Fiction is a form of prose writing that deals with at least partly artificial or imagined events and characters. This tag should be used for any questions relating to fiction, including fiction formatting and technique, fiction critiques, and the publishing of fiction.

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How to describe someone who's thinking “Give me a break”

This is a very specific question, but I have been running into it a lot. For example, my main character has a secret and she wants her friend to cover for her. He confronts her and says, "Spill it." ...
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How to write ages and dates in a newspaper article inside a work of fiction

I'm trying to write a newspaper article inside my work of fiction. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to write ages and dates in this article. I took journalism in college, and I know that if I am ...
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Preventing spoilers in a short yet interesting synopsis of the story

The story I'm writing is all about discovery, so 95% of it needs to be unknown by the reader at first. But I just don't know how to make a short description of it, for example when telling to a friend ...
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I have this story all planned out, why can't I write it? [duplicate]

I have written out two full manuscripts for this story. They are completed. Then I met the actress that the lead character was inspired by. She likes the character she mentions to me if I write it as ...
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Can I make a living as a novelist?

I enjoy writing, I really do. And also, I don't want to kill my time to make a living. I want to enjoy earning money. I don't wanna be rich, I just don't want to be poor. Can I make a living as a ...
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Benefits of Chapter titles in fictional writing?

So, I'm in the process of writing a Sci-fi novel, and I use a website to upload chapters before I complete it. On the website, I use chapter titles simply because "RE Lavender has just updated Faces, ...
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Help developing themes - need research for potentially controversial fantasy story [closed]

Just another unassuming prospective author here. I’m stuck on creating my first novel, to this point has not actually been written yet. I have been unable to make progress on my story for years; it’s ...
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Is starting a story with dialogue bad?

(Apologies if this question has already been asked. I've looked around but can't find this specific question, only related ones.) The general advice seems to be "don't start your story with dialogue."...
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What do Readers Expect from a Fantasy Novel

Here and there I've been hearing about what readers 'expect' from certain genres. Romance readers expect the hero and heroine to wind up together. Fantasy readers expect epic fantasy full of battles ...
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How useful are stock characters in fiction?

I am writing a realistic-fiction novel set in the USA during the Great Depression. I intend to use some stock characters to make the story colorful and to flesh out the culture of the period. Stock ...
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Would employing the use of philosophical ideas in fiction without citing the sources be considered plagiarism?

I am working on a fictional book which would be similar to that of Winnie-the-Pooh in terms of its format and ability to be read, but I want there to be philosophical meaning to what goes on in the ...
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4answers
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I'm having an issue committing to my novels [closed]

So, obviously, I'm a writer. I have pretty bad ADD/ADHD and though it's never bothered me before, it's really affecting my writing as of late. I don't really think this is a medical question, as ...
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How to write dream sequences?

I'm trying to write a sequence where the main protagonist is taken in their dreams to an archangel. However, I kind of think it sounds a bit childish, as I'm unsure how to structure such a sequence. ...
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Timestamps in fictional writing: yay or nay? [duplicate]

The setting of my latest story is a alien world that uses a different calendar and timekeeping system. This is because the planet spins at a slower pace than Earth, so the days are longer. However, ...
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Miles or Kilometers for historical fiction?

I am writing a novel of historical fiction about the Second World War. It is written in the POV of several German and Russian characters but is intended for English readers. Which units of measurement ...
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How much detail should I go into for a character taking advantage of physics expertise?

Let's imagine a book where my character holds the power of light. Reason being, everyone in his country is born with telekinesis. He however, is the only one with enough grasp of the (maybe a little ...
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Does having too many humorous scenes make the readers unable to take the plot seriously?

The story I'm writing have its epicness and drama, but I also want it to be funny, with jokes, puns, etc., made by a character (mostly) or the narrator himself; funny situations, and so on. But I ...
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Learning about hand-to-hand combat?

I am writing heroic fantasy. Plot demands hand-to-hand combat, about which I know little. What is the best/quickest way to learn enough about pre-firearms defense to write convincingly about it?
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should I use predictable plot elements?

I see many similarities in films to the point where I can often guess what will happen next,even if the part was intended to be suspenseful. is that bad writing? should "plot twists" always be ...
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Hang on - where's the main conflict?

I've recently been struggling with a very strange problem in my writing: I can't find the main conflict in my novels. This has inspired quite a bit of thought and reflection on exactly what a main ...
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How do I go about writing and planning my first novel? [duplicate]

I am not a writer nor have ever attempted to write a novel. My english is average, but I love to read and so I have decided to write a novel. I have no experience whatsoever and would love advice. I ...
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For trilogies, is there any order of time periods the story should follow that is considered more appropriate?

Like totally chronological (starting in the beginning of the world's story events and going on to the future), or in the present-past-future order, or another? Is there any specific time order ...
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Superpower recommendations [closed]

I'm writing a fantasy novel where antagonists have ability to steal skills/abilities from any creature (actually it's more like replacing own skills with others). I need ideas what skills they might ...
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Need help with hospital dialogue

I'm writing a story where the main character gets burned pretty badly. He's admitted into the hospital, and he's on a trolley, which is moving. He just got in, and he's in critical condition. I'm ...
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Mixing essay-like opinions with the story

Is it very uncommon or out of place to mix your own opinions within the story lines? Is it uncommon to change the tone from third person and talk to the reader directly? I have read many tips on ...
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Are some ideas too cliched?

So I was thinking, and I've been wondering if some ideas are so overused readers don't get the 'thrill' of reading them anymore. I'm really into last-man-standing type novels, I love them. I've ...
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When to expose a hidden romance between two very snappy characters? [closed]

OK, so I have two characters, and they are very snappy to each other (as they are to everyone) and yet I'm planning a romance between them that hasn't emerged yet. Here's a little bit of ...
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Question about a plot. [closed]

So guys. I have a great idea for a book. And have been working on it for quite some time. The plot is kind of surrounding some government conspiracy theories in a more futuristic way. Basically a ...
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4answers
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How do i describe a vampire from the perspective of someone who has no idea what they are?

The concept of my story is that i would rewrite the story of the first ever vampire in a medieval setting, and from two perspectives, one from the vampire's friend and brothers in arms, and the other ...
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Is it okay to describe the protagonist's friend's appearance before the protagonist?

I am still fairly new to writing, so I am bound to make plenty of mistakes. The beginning goes like so: The female protagonist wakes up in the morning after passing out at her female friend's house. ...
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How to describe a characters clothing? [closed]

Yeah, So I was bored and decided to write some action Naughty adult fanfic type story today. And then as I started to write I was faced with this issue. How the legit **** am I suppose to describe my ...
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Is protagonist identification/empathy influenced by the reader's gender?

I had a discussion with someone who claimed she'd once read (though she couldn't remember the source) that men can identify and empathize with male as well as female protagonists, while women identify ...
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Is it smart to reserve one's best ideas or to utilise them early in their writing career?

At the very commencement of my writing "career" (I have virtually zero experience), I have an idea I would like to flesh out and turn into a full story. Being extremely proud of the concepts I have ...
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Is it good to hate a character?

I have a character that I want to give a huge slap across the face to. If I absolutely hate this character, does that mean my reader will hate him too? Is it good to purposely include a character in ...
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How do you force a turning point in a narrative that is supposed to be precisely about the lack of such devices?

Please, before flagging this question as subjective or generic, take a moment to read it through. IMO this is a valid, specific question, albeit a bit complex. To try and unpack the admittedly ...
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constructive criticism online [duplicate]

I am at the point with my short story where I need some constructive criticism. Is there a place online where I could post it and people leave their thoughts and comments on it?
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How to create a title

I am at a dilemma, as I cannot title my novel. So I created these questions. What creates a good title for a novel? What should I include/not include in my title? At the moment, I have come up ...
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Memoir styled fantasy fiction

I am thinking about writing a fantasy fiction (casually, mostly for my own entertainment), would the style of a memoir be suitable? More specifically, the writing would be the personal account of a ...
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108 views

How to write a religious experience?

I'm currently writing a story with a strong theme of spirituality and divinity. At around the halfway point my protagonist has a religious experience which changes them. This experience is a highly ...
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109 views

Types of characters for three protagonist

I have noticed that (in fiction) when the protagonists are three children, they normally follow these stereotypes: one is the hero (whose parent is famous), another is a nerd girl (best student in the ...
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How to make a dark story not-so-dark (Shining the light in darkness)

I'm writing a war story, and it's dark. However, I find that every scene turns out to be depressing because of it. Readers will be overwhelmed. Are there ways I can induce hope/shine the light in the ...
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Using “Earth words” in a futuristic, fictional setting

As a writer of primarily science fiction, I've often struggled with finding a happy medium between making the prose/dialogue relatable for readers and avoiding using too many "Earth words" as I've ...
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How to describe deep loss?

So, recently one of my characters lost someone very dear to her. Some background: The character has a controlling, cold family that doesn't care about her. This one person is a friend, a guide, and a ...
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Is there any limit on how long a story can progress without the reader knowing the name of the character introduced so far?

So far, I've written about 10,000 words or so and have yet to name the character. I've talked about the character a lot. But no name yet. He's the ONLY character so far. I'm pretty sure that I don't ...
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103 views

How Can You Prolong an Emotional Reaction in the Reader?

I always feel that a book or movie has achieved something great when I have an emotional reaction to it. For a very brief moment, the protagonist's pain, drive, happiness, or shock becomes my own. For ...
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How to write believable “Man vs self” plots

Context introduction In my story the protagonist is both curious and fearful. He wants to know what is in a forest but is too afraid to go inside. He is also distracted by his basic needs for food and ...
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Is it a good idea to make the protagonist pull themselves together

Is it a good idea, to make the protagonist pull themselves together at a point in a work of fiction. I've been writing a novel, and for practically the entire first half the main protagonist has been ...
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A question of tenses

I'm writing a novella. A lot of it is told from the protagonist's point of view when he is telling someone about the events of the last three years. I'm struggling with tenses. I have written the ...
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Adding a PoV after the first novel in a series

I am currently developing a series of fantasy novels, and have discovered that I will likely be adding a second point of view in the second or third book (five books total in the series). Up until ...
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Including (public domain?) lyrics of song [Shannandoah] in screenplay?

I am adapting a screenplay based on my historical fiction (Journal of Rudd) [Amazon.com]. In the screenplay, the lyrics of Shannandoah, are heard once. May I publish a few lines with the words?