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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Is it okay to publish a book at a young age?

I am writing a novel that is called 'Murder' It's about a girl who almost gets murdered but then has to live with the murderers with almost no knowledge that they are the ones that killed her. ...
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How do I describe the effects of extreme psychological trauma on my protagonist?

I am working on a novel where my young protagonist has certain character flaws/issues which are the result of having survived a horrific incident as a child. The incident occured during a time when ...
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5answers
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What defines a Fairy Tale versus typical Fantasy?

My second-grader has been asked to write a "fairy tale." We are both clueless about what makes a story a "fairy tale" different from a fantasy story. Is there some special, defining element to a fairy ...
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Is the Concept of “Machine of Death” Copyrighted?

I am a fan of the book "Machine of Death"; http://machineofdeath.net/pdf/MachineofDeath_FINAL.pdf PDF Page 452 of the above link details the copyright for the material contained within the book. ...
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6answers
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alternatives to “he said” in dialog

I'm working on my first fiction story. And one mechanical thing I struggle with is how to identify the speakers in dialog without constantly saying "Bob said", "Mary said", etc. Any ideas? That is, I ...
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3answers
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Third person multiple pov in a crime mystery

Fellow writers, I am plotting a crime mystery novel. I have the story and gist in place. It should have the "whodunit" element. I want to use Third person multiple pov narrative(more than 6+ povs). ...
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2answers
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Inciting incident in Fantasy

In my fantasy story, there is about 10,000 words before the inciting incident. I originally intended to land the end of my story at about 40,000 words. This is partially due to the fact that a lot of ...
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5answers
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Attributing a real quote to a fictional character

I've looked at a few fictional character quote questions on here but none seem to hit onto my question: Can I attribute a real quote to a fictional character? That is, can I take a quote that was ...
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1answer
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How is “A song of ice and fire” not in violation of amazon's policies?

So amazon has been delisting and removing works of small publishers for a while now, as it seems some of them are in violation with its terms, such as "incest", " under age", and "graphical ...
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6answers
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Title already taken

I'm writing a novel, and I think I've come up with a very good title (The Power of the Powerless). It convey's the moral question of the story well, and gives a good sense of the style of the story. ...
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5answers
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If I use a real location for the setting of my book - Do I have to use existing schools or can I make them up?

I'm writing a book and want to set the story in an existing location, such as Manchester, England. Does that mean that I have to use an existing school from Manchester, or can I make the school up? ...
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18answers
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Fan Fiction: a crutch or a good start?

Writing is writing, but I am not confident enough to take on creating a whole world from scratch. Will writing fanfic or writing in other shared world spaces be beneficial, or will it simply allow me ...
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Is it plagiarism to use something from a nonfiction work and put it into fiction?

I was reading about this Japanese dance style written by a man who taught it. He said that the style was uniquely Japanese and few outsiders could really dance in the style properly. He said that he ...
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1answer
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Blog recommendations for children's book writers [closed]

Any suggestions for blog websites for picture book writers. I am new in the field and I would like to find websites for writers of children's books. Thank you.
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0answers
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Governments in fantasy stories? [migrated]

Is it realistic for a rather well to do city to accept a monarchy over democracy simply for a promise of protection at the cost of higher taxes given baseless rumors of invasion? Setting is medieval ...
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5answers
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Characters with no names

I've got a few short stories going, and I've foregone naming any of my characters. It started because I just didn't have any good names in my head and I was going to take care of it later, but now I'm ...
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2answers
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Not resolving the main / significant conflict

I am occasionally slightly frustrated by how neatly stories wrap up the major storylines. Mostly because life rarely ties things up in a bow for us! I have a story I've been considering, where the ...
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6answers
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How do you make a story succeed in spite of an unsympathetic main character?

I'm looking for techniques specific to a story with an unsympathetic main character. Confederacy of Dunces, for example. Why does that work, and why wouldn't that work with a likable hero?
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4answers
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How to determine if a story would benefit from multiple first-person POVs?

Originally I asked this question: What is a "methodology" I can I use/follow to determine the ideal set of protagonists for my story?, but found that it was too vague. Specifically, I'm ...
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3answers
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Will changing a protagonist into an antagonist alienate readers?

It's really hard for me to write questions here without giving a complete info dump on my story. Every time I start to explain my problem, I find myself writing an entire synopsis. This is my third ...
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7answers
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Signs of Bad Character Development

When creating a character, what red flags would show me that I'm creating an unbelievable or unsympathetic character? I know that to be believable and sympathetic a character must not lean too much ...
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8answers
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“All of a sudden…” ?

I am writing a manuscript for a novel. It's my first attempt, and often I find myself wanting to write "suddenly" or "all of a sudden". I do this when I want the scene to change in an instant, or ...
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4answers
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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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6answers
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Building empathy with a character and interest in a story

I've written several chapters of a (fiction) story. I wasn't happy so I spent some time reading about fiction, and trying to figure out what was wrong with it. I came to the conclusion that, while ...
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6answers
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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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0answers
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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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5answers
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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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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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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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1answer
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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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6answers
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How to start writing a book?

I'm new to writing and I'm still young (preteen young). I want some advice on writing and help. How am I gonna start my book? What is the best way to begin writing a book?
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6answers
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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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7answers
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How many pages long should a chapter book be?

I have recently started writing a chapter book, which is "a story book intended for intermediate readers generally between 7-10 years old". The book is only 29 pages long and I am nearing the end. ...
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4answers
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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
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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 ...
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3answers
124 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
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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
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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
379 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
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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
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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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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
159 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
91 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
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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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2answers
298 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
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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. ...