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I recall a story from childhood that personified three trees who could "communicate" among themselves, but could not interact physically with the world beyond them. These trees would retain their speech and ability to think. Each tree discusses their dream of what they will become when they are chopped down and turned into wood, each wishing to ...


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Split Screen: It's a children's book. Have a page with the dog wandering lost on one side, the owner posting the LOST DOG posters in the other. The dog can have interesting little adventures on one side while the owner is panicking on the other. I've never met a dog who is "lost" that seemed all that upset about it unless it was lost for a really ...


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As far as I'm concerned, "too short" simply doesn't exist. The amount of words in a chapter don't matter, as long as your ability makes up for it. Author William Faulkner made a novel by the title As I Lay Dying. In this book, there is a chapter which I have memorized. I will now repeat it to you... "My mother is a fish." That's it. The ...


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The Hero's Journey is a memeatic story structure that takes many forms, but follows the same general steps: An ordinary person who up to now has lead an unremarkable life in a humble home town setting that is far from the problems of his world. One day, he is tasked by higher powers with an important mission that requires him to leave his familiar corner of ...


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Story telling is one of the two principle skills required for writing -- the other being the craft of writing -- and it is hard to do well. You need to come up with a character that has unique traits, preferably a mix of good and bad traits. Write your character down. Then decide on a goal for your character, pick a motivation that makes sense for that goal. ...


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The idea doesn't really matter, it's the execution that matters. A great real life example of this is Codex Alera by Jim Butcher. From Wikipedia: The inspiration for the series came from a bet Butcher was challenged to by a member of the Del Rey Online Writer's Workshop. The challenger bet that Butcher could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and ...


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Give reasons why the information or hint is important for a different reason. Disguise them, in fact. Have the detective ask someone for the time, and the other character fishes out a pocket watch and gives it -- and only later do you realize that the detective actually was checking that the character was left (or right) handed. The particular uses will ...


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There are 2 approaches: Hide the clue in the background. As in the Harry Potter example that hszmv brought up, the first time the locket (and later another item) was mentioned, it appeared together with a bunch of other items and didn't really stand out as important compared to everything else that was going on. Hide the clue in plain sight. Give a reason ...


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Trying to do this myself, I have two main strategies that work well for me. Option one- Outline and use that to drop hints as you go along in your first run. This sets up all your hints, but if you decide to change something as you get there, it may invalidate one or more of your hints. Option two- Write through first without the hints and then when you do a ...


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I've found one good way is to embed the plot critical item randomly into a list of items that aren't seemingly important (one of the best examples was the Locket in Harry Potter, which was first mentioned as a cursed item that was being disposed of in the beginning of Book 5. The fact that a locket was important was only brought up in Book 6 and Book 7 ...


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K. M. Weiland offers a nice short (and inexpensive) book on outlining your novel: Outlining Your Novel: Map Your way To Success available as kindle book at amazon. I to have provided a few steps that help you create a loose outline (based upon breaking your novel or story into scenes. I wrote it up here on writing SE : Basics in the world building of a ...


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Generally I tend to focus on "What is the point" when I get to the plot outline, with the overall plot of the book being the fist big point I need to find out. At the end of Climax, where are we and why? What needs to be seen in the final fight is important because it will build up all your other scenes. From there, it's a matter of tying in the ...


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Of course. For novels of feature length films, one villain is usually enough, provided that you have dedicated enough paragraphs to the one villain. In series (TV or book) however, authors have an interest in continuously "upping the ante" on "villainness", because it gives the writer more room for extra episodes, seasons, or books. But ...


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Every story has to start somewhere with the protagonist being in a state of complacency, then having that complacency broken. How you decide to break that complacency is your first initial task as the author. Even if it seems overdone, your plot will have to start somewhere to galvanize the protagonist into action. If your story is the "Exploring the ...


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All things are used at least once before. All ideas come from inspiration from different books. Some books may even have the same theme but different settings, characters, and most importantly the plot or styles. A book called Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay is similar to the Hunger game by Suzanne Collins. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani, Harry ...


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It's not complicated, the turning point could be located when your character is near the ending of book 1 but if you really don't know where to put your climax, you'll identify one when one of your ideas stands out. Many authors would experience this type of problem when they encounter the crossroads that take them towards a different ending. The climax ...


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