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 much detail should I go into for a character taking advantage of physics expertise?

Let's imagine a book where my character holds the power of light. Reason being, everyone in his country is born with telekinesis. He however, is the only one with enough grasp of the (maybe a little ...
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I feel my protagonist is too “detached” from the main plot. What should I do?

Here's a summary of the plot: The main character goes to a mountain to visit his half-sister. He hasn't seen her in years. She went there to undergo a spiritual healing. Later he discovers her ...
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Does having too many humorous scenes make the readers unable to take the plot seriously?

The story I'm writing have its epicness and drama, but I also want it to be funny, with jokes, puns, etc., made by a character (mostly) or the narrator himself; funny situations, and so on. But I ...
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Learning about hand-to-hand combat?

I am writing heroic fantasy. Plot demands hand-to-hand combat, about which I know little. What is the best/quickest way to learn enough about pre-firearms defense to write convincingly about it?
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should I use predictable plot elements?

I see many similarities in films to the point where I can often guess what will happen next,even if the part was intended to be suspenseful. is that bad writing? should "plot twists" always be ...
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Is it important to describe how the characters are dressed?

One thing that I never mention in my stories is how the characters are dressed. Well, except when they are being described for the first time, when the main character first meets them. How important ...
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6answers
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Hang on - where's the main conflict?

I've recently been struggling with a very strange problem in my writing: I can't find the main conflict in my novels. This has inspired quite a bit of thought and reflection on exactly what a main ...
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When to expose a hidden romance between two very snappy characters? [on hold]

OK, so I have two characters, and they are very snappy to each other (as they are to everyone) and yet I'm planning a romance between them that hasn't emerged yet. Here's a little bit of ...
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Need help for developing my sci-fi short film idea [on hold]

I have this idea for a short film class but I couldn't get a full closure yet. The idea is that a university student works late in this computer laboratory in which everything is computer controlled (...
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For trilogies, is there any order of time periods the story should follow that is considered more appropriate?

Like totally chronological (starting in the beginning of the world's story events and going on to the future), or in the present-past-future order, or another? Is there any specific time order ...
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How do I go about writing and planning my first novel? [duplicate]

I am not a writer nor have ever attempted to write a novel. My english is average, but I love to read and so I have decided to write a novel. I have no experience whatsoever and would love advice. I ...
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How to avoid repetitive sentence structure?

I've realized that I always start sentences with (name of character), he, she, it, they, her, his, the, after (a moment/that), and then. I wonder if there's any useful exercise or tip to reduce this? ...
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How often do writers develop characters before plot, and why?

As someone who writes a little as a hobby, this is something that I haven't really thought about until just recently, but... Is it common for a writer to develop characters before actually coming up ...
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4answers
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How do i describe a vampire from the perspective of someone who has no idea what they are?

The concept of my story is that i would rewrite the story of the first ever vampire in a medieval setting, and from two perspectives, one from the vampire's friend and brothers in arms, and the other ...
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3answers
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Need help with hospital dialogue

I'm writing a story where the main character gets burned pretty badly. He's admitted into the hospital, and he's on a trolley, which is moving. He just got in, and he's in critical condition. I'm ...
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1answer
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Superpower recommendations [closed]

I'm writing a fantasy novel where antagonists have ability to steal skills/abilities from any creature (actually it's more like replacing own skills with others). I need ideas what skills they might ...
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4answers
780 views

Feedback: What to use and what to ignore?

I posted my novel online for critique. And stumbled with the obvious question: when should I consider a feedback and when should I ignore it? This is what I'm doing so far: If more than two people ...
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Mixing essay-like opinions with the story

Is it very uncommon or out of place to mix your own opinions within the story lines? Is it uncommon to change the tone from third person and talk to the reader directly? I have read many tips on ...
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2answers
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Are some ideas too cliched?

So I was thinking, and I've been wondering if some ideas are so overused readers don't get the 'thrill' of reading them anymore. I'm really into last-man-standing type novels, I love them. I've ...
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3answers
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How do you force a turning point in a narrative that is supposed to be precisely about the lack of such devices?

Please, before flagging this question as subjective or generic, take a moment to read it through. IMO this is a valid, specific question, albeit a bit complex. To try and unpack the admittedly ...
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2answers
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Question about a plot. [closed]

So guys. I have a great idea for a book. And have been working on it for quite some time. The plot is kind of surrounding some government conspiracy theories in a more futuristic way. Basically a ...
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Writing about extreme trauma

I've just written a chapter in which one of my protags witnesses her entire family massacred during an invasion of her home city. This is obviously an extremely traumatic and horrifying event, and in ...
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How ordinary must my protagonist be if the book is written from his/her point of view?

What I've found in most books I've read is that the protagonist is "normal" and/or "average" (at least in the beginning). I believe this is because most readers should be able to relate to the ...
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8answers
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Is it okay to end a novel with a cliffhanger?

First thing you should know: I'm writing the first book in a trilogy and I'm at that beautiful moment where I'm ending it. I know exactly how I want to end it BUT there's one problem. I've been ...
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8answers
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How to develop a story for a novel?

I am looking for some inspiration on where to start writing a novel. I have a general idea for a plot and characters, but I don't feel it's enough for sitting down and starting to write. It needs a ...
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1answer
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Is it okay to describe the protagonist's friend's appearance before the protagonist?

I am still fairly new to writing, so I am bound to make plenty of mistakes. The beginning goes like so: The female protagonist wakes up in the morning after passing out at her female friend's house. ...
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10answers
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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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Is it smart to reserve one's best ideas or to utilise them early in their writing career?

At the very commencement of my writing "career" (I have virtually zero experience), I have an idea I would like to flesh out and turn into a full story. Being extremely proud of the concepts I have ...
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1answer
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How to describe a characters clothing? [closed]

Yeah, So I was bored and decided to write some action Naughty adult fanfic type story today. And then as I started to write I was faced with this issue. How the legit **** am I suppose to describe my ...
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2answers
120 views

Is protagonist identification/empathy influenced by the reader's gender?

I had a discussion with someone who claimed she'd once read (though she couldn't remember the source) that men can identify and empathize with male as well as female protagonists, while women identify ...
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3answers
151 views

Is it good to hate a character?

I have a character that I want to give a huge slap across the face to. If I absolutely hate this character, does that mean my reader will hate him too? Is it good to purposely include a character in ...
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5answers
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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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Memoir styled fantasy fiction

I am thinking about writing a fantasy fiction (casually, mostly for my own entertainment), would the style of a memoir be suitable? More specifically, the writing would be the personal account of a ...
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Types of characters for three protagonist

I have noticed that (in fiction) when the protagonists are three children, they normally follow these stereotypes: one is the hero (whose parent is famous), another is a nerd girl (best student in the ...
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4answers
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How to create a title

I am at a dilemma, as I cannot title my novel. So I created these questions. What creates a good title for a novel? What should I include/not include in my title? At the moment, I have come up ...
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constructive criticism online [duplicate]

I am at the point with my short story where I need some constructive criticism. Is there a place online where I could post it and people leave their thoughts and comments on it?
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10answers
999 views

How can I make believable motivations for antagonists?

I am writing a book. However, I can't quite wrap my head around making my character do bad things, while still making their actions and/or motivations for their actions believable. Here is an ...
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4answers
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How to make a dark story not-so-dark (Shining the light in darkness)

I'm writing a war story, and it's dark. However, I find that every scene turns out to be depressing because of it. Readers will be overwhelmed. Are there ways I can induce hope/shine the light in the ...
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3answers
252 views

How to write a “strong” passage?

By strong I mean causing some reaction on the reader (not necessarily goosebumps, maybe just a small wow). I'm having this problem right now. Example (the bolded part): "He told me about how ...
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4answers
106 views

How to write a religious experience?

I'm currently writing a story with a strong theme of spirituality and divinity. At around the halfway point my protagonist has a religious experience which changes them. This experience is a highly ...
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2answers
189 views

Is it a bad idea to vary the voice of the narrator in third person (limited omniscient)?

I did some thorough searching for duplicates of this question, but I don't think they really cover the same spirit of the issue I'm having. (here are some examples of similar but different questions) ...
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5answers
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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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6answers
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Fiction Novels & Active vs. Passive Voice

Before I launch into this, I've perused these threads and they don't quite answer the specific question I have in mind: When to keep the passive voice and when to remove it When *should* I use ...
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1answer
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Using “Earth words” in a futuristic, fictional setting

As a writer of primarily science fiction, I've often struggled with finding a happy medium between making the prose/dialogue relatable for readers and avoiding using too many "Earth words" as I've ...
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5answers
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Can novels have twist endings?

Can a novel have a twist at the end? Sure, a short story can be well written towards a not-so-obvious twist, but a 200+ page novel...can you suddenly whip it around at the end and change the ending ...
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3answers
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Is it a bad writing practice to end a paragraph with question?

I'm not sure where I picked up this habit. Here are two examples: I pictured An-Mei’s slim fingers running across their smooth surface, her hand, and then the body connected to it. But try as I ...
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1answer
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How to describe deep loss?

So, recently one of my characters lost someone very dear to her. Some background: The character has a controlling, cold family that doesn't care about her. This one person is a friend, a guide, and a ...
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Is it a good idea to make the protagonist pull themselves together

Is it a good idea, to make the protagonist pull themselves together at a point in a work of fiction. I've been writing a novel, and for practically the entire first half the main protagonist has been ...
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3answers
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How much character description is considered necessary in a “plot driven” story?"

Some stories begin with a rather full description of say, the main character. Here is a clip from Hello Dolly that describes in (for me) excruciating detail not only about what she does (matchmaking) ...
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Is there any limit on how long a story can progress without the reader knowing the name of the character introduced so far?

So far, I've written about 10,000 words or so and have yet to name the character. I've talked about the character a lot. But no name yet. He's the ONLY character so far. I'm pretty sure that I don't ...