillow. However, her dad stopped her from going through with it. She writes how later in life she kept fantasizing about killing her sister, but the prologue ends with this statement: In the end, ...


4

What is 'better' is entirely subjective. You need to consider what your story looks like, and at what powerful point you want to begin telling it. It will affect so much about how it will ultimately come across. There is little point describing a normal day in their lives and then kill them, because most modern readers (and editors) won't let you get to that ...


4

Probably not. You can certainly write a story without any intentional humour, but you can never rule out the possibility of your audience finding comedy in something that wasn't intended to be comedic, especially in the age of meme culture. Thanos' snap at the end of Avengers: Infinity War is a very bleak scene, without a shred of humour, and it took three ...


3

Fed up with being on the hook for a three-digit bill one too many times, I recently bought a book on car maintenance hoping to learn simple repairs by myself. The mechanic on the cover looked like a trustworthy figure; his long gray beard attested to decades of experience. When the book arrived the next day I immediately removed the foil and read the preface,...


3

It sounds like you want to write a memoir of your father. The advantage of writing a memoir is that there is no expectation of academic research or factual accuracy; it is a compilation of personal memories and anecdotes. If your father, family, and friends are still around, it's a great idea to tell them about your project. Invite them to sit around an ...


3

When we talk about what is plausible or implausible in a story, we tend to approach causality front-to-back: What are the chances you'd survive falling out of an airplane in flight? Obviously, they are not good at all. If you're faced with the choice to jump from an airplane in flight, you expect it to be suicide - because the chances of survival are that ...


3

Does not look extremely unlikely. Of course it would depend on how large the area the tribe uses to move in is. They were nomadic but inside well defined and known areas. Eventually he makes it out of the forest and nears Texas again, returning to the Great Plains. He does this because he figures it will be easier to spot people on the Plains than in the ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible