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 replace overuse of “I” in a short story, fiction, written in the first person

I am trying to edit a short story, written in the first person. I have used "I" way too many times, it stands out too much at the beginning of a sentence, but I can't seen to change it without ...
6
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3answers
131 views

Is it good/bad/neutral to introduce a character's day to day life if it's immediately going to be drastically changed?

So I'm writing a science fantasy WiP and I'm unsure how to introduce the characters and their background, day-to-day life if that's all going to change after the inciting incident. So in question ...
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6answers
3k views

Examples for books that don't use (traditional) chapters? [closed]

I'm a big fan of Terry Pratchett, and he doesn't use chapters (mostly). Are there any other authors who tend to not use traditional chapters or chapters at all in novels?
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4answers
124 views

Is it possible for characters to get stuck reacting the same way to everything?

Alright so I am new here so I'm not sure if it's okay to ask this type of question, but I am wondering if it is possible for characters to get stuck in a sort of 'rut' where they react to things with ...
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4answers
420 views

What are potential pitfalls for a young writer?

Though I'm by no means perfect, I generally consider myself a good writer. The issue is that most older writers I know look back on their writing at my age and cringe at the sentences their artless ...
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3answers
58 views

How would I keep using past tense with resulting actions

I'm having trouble figuring out which form is the past tense for sentences like these. For each example, which would be correct? Or have I completely missed something? Thanks. John stepped on the ...
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2answers
66 views

Maintaining readers over time with serialized fiction?

I am one of several authors on a fairly new shared blog. The blog has a mix of serialized and one-shot posts. Because it's a new blog (2.5 months, ~30 posts so far), there is quite a variety of ...
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3answers
89 views

How to self-publish?

I couldn't find anything to do with self-publishing. Could someone explain this to me and how I could do it? I know that I should know about this but I sadly don't.
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4answers
171 views

Gratuitous use of magic: poor writing and/or unenjoyable?

Many of my characters, main, side, and recurring all have a suite of magic abilities. So will them constantly using magic be annoying? Will it make the magic stale? What tips should I follow and what ...
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3answers
100 views

Writing figures in novels

I believe that most of the time, it is advised to write out figures as words in novels, rather than writing the actual figure. E.g. He's twenty years old. He lives on the fourth floor. However, are ...
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1answer
70 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
332 views

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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3answers
116 views

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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3answers
1k views

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. ...
2
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4answers
108 views

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
158 views

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 ...
6
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8answers
447 views

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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1answer
74 views

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 ...
4
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4answers
190 views

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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1answer
106 views

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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2answers
120 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?
2
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3answers
178 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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7answers
149 views

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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2answers
10k views

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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5answers
818 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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2answers
100 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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1answer
108 views

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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2answers
108 views

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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4answers
516 views

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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2answers
467 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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3answers
82 views

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 ...
4
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3answers
371 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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5answers
719 views

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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6answers
416 views

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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7answers
186 views

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 ...
2
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3answers
141 views

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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3answers
196 views

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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2answers
158 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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2answers
60 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. ...
2
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3answers
116 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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2answers
177 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 ...
0
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1answer
65 views

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 ...
0
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2answers
108 views

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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7answers
85k views

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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4answers
110 views

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 ...
3
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8answers
566 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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2answers
56 views

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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7answers
532 views

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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2answers
99 views

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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2answers
448 views

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 ...