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 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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What's a good custom language translator?

I'm working on a fantasy story that has a Language of Power (TVTROPES) in it and I was trying to look around online to find an automatic translator for the language I came up with but can't find any. ...
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Presenting Fiction as Non-Fiction

I am toying writing a book involving layered stories: There is Manuscript A, written by a character, which is an ostensibly real account/diary of an incident she experienced. In the fictional ...
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How does one include sign language in a dialogue?

If one character is using sign language and lip reading while the other is speaking normally, how do you represent the lines of the former? Quotations with "he signed" attribution or italics? E.g. ...
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Making modern references

I'm working on a modern fiction drama in an urban setting. I'm trying to be real in terms of conversation threads--music, movies, drugs, etc. Here's my problem: I've never done a realistic modern ...
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How can I convey something without going into details?

I am considering writing a novel in which society has fallen into a perverse pit of debauchery. This is necessary to the novel, but it also presents some problems. I want the reader to know just how ...
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Will my readers find it hard to care/identify with a character who seems to lack human emotions?

I'm writing my first novel. One of the main characters was born without a soul. This is her description, which also reflects her personality: She had long black hair, crimson red lips, and a ...
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Complicated names - spelling question based on a character hearing the name said

I'm writing a first person story and the main character will hear a number of odd names said. The odd names will be put into Google and her spelling will be corrected, but I was wondering how to ...
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How do writers differentiate personal beliefs from the messages of their writing in public discourse?

Hypothetically speaking, of course... Let's say I write a work of fiction. It could be construed as highly disparaging to one or more demographics especially if you stop reading within the first few ...
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How to begin Ghostwriting Fiction?

I'm a non-fiction ghostwriter wanting to ghostwrite fiction for others, what are some of the places I can find such work?
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111 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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164 views

Is trying to write an entire novel in one month possible?

Lately I've been thinking about trying to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where the idea (at least I think it is) to write an entire novel in one month. Is this even possible? ...
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Can non-interactive stories make an audience feel guilt, and if so, how?

Interactive stories can do this quite easily- give the audience a choice, reveal choice to be a bad one, everyone is very sad. Simple. But can a story the audience has no direct control over manage ...
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How to format news, poems, text messages, and other kinds of written text?

I always find myself wondering how to format written text: news (on TV and newspapers), text messages (from a cellphone), lyrics, and poems. Right now, I just put them in a new paragraph and italicize ...
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808 views

How do you know if a book is ready?

My mom says that my books are really good and that people will enjoy them. I know parents say things to their kids to keep their hopes and dreams alive, but I want to know: How do you know if your ...
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94 views

How Can You Include Public Stakes in a Character Novel?

In Donald Maass's book Writing the Breakout Novel, he talks about stakes. He goes over how a breakout novel needs two kinds: personal stakes - what the hero could lose - and public stakes - what the ...
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Are there stories where characters are supposed to “grow” into another character?

The kind of story I would be thinking of is a version of "Cinderella," in which the newly crowned princess is asked by the prince to act as the "fairy godmother" to some other downtrodden young lady. ...
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What are some disadvantages of writing fiction in a diary format?

I find writing in a diary-style is the easiest way to write fiction. The format is the same as a diary, with each entry beginning with the date, then describing the feelings or events of the character ...
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writing dialogues using contracted forms of auxiliary verbs

where should we use contracted forms while writing dialogues? how do we chose which is better (say 'do not' or 'don't') in a particular situation while we are writing dialogues in our fiction?
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Research overgrown main novel plan and writing

i want your opinion on this: For about half a year now i make research for my novel. Because of situating story to the part of an original Earth's history, i made my research about history, ...
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391 views

What are my legal rights if somebody writes a book about me without my consent?

So, I just discovered a person I knew in college has written a book. This book is titled as fiction. But after buying and reading this book, I am in this book. No name change. The place where I work, ...
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Punctuation help needed — first-time novelist [closed]

I am a first-time novelist and have finished my first novel that I hope to self-publish at the end of the year. My book is finished apart from teh punctuation questions I have. I have used guides to ...
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368 views

Is it safe to write about a fictional murder in a real-life location?

I am writing a novel, and part of the plot has one character killing another in a specific real-life location. I mean the setting is extremely specific - for example, a particular hotel, or one ...
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Basing fiction on personal life

I had in mind to use threads from my own life as a foundation for work, keeping much of the incidents, traits and all, but building upon them in a potentially different direction. What are the ...
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How long can a prologue be, and what should you not do?

A while back I wrote a prologue about the beginning of time and space and all that. One thing I noticed later is that between the prologue and the story itself, the prologue ate out the chapters not ...
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Creating the goal of a scene when the main character is passive

In my current writing, I've been having some trouble with the plot, specifically with going from an outline detailing what I need, to an outline detailing how I get there. I think the problem (or at ...
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What is the meaning of the dictum that the third act should contain the greatest crisis?

I am working on a screenplay in which the protagonist has to surmount a crisis in each of the three acts. That is, a physical crisis in Act I, a social crisis in Act II, and a psychological crisis in ...
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Should I be a Novel Writer or a Screenwriter?

Should I be a Novel Writer or a Screenwriter? This question is intended for the beginning writer, who is unsure if he should start with writing physical books, or with writing scripts for movie ...
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128 views

What are the stylistic advantages/disadvantages of each narrative tense?

I often find myself writing multiple copies of everything I write, which is very inefficient, because I'm unsure how which tense or tone-of-voice I want to commit to. I've only taken one creative ...
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57 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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3answers
106 views

Can a character with poor communication skills be used to create an excellent first-person narrative?

I am deciding between first and third person narration for a book (and am inclined to write in the first person). One of the limitations of the protagonist is that he is not a great communicator, and ...
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163 views

How can I surprise my readers with a surprise betrayal?

In my action/adventure story, the two main protagonists are rescuing the injured victim and escaping the dungeon. (Or jail cell. Or whatever.) Once the protagonists have rescued the victim, I want to ...
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Fantasy and Science Fiction - should I choose a separate publisher?

I recall reading somewhere (I believe it was Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy) that you should either stick with one genre or the other. The reason he gave is that if you're ...
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How does an author determine how much foreshadowing is needed?

I am working on a screenplay where the opening scene is that a woman has lost 20 years of relative age because of a "time machine" dynamic. Then the play "flashes back" to a different time, where a ...
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of writing in first person?

A lot of people are either on the side of first person or the side of third person. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of writing in first person for fiction?
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Character name and its capitalisation

Nobody in my story knows the actual name of one of the characters. She calls herself 'tina. She always writes it 'tina and gets irritated if people write it Tina - it's short for something, but nobody ...
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548 views

Constructed Language - how to spell words that will be mispronounced in English

I wasn't sure how to phrase the title, so it may be a bit confusing. Feel free to edit it if you can phrase it better. This question may be better suited for Worldbuilding SE. However, it is about ...
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How does the length/position of action tags affect the dialogue?

Example: "Exactly." John scratched the nape of his neck. It had a faint, purple blotch I hadn't noticed before. Probably sunburn. "Our lives began in the sea, and will probably end on land." ...
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How do you write boy & girl protagonists without turning them into a love story?

I've played with the idea of a multi-book fantasy story for years, where a female and male protagonists' lives intertwine with one another, the series running from 12-22 years old for them. There ...
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Is it ok for a tough character to be “petty”?

My female protagonist wears Prada, and after receiving a big promotion at work, she plots to take over the CEO-ship of her company. One (female) reviewer said something like, "That's one tough cookie ...
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Should I Kill My Main Character?

I'm an aspiring writer who has been writing stories since Kindergarten (None released). Obviously I have a lot of experience, but I'm still unsure with extremely important things. As all of my Novels ...
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Do readers care about any kind of mystery? What makes them prefer one from another?

Here are a few examples of mysteries (I just came up with them now): A. A woman finds out that a lost ancient city still exists. B. A man finds out that her death wife is actually alive. ...
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Techniques to avoid superlatives in intense fiction scenes

I'm an aspiring writer and I'm finding it hard to not get swept up "in the moment" of the characters. What are some techniques to avoid superlatives and hyperbole in scenes that are meant to increase ...
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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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What's the best way to format dialogue that goes back and forth (with three characters in the scene)?

Example: "Roses and a dead body?" Anna wrinkled her fine nose. "I don't see the connection." "And they came from Paris," I said. "How did it end up here?" "Yeah. It's a six-hour drive. ...
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574 views

Will using real-world cultural vocabulary in a fantasy setting disengage readers?

If I have certain minor rituals/garments/culture tidbits in a fantasy setting that mirror those of Earth, and I describe them using the real-world vocabulary, will that disengage readers from the ...
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First conversation scenes I've written (looking for errors, conventions, and improvements according to writing standards)

I would like to know if I'm doing something wrong (according to writing standards) in the following conversation and how to improve it to help readability, quality and feeling (making it more ...
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How to improve this introductory paragraph (to fit writing standards and grab the reader's attention)?

A clock is striking 4:00am at a psychiatric clinic. The darkness, the silence, and absence of people makes it look like a morgue. A young mental health professional is sitting in a chair ...
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Market for novellas and/or novelettes

Does anybody know anything about the current market or demand for novellas or novelettes? I'm in the beginning stages of my writing career and it looks like, so far, I struggle with being concise ...
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Is it OK to add description just because a chapter has none?

I am trying to write without description, only narrating the perceptions of my protagonist, both external (what happens) and internal (what she thinks). I want to avoid all those explanations that are ...