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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Why is having too many symbols a bad idea?

I'm writing a speech on using symbols, and I've just made the statement that you should generally stick with one, maybe two, symbols that span the story (smaller symbols that arise and fade quickly ...
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5answers
228 views

How do I find flaws in a character I'm building?

I have a particular character in my story who I feel is great. He's a retired monster hunter who settled down with his wife for his later years. He's all-around friendly, respectful, empathetic, wise, ...
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2answers
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What is the story structure called when someone doesn't know they have the solution to their problem in hand?

Perhaps the "classic" example is Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Early in her journey through the land of Oz, she acquires the slippers that she needs to take her back to Kansas. But she doesn't realize ...
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2answers
103 views

Can Extensive Outlining Take the Place of the First Draft?

Background: I've been writing fan fiction for five years now. I began when I didn't have a clue what I was doing, so my methods have evolved during those years. By now I have a solid process that I ...
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5answers
238 views

Acquiring vocabulary to write fiction

I am a non-native speaker, learning the English language, and I am already fairly good in reading and writing technical texts. I also enjoy reading fiction books much, but there's one thing that hits ...
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4answers
133 views

Where can I find a professional publisher who will accept my book?

I started writing a book at the end of my 5th grade year. My 6th grade teacher is totally against teen authors, so I stopped for a while. Then my 7th grade teacher inspired me to start again. I'm 13 ...
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4answers
600 views

Can I write a Hero's Journey without them leaving an Ordinary World? (Monomyth template)

I was recently taught about the Hero-Journey template Instead of the Hero leaving the Ordinary World, can they remain and the Ordinary World changes and/or warps (possibly along with the Hero)? And ...
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3answers
172 views

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 ...
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3answers
134 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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4answers
437 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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4answers
127 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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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
68 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
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 ...
3
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4answers
181 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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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 ...
2
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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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4answers
112 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 ...
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4answers
161 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 ...
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1answer
80 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 ...
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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?
0
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1answer
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. ...
4
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4answers
196 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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3answers
184 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
158 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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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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2answers
105 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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5answers
821 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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1answer
74 views

How to cite literary (fiction) fragments in a naturals sciences journal?

I'm writing a grant in psychology/cognitive neuroscience. I am considering including a fragment of a book at the beginning, to illustrate the question. Regardless of whether this is a good idea, is ...
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6answers
429 views

I am a 16 year old who wants to be a writer, but can I?

I'm 16 years old and I've wrote about 4 to 5 different books. I have two that I think would be good enough for the public to read. I've been writing stories since I was 10. I want to be published but ...
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2answers
123 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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1answer
111 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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3answers
84 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 ...
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3answers
208 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
180 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 ...
2
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3answers
124 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
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
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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3answers
148 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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1answer
68 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 ...
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2answers
182 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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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 ...
2
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4answers
113 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 ...
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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
208 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 ...
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2answers
102 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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7answers
560 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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8answers
574 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
506 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 ...
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3answers
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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. ...