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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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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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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2answers
487 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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83 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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372 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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727 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
448 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
201 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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3answers
144 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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201 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
178 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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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. ...
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3answers
122 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
179 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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1answer
66 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
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
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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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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 ...
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8answers
569 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
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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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7answers
545 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
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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476 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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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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270 views

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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3answers
121 views

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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655 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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2answers
224 views

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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3answers
402 views

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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4answers
323 views

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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2answers
94 views

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 ...
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342 views

Does this writing create emotion in the reader?

The thing I hear most often about my writing is, "It's too dry." I'm sure this happens to other people too. I'm working on eliciting emotion through writing, and I'd like a critique on some of my ...
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92 views

Revision Process Order

What would be the best/most fluid/easiest way to revise your manuscript? I've read A LOT up on this and have 2 pages of stuff to revise and check for. Fixing the following things: Main Plot Holes, ...
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136 views

Are using adverbs in dialogue/action tags a sign of bad writing?

Examples from my own writing: She smiled kindly. “Maybe I can help you. What are you trying to find?” "Probably," he said apologetically, as if he were personally responsible for this....
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Could children get tattoos? [closed]

This might be a strange question but if I took a character who is an adult male with tattoos and have him transform somehow into a child would he still have his tattoos as a child or would his skin be ...
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3answers
301 views

What's the best way to punctuate a list with an comma-containing item?

Examples: She looked tough: pieced nose, broad eyebrows, tousled hair, almost spiky. I tried picturing him: his tiny body swinging above the ground, his eyes bloodshot, almost popping ...
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How much effort should I spend explaining plot device?

I think it is good Idea to start by example: Main hero is given briefcase and informed, that such briefcase contains very powerful bomb. The goal is to assassinate Prime Minister of given country. ...
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131 views

Is showing motion by repeating words a sign of bad writing?

I just noticed that I do this a lot: We continued marching and marching. The forest seemed endless. Either that or we were going in circles. Up and up I went, biting back the growing ...
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Action/dialogue tags: What's the right amount?

Someone who reviewed my novel said that he "wanted to see more facial features/expressions and body language". So I figured I wasn't using enough action/dialogue tags. This is the passage before ...
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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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4answers
160 views

Is it a good idea to stay away from past progressive in fiction?

I never noticed this in my writing until one of my readers pointed it out: We were driving down the highway in Tom's Toyota 4Runner, dim streetlights passing by, the night city scene fading ...
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6answers
581 views

It is a sign of bad writing to have many scenes that are disconnected with the main plot?

So my novel look like this (I took this diagram idea from this site, but I'm not sure exactly from whom): The beginning and end focuses on the mystery that the heroine is trying to solve (main plot)...
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4answers
455 views

The backstory's overwhelming the actual story

I have a character with a grim past (forced to watch torture). I need him to have that grim past in order to explain his behaviour in the story I am writing now: characters who did not know his past ...
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3answers
393 views

Good way to create character names?

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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3answers
135 views

Thinking as a character

Months after starting my first novel (which hasn't made any progress and is still in its first draft) I feel I can only react to a given situation rather than create one. The same seems to apply to my ...
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444 views

What genre is a book in an imaginary world but no other fantasy element?

I'm trying to figure out what genre the following is, if any. (I asked a similar question, but this is different now, and more detailed.) The story takes place in an imaginary world. It's more or ...
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4answers
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Am I using too many adjectives/adverbs in the following piece? [closed]

As I made my way uphill, I understood why An-Mei chose this place for her spiritual healing. I glanced around. Gorgeous conifers stretched up endlessly, like pillars connecting the earth with the ...
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Killing the protagonist - should it be done?

I am an aspiring author, but I have written several short 'test novels.' With each of those, it became increasingly clear how you have to develop the main character, the protagonist. After all, the ...