New answers tagged

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Switching POV in a series is fine as long as you do it well. For example, in Charles Stross's Laundry Files series (which placed second in the voting for the 2019 Best Series Hugo award, so is clearly well received), the first 5 novels are all written from the POV of a single protoganist, Bob Howard, but after those we get a variety of POV characters, each ...


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At the present time there are thousands of professional Hollywood child actors and even more amateur child actors in school plays, and several times as many adults who have auditioned as children or adults. I think if you asked for stories about typical and/or unusual audition experiences at some sites for actors you might get a number of answers. For ...


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Like Chris pointed out, the reason you forgot about her is because she isn't adding much to the story. As a reader, I think there's plenty of character development for our little fairy even though she is mute. A huge plus side of forgetting your mute character is they do not add much to the conversation, but at the same time, they can only communicate ...


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I can see why this would be annoying to some readers, but as with all writing its fine if you do it right. In the prologue/recap of last book, put something along the lines of [quick recap of last book], [something about how they now have to do this other thing that is probably related in some way], [first MC's name here] set off with his friend, Jason. ...


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Could you let her be forgotten in the story as well ? Since she is small and doesn't talk, it could be plausible that the MC put her in a pocket and completely forgot about her, only to find her (comically or not) back later in the story, with consequences or not. It depends if that fits your story. Is Autumn supposed to be of any help to the MC or just ...


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As Autumn appears as a token of the Queen's support and as the Queen comes to their salvation at the end of the tale, you could consider dropping in very small and perhaps mysterious comments re Autumn's activities and presence along the way. These could take very little effort to add but could add an (extra) element of mystery and you could if desired weave ...


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Reading your description, I came to this conclusion: without changing the plot, Autumn can be replaced by an object, a token of friendship that’s an actual token. You’re right that something needs to be done. Having a character present in the middle of the action but not doing anything or even being mentioned is confusing for the audience. And having a ...


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I think the fact that you yourself forgot about her is indeed a sign that she's not really adding anything to your story. Personally, I believe in keeping characters to the minimum you actually need, because I think you end up with a stronger story, while making fewer demands on the reader. If you can't keep track of this character, or care about her, ...


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Maybe you can call out her exits rather than ignore her? This is often used, especially if a character is comic relief, to show that the scene is serious. Consider in Avatar The Last Airbender the scenes where Momo the flying Lemur is not among the gang, and the general tone of those scenes (generally, when there's a lot of serious fighting, Momo is no ...


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This is the kind of thing you figure out in revision. I do this all the time in early drafts, dropping characters, adding new ones, renaming them, changing their marital status, changing their gender, etc. Pay attention as you read through your drafts whether that character adds anything to the story. If so, then you can bring her back or combine her with an ...


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Subtlety is Key... This is entirely your call. Clean writing says eliminate anything that doesn't add to the story. The great thing about a story is you can go back and edit anything. If you love the character (and they're that small). I'm a big fan of adding my own self to the story. You might have the MC forget about Autumn. Then the MC realizes Autumn has ...


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Overt vs. Covert: In the real world, people use strategy and manipulation all the time. I dare say it's so prevalent that we don't USE the word strategy to describe it. However, because it is SO common, it's really just talking about what is going on in the story. Strategy is almost everything. What I think you might be after is how do we describe strategy ...


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You need to really understand the situation and your character to do this. I would first recommend reading the Art of War by Sun Tzu, it will probably hep you quite a bit here. If you want everything to seem like a battle, you need to assign everything values, classes, and other things. Let's take a look at a passive-aggressive conversation with just ...


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This will agree with/repeat some of what other answers have said, but hopefully it provides another perspective. If the story doesn't pick up after 14 chapters, however many thousands of words there is too much prelude. If you read those chapters carefully and ask what each part does, much will prove worthy of excising. Once you've lost sentences, paragraphs,...


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I'm going to share a change I made in the story I'm writing recently. My old version was to begin with the character, a day in his life, an unsuccessful day at his sales job returning home to his curry noodles and internet when he gets the phone call that changes his life and I felt that was a perfectly fine place to begin. Introduce the character and ...


3

Give your characters meaningful choices. Have their decisions matter. To make a story interesting and unpredictable, there have to be questions which are not already answered, which have a bearing on the outcome of the plot and on the evolution of the characters. In The Lord of the Rings, various characters make choices. Boromir faces the decision of ...


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Make it non-linear Classical predictable revenge story goes usually around this timeline: Villain cause Tragedy to Victim (Hero) Hero cannot defeat Villain just now, so he need to survive get gear get training get friends get weapons get informations Hero try get his Revenge (and maybe fail, so back to previous point) Hero wins Each single point can be ...


3

If you're heading out for revenge, dig two graves. Your main character should be on the verge of having his/her plans for revenge discovered/destroyed/foiled/discouraged/backfire incurring self inflicted wounds (<- all of these) on the road to revenge. As he/she builds the house of cards make sure there are lots of potential scenarios for having it ...


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A story has many components. Mystery grows incrementally by layering on all those pieces. Setting. Introduce less common settings, or add unusual furnishings. Weather. It doesn't have to be a dark and stormy night. Strangers. A new character, especially one very different from the others. Social situations. The same social situations show up endlessly in ...


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I'm going to suggest a reverse deus ex machina. The Empire Strikes Back (R) * Instead of the MC always being the winner for their godlike powers of being able to always win, make them lose for no apparent reason. Give the "bad guy" the deus ex machina, at least once in a while. Maybe the MC has everything planned out to the Nth detail, has the ...


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Could you try some nonlinear storytelling? Drop us into the middle of the action, and then backtrack little by little to give us context as we need it? Or, even more daring, just omit a lot of the buildup, and let the reader be in the dark about some of it? Sometimes good writing is all about knowing what to explain and what to leave a mystery. One final ...


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Is it possible that the first 14 chapters are all backstory, and that you should just start your book with Chapter 15? One of the things it took me years to learn as a writer is that not all the writing you do needs to end up on the final page. There are many things you should know as the author that you don't need to explicitly tell the audience. Books work ...


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You need two things: conflict interesting characters There need to be conflict all the way. When you set up the characters, you need to show us what they are like by throwing them into situations that specifically force them to act in a way that reveals their character. If it feels predictable, have the most obvious solutions to their problems fail, and ...


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Let's assume that you know that the plot has to go from point A through points, B, C, D and E to end up at point E. Each of these points represent some necessary action or revelation. The question is how to get from point A to point B. If the points were on a physical map, there might be a dozen or more different ways to travel: walking, car, train, bicycle, ...


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And when all seemed lost, laser unicorns flew down from the sky and obliterated the fifteenth regiment and the battle was won If you want to make your story more unpredictable, then just do that. Maybe add a few extra plot points to break up the predictable bits. Maybe you don't need laser unicorns...but that would be funny. Just change it up a bit, maybe a ...


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While I've never been in a proper sandstorm, I have been on a beach during high winds produced by a nearby Hurricane (it had missed us and gone north, but the winds were still quite strong.). The wind was nothing that could be dangerous to large objects, but it did wip up the sand on the beach surface, which had a mild stinging feeling against exposed skin. ...


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I've never been in a sandstorm either, so I don't know exactly how it feels or what all the risks of being stuck in one are, but people do generally seem to want to avoid them. Do a bit more research and see what else you find out about sandstorms. That said, you do have some options here that come to mind off the top of my head: Option 1: The risk of ...


1

You have correctly identified your issue: Your prologue has cannibalized your main story. A prologue should generally be brief, otherwise, your reader may grow invested in it to the point that they reject the switch to the main narrative. I've read books by very good authors where the extended prologue was great, but I barely even made it through the rest of ...


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So if there's 18000k words that's slightly under 2/5ths of a novel (50,000+ words). I'll say right now that by 1/5th in, I'm ususally getting into some meat and potatoes. (Hell, my novels are broken into short stories with the same principal characters and several events acting in a serial fashion from chapter to chapter. 10,000 words is easily decently ...


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I know this is an old question, however there have been more recent replies so I figure it's not terrible of me to add one more on. I'm not a published author yet, as I'm still working on my novel. But I'd like to contribute my opinion as an avid reader. I'm sick of seeing the hate for prologues. I love them, so long as they are gripping and add to the story ...


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Journeying is a central part of my novel. A good, traditional theme from the Odyssey to Tolkein. However, it gets really boring really quickly to describe them walking through the same landscape for a few weeks. Well, then your job is to make it interesting. There's an entire genre devoted to making travel interesting: nonfiction travel writing. Travel is ...


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I am with @JoeMcMahon here. Depends on your choice of narrative style (journalistic like Ken Follett, or more so, Frederick Forsyth or personal like Victor Hugo). Once you choose one way to go, it remains for the entire novel, and if you have been collecting reader sympathy for your character by means other than plot points, like begging for it explicitly by ...


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In addition to summarising the entire journey (examples provided in @Ceramicmrno0b's answer), you could also include several smaller time skips connected by significant events described in more detail. You'd summarise the first leg of the journey, then, for example, describe the scene of how they almost got spotted by scouts and little Timmy, previously seen ...


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Just say that they walked for two weeks, but throw in a few interesting tidbits about the journey. The longer the journey, the more details you add. Don't just write; "Alright, to mount death we go!" I said. We walked for two weeks, arriving breathless from the travel, blahblahblah... Write something along the lines of; "Alright, to mount ...


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