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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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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TBBT season 8 tenure position [on hold]

In TBBT season 8, Sheldon, Leonard and Raj, gave interview successfully. What happened then? Who get tenure position?
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692 views

Can novels have twist endings?

Can a novel have a twist at the end? Sure, a short story can be well written towards a not-so-obvious twist, but a 200+ page novel...can you suddenly whip it around at the end and change the ending ...
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Is it a bad writing practice to end a paragraph with question?

I'm not sure where I picked up this habit. Here are two examples: I pictured An-Mei’s slim fingers running across their smooth surface, her hand, and then the body connected to it. But try as I ...
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38 views

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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5answers
154 views

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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3answers
200 views

How much character description is considered necessary in a “plot driven” story?"

Some stories begin with a rather full description of say, the main character. Here is a clip from Hello Dolly that describes in (for me) excruciating detail not only about what she does (matchmaking) ...
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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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81 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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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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92 views

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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How to introduce a world that's alien to the reader

I'm writing sort of a space-opera and I was wondering what would the best way to explain everything about the world to my readers. The story is kind of a political intrigue, and it would be very easy ...
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6answers
274 views

Building empathy with a character and interest in a story

I've written several chapters of a (fiction) story. I wasn't happy so I spent some time reading about fiction, and trying to figure out what was wrong with it. I came to the conclusion that, while ...
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120 views

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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4answers
285 views

I feel my protagonist is too “detached” from the main plot. What should I do?

Here's a summary of the plot: The main character goes to a mountain to visit his half-sister. He hasn't seen her in years. She went there to undergo a spiritual healing. Later he discovers her ...
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Using the real world in writing

To what extent can you use locations, businesses, etc. from the real world in fiction? I know someone cannot copyright a city, but what about a particular location in the city that's private. Can I ...
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196 views

Coming up with Chapter titles

What are some of the criteria for a chapter title (In a fictional novel)? How deep should a chapter title be, what should it try to convey, and how important is it that these things be met? Also, ...
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976 views

Introducing the hero first?

In the book I'm writing, the first character I introduce dies before the end of the chapter. She is the girlfriend of my hero and is setting up their date before her untimely end. The hero is also ...
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3answers
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What's the difference between a 1-, 2- or 3-dimensional character?

The terms are bandied around quite often to describe fictional characters, generally in order to help describe how developed a character is in terms of personality and backstory. However, are there ...
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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?
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121 views

Should I write out numbers or use the actual numbers (ordinals)?

Born late in the year, Adam was the only kid in his small 4th grade class that had already turned 11. Every morning he got up at exactly 4:56, the latest he could rouse in the morning with ...
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2answers
54 views

How do you find the right pacing in your story?

In creative writing, how do you know if the pace of your writing is too slow or too fast? How do you find the right rate for your story to unfold?
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158 views

Would a government care if my novel mentioned their controversial / questionable practices?

I am writing a story about fictional events in several nations all over the world. Much of the plot is influenced by ongoing practices of many nations. (e.g. - torture, extra-judicial killings, big ...
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2answers
66 views

Is there a term for a fiction piece that goes after the prologue but before the epilogue?

I'm writing a long non-fiction text that describes a fictional setting. I came up with a fiction piece for that setting, to include as further illustration. I decided it would work best if I split ...
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69 views

permission from the building owners needed to depict a drawing of it on cover of novel?

Do I need permission from the owners of a building to depict a drawing of it on the cover of my novel?
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27 views

how much pages do i have for a paperback book [duplicate]

I'm making a book and I already wrote 54,099 and 278,889 characters how much pages do I have for a paper back or hard back book
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25 views

Name of Journal-Like Setting Description Lines Under Chapter Section Headings

Some fiction titles put a small block of text listing relevant setting details like the scene's time, date, and location between chapters' section headings and bodies. Heres an example: Chapter ...
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61 views

Should one Infodump the reader when a new environment of a fictional world is introduced? [duplicate]

When a writen story is set in a fiction world or when a character changes locals to an environment that may be vastly different to what was introduce/what they would know from real life (ie. going ...
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87 views

Any good online writing courses?

I'm looking for a good online creative writing course to take. I want it to be less than 100 dollars (free would be wonderful), and that can be done for high school credits. I live in Alberta, Canada ...
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1answer
228 views

How to decide if a plot twist worth doing?

There's a major piece of information in my story, which I could either make tell right away - or else keep it a secret, and use it as a plot twist later. I'm having a hard time choosing which way to ...
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3answers
159 views

How do I keep a journey sequence going?

In my story, my characters have to go on a journey, plus it's medieval. (So original right?) Anywho, they've already been captured by road robbers once and escaped. Also, they've stumbled upon a town ...
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57 views

Does this opening draw you in? [closed]

Gone. Of course. How could I expect anything less? I searched around in his room anyway. Once I was convinced that he truly left, I rushed out of the empty bedroom and thundered down the halls. I ...
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125 views

How to write sexual/romantic scenes? [closed]

Yeah, I just decided today to write a Porn/Erotic Book. Seems writing ebooks is a quick way to make a couple of bucks and rise up the ladder these days. But, the problem is I don't know how to write a ...
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107 views

Good writing software for tracking information/facts (for Man vs Nature plot)

I have been looking for a writing software, but while I have seen a number of mentions about how this or that program helps you keep track of characters, I haven't seen any mentions of ones that are ...
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Challenges in switching tense [duplicate]

I am writing fiction and considering using past tense by default but then switching to present tense for action scenes. This answer leads me to believe switching tense can be done. I assume that ...
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5answers
107 views

How do I avoid tradeoffs with showing vs. telling? [closed]

I learned early on (as most writers have) "show, don't tell," which I agree with for the most part. However, I've found many situations in writing when I'd start to write a statement in tell, catch ...
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Is it important to describe how the characters are dressed?

One thing that I never mention in my stories is how the characters are dressed. Well, except when they are being described for the first time, when the main character first meets them. How important ...
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5answers
121 views

How to know whether to write in 3rd person or 1st person?

How do I know, when I'm writing, which perspective I should write in? I almost always write with a 1st person narrative because it makes it easy to get great immersion in with the characters. Is it ...
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96 views

Tips on writing grit

I'm writing up a new story (which I've asked for help on in a few other places) which is a little outside my forte. The majority of my current work is saturday-morning cartoon stuff, light fantasy or ...
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50 views

Broken Hearted Man [closed]

What word suggests the phenomenon of a man who has a broken heart? He feels like he has nothing to lose. This man will take unnecessary risks for the reward because death doesn't mean much to this ...
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55 views

How to hack Scrivener's appearance or add binder to full screen composition mode?

I really enjoy using Scrivener to write. I don't actually use all of its features -- in truth, I would be satisfied if the program only offered its full screen composition mode plus the binder on the ...
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139 views

How many meaningful names can I put in my story?

I'm naming characters for my fantasy story, and so far many of them have nmes that mean something. Characters from different regions have names from different cultures, several names represent their ...
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33 views

Avoiding repeating “I” and “you” in an epistolary piece

I've had two recent ideas for short stories that I feel would be best written as epistolary pieces where the main character is basically giving a monologue. I know that there will be a lot of 'I's and ...
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847 views

How can I make believable motivations for antagonists?

I am writing a book. However, I can't quite wrap my head around making my character do bad things, while still making their actions and/or motivations for their actions believable. Here is an ...
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143 views

How to write a good prison scene

I'm attempting to write one or two chapters with one of my main characters in a jail cell. It's important to the character development that he is isolated for an extended period of time, antagonized ...
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98 views

Should a villain have redeeming qualities

I know it is important for main characters to have flaws to make them believable and real. But should an antagonist have redeeming or good qualities, to make him more real?
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69 views

Who should I use for my POV character?

I'm in the early stages of a story with a large number of characters, a complex backstory and a long history. This is mostly because I crafted the world myself for months before deciding to write it ...
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93 views

How can I develop a whole personality for my characters in my fictional story from personality traits

How can I give the 4 children in my fictional story personality traits? One is a bossy 12 year old girl, one is a 11 year old girl that thinks that life is unfair, one is a 12 year old problem solving ...
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Coming up with names for 4 children [closed]

I am looking for character names to design a personality for 4 children in my story.
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47 views

Re-write needed [closed]

Joshua heard himself say, “I’m heading over to Jason’s.” He felt his footsteps leading towards the door. Joshua opened and shut the door in a daze, not knowing where his steps would lead him.