78

I would suggest looking at the women in your life (family, friends, co-workers, etc). I have a problem with the ideas of 'feminine qualities' and 'femininity'. They imply that without those a woman isn't a real woman. Much like a man won't be a real man unless he is and can do a set of things. You could perhaps think about the stereotypes for 'manly ...


68

You've already gotten quite a few good answers, but there's one important point that I didn't see in any of them: You can omit visual and aural details. If you don't want to tell the age of the protagonist, or the hair colour, or the type of clothes, or if you don't want to tell it yet, then you can. In film and TV that's not possible; the protagonist is ...


43

Readers establish a sense of the story they are reading in the opening pages. That's where you set the contract. If you open with the death of this evil being, the readers will expect that being to be important and assume that the evil being will return. But if you tuck it in after the contract, maybe combine it within local lore of the world along with a ...


38

This is really a version of the Chekhov's Gun problem. Things aren't in a story unless the writer puts them there, so readers tend to expect significance from important-seeming things that are mentioned. It doesn't really matter if they know the tropes or not. So the question becomes, why is this detail in here if it's not going to play an active role? Is ...


37

There's a difference between filler and moments which aren't advancing the main plotline. What one might consider filler at first glance often holds important information about setting, character, and character relationships. I love using moments of 'downtime' from the plot to establish certain character traits, because it lets the reader focus on the ...


36

I think in recent years the gap between what is "possible" in a prose vs. film (both cinema and TV) has narrowed significantly - historically the limitations and expense of things like CGI and practical effects made some of the more exotic genres such as Sci-Fi and Fantasy difficult to translate onto film. This is realistically no longer the case in 2019 - ...


36

You leave out small talk by focusing on big talk! By this I mean every thing a person says should be something at least one person in the conversation needs to hear, or wants to hear, or is surprised to hear, or if the other person ignores it, should have wanted to hear. Dialogue has consequence. Cut out lines that don't have a purpose, or aren't going to ...


29

I think the problem with the blue-pink subversion is that there is no clear reason why; other than the intent to surprise the reader. And secondly, it is not clear this trope subversion has any actual story consequences. Normally, trope inversions have at least some rational reason for existing. e.g. Wonder Woman is one of the first female super-heroes (...


27

You could try using a common element outside of any of the scenes themselves to establish a common reference point in time. For example describe Alice and Bob having a heated marriage argument but being forced to resume their happy facade by the dinner gong calling everyone together. Charlie and Danielle are describing their plans to murder the Countess ...


22

The audience takes its cue from you. If you build this up, they'll assume its for a plot twist reason. If you mention it in passing, they'll assume its background knowledge. Imagine two different treatments of your very old, very dead, god. In the first treatment, you're so keen to ensure the audience knows it's dead and how bad it would be if not, that ...


19

I think the main advantage is interior life. You can use narration or thoughts to give us what one character is (or several are) thinking. That's hard to do visually without a cabbagehead character or "As you know"ing, which I hate.


18

TL;DR If it leads to new situations or fresh characters, GREAT! If it's at the very end of the story and it's just there to pull the rug out, BAD! Playing against types A stereotype inversion is still only 2-dimensional. Chances are it doesn't really alter the plot much. It's probably better than the usual, but not by much, since it's still based on ...


17

Your problem is not unusual --we all grow up on a diet of visual media these days, and it affects the way we think and write. As someone who has wrestled with some of the same issues, here are some notable differences: Length - This is one of the most crucial differences. An average length novel has room in it for a lot more material than an average length ...


17

The main difference is the ability to be published. To break into TV, you need to live somewhere that produces a lot of TV shows (in the United States, you'd move to Los Angeles and try to hang out with others in "the industry"). I'm not sure how else you break in, but it's not easy. You can self-publish 100 novels with the same ease (and money) it ...


17

Unlike with comics, you wouldn't want to use sound effects as dialogue or dialogue adjuncts (in comics the letterer makes them separate from actual speech), though you can get away with it in something humorous. You can, however, evoke sound effects. The door slammed shut. vs. She shut the door hard. Or She nocked another arrow, let it fly, and ...


16

You dress the women however you like, and have them take whatever role they wish in their life. You pay them the same (or more) than their male counterparts for equal work, and most importantly, you have men and women alike look to women with respect. Ask their opinion. Listen to it and follow it. Consider their words. See the wisdom in them. If you open ...


14

I don't understand the dilemma, just write it the way you want. Ultimately if you want a strong women that embraces her femininity, you are going to put her in a dress, have her pay attention to her grooming, skin, hair, makeup, etc, all the clichés of being a girly girl. So she needs to express her strength and heroism in other ways. That isn't difficult, ...


14

If you're just doing it for its own sake to bask in your own 'cleverness', it stands out like neon in a windowless room (see: The recent fallout regarding the ever-'subversive' Season 8 of Game of Thrones). Intent is a lot more transparent than people think. If you're subverting tropes to discuss said trope, or simply because that's the story you want to ...


13

It seems you need to come out as an omniscient, reliable narrator and directly tell your audience the fact you want them to have no doubt about. One, often problematic, way to do this is in a prologue. But there are many more ways. A compelling example that comes to my mind, to highlight the general principle, even though I don't think you could easily make ...


13

"if it's not advancing the story and can be removed without affecting it, then it shouldn't be there". That has to be taken in a more general sense. Showing things about how a character thinks, feels and behaves is all "advancing the story", the story is about PEOPLE and showing them as people is advancing the story. In the same way, showing the setting is ...


13

If your goal is hectic momentum, then two-sentence paragraphs with a visual indicator of "scene change" might work. Colonel Mustard frantically wiped up the table. No one would believe he hadn't done it. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Miss Scarlett straightened her dress, patted her hair, and checked her makeup in her compact. She had to look impeccable or the detective ...


12

The Sensory Supernatural Fundamentally, something TV and film cannot do is control the viewer’s response to sensory experience. This generally comes up in fantasy or fantasy tangential genres that involve emotional or psychological effects of visual or auditory phenomenona. Stuff like: Songs that lull the listener to sleep Inhumanly beautiful beings ...


12

Writer and former editor Jenna Moreci has a great series of YouTube videos that delve into lots of different writing topics. Some of them discuss dialogue, and here are a few cherry-picked tips of hers that you might find helpful: Avoid banal pleasantries. If you're reading a story that has lots of small talk, it may have been poorly written. Small talk ...


11

Inanna's Journey and "girly" heroes There are traditional "girly" heroes – often they take the pattern of Inanna's Journey. Rather than "leveling up" like a plucky male hero, Inanna's Journey is about maintaining wits/dignity/femininity while losing or descending in status. Once she's lost everything, she wins by proving her worth isn't about superficial ...


11

I would not exactly try to convince them, just make sure they have some doubt. I would do that by having (or inventing) a conflict: One character that believes the opposite of another character. Have one of them just "believe" the Evil One is still alive, kind of like a religious belief, while the other cites all the reasons why the Evil One is truly dead. ...


11

A big advantage that I've seen used (and am currently trying to use myself) is that your audience can't actually see your characters. Now I know what you're thinking--"Isn't this a limiting factor?" It may be, but it also means that if you have two main characters who trade off on POV for different chapters, you can have them both run into the same ...


10

Sometimes with writing, what matters is getting the story down. If it is too long, or too slow, it is easier to find ways to cut it back when it already exists. If you worry too much about getting it right on the first try, not only will you fail to do much writing but you will still not have a perfect version of the little writing you did do. Instead, ...


10

I would say Rewatch Bonus or The Ending Changes Everything. As a discovery writer, I often don't know my ending until I have written 50% or even 70% of my first draft. So when I am done I actually go back through and look for moments in which I can rewrite a scene for foreshadowing, or add Rewatch Bonuses, sometimes just by modifying dialogue or adding an ...


9

The same reason people in real life go by different names in different contexts. A doctor might go by Dr. Grey with her patients and subbourdinates, Dr. G to very young patients, Merridith to friendly acquaintances, and Mer to close friends, and Merri with her parents. Which name people use for her sets the context for the situation. It would be weird to ...


9

There's a danger with subverting tropes, in that you can end up giving misleading promises ... e.g. your story seems to be a romcom for the first 20 pages but then !surprise! it's a horror--well, all the people who wanted horror have not even started the story (they thought it was a romcom), and the people who started it because they wanted a romcom are now ...


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