Stephen
  • Member for 6 years, 8 months
  • Last seen more than a month ago
  • Norwich, United Kingdom
How to get a derailed book back on track?
17 votes

Always work around your characters. They're what drives the story forward, not your plot. Without interesting characters, you've just got a series of events happening one after the other which ...

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Time management for part-time writing
12 votes

For established writers, consistency is important. For new writers, just writing is. The biggest problem, as you say is prioritising the time in order to actually write rather than do other things. ...

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What does Show don't Tell actually mean
10 votes

Russian novelist Anton Chekhov once said, “Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” This is essentially the difference between show and tell. Not that there ...

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The problem with beginning
8 votes

The first part of a book / story should almost always be the normal life before the event that really pushes the story forward. If you don't want to do that, you need to ask yourself why he's running....

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Are there words that are "stronger" than others? If so, why?
7 votes

Yes, there are stronger words and while when writing (especially fiction) it is perfectly acceptable to use less strong words but it's better to avoid them if you can. As you say, you're trying to ...

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Why are outlines so essential?
4 votes

It's never bad to go with the flow. In fact, there's a word for people who write like that. Pantsers. Those who write by flying by the seat of their pants. Writing an outline makes you more of a ...

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How do I stay motivated while planning a series of novels?
3 votes

The thing you may need to realise is there's planning and there's planning. You could plan everything to the minutest detail and have a long arc across all of your books (much like Harry Potter) but ...

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how to elaborate a crime case
3 votes

In my experience of writing crime stories, I've found what works best for me is to have the crime solution the work backwards to the crime. This allows me to make sure all the necessary clues are in ...

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Have a tough time figuring out third-person prose
3 votes

I have the opposite problem. I can write in third person fine and much prefer this but struggle with first person. My solution? Practise. To give you an example, I wrote a story of two women ...

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Having a hard time developing an idea
2 votes

A good, story based video game really has to immerse the player in the world and make them want to play further. Before you worry about your story, develop a character that people will care about ...

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Adding a character from present-day Earth to a fantasy/scifi setting
2 votes

Is it still possible to play this trope straight? Yes. Setting doesn't drive a story. Characters do this. They have to be interesting, rounded and with a purpose. In this type of story the purpose ...

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Studies of when to kill a character
2 votes

There are no studies that I'm aware so I'll give you my opinion which is, kill off the character when the time is right. As you've said, too early and your reader won't feel any emotion but too late ...

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How can I make believable motivations for antagonists?
2 votes

The antagonist can have any motivation as long as they feel justified. It sounds simple but it really is true. In your House example, the antagonist feels fully justified in his actions because his ...

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How do big creative writing projects with multiple people work, preferably in the videogame industry?
1 votes

I doubt there are any hard rules to this though I would guess it his divided into members of the writing team with a whole story overview as well. Using The Last of Us as an example, there is a whole ...

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Is it legal for my book title to be similar to another book's title?
Accepted answer
1 votes

** Disclaimer ** I'm not a legal expert so my first advice would be to consult a lawyer. For my answer, I would say it depends on how close the title to the original and how obvious it is that the ...

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How can I get my readers in the gut?
1 votes

The best advice I can give is that your readers won't care about what happens to your characters if you don't. You have to want them to succeed when you write their story or it will come off as ...

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Am I copying an idea too closely?
1 votes

I think it's fairly safe to assume that at this point, we're all out of original ideas and every story written is using an idea from a story already out there. Crime fiction: a crime has been ...

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How should these be formatted? In quotes or italics?
1 votes

What you have written above is external speech so both should go inside quotation marks. If you're looking to alter your writing so you don't have "Yes," the class chirped you could always try remove ...

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Various sci-fi themes
1 votes

Science fiction is, as a guide futuristic but that doesn't mean you can't use the past to help you with your idea. Take for example the USA's battle for independence from Great Britain. It was a ...

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What is difference between clown and trickster?
1 votes

A clown is traditionally a comedy character and played for laughs at themselves. A trickster (also known as a prankster) is one who plays jokes on others so the recipient of the joke is laughed at. ...

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Can a protagonist with questionable morals be appreciated?
1 votes

Of course it can be done. Jason Bourne is a great example of a hero who will do whatever it takes to survive himself and complete his mission. In the Star Trek films the phrase "the needs of the ...

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Writing a short story of less than 1000 words
1 votes

If you're writing a story, regardless of length, then it has to have a plot and a beginning, a middle, and an end. Character development and descriptions are less important here but should be enough ...

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Possible To Introduce A Character Through A Dialogue?
1 votes

It is perfectly possible to do this. A classic example would be Moby Dick. Okay, it's a whale but it's a character that gets spoken about in great length before finally appearing. Likewise, Keyser ...

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Are there times when delayed character development is acceptable in fiction?
1 votes

I think you may need to look at the traditional three act structure. Act one is setting up the every day life of your character(s) and ends with the inciting event which leads into act two. Act two ...

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How to decide which sentence structure is correct?
0 votes

For me, I would have to say that the last sentence is the best one to use. It is the shortest so has the effect of being immediate and it uses cause (the wind) and effect (the darkness) which the ...

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Complicated time jump allowed in a light novel?
0 votes

How you handle this is entirely up to you. As a reader, I would both want to know about the brave new world your time travelers are facing but I'd also want to know how those left behind are coping ...

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Referring to characters that are too familiar for a name
0 votes

Having your character calling the man raising her father isn't a problem. She knows he's not her biological dad but as far as she is concerned, he is her father and will call him as such. Where you ...

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