New answers tagged

-1

Readers will notice it and it will annoy some but there's a way to deal with this! Lampshading. Let a character acknowledge that CUBs is a mangling of United Colours of Benetton. As a bonus, the reactions generated from that character's observation may be a good opportunity to develop personalities and dynamics within the group.


-1

I think less would be more, in this case. (as in many other cases) Monica had a diverse group of friends, having often been described as a United Colours of Benetton commercial. So one day, the motley band decided to make it official and called themselves the Benettons. And yes, I also find it hard to get "CUBs" out of United colours of Benetton.


0

Readers are either going to completely miss the point, or they are going to be confused about the mismatch. Some suggestions: Retain the commercial reference, and drop the "cubs" name. Retain the name, drop the commercial, and think of a better origin for the name. Retain both, but add a flashback to the interesting/humorous reason they ended up with a ...


0

So you have Sir Nathaniel Charles III. A nobleman, obviously. Is he from a famous family? Or some minor, not well known nobility? Did he grow up in a castle? Or did his family lose their estates and he grew up in poverty? Did others respect him for his nobility, despise him for it, or not care about it at all? Does he live in medieval times, in modern times ...


1

I'm a conflict and character writer. For me, the two naturally go together. If I wanted to start with the conflict, I would start by asking what terrible threat is hanging over Sir Nathaniel? It doesn't have to be something that threatens him specifically. It could be a threat to someone who he cares about or who he feels he should protect. Then you ...


-1

Here are some ideas: 1) Think of what nation he is a part of. Is it a real country or is it fictional? I created a country named Swissland, so feel free to use that. 2) Who are his friends? Who are his enemies? 3) What are some of his talents? 4) Does he have a girlfriend/wife? I hope this helps you with your story. Good luck!


1

I'm not giving you examples because you cannot ask "what to write" here. So these are guidelines on writing, given a character. I usually begin with a character. For me, a good character needs to be very good at something, and rather poor at something else. Think on that. Does he call himself Nathaniel, or Nate? What do his friends and associates call him? ...


3

I pieced the below data together from a number different websites. Basically putting the text versions of the three titles shown, individually into a site that can quickly filter out the unique words. I then used the data to feed into a homemade random word generator to be used it typing practice. It is more challenging to get newer titles, but this gives ...


0

I think it is word-by-word choice. Which word is better understood, with a preference for the non-English one. If the non-English word is really not understandable, use the English one. Just think about, if you use the two words in a casual everyday conversation, which one would make the most sense? Having English words does not matter. Your setting could ...


1

I don't think it's a good idea; when a reader opens a book they expect to learn some things about the characters in their normal world. If you open with a VR, the reader will assume that IS the normal world, and real. Orcs and other fantasy beings are only known because in some fantasy (like Lord of the Rings) they were real, how are readers supposed to ...


2

ANSWER: It Depends. I think this is what you'd call a prologue. It might not be structured like one, but it probably could be and therefor is. In almost all cases you don't need prologues. The common advice for newer writers to avoid them. The reason for this is that its common these days for stories to start "en media res" which means in the middle. Lot's ...


0

I make a short copy of an imaginary story trying to look like your theme. I deliberately pull the end quite shortly to have a recommended length. Read it and check how it feels: At last i bought my explorer starship. I had to sold out everything. All my properties. All my stocks. Even the house i was born. But now i can finally do what i always wanted. I ...


3

There's nothing wrong with starting your story with a fantasy VR sequence. This is known as a Fake-Out Opening (TV Tropes link warning!). What you want to avoid - and what you do seem to be concerned about - is confusing the reader. The last thing you want is them picking up your cyberpunk novel, getting a few pages in, and putting it down because they don'...


0

The fourth chapter is too late. You need to do this within the first 10% of the story (by page count), anything more is too late. If your MC does violent things for good reason, you need to give the reader the idea they are capable of this early on. At the beginning of a story, the reader is ready for anything -- magic, superhuman powers, aliens, gods, ...


3

Truth is, the "mushroom" part of, well, the mushroom, is really only the fruiting body. This is like asking "how would the apple call it's apple tree". If you want to have mushroom people which looks like mushrooms, you kinda have to forget about the mycelium and chalk it up to creative freedom, because the fruit of the mushroom isn't that big in comparison....


3

I include detail because I think the job of the prose is to assist the imagination of the reader. If there is resonance on other levels, that's great, but it isn't a necessity in my book. The reader needs to imagine a visual scene, an audio scene, a sensory scene. Just dialogue doesn't cut it, the talking heads and wall of dialogue feels quickly unrealistic....


6

Other than the already given answers, setting the stage really helps. I'm going to refer to the short story we studied in high school specifically on how to introduce a story. To summarize, a doctor (MC/narrator) is visited by a friend, missing his two legs and one arm. The friend explains that he's addicted to eating his own flesh, and asks the doctor's ...


3

The line between something being an 'interesting/critical detail', and 'fluff/time wasting filler' is a fuzzy arbitrary decision best made on a case by case basis. As such we decide what to cut or what to expand based on what works for our story at hand. There are two key metrics to consider when trying to decide if a section of text really belongs as is, ...


29

Foreshadowing is your friend. Your example of Harry Potter isn't quite right. Chapter One is titled The Boy Who Lived. Now that's a bit ominous. Magic is hinted at on page 1* and is outright on page 2. "You-Know-Who" is first mentioned on page 5. By page 11, when the name Voldemort is first mentioned, we already know he was a danger and now believed to ...


16

Four chapters in, your readers should have an idea what they're in for. Not everything that's going to happen, but certainly a hint. Once you've hinted that there is darkness, you can skirt it, turn your back on it for a while, or plunge right into it as you see fit in different parts of your story. But it can't just show up out of nowhere more than a ...


2

I think the textbook answer is: Does the detail contribute to the story? If you describe how a character's house is filled with guns and bombs, that tells us something very different about him than if his house is filled with flowers and framed poetry quotes. A detail may prove relevant later. This is classic in mystery stories: The writer casually mentions ...


1

why is the couch brown? Because it's made of leather. Yes, some details are just details. But if it doesn't matter why say it? why is the couch on the left side of the shop? Because there's only one tv hook up and they wanted it to face the TV or some other practical reason...if it doesn't matter to the story WHY, then it isn't relevant to the reader, ...


5

I've always struggled with sensory details in my writing --I'm a dialog-and-plot kind of writer. But for me, writing details really came alive when I discovered your number three approach. When done right, the details offer you so much opportunity for layered, immersive storytelling. Perfunctory, by-the-book, generic "filler" details definitely aren't ...


9

You are right in thinking both that details are needed - they make the scene come alive, and that the details shouldn't be random. I use the scenery details first and foremost to set the mood of a scene. You use a meeting in a forest as an example. Is your character comfortable in the forest? Does she know it well, is it a safe environment for her? Then she ...


0

Good writers pay it forward :) Scrap everything and start something new with the same basic idea. NOPE. Start to rewrite the same novel, and hope it gets a normal flow till I find a climax. SOUNDS LIKE WRITERS BLOCK. Continue from the last word I wrote in the novel (I have no idea how to do this). WHY NOT GIVE IT A GO OR TWO? Do not post on social media ...


2

Mysteries: Since you have the friend-group, you can crowd-source some of them. List some of the problematic mysteries, ask how they would solve them, and then run with whatever you like best (or perhaps a new one will occur to you.) (On SpaceBattles, this collaboration is often called a Quest -- sort of an RPG, but no dice, just collaboration with one ...


6

Starting over is almost always a bad idea, especially on your first project. The same goes with rewriting. It's just like software - don't think starting over will work out better. Finish the book, and refactor. The tempation is always there with any enterprise - just starting over. It's almost always a bad decision, and it tends to make you even more eager ...


5

As a discovery writer myself, I do not "plot", but I always write with an ending in mind. I do not WRITE the ending, but I have notes on how the story can be resolved, and I make sure my story will always fit that ending. Every time I finish a scene, I make sure I haven't done anything that will violate the ending I have in mind. If I have, then I either ...


4

I'm largely not a discovery writer myself, but many --perhaps most --of my favorite authors are discovery writers. It seems like discovery writers almost universally struggle with endings --for obvious reasons --and I've read my fair share of horribly disappointing endings to otherwise great books. In my opinion, the biggest crime committed by discovery ...


8

About eight years ago, I began writing a fantasy novel. Then something else came up, so I put it down for about two years. I returned to the novel eventually and finished and published it. What helped me do this was the worldbuilding notes (maps, bestiary, Character descriptions, plot ideas) that I had stored. I made many changes to my original conception, ...


7

As @sesquipedalias says, for a discovery writer the first draft can often be about figuring out what your novel is, what you're trying to say. You say you have story threads that you don't know where to take, questions the answers to which you don't know, problems you don't know how to solve. Treat those as a writing exercise: find out the answers, solve ...


15

Especially for a discovery writer, the first draft of a novel is often as much an exercise in planning the final version as it is an attempt to actually produce that final version. It may be best to think of your current draft as serving two distinct purposes: firstly, as an outline for a novel, with lots of detailed information appended to it; secondly, as ...


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