24 votes

How do I make sure that a hook is not misinterpreted as a writing mistake or plot holes?

You must put a spotlight on it. A big spotlight. This incident is a plot point, it is not a "hook". You must show that your protagonist has no idea what happened, but she is being blamed. ...
Amadeus's user avatar
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12 votes
Accepted

Is it better for me to add more advanced words into my book, or is it better to use easy words that any average English-speaker can understand?

You can use simple language, if you want a good example read passages from the Harry Potter series. It is written for children, but enjoyed by tens of millions of adults as well. (Except, as Steven ...
Amadeus's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

How do you convey that an action is subconscious when writing in first person?

If it's something that is being done unconsciously, then the first-person narrator probably wouldn't realize she's doing it, until she had already done it, or someone else pointed it out. Two quick ...
ShadowOfHassen's user avatar
10 votes

Is it better for me to add more advanced words into my book, or is it better to use easy words that any average English-speaker can understand?

You don't have to use complicated words. Clearly, the text that you write will be "simpler", in the sense that you won't be using a rich vocabulary to write a good story, but this doesn't ...
veryverde's user avatar
  • 1,108
9 votes

Is it better for me to add more advanced words into my book, or is it better to use easy words that any average English-speaker can understand?

Here is the opening paragraph of The Old Man and the Sea, considered one of the great works of US literature: He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-...
profane-tmesis.info's user avatar
7 votes

How can I tell if tension is a problem while writing?

In a linguistic text analysis of over 500 New York Times bestselling contemporary novels and close to 5000 non-bestsellers, Matthew Jockers and Jodie Archer (2016) identified the following seven plot ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 7,388
6 votes

How can I recognize and take constructive criticism?

There are stories that aren't written for the majority of people but for a small(er) subset of them. Not everyone likes steampunk, for example, and there are niches beside the larger mainstream genres ...
Ben's user avatar
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5 votes

How do you convey that an action is subconscious when writing in first person?

If you're after a key phrase, something like "without thinking" or "I found that..." might work. And attributing actions to parts of the body will emphasise lack of conscious ...
user7761803's user avatar
4 votes

Is it better for me to add more advanced words into my book, or is it better to use easy words that any average English-speaker can understand?

Who are your target audience? If you are writing for the average person and want them to understand you and enjoy your book, you need to keep your language simple. If you write for readers with an ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 7,388
4 votes

How do I make sure that a hook is not misinterpreted as a writing mistake or plot holes?

Frame challenge: if something's likely to be misinterpreted as an error on your part until more story comes out, you should not only accept that, but maybe take advantage of it. This works best, ...
J.G.'s user avatar
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4 votes

How do I make sure that a hook is not misinterpreted as a writing mistake or plot holes?

Hang a lampshade on it The common term is lampshade (verb), which means to acknowledge the problem and move on. It's a bit of misdirection or slight-of-hand trickery. The origin is from Hollywood ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Transitioning between scenes in a novel

It is difficult to assess whether your friend's critique is adequate or not without reading the respective passage, so my reply will be general and not specific to your case: 1. When you want to ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 7,388
3 votes

Transitioning between scenes in a novel

Abrupt scene transitions can be made more palatable by setting descriptions. For instance, when you are switching your main character from his home to his conversation with the detective, you might ...
Eni's user avatar
  • 53
3 votes

Transitioning between scenes in a novel

Feedback from readers is challenging. Especially when it's couched as specific corrective actions -- you need to xxx or yyy. Readers who can express their feedback in terms of their own reactions are ...
EDL's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

How do I make my writing flow?

I think EDL is absolutely right. Reading a lot, and reading critically , will definitely help. I think, for me at least, the key to flow is figuring out the timing. For example: (Quick)They went ...
user60320's user avatar
2 votes

How do I make sure that a hook is not misinterpreted as a writing mistake or plot holes?

For this specific example you don’t need to do anything special. An opponent suddenly dying in a fight, because of a hidden ally is a well established trope. If the protagonist didn’t do anything that ...
Lichtbringer's user avatar
2 votes

How can I recognize and take constructive criticism?

I think you don't understand the author's job. The author of a story imagines the situation, the scenes, the characters, and their personalities, and does the engineering to turn this into a coherent ...
Amadeus's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

What are the benefits of using 'scene cards'?

It is certainly useful to think about every scene in a novel in terms of structure. But using a scene card that prescribes a specific structure (or "arc") for every scene in every novel ...
Ben's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

How can I write a character with an alcohol addiction without sounding too repetitive?

The problem with having an alcoholic friend is not just that they get drunk, but that their getting drunk has consequences. There are many different possible consequences, so you could easily have ...
Stef's user avatar
  • 410
2 votes

Is it better for me to add more advanced words into my book, or is it better to use easy words that any average English-speaker can understand?

I’ve always found King’s take on vocabulary in On Writing to be memorable and clear. For context, this is an excerpt from a larger section where he discusses his writing toolbox (aka the skills to get ...
GammaGames's user avatar
2 votes

Is it better for me to add more advanced words into my book, or is it better to use easy words that any average English-speaker can understand?

It depends! Different target audiences have different vocabularies (on average). Both the audiences and the vocabularies are also suitable for different stories. A story should be written in a ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 8,964
2 votes
Accepted

The Dread of Planning a Timeline

Preliminary Remarks There are two ways to write (and any mix between them): "pantsing" or "discovery writing" and "planning" or "outlining". Pantsers, as the ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 7,388
1 vote

How can I write a character with an alcohol addiction without sounding too repetitive?

There’s also the whole issue of behaviour around being an alcoholic, especially one that’s trying to dry out. The hiding drink around the house, especially in different containers, the lying about ...
user60594's user avatar
1 vote

How can I write a character with an alcohol addiction without sounding too repetitive?

If many scenes seem repetitive, then don't repeat them. It's easy for me to say this, not being the writer of this story, but repetition of content should in general not be included in stories. As Ben ...
veryverde's user avatar
  • 1,108
1 vote

How can I write a character with an alcohol addiction without sounding too repetitive?

If you portrait the everyday life of a normal person (and alcohol addiction is normal, unfortunately, and quite widespread), there is bound to be a certain repetitiveness to it. Think of all the Young ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 7,388
1 vote

Should I flesh out the start of my fictional story?

This is not foreshadowing. Unfortunately, for American audiences, calling out "Marco" is comical; it is reminiscent of the childhood game "Marco Polo", a call and response game ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
1 vote

Should I flesh out the start of my fictional story?

If I understand it right, you've written the first scene that's supposed to foreshadow later events, but not yet the later events themselves. You're best equiped to write a good foreshadowing if you ...
Divizna's user avatar
  • 3,293
1 vote

How to find motivation in putting ideas on paper and use literary devices effectively?

A few thoughts: "I feel that I lack the motivation" That's not something we can help you with. You need to want to write (or rather, you need to want to learn to write). Writing isn't easy, ...
Ben's user avatar
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