Real questions about imaginary people.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

5
votes
5answers
240 views

How should changing the point of view be handled?

I am writing a book with the particular twist that between chapters it switches the point of view. For example, in the first chapter it is from the main character's point of view, then in the second ...
0
votes
1answer
204 views

insecurity with a short story about mountains and love

This is printed on very nice paper. The letters are detailed, elegant and pitch black with slightly blurred edges. You can feel the ink soaking gently in the fibres, right after it was punched by ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

When Is a Relationship Too Antagonistic?

A story I'm working on features a "slow burn" type romance with a long build-up. The arc begins with (what's mean to be) obvious attraction, and proceeds through a long period in which the female ...
5
votes
4answers
177 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" - ...
13
votes
13answers
747 views

Resources for character development

I'm weak at building characters. What resources are there to create rich characters? I'm thinking beyond name generators: Quirks, biography, diseases like allergies, hobbies and jobs, wealth, omens, ...
-1
votes
2answers
169 views

How do I develop skills at writing and planning plots and characters? [closed]

I currently earn a little extra money by doing freelance journalism on the side, in addition to working a day job. This is professional, paid work from more than one outlet so I would hope I could ...
2
votes
3answers
226 views

Is there such a thing as a “setting sketch” for a science fiction writing?

I took a look tonight at the post titled What are the pros and cons of building the setting before the characters and story? It answered questions that I had concerning setting being more important ...
5
votes
4answers
153 views

Methods for writing from an alternate gender/age/cultural viewpoint?

While many aspects of a culture, etc, can be researched - there are intrinsic difficulties to writing from the PoV of a woman as a male author and vice versa, and I'd argue even harder for an adult to ...
5
votes
2answers
649 views

Are there more character alignment grids (like D&D)

One thing that I find helpful when trying to create a character is some sort of grid stereotypes. For example, Dungeons & Dragons (before they broke it in 4e, but that's another story) has a 3x3 ...
7
votes
4answers
268 views

Must protagonists be flawed for satisfying character evolution?

Many screenwriting theories hold that the prozagonist should be flawed at the story's beginning and overcome this flaw by its end. Now there are stories, where the protagonist is thrown out of a ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Please evaluate the effectiveness of both voices, which better brings the character to life?

I am working on a scene (one of many) and I am having trouble with voice (in all of them). I find first person handy in some situations and third in others. Below are two excerpts from the same ...
4
votes
3answers
281 views

A POV character who's a slave?

I'm currently working on a novel, in which one of the POV characters is a slave. He was born to a slave (so he was born a slave) of a rich merchant family and was treated well most of his life. One ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

Whether to describe personality of a character or let the readers deduce it based on the actions

I am facing this situation where description of the personality of a character is quite important. Is it good to describe the personality traits or shall I let the readers deduce it based on the ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

Should I highlight or downplay a character's quirk to make her seem more odd?

In a visual novel my friend and I are writing, I created a female character who is obsessed with making furniture out of (living) people. Yeah, it's weird, but everyone in the story has their quirks. ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

Where to find a the best narrators and producers to turn a good written work into a good audiobook

It seems that, in a similar way to movies, there is no waranty that a good book will be turned into a good audiobook. I've realised that after listening to some of the best sellers books recorded as ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Can a statement that is incorrect still characterize someone as wise?

This is a discussion I had with another writer. In a screenplay, a young man who is being led astray by a charismatic character lies to that person's wife to avoid exposing the other character's ...
-1
votes
1answer
210 views

Hypothetical interview with Jesus Christ. Has to be deep? [closed]

I'm thinking on writing a short story of a non-religious person asking questions to an alternate version of Jesus. Do His answers must be of a deep meaning or could I just write anything as his word ...
3
votes
4answers
182 views

Balancing character levity in a serious narrative

I am looking for examples of authors who manage to have sarcastic/funny characters exist in a very serious, end of the world type of scenario. The issue I am trying to resolve is when I write ...
6
votes
6answers
343 views

Is it possible to write a novel completely devoid of dialogue?

I am in the process of writing a novel, and I'm just trying to get some ideas and thought on this. I am not sure yet if I want to completely remove all dialogue, but at this point I feel that dialogue ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

Tips for analysing character's role against the novel's general theme?

I'm answering a few questions based on Atlas Shrugged in the form of an essay, wherein I am required to discuss a particular character and relate his role to the theme of the story. Kind of clueless. ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Legal issue of naming a character after a song character

Legally can you name characters after songs (poems, etc.) so long as those characters don't purport to affiliated w/ the song or the song writer/author? A similar question here asks the opposite ...
3
votes
2answers
457 views

Conversation with Multiple Characters

I'm writing a dialogue heavy scene. The protagonist has met with a group of mercenaries that he spent a great deal of his younger days with. He doesn't come to them for a catch-up however, he has ...
4
votes
5answers
396 views

What gender do you think the narrator is?

Once again, I traveled three hours only to eat sushi, alone. Cars passed by and people streamed along the sidewalk. Hanging in the air, I could feel the faint scent of spring. Or maybe it was just ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Multiple Point of View characters in a short story

I'm working on a short story (maximum of 6,000 words) and realized that I will need to have two point-of-view (POV) characters. Let's call them Greg and Jeff. This became necessary when I saw that ...
1
vote
0answers
168 views

Where should I go with this short story? [closed]

I've been working on this piece for about a week in a creative writing workshop. We need to wrap up our current stories at a minimum of six pages to a maximum of eight pages. I've always had a tough ...
42
votes
20answers
4k views

How to name the characters of your story?

I find it hard to name my characters. Every normal name sounds funny if applied to a product of my fantasy. If I take a common name, I may get the image of someone I know into my head. And that may ...
1
vote
3answers
95 views

How should I handle this many characters?

I am writing a series of mini-novels based on a group of teenagers who all have different backgrounds and ethnicities. How should I introduce each character? I mean, they are all kind of main ...
1
vote
2answers
159 views

What connotations do these character names confer?

I'm currently brooding over good character names for a novel I want to write. I was looking at some of the books I read recently, trying to understand why the authors picked the names they gave their ...
4
votes
2answers
203 views

Stupid Villain rather than Dark Lord

In many high fantasy settings, there is a "Dark Lord" that is undoubtedly evil and will cause doom to the world if he is not stopped. However, when I read "The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity", I ...
9
votes
4answers
389 views

Balancing loads of equally-important characters

If you have a dozen good guys, but four of them are the protagonists and the other six are more in the background, it's not that hard to skew the pagetime of each character towards those that are more ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

How should I introduce my characters?

I'm pretty good at creating compelling characters with decent personalities and motivations. I like the comradery vibe, so they're generally already part of a posse of some sort at the beginning of my ...
2
votes
4answers
341 views

Does my story structure for an ensemble zombie story sound effective?

I'm working on a novel about the psychological struggle of 7 characters. It's got an ensemble cast, where every character has the same importance. I've got a structure for this that sounds good to me, ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it OK to refer to some characters by first name and to others by last name?

I'm writing the outline for my first novel, which has three main characters. I'm very happy with their names, however I recently noticed that I was naturally referring to the first two by first name, ...
6
votes
8answers
882 views

Tools for generating characters' names

I found this name generator: http://www.fakenamegenerator.com And I'm wondering if maybe there are others? Has anybody found this kind of tool useful? What about tools for fantasy names? Should I ...
-2
votes
1answer
438 views

Ideas for nicknames of characters in a story

I'm translating a short story into English. 1). The protagonist is a woman in her mid-forties. There was a time when she used to copy out verses from poems and paste them on her wall. The people in ...
8
votes
3answers
235 views

How to tell or retell basic character and setting information in a series?

I am writing a short children's novel and I want to expand this into a series made of several short novels. I intend to write the whole series at once so that the internal universe is consistent and ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Killing off a character: deciding if, when and how

Killing off a character is a serious issue. Secondary characters or even extras can pass away without too much negative response from the readers but main characters are a whole different matter. It ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

Source ideas for monsters in a fantasy novel?

Does anyone have any suggestions on where to go to get some ideas on different types of monsters that can be created for a fantasy novel? I'm not talking about different variations of zombies or ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

Characters time spending: Are there any good limits for time spending on characters of secondary list?

Are there any good limits or rules of proportion between time (or pages) spending on characters of primary list and secondary list? I mean, that if character of secondary list appears only at the ...
6
votes
3answers
178 views

How can I keep my characters' identities a mystery successfully?

There was a similar post about keeping a character nameless in order to contribute to his closed off personality. My concern is is keeping all my characters nameless, only describing their actions ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

How to refer to character of focus in a story

I find that when I write, I'm not always sure how to refer to the character of focus. You can only say "he/she" so many times before it feels choppy and repetitive. Constantly referring to character ...
6
votes
9answers
570 views

Problems with character development?

I'm 1/4 through my first novel, with a pretty solid 12 page outline of the whole thing. After years of reading books about story structure, I think I have a good grasp on how to make a plot work. My ...
9
votes
5answers
690 views

Is this character generator useful?

After some feedback from this site and a training course, I developed a little tool to help with character generation. It's called "20 Questions" and works just like that: It picks 20 questions (or ...
6
votes
5answers
708 views

Character Development - How much is too much?

I've read loads of books where the reaction and development of characters seems to extreme for the events that effect them in the story. However not having any development makes the character boring, ...
9
votes
2answers
420 views

Is it typical to add variation to the words used for a character's name to keep it spicy?

A friend has asked me to read through a chapter of his story and give my opinion. Lets say he has two main characters Mr John de Havilland and Mrs Sally de Havilland. I've noticed that the author ...
13
votes
3answers
816 views

How/When to create deliberately boring characters?

Among a million other ambitions under the general heading of "Writing," I have this fantasy where I write a major series, several books long with a giant cast. But I started thinking. In giant series ...
19
votes
5answers
6k views

How to describe the point-of-view character without using mirrors

In fiction, the main character is often the first person we meet in the story. Given that the story is written from his/her point of view, how would you describe what they look like? The classical ...
16
votes
3answers
568 views

Is there a quick way to know I have created a Mary Sue?

For those who don't know what a Mary Sue is: see here. The problem is, there are far too many ways a character can be a Mary Sue, as seen here. Many websites that offer tests to see if your ...
10
votes
6answers
881 views

Sympathetic portrayal of an evil protagonist with good motivations

I'm contemplating writing about a character with good motivations whose actions would be considered evil. In short the story would be about a necromancer killing an entire nation so that he can bring ...
5
votes
9answers
842 views

How do I round out a powerful character?

I've created a character named "Mathias Mindblade" who is trained by a wise wizard to lead a rebellion against the Darkness Empire and eventually to establish an Empire of Light. Mathias has some ...