Real questions about imaginary people.

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3
votes
4answers
100 views

How do I bring my readers closer to my characters when using the third person?

I've chosen to write my story in the third person due to the scope of it, but by doing so I have made it harder for the reader to feel 'close' to my characters. The narration seems to be, ...
3
votes
2answers
92 views

What are symbols for a highly painful and irreversible trauma of a woman?

In my novel, I have a heroine, who must be hurt at the beginning of the story. I need to find a symbol for a deep trauma for a woman. That is, I'm looking for a symbol of a trauma, which satisfies ...
6
votes
5answers
190 views

How to write a homosexual character, whose homosexuality isn't the point of the story?

I'm writing a modern fantasy novel, with a female protagonist whose principal romantic interest is another girl. I want to know how I can write her without having her homosexuality being the ...
5
votes
5answers
205 views

Is Jaime Lannister a “telling not showing” example?

Warning: spoilers of A Song of Ice and Fire. I was reading through this site that you should avoid telling what a character is by using other characters, example "Dan is the funniest person I know" - ...
7
votes
4answers
123 views

Is it possible for characters to get stuck reacting the same way to everything?

Alright so I am new here so I'm not sure if it's okay to ask this type of question, but I am wondering if it is possible for characters to get stuck in a sort of 'rut' where they react to things with ...
3
votes
6answers
256 views

Should I describe my characters going to the toilet?

Should I let the narrator (third person) describe that my characters are going to the bathroom (for a sense of realism and accuracy) or should I simply omit it as it as it adds no value to the ...
5
votes
4answers
190 views

What should you do if the events in your story happen in real life just when you finish writing it?

I was finishing my novella when I heard about the terrorist attacks in Paris (I pray for the souls of the victims). I was surprised to know that circumstances revolving around the violent attacks were ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Dialogue identifying the character that is currently speaking

I am writing a novel, and I am trying to find the right dialogue tags for identifying the character that is currently speaking. Here are some examples of two forms, and I am unable to decide which one ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

How To Write An Unreliable Narrator?

So in my latest works I've decided to make my narrator, whom is my main character as well, pretty unreliable. How do I get this across to readers? I read a few short stories online that were pretty ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Are non-speaking characters in a screenplay introduced in all caps?

For example, if a guard enters a room and watches someone but does not speak, is this character introduced in all caps as GUARD? What if the character's role is even more limited: a little girl hands ...
2
votes
1answer
201 views

Writing Multiple Protagonists

I'm currently working on a visual novel project with the help of my friends. There are actually five protagonists, however, instead of one. They each have their own chapter, which then culminates in a ...
12
votes
8answers
299 views

What makes the death of a character satisfying?

My wife and I were watching a movie where one of the main characters died shortly after being reunited with his long lost love. His death was not meaningless -- he died defending his only son, but it ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Multiple personalities character's speach in text

I am writing about main character, which have multiple personalities. I know how i want to write them, but for reader it can be really disturbing and hard to for orientation. At the same time i will ...
2
votes
4answers
110 views

Character name and its capitalisation

Nobody in my story knows the actual name of one of the characters. She calls herself 'tina. She always writes it 'tina and gets irritated if people write it Tina - it's short for something, but nobody ...
12
votes
8answers
764 views

My cool character is doing nothing for the plot. How do I deal with him?

So I have this great character( not the main protagonist), who is funny and intelligent. Each scene I write for him is a delight. But the problem is, he is doing nothing for the plot. I have tried to ...
1
vote
6answers
151 views

How to make distinguishing characters who have almost the exact same traits?

I have a problem. I have 2 main characters, A and B, who have pretty much the exact same personality traits. The trouble is, this is historical fiction and I can't change who they are. The 2 ...
5
votes
8answers
2k views

Is it appropriate to use real-life quotes in fantasy/sci-fi novels set in alternate worlds?

Situation: You have an imaginary world, fantasy, sci-fi, whatever, and you are at a point where, as an author, you know a suitable quote for the situation a character is dealing with. Is it ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

How to write an instructor instructing others about complicated tasks?

I am want to write scenes in a story which include one character providing instruction to other characters on how to perform complicated tasks that require a lot of technical detail and applied ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

Could children get tattoos? [closed]

This might be a strange question but if I took a character who is an adult male with tattoos and have him transform somehow into a child would he still have his tattoos as a child or would his skin be ...
3
votes
4answers
155 views

How to write about Autism and Intellectual Disability?

In a novel I'm writing, I have a minor character who is either autistic, or has an intellectual disability. (I know they're different. But like I said, he's a minor character, so I haven't really ...
7
votes
4answers
449 views

The backstory's overwhelming the actual story

I have a character with a grim past (forced to watch torture). I need him to have that grim past in order to explain his behaviour in the story I am writing now: characters who did not know his past ...
4
votes
3answers
369 views

Good way to create character names?

I find that a problem that I run into quite often is the fact that I can't create names that sound real, but also have a nice ring so that they fit the character. Does anyone have any suggestions on ...
25
votes
11answers
8k views

Killing the protagonist - should it be done?

I am an aspiring author, but I have written several short 'test novels.' With each of those, it became increasingly clear how you have to develop the main character, the protagonist. After all, the ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

“multiple personalities” for character development in writing?

How can I train myself to think in "multiple personalities" so I can use these personalities for character development in writing?
10
votes
5answers
412 views

What to do when characters disagree with the plot?

I'm writing a romance novel and have hit a brick wall. The problem is every way I think the future lovebirds could meet and become friends is totally cliché. After thinking about it, I've realized ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Do I have to write my book in the main character's POV?

I know there's 3rd person etc... but can a story be told from a secondary character's POV? or does that never happen and would be useless? I want the story from the girl's view, but i really want the ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

Main character trouble

So when I'm trying to write backstories for all of my main chars and side chars I can get the general idea on how I want them to act what they have been through ETC. But when I try to write about my ...
1
vote
3answers
137 views

At what point disappointment and frustration within the story makes the reader abandon it?

Does Game of Thrones get any unpleasant when a whole bunch of characters die every season, for example? Leaving hooking elements aside, at what point does exploration of uncomfortable aspects from ...
1
vote
2answers
584 views

What is a “reflection character?” How is s/he different from an antagonist?

My understanding is that a "reflection character" is someone who acts as a "foil" for the hero(ine). This is someone the main character fights with, or at least interacts with, a lot. How is this ...
5
votes
7answers
233 views

How to handle characters being funny in a dire situation without ruining the mood

There's one thing I always find impressive and moving when I see it in accounts of historical events or depicted well in fiction: gallows humour, when a person who is facing likely or certain death ...
0
votes
3answers
415 views

Screenplay format: Can character names be shortened after the first mention?

For example: TED DIBAR, (40s) swings his cape to the side, as he approaches Felix. Do I need to continue to use the character's full name, or can I shorten it in subsequent mentions?
4
votes
6answers
600 views

Tips for adding more personality to characters?

Often I read a new book only to find that the characters are flat, boring, and lacking in personality. Sometimes I even find that in my own characters, and when that happens I usually just remove it. ...
3
votes
3answers
262 views

Non-human protagonist - Good, bad, or up to the writing?

In a novel I plan on writing soon, the main protagonist (and indeed nearly everyone else in the story as well) is an elf. Humans are present, but they are far in the mountains, living in disorganized ...
11
votes
7answers
559 views

The polymath's dilemma…?

The main character of a YA story I am working on is fast becoming a polymath, i.e. someone with a broad base of skills and interests across unrelated areas of endeavor. I really like how this ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Studies of when to kill a character

I have a pretty simple question: Are there any studies/surveys that show the appropriate time to kill a main character earliest? I am talking about studies among readers/viewers of ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

The opposite sex in first person?

I have been writing about not just one, but two females; sisters. I've toyed with different methods/persons in this, but it seems I've come to an obvious roadblock. I wouldn't call it "writer's block" ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Can I use real presidents (past and present) and real companies in a fictional story?

I'm not sure if I want to use real people and companies or make up an entirely different world with different people, presidents, and companies than our real world. If I did the latter I would offer ...
3
votes
5answers
202 views

How do I demonstrate ideological differences between characters who are politically not too different?

I'm currently writing a novel, in which two characters who are old friends are having an argument. I'm writing the argument to establish who the characters are and what their values are (the argument ...
1
vote
3answers
196 views

Female Pet Names that a Londoner might use

I was wondering about female pet names, like darling, sweetie, pet, babe etc. One of my characters refers to his other half as "pet" but I've been told that this is common to the North East (UK). As ...
6
votes
4answers
424 views

Is it ok to be autobiographical with a main character?

This question really comes down to a personal issue I've had present in my fiction. I'm still very new as far as being a writer is concerned. So a few (if not all) of my main characters seem to be ...
4
votes
5answers
681 views

Does it confuse readers if a character name is similar to the name of an object?

It has been said that you should avoid similar sounding character names. One recommendation is to let character names begin with different letters of the alphabet, and not having them rhyme or ...
3
votes
6answers
197 views

How to name characters of unspecific nationality and race?

I am writing a generic story. I have a setting that is not tied to a specific region on earth, though the story certainly does occur on earth, and there are numerous references in the setting that ...
11
votes
11answers
2k views

How ordinary must my protagonist be if the book is written from his/her point of view?

What I've found in most books I've read is that the protagonist is "normal" and/or "average" (at least in the beginning). I believe this is because most readers should be able to relate to the ...
2
votes
2answers
74 views

How to show that a character is quoting from a book?

I am editing a text in which the characters use quotations from the Bible quite often. Example: Jeremiah turned toward him, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

MLA parenthetical citation of a character in a novel

If I am writing my essay on only one novel, and I have made it clear in the previous sentence that the quote is from a character in said novel, do I still have to include the authors name in the ...
2
votes
4answers
320 views

Making characters multidimensional and unique. What can i do?

I'm writing a sci-fi/fantasy story and i have quite a number of characters that i want to deploy in the story. However, these characters should each have their own agendas in life, their own internal ...
5
votes
3answers
868 views

How to write a character who uses a lot of smalltalk without boring the reader?

Since a lot of what they say is by definition irrelevant to the plot should I just skim over it? I'm worried this might make their manner unclear to the reader and I don't want their impression of ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

Question about longer chapter length flashbacks

I'm working on a novel. The POV never leaves my main character (third person point of view.) Throughout the story he is given hints at a past life so to say. In reality the man has been alive since ...
2
votes
3answers
232 views

Name and Nickname

Is it acceptable to use both name and nickname when referring to my character? Example: Vindici waited for Eustachio to make his way up the hill towards him. "What news?" Vindici asked. "Well," ...
8
votes
4answers
836 views

How can I ensure my POV character's writing isn't too sophisticated?

I am writing a piece which features two POV characters. A conceit of the story is that the POVs are writing their chapters, so each one reflects not just their personality, but how my characters ...