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Although I don't write themed stories (or the theme emerges naturally), the way I would approach this is kind of like a detective murder mystery story: Backwards. In a murder mystery, you basically start at the end of the story (somebody is dead), and then work out the twists from who really killed him, to the beginning of the story. You have to come up ...


0

My first instinct was to tell you to write the "good" story first. After all, you'll definitely need to rewrite, so there's no reason you can't practice on something you're really enthusiastic about. (After all, what does it mean to "save" an idea?) But I've changed my mind. Trying to write the "perfect" story can really get in your way, especially as a ...


1

Write the good story. Feeling your story is good will motivate you to finish it, to work through the problems you encounter, and to get better. JK Rowling says she rewrote the first Harry Potter five times. That isn't five drafts, it is five rewrites, and then it took a year to sell. I presume she knew it was a good story, and that is what gave her the ...


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If you want a limited 3rd person narrator, then you need to accept the limitations that come with it. Either find a way to convey (or let go of) the information in your examples, or change the type of narration. In some cases, you might want chapters with alternate POV characters narrating. This can happen in chapter headings too. It's probably overkill ...


1

Your first example is not a straight-forward, out of the book example of breaking a POV. Your character may as well suspect that other people have a bad opinion on him. He might have overheard something, he might have deducted it from how people behave around him. Of course, if it's an important plot point, it would be better to show people treating him ...


5

You cannot randomly change POV in the middle of a paragraph just to get in that one critical snipe at your main character. You can have a scene break (usually two returns, to create white space) and move to the POV of other characters, like the men in the truck or two other characters discussing your main character. It's actually better if you do this more ...


1

There is a lot the supplied description does NOT tell us about this character. It does not tell us how old he is. It does not tell us his race. It does say whether or not he has a handicap. It doesn't tell us if he is living now, in the past, or in the future. It doesn't say what kind of clothes he likes to wear. It doesn't tell us if he is short or ...


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1) unusually smart, I presume by "smart" you are not saying the same thing as "clever", "insightful" or "thoughtful", which IMO leaves an academic understanding of how things work. You show this by finding an opportunity to have the character explain something others (including the reader) may not understand very well. Of course as an author you can "cheat"...


6

A very good short story --or better yet, many of them --can definitely lead to a publishing contract for a novel. (In fact, that's been the classic path for generations of science fiction writers.) But not unless it's published. An unpublished story does less than nothing for you (submitting it as a sample of an unwritten novel is more likely to hurt than ...


3

I agree with Standback that submitting an unagented short story to a publisher is not likely to entice them to ask for a novel. I believe the answer to your question is no. But I would modify this to say that publishing short stories and other forms of fiction, and winning contests, are good ways to improve your query letter when you seek representation for ...


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Alas, no. As an unpublished writer, you absolutely should not submit anything less than a complete novel. A few quotes to this effect: You have to have a finished novel. There are no exceptions to this. The first step for writing a query letter is to finish the novel. -- Query Shark When you send your query, do not send an unfinished ...


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