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I believe that the best strategy to writing is just to write and not think about what you are writing. To start, I plan my entire essay/book/article out, and gather my sources/evidence/references, and then write a skeleton draft which basically says the main points/ideas in my writing. After that, I just expand off of the skeleton draft, and keep writing ...


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Actually that is not the real strategy to writing. Planning and organization is the keystone and capstone to writing. Just writing and hoping you can edit it later is a fantasy shared by millions of Walter Mitty-type writers playing at 'author' and who cite Stephen King as their justification. Sorry, but you are likely not any Stephen King. Just writing and ...


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This is going to sound very odd, but I've found it surprisingly effective: Figure out whatever time of day you're most alert and then write at the OPPOSITE end of the day. So, if you're a morning person, stay up and write. If you're a night owl, get up early. Your internal editor goes to sleep, and you just write and write in a kind of half dream state. (...


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Any writing tool can be helpful or harmful. Campbell's original work was descriptive, not prescriptive. He noted similarities in many of the world's most popular stories --it's only later that people began writing in conscious imitation of that. But imitating something --even something good --isn't always the best way to create something vital and new. In my ...


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After looking into your oblique reference to "Campbell," I see that you are actually referencing a specific type of "Hero's Journey." That's a particular definition with specific points. Campbell's definition (as given on the Wikipedia page) is rather specific to fantasy and mythology, and is a rather specific formula that tries to be an ...


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I suspect that the danger of following the Hero's Journey template is that you might take the name for one of its elements too literally. All of them are abstractions, named after something they have in common, or after the form that a prominent example takes. If you take the name too literally you'll be putting a whale into your story just so that the Hero ...


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They need to start out vulnerable. They need to have some sort of humongous flaw that makes them stop in they’re tracks when mentioned. For example, my MC struggles with enormous amounts of guilt. Whenever the antagonist reminds her of what she did, and how she is a horrible person (she isn’t) my MC freezes and gets stuck in horribly vivid flash backs of her ...


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The important thing is to remember that you are telling the story you are telling, not some abstract Hero's Journey. If you think that you have to put in, or leave out, something because otherwise it would not fit the Hero's Journey, leave out the Hero's Journey.


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I read a lot. It’s just part of who I am. Whenever I read a book that uses this technique though, I literally get so frustrated that even if the plot is good I put it down. Eventually I finish the book, but it takes me about a month because I didn’t enjoy it, instead of about a week. I don’t think this technique is necessarily bad, some people might really ...


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This is common. As a reader, however, I deeply dislike this technique, and find it distracting. It breaks my suspension of disbelief, and reminds me I'm reading a story, not experiencing it with the character. So, knowing that at least some readers will feel that way, the question is a) whether or not it is worth it, and b) whether there is an alternate way ...


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I see no problem with this and have seen it a few times before. As long as you make it clear that this new POV is not what it was earlier it will be fine. I would do this by starting a new paragraph with an extra empty line that clearly introduces the new POV OR putting an empty line with a few asterisks or other symbols between POV jumps. But whatever you ...


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Per The Snowflake Method, make a spreadsheet of all the scenes in your novel. Part of that spreadsheet is a scene description. You can write down what subplots are involved, which scene they start in, and which scene wraps them. If you did an outline, then note down in the outline where each subplot starts, is furthered and is wrapped in that. If you wrote ...


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Keep rereading your own work, for one thing. You might trip over some untapped source of a subplot, or notice a subplot you began that was never resolved. Other than that, it's really just a matter of what your personal process looks like. Are you someone who likes to outline everything ahead of time? Make a chart or outline listing all your plot points and ...


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Describe Only What Matters Physical descriptions are the shallowest form of character building. They help the reader to visualize the character, but they do not help the reader know the character. We know someone by understanding their choices, and height, skin color, etc. are not choices. If you want to give descriptions of your aliens, think about how ...


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If you have 7 or 8 species you want to introduce, don't introduce them all in the same chapter. Spread the introductions over multiple chapters, and try to have at least 1 chapter without any new species being introduced in between each chapter where 1 or 2 species are introduced. Don't feel pressured to introduce all species early on in the book. It's ...


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In this context, these aliens are probably going to be very domestic and familiar to this character, just as familiar as dogs, birds and cats are to us in the real world. If she lives in this society of aliens, she has probably seen them before and interacted with them before. Therefore, if you're introducing many of them in quick succession, you don't need ...


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James Joyce is an author that has an extremely unique grammatical style, so this is just part of his style, not a typesetting mistake. He was a Modernist, meaning that he experimented heavily with structure, dialogue and other traditional pillars of writing, and wasn't afraid to challenge the norms of literature in his time, hence why his writing often comes ...


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I would say it was his quirky style. Do not know of any official English department position on that usage of commas.


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Break the fourth wall, particularly if it is funny and done in an original way. Consult with Cervantes, he will give you courage for your assault!


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I think your best bet will be to write the book explaining the commonalities (i.e., best practices), with callouts for the audience segment-specific info. That way, you're writing just ONE book, but presenting additional and different layers of interest.


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