JBiggs
  • Member for 4 years, 6 months
  • Last seen more than 1 year ago
How can I emphasize the horror of a ritual without getting too overly graphic?
2 votes

Don't describe the scene, describe the reaction to the scene. There is no need to explicitly "show" any more graphic details than you choose to. Simply focus on the most important thing in the scene:...

View answer
Should one use the legal "shall" in requirements documents and specification documents?
3 votes

Several good answers here, the short answer is "yes", you should use "shall" in technical requirements documentation. As a Technical Requirements Analyst and Product Owner, I can add one piece that I ...

View answer
How far I can write about a protagonist with a different ethnicity of me?
1 votes

Write. What. You. Know. This has been said so many times that nobody hears it anymore, but it that is because it is true. You cannot make a story engaging that you don't know in a deep and real way. ...

View answer
How do I write a MODERN combat/violence scene without being dry?
7 votes

Get In Your Character's Head To understand how to write a modern combat scene, you have to understand modern combat. It is not impossible for someone who has never been in combat to describe it well,...

View answer
Why is it that all the bestselling indie authors are based in the US (and, to a much smaller degree, the UK)?
1 votes

America has all the e-readers It's about money and culture. The USA is one of the few nations where people can afford to have things like Nooks and Kindles and devices for doing nothing but reading ...

View answer
Should I write my story if I haven't established a plot?
2 votes

Ok, first of all, if you have such things as "start" "end" and "substantial parts" then you actually do have a plot. You just don't have it detailed out yet. I could say that if you really don't have ...

View answer
Are there any set rules to creating a story with audience participation?
4 votes

I ended up doing this once, not at all intentionally, and the result was actually quite good. I had had a long running RPG campaign that had gone on for years with a set of regular players. I moved ...

View answer
I'm looking for advice on character development
6 votes

Paint from life. Don't make lists and spreadsheets. To build a great character, I really don't like to go from the "top down" with a list of archetypes and trying to give each one some quirky trait ...

View answer
Are chapters with a single character inherently more difficult for an average reader to connect with? (And do you have any tips.)
1 votes

I think you may be trying too hard. If you really want to keep flashbacks in there, go ahead, but in general, when people are put into a survival type situation, their focus becomes very immediate, ...

View answer
Publishing fiction: when do I start looking for an agent?
0 votes

There are some good answers here already, but I wanted to contribute a couple of things based on my experience. 1: The story itself tends to drive it's level of polish. Let's just admit it, we are ...

View answer
Is it bad if I sidetrack to a backstory that’s not really necessary but is interesting?
1 votes

I would tend to say that if it is truly interesting, it is probably necessary. You may need to work through figuring out why you wrote that, but until you complete the entire novel and sit down and ...

View answer
Is genre ever relevant to the writing process?
3 votes

Minimally, but Don't Ignore Genre Generally, I believe you are correct that genre should not be at the forefront of the mind during the writing process. I can say, however, that it is usually a good ...

View answer
Is it true that "Any story can be great in the hands of the right storyteller"?
2 votes

When the printing press was invented, books were rare, literacy was low, and writing (I'm not talking about what we call writing; I mean functional literacy and being able to write legibly) was a ...

View answer
Plotting a Compelling Story
1 votes

There are a couple good answers here. I would also add one which may help you. As an exercise, you might want to try telling stories. It's deceptively simple, quite hard to master and really helpful ...

View answer
How to write a Complete Monster?
3 votes

I think the key hangup here is the "never presented in a positive way" part. In the real world, no matter how cruel, sadistic, and brutal a person was, there are likely to be some other people ...

View answer
Gameplay clashing with story?
1 votes

Gameplay should come first in a video game. That does not mean that story should be just ignored. It isn't hard to be creative and give some kind of explanation. For example, just with what you gave ...

View answer
I have a weak motivation for a god character! How Do I Make It a Stronger Motivation?
0 votes

For the characters you are choosing to work with, pride would probably be the biggest single motivator. Immortals who are part of a very small group (which would seem smaller with every passing decade)...

View answer
How do you deal with Chapter 2 when Chapter 1 is a volcano opening?
3 votes

I would not jump in time with this particular situation. I would treat it as an in medias res kind of story. We start with ongoing action. Something is happening and we are introduced to the ...

View answer
Antagonist lacks motivation - where do I find it?
5 votes

Amadeus has a great answer about narcissistic sociopaths. I do think it might be valuable to consider an answer wrapped around a question though: What kind of story do you intend to write? It ...

View answer
Is it possible to write entirely abstract fiction?
2 votes

No, you can't write really abstract fiction (well you can write it but nobody will read it). As far as writing goes, you have a decent place to start. From my experience, writing is a mechanical ...

View answer
"Real people don't make good fictional characters". Really true?
6 votes

Characters based on real people are the only ones worth spending any time on. You will never achieve any real depth with an archetype, or with a walking plot device. To fool the reader into spending ...

View answer
Intentionally lying to the reader
4 votes

What you are aiming for here is a form of meta humor. Humor that is interesting because the work is self-referential. It is totally OK to do this, and if done correctly, it can be very clever. I ...

View answer
How should a writer use version control to track drafts, rewrites, and revisions?
7 votes

Just to play devil's advocate a little bit, I think a case can definitely be made for not using a software version control tool in writing. As a writer who also works in the software development ...

View answer
How unadvisable is it to flip the protagonist into a villain?
Accepted answer
55 votes

Sounds like a great idea! Seriously though: the antagonist is the single most important character to any plot. The very best antagonists have motivations and feelings that readers can understand and ...

View answer
Listing character traits
2 votes

Short Answer: Lists Are Bad If you had to describe a friend of yours to someone who hasn't met them, and you don't have a lot of time, would you do it in the form of a list of attributes? I doubt it....

View answer
How to invest readers in a story that (initially) has no clear direction?
3 votes

You need to focus on what is going on emotionally within your character. You are not correct in saying the first part of your story has no antagonist. You clearly do have an antagonist right from the ...

View answer
How can I write silent communication?
3 votes

For this kind of communication, what I do is think of a story very much the way I would watch a movie. If you break down a movie, you have two main ways that things are being communicated to the ...

View answer
Maintaining the consistency of voice and spontaneity throughout a piece
0 votes

If you are revising to the point where you are altering tenses then you are not probably in a destructive cycle of endless rewrite which has no exit. It is a total fallacy that writing that has been ...

View answer
How do I vary my dialogue?
0 votes

Listen to your dialogue. What I mean by that is do whatever you need to in order to "hear" it. Read it out loud if you need to. I find that I have developed a lot of practice and I can actually "...

View answer
How to manage the dynamics of a conflict between parents when their child is involved?
Accepted answer
2 votes

Something will be given up. Your conflict appears to be between a man and a woman who want to have a romantic relationship and her daughter who wants her divorced parents to be together. You take ...

View answer