DWKraus
  • Member for 1 year, 4 months
  • Last seen this week
  • Minnesota, USA
What can I do with a part that I feel is necessary to a story but it's an absolute drudgery?
55 votes

Add Spices and Mix: I think the problem is you are thinking of your writing as infodump. Not all infodump is always bad, but admittedly no one really likes it. But it doesn't need to be infodump. What ...

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As a young author, how do you make people listen?
30 votes

Figure out your Resources: Even this site says you need to be 13 or have a parent assisting you to use it. Start with a school English teacher, and see if they will beta read the book and give you ...

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Horror. Where to start?
27 votes

It got closer and closer, and there was nothing they could do to stop it. If you don't want gory horror, then fundamentally horror is about losing control and a sense of violation. For intellectual ...

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Should I use the term vis-à-vis? How should I decide when to use/avoid a term?
27 votes

Showing Off: This is old-fashioned and unfortunately kind of high-brow. Depending on the audience, they are likely to just not get it/understand, and you risk sounding pretentious. Unless you're ...

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How do you describe things without making a list of characteristics?
Accepted answer
23 votes

Paint a picture, don't draw a sketch: A list of details is occasionally okay in small doses, but only for things that you don't have time to introduce. This is like giving details to a sketch artist ...

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How can you prevent your work from getting stolen?
Accepted answer
22 votes

The law is your friend: Legally, the work does belong to you. Once you start freely distributing it in places where you are clearly giving up control, good luck enforcing that. Copyright doesn't ...

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Distorting historical facts for a historical fiction story
22 votes

Hot Water: If you are going down that rabbit hole, you need to be SUPER careful. Writing in a historical period pretty much implies you stay consistent with history, except for the most trivial of ...

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Should you avoid using hard-to-describe gestures and acts in a novel?
Accepted answer
21 votes

Bob gestured, and the meaning was clear...: Simple vocalizations will also fall into this category. The trouble with gestures is that they can have different meanings. They say you communicate with ...

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Is there a more modern version of "Acme", as a common, generic company name?
Accepted answer
21 votes

Sure! There's always one. This site is a great list, but here are a few: Umbrella Corporation (Resident Evil) Innovative Online Industries (Ready Player One) Wayne Industries (DC) Oscorp, Stark ...

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How can I avoid overusing "I" and "I'm" in a first person short story?
20 votes

Remember your first person POV is the narrator: When I am describing what is going on in third person, it wouldn't occur to address people about me as narrator. But in many ways, first person POV is ...

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How Do I Compress Multiple Novels' Worth of Plot, Characters, and Worldbuilding into One?
20 votes

Write the First one, then see if it's really a problem: Before you start to panic, I'd actually sit down and start writing. As you do, figure out what the central theme of the story is, then ...

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Can I write a different book before my sequel?
Accepted answer
20 votes

It's Probably a Good Idea! Having followed a number of your questions, I have to say that until you get a literary success with a series, you don't need to stress too much about producing a sequel. ...

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How do you say that a land is desolate without telling it literally in a poem?
Accepted answer
19 votes

What kind of land is it? No man is an island, and no desolation is empty. The moon will be stark black sky against endless grainy grey wastes of fine dust and rock. Deserts will be hot and dry, with ...

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How should my protagonist refer to my male character who is 18?
Accepted answer
19 votes

Make it ambiguous: If the woman can't tell how old he is, she may refer to him either way. If your point of view allows it, show her having an internal debate about it. If she's not sure, make a bit ...

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Is there any point where an overpowered main character could be an interesting one?
18 votes

God Syndrome: What does Superman from the 1950's look like today? No hero or villain can stop him. He's invincible. So what do you do if you're a bad guy, and have to deal with that? What happens when ...

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Is it okay to use "It was all just a virtual world / dream" for a plot twist?
18 votes

Hot Potato: Good luck with that one, you'll need it. People don't like feeling that they're being tricked, and this plot twist lends itself to tricks. BUT if you do it right, people will nod their ...

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How do you write about the human condition when you don't understand humanity?
16 votes

Jihad: Writing is about the human condition. But the human condition is a big, messed up gnarly thing - and guess what, if you're human, you're living it. Fiction is rarely about people with nice, ...

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How harsh is too harsh when beta reviewing?
16 votes

No such thing: By saying you are going to beta-read someone's work, you are promising them help to become a better writer. It's your duty to tell them what is obviously wrong with style, plot, flow ...

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Can I leave out details I don’t understand?
15 votes

This stinks! This is a slightly obscure question, and might be better answered someplace like the History SE or worldbuilding. It's more relevant if the character isn't from the period (like a time ...

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Same plot but different story, is it plagiarizing?
14 votes

It's all been done before: I am not joking when I say I think I've answered this question before, but I can't seem to find the reference. The fact is, every possible story has been done before - at ...

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How do I handle an unequal romantic pairing in a world with superpowers?
14 votes

Power corrupts, but it doesn't have to: For an interesting reference, you might want to check out THIS question. What you are describing is ANY power dynamic. The relationship is no different to one ...

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How can I get readers to like a character they’ve never met?
14 votes

Show how they matter to people: I have a major character in my novel who is dead, and appears only as a spiritual entity. The ghost interacts with people by sending dreams and visions. She is also one ...

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What are some signs of a chosen one nebulous enough that they can be mistaken?
14 votes

A Few Ideas: Letter of crucifixion: The character's name starts with a T, but no one names their kids with a T, because children with T names are killed by some power trying to prevent the prophecy ...

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What do I do when I know the general summary of how a scene goes but I cannot figure out precisely what the character say?
13 votes

Wait for Inspiration... ...but in the meanwhile, if you've been working on this project for a decade, you really need to do the slogging through to get the story written. I would place holders (a bit ...

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What is the process of creating a word using Latin and Greek word parts?
Accepted answer
11 votes

A prefix walks into a tabernae sopionibus scribam: The process of taking Latin and making English words is less scientific than you might think - although it's very popular in science. Despite what ...

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Is it ok to hide main motive of the character throughout the book?
Accepted answer
11 votes

With a Twist: There's a whole vein of books and movies that are like this, in the thriller category. The MC is usually portrayed as a kind of mastermind, but sometimes the concealment is enough. While ...

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What to avoid when writing distant and inconsequential POVs?
Accepted answer
10 votes

Emotional Connection: My normal advice for someone with a minor character POV would be to not create too much emotional connection to the character, since they are usually there just to fill in a ...

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How and where should you explain how the physical laws of your sci-fi universe significantly differ from the real world?
10 votes

Show Don't Tell: I agree that it isn't always important for your reader to know the rules of your world - at first. Some things, like how the FTL system works, can be taken for granted - readers know ...

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How to I get motivated to start writing my book?
Accepted answer
10 votes

BIG QUESTION! DO IT: First, what is stopping you from writing? Is it a desperately busy life? If so, 'fish or cut bait.' If you don't have time to do even a little writing, you aren't going anywhere. ...

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How can I diversify the personalities of supernatural predators?
9 votes

Humans, Only Not as Much Anymore: You gave the answer, and it's a broad one. You need to interact with the monsters for them to have character - otherwise they're vague threats. All of them are former ...

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