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” [on hold]

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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3answers
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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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5answers
117 views

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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6answers
165 views

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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2answers
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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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8answers
134 views

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
147 views

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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0answers
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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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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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5answers
162 views

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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3answers
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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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13answers
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Is it okay to publish a book at a young age?

I am writing a novel that is called 'Murder' It's about a girl who almost gets murdered but then has to live with the murderers with almost no knowledge that they are the ones that killed her. (...
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3answers
108 views

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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7answers
496 views

How to create good character names? [duplicate]

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 ...
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2answers
135 views

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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4answers
85 views

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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4answers
566 views

What to do if I end up confused by my own plot because of 'trying to be original' or 'trying to make the story more deep'?

Sometimes, I find myself in the dilemma that I come out with a plot that tells exactly what I want to say. But then, I try to modify it in order to make it more original (at least, less similar than ...
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0answers
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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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2answers
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Describing a character's panic and confusion

I wrote the following: When I opened my eyes, it was still dark. Half asleep, I got out of bed, and entered the bathroom. As I emptied my bladder, I checked my face in the mirror. For an instant,...
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5answers
92 views

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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10answers
484 views

What is Literary Fiction?

I keep hearing about literary fiction, and how it is so much better than genre fiction. What exactly is literary fiction?
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5answers
108 views

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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6answers
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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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4answers
114 views

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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4answers
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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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5answers
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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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6answers
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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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6answers
278 views

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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1answer
75 views

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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3answers
56 views

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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0answers
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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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5answers
4k views

How to avoid repetitive sentence structure?

I've realized that I always start sentences with (name of character), he, she, it, they, her, his, the, after (a moment/that), and then. I wonder if there's any useful exercise or tip to reduce this? ...
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7answers
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How often do writers develop characters before plot, and why?

As someone who writes a little as a hobby, this is something that I haven't really thought about until just recently, but... Is it common for a writer to develop characters before actually coming up ...
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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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3answers
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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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1answer
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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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783 views

Feedback: What to use and what to ignore?

I posted my novel online for critique. And stumbled with the obvious question: when should I consider a feedback and when should I ignore it? This is what I'm doing so far: If more than two people ...
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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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2answers
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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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5answers
732 views

Writing about extreme trauma

I've just written a chapter in which one of my protags witnesses her entire family massacred during an invasion of her home city. This is obviously an extremely traumatic and horrifying event, and in ...
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12answers
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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 ...
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8answers
3k views

Is it okay to end a novel with a cliffhanger?

First thing you should know: I'm writing the first book in a trilogy and I'm at that beautiful moment where I'm ending it. I know exactly how I want to end it BUT there's one problem. I've been ...
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8answers
925 views

How to develop a story for a novel?

I am looking for some inspiration on where to start writing a novel. I have a general idea for a plot and characters, but I don't feel it's enough for sitting down and starting to write. It needs a ...
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1answer
36 views

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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8answers
3k views

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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1answer
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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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2answers
126 views

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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3answers
154 views

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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5answers
933 views

How to start writing a book?

I'm new to writing and I'm still young (preteen young). I want some advice on writing and help. How am I gonna start my book? What is the best way to begin writing a book?