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 ...


11

I rewrite obsessively; I have rewritten a scene a 30 times. Here is what I have learned. First: I might be trying to make this scene do too much work, so I can't get it to flow smoothly and still do that amount of work. This is particularly true in the beginning of the story. It is also particularly true if you keep wanting to add details and explanation to ...


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 ...


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 ...


5

There's nothing inherently wrong with perfectionism, but you can try to channel it in a more effective way. Consider that each element of a story depends on the rest—you need your early parts to effectively set up your later parts, but you need to have those later parts at least partially written in order to see how to do that most effectively. Pacing is ...


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 ...


5

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 ...


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

Just try to write in present tense, and then when you're done with your rough draft, go back over it and fix all the places where you accidentally wrote in past tense. Besides that: practice makes perfect. I recently did this endeavor. I also wanted to study famous first-person present-tense narratie so I read Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying" to help.


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

I'm an Atheist, but the bible somtimes makes a good point: "Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent."- Proverbs 17:27-28 Highly intelligent characters always have the downside of being limited to the intelligence of their writers, i am not calling you dumb or something but doubt you are a ...


4

Here's an example based on AmaiKotori's answer. I edited and tweaked it down a bit to prevent spoilers since it's the very opening, but it will be recognizable to anyone who's read the novel in question. The novel and author name is down below. Special Agent Alpha, stood in the doorway of a cheap, rented room in a lower middle-class section of town near ...


4

As Alexander stated in comments, the classic Kurasawa film Roshomon's plot centers around a disturbing court case where three separate people confess to the same crime and each one's confession is impossible to reconcile with each other and all three are not trust worthy. The trial portions of the film are shot so that the audience is in the position of a ...


4

You can mislead, but don't cheat. Convincing your readers of something that isn't actually the case is a perfectly valid technique; it's only natural to want to keep some surprises in store, and finding out their foundational beliefs are wrong can be a powerful moment for a character. However, it's very important that after the reveal, the reader can look ...


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

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

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

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, ...


3

"Show, don't tell!" It's always a good idea to show who your character is through their actions and dialogue. This way, there's no separation between "introducing the character" and "telling the story". It could be said that story is character. Instead of telling the reader what the Centenarian's hobby is, why not show the hobby ...


3

One possible way to do this is to write the end first. This has some hazards; some people, having written the end, will find it difficult (or seemingly impossible?) to write anything else on that story. Another way, since you say you have all the scenes in your head, is to take a stack of index cards (or headings in your word processor, or cards in a ...


3

Look at "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is the classic short story of a narrator's descent into madness, caused by post-partum depression and male oppression at a time when women were considered inferior. Read Mark Vonnegut's “The Eden Express,” about "his descent into schizophrenic madness in a counter‐culture wilderness commune." ...


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