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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Should I omit the “at first”s in the following pieces?

I discovered I tend to use "at first" a lot: We were reminiscing about our past relationships, and Mrs. Kondo asked Akiko about her first love (she'd only had two in her life: me and her high ...
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103 views

How to maintain an unchanging tone to the narrative while writing collaborative fiction? [duplicate]

Three of us have just finished the first complete draft of our first attempt at collaborative fiction. While the plot and the story are tightly knit, we have are facing trouble in maintaining the tone ...
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31 views

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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34 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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99 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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30 views

A ballad or prose? [closed]

I am now planning to start with the third chapter of my novel. I got an interesting idea to write it as a ballad. But I am much better with prose. Will I better off if I continue writing prose or ...
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97 views

Ways to remove “filtering” in narration?

I have a lot of filtering in my writing: I decided to start my journey at the library. Why? Well, I figured it'd have more reliable information than the Internet... Once I reached there, ...
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240 views

How to Develop a Theme Before Writing a Novel

I've given some thought to this, and I decided that I want to either make or find a theme to my fantasy novel before I really get into it (as I have started a couple pages already). I did some ...
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118 views

How political can an author's note be, would the following fly? [closed]

"If the ANC does to you what the apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government." – Nelson Mandela I wrote this novel in what was at the time my ...
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3answers
254 views

How to write a “strong” passage?

By strong I mean causing some reaction on the reader (not necessarily goosebumps, maybe just a small wow). I'm having this problem right now. Example (the bolded part): "He told me about how ...
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61 views

Are the tenses of the following piece correct? [closed]

I almost drowned in the this ocean of tenses. Anyhow, did I make any mistake? It was almost two, so I said goodnight to Mom and went back to my room. Once on my bed, I took the gold tooth out of ...
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2k views

How do I write my own character sketch?

I have to write a character sketch, and I have to pick an object (example: vase, key, dress, ect.) to base the character on. So the object has to be important, but my professor doesn't want it to be a ...
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65 views

Is the following analogy of natural selection effective and clear?

I'm writing a scene where one of the characters is explaining the process of natural selection: “Think of it as a beach full of crab holes of various shapes and sizes, and with little pebbles on ...
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226 views

What are the Criteria that Distinguish a Thriller from Horror?

The criteria that come to mind are not exclusive to horror novels, so I'm a little confused and annoyed (annoyed because I find horror novels scary, and yet just cannot define it logically when I try ...
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1answer
138 views

Is this a good description of a jew looking out the window at nazis? [closed]

Cautiously I rose, briefly leaving his side. Turning to the lugubrious window when suddenly I was forced to duck down as cantankerous Nazis dehisced from behind great timber doors, parading across the ...
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13 views

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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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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1answer
50 views

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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54 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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1answer
129 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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1answer
74 views

How to format neural actions in a story

I'm writing a short story with androids and cybernetically enhanced humans who have access to neural interfaces. Essentially, they open up some kind of computer terminal, but it's via internal sensors ...
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2answers
123 views

How can I make my writing more interesting?

For some reason my writing is really boring. I think its because I write in the character's point of view and I suck at that. How can I fix this?
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51 views

Questions on a plausibility of a Naruto Homage

I've been itching to write a web fiction serial that's also a homage to Naruto since I found out the manga ended and went on a re-reading binge... Anyway it'll loosely have similar ideas i.e. clans. ...
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129 views

What's a good, wholesome, smut-free site where I can 'publish' my fiction writings for my friends to read?

I (we) just cannot seem to find one. I promised my real-life friends (located all across the country) that I'd write up our RPG campaign as I have other fictional subjects and put it online it so they ...
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3answers
47 views

Commenting on blogs and forums

I'm working on a project for company's upcoming book. We thought it would be cool for me to ccomment on blogs and forums as one of the lead child characters. Do you foresee that as being a problem, ...
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174 views

“This” vs “that” in past tense narrative [closed]

Here are some examples (first person past tense): "Well, goodby then." After saying this/that, he picked up his hat and ran out door. I let his words sink in my head. To fight alone. Was ...
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1answer
121 views

Plot idea to make the murderer (involuntarily) reveal himself [closed]

I'm in need of an idea to advance my fictional crime plot where the protagonists of a larger (~30) group realize that the murderer (of a single murder) must be one of them, someone hiding in the group,...
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1k views

which genres are more successful, publication figures?

Where to find genre sales and publications numbers. Is there a way to find which genres are more successful? I apologize if this has been asked a hundred times but I didn't find it in the existing ...
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1answer
224 views

Does the following dialogue sound stiff and formal?

This is a dialogue from a short story I'm writing: Finally, a log caught fire, followed by the rest. And in no time Paola and I had a display of dancing flames before us, their warmth entering ...
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1answer
53 views

Is the following repetition unnecessary?

I peered through the glass. It was a bird. At first I thought it was a crow because of its black feathers; they were so black they shone in the moonlight like a pair of sword blades. However, ...
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1answer
114 views

Works of fiction containing non-related but constantly alternating narrative streams?

Chapter is set in a particular period in time, having four - at the time - in no way related characters, each of them with their own separate story. My best feeling is these stories should be ...
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1answer
97 views

Where to look for ESL writers and copyeditors? [closed]

I often work on lessons for ESL students - texts, dialogues, etc. I'm not a native speaker and I don't have any friends abroad. I often need copyeditors for my lessons, but I seem to have trouble ...
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16 views

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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9 views

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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1answer
58 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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73 views

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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27 views

Is it a Bad Idea to Publish in Multiple Genres? [duplicate]

In his book How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, Orson Scott Card mentioned that you should stick with one or the other (either sci-fi or fantasy). While I think his reason was primarily based on ...
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2answers
61 views

I am writing a book, fiction and this is a question about technique [duplicate]

I am deciding between First Person and Third Person (and inclined towards First Person) One of the limitations of the protagonist is that he is a poor communicator and this impacts his relationships. ...
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1answer
363 views

Being a non-native English writer how can i improve my English Writing style? [duplicate]

I'm an Indian and trying to write a novel based on 2 sisters. My problem is that i don't feel very comfortable with my english sometimes. How can i improve my english? And sometimes i use the same ...
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25 views

Use of Building names in Fiction [duplicate]

I know that using branded companies names is a no no if shown in a negative light, but what is the "legal" Stance on Buildings that get damaged/blown up/fist fight etc..? as they are owned by a ...
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4answers
104 views

How to travel in a government restricted setting? [closed]

So my fantasy story starts out with two characters travelling by foot through endless woods. They can't take the roads because of an oppressive like government, but the woods are apparently safe. But ...
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0answers
22 views

Story-Telling on the Internet [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Internet communities where I can read/rate/review short fiction, and post my own? I am a user of Cowbird already, and I love it, but I want to branch out, and go to other ...
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63 views

How can I find good venues for publishing my work? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where to publish poems I used to write poems and stories. They were published in local newspapers many times, but I did not get any benefit besides this limited publication....
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4answers
900 views

What genre appeals to the widest audience?

My writing is focused primarily on love stories, i.e. the romance genre, and I believe this reaches a relatively small audience. Is there one genre that appeals to a far wider audience than its ...
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3answers
109 views

Getting past a dead end

I've been working on a screenplay for a while now. But I seem to have reached quite the dead end. My question is, what do you guys do, to get past a sticking point. Especially when you don't want to ...
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2answers
235 views

How can I create better suspense in this passage?

How can I create suspense in this writing? The Enigmax Stars… I look at them, dream of them… They are so close, and yet, so far… They sparkle like tiny fireflies on the dark canvas of ...
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71 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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112 views

Exaggeration vs believability in humor writing

Exaggeration is a device in humor. On the other hand, you need to care about believably in writing, especially in fiction writing. For example, I'm writing a story where the main character goes to ...
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212 views

How to improve the ending of this short story (final scene + flashback)

This is sort of the continuation of this previous question. The full text is here (just in case). Sophia grabbed her bag, and headed towards an entrance in the corner of the room. She walked in,...
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1answer
39 views

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 ...