Novels are long-form prose fiction, typically over 40,000 words. Questions that use this tag can relate to writing, editing, publishing, formatting or technique as applied specifically to novels. If the question applies to more than just novels, it should probably use the Fiction tag instead.

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What is the “three-asterisk-break” section called?

What is the name for a text subdivision that is shorter than a chapter, but longer than a paragraph? They are always untitled (unlike chapters, which are at the very least called "Chapter 1", "2" ...
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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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10answers
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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
104 views

Do I need to make use of paragraphs when writing a novel and if so, how?

This might be a stupid question but I am trying to write a small novel, and my structure just doesn't seem right. The text just flows continuously until the end of the chapter (with dialog being typed ...
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How do I keep the plot interesting in a humorous book?

I am about to start writing a fantasy-comedy novel. A problem I found in 1-2 books of this genre is that the plot becomes weak, and the story starts to slow down. The reason I believe this happens is ...
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Is dialogue in a novel necessary, or just padding?

I can usually tell the story I want to in less than 10,000 words. I'd really like to accomplish writing a novel and I have a complex idea I want to use and explore, but I am worried I won't need ...
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6answers
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How do I create the rest of the story when I only know the ending?

I know the ending of the first book I want to write but, I'm not sure how to start it or what will happen in the middle. I know I am completely working backwards on writing a story but, every time I ...
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2answers
139 views

How long can a first novel be?

I am writing my first novel, which has gathered about 150000 words. I guess it will be around 170-180k words when it is finished. Assuming that it will loose 20% after the first draft, it will have ...
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1answer
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What binding and paper should be used on a self-printed novel?

The last time I printed a book I just needed something done cheaply and quickly. The print store used very bright, glossy office paper (the same that they use for office documents) and used ...
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4answers
133 views

How do I write from a non-person point of view?

I am writing a novel with an ensemble cast. Each chapter is told from a different person's point of view. Some of the chapters are about a non-sentient machine that communicates with the human ...
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5answers
165 views

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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How would a knight act around a princess?

In my current book, the main character is a knight and in one of the beginning scenes, he interacts with the princess. He's intimidated because of who she is (royalty) and acts very formal around her ...
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6answers
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Is a male character crying realistic or are his reactions here excessive?

I would like feedback on if this portrayal of male emotion is unrealistic. I have been told (beta readers) that men don't cry in real life (already know this is not true), he is crying too much, too ...
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2answers
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Nonlinear novels

Let's say that you are writing a novel whose narrative is non-linear. That means that when Chapter One refers to the present time, e.g. the 2010s, Chapter Two, instead of telling what happened right ...
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3answers
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Length of a scene?

Really, just how long should a solid scene in a chapter be? And what about when characters move setting but the topic is still relevant to the scene? How long would that be? Currently my scenes in ...
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1answer
56 views

How long does a teen science fiction novel need to be?

How long/how many pages does a teen science fiction novel need to be in order for a publishing agency to take it seriously?
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1answer
39 views

My Main Characters Expostion Peaks at a Point, but How? [closed]

My book starts at the end of my main characters research on a topic. And I wanted to give a feeling of him being neck deep in research. I thought of those stereotypical moments on tv shows where a ...
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3answers
129 views

Is it possible to publish a single copy of a book?

When I finish a novel, I'd like to get just one copy printed to give to my parents. Would a publisher do this? How would I get a publisher to do this? Note that I am not going through any people to ...
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1answer
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Is there a hybrid novel writing method that incorporates both “pantsing” and plotting?

I have wanted to write a novel for the past three years. I have read books on writing and taken online courses. Some of that material recommended not using an outline to write a book, and some ...
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2answers
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How applicable are screenwriting ideas to novels?

My current goal is to write a novel (I'm already close to the 35K word mark). However, most of the books I've read about story structure are actually about screenwriting. While stories are stories no ...
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1answer
50 views

Using chapter breaks

I know you are supposed to used Chapter breaks to cut between scenes, but I was wondering if you are supposed to use Chapter breaks when you reference a period of time elapsing within the same scene. ...
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1answer
135 views

How to avoid “Adult” rating when publishing erotica on KDP

If you are publishing erotic fiction in KDP, how do you avoid getting the "Adult" rating that will stop the book being easily searched for and stop it showing up in any suggested reading lists? I ...
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1answer
76 views

Erotic fiction: Kindle Direct Publishing guidelines on pornography

In the KDP content guidelines it says: Pornography We don't accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts. However, they sell hundreds of erotic novels, including very graphic ...
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Do most e-book writers just self publish on Kindle to start with?

On a lot of writers forums and in articles, it seems like Kindle is the main platform most self-publishing writers use just because that one is the one that is referenced all the time. I was ...
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Writing book jacket copy - first person perspective

I am currently writing the text for my book jacket. My book is a novel and it's written in the first person. Does that mean that the text on my book jacket should also be in the first person, or does ...
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4answers
137 views

Can you sell a book for money while having it published online for free?

I write novels, I'm not a big name publisher or anything else but I have ideas that I think should have a chance to be seen by others. Most of my work is for private use, like sharing with friends ...
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If I write an erotic / porn novel now, what are the chances that it might impact my mainstream writing career?

Given that I have written a few erotic / porn novel now, what are the chances that it will impact my mainstream writing career later? Even if I do write using a pen name. Will people be willing to ...
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Different ways to say “I looked”?

I find myself overusing phrases like "his eyes flickered to (object/person)" and "he shifted his gaze to (object/person)". I use the words 'eyes' and 'gaze' a lot to describe what the character is ...
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10answers
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How to overcome the fact that I can't write long stories?

I have written some short stories (in fact, they are flash fiction). When I'm writing short stories, the ideas and the structure come to my mind by themselves. Something different happens when I try ...
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2answers
71 views

If I have a cover for my novel, when should I let the publisher/agent know?

I've run into an issue with illustrations and cover designs. I have a member of my family who designs covers to the novels I'm writing, and a friend in Alaska that I'd like to have illustrate a ...
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5answers
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Picking a place to start (In media res)

I'm about to start a new story, and I feel it would be better if I started in media res. (aka at some point in the middle.) I know this is a fairly common style used to hook readers into the story but ...
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5answers
565 views

Do I need to know anything to write a short story that I wouldn't know by studying how to write novels?

For a long time now, I've been reading books on how to get the first draft of a novel written. I've finally begun putting the knowledge I've gathered to practice and look forward to the results. In ...
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2answers
61 views

When describing novel word counts to agents / publishers, are chapter titles and epigraphs included?

The current book I'm working on has named chapters with epigraphs... is it general practice to include these in the word count of the book when talking to agents / publishers, or do you just count the ...
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Referencing real and fictional people/characters in novels - legal implications

I've been going out of my way to avoid referencing famous people in my novel as well as fictional characters, but I keep seeing pop culture references in other books I read as well as in TV shows, ...
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271 views

How should I have my male character express strong feelings?

I am a woman, and I wrote a book out of the perspective of a guy. His best friend tells him she wants to kill herself. So he writes her a diary (with her in mind as the audience) about everything they ...
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3answers
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How can a screenplay writer learn to write a novel?

I am the sort of person that is really great at coming up with amazing ideas, plot-lines, worlds, etc. for stories, but I'm not so good at putting them to paper - at least not in a novel. I'm really ...
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7answers
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How to avoid the 'magic explanation' info dump in Fantasy novels

In the second book of his Inheritence Cycle, Christopher Paolini makes the grievous error of landing his main character in the middle of a serene woodland where he must sit and talk with an old elf ...
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Which of the two cases of writing Flashback Stories is better?

I am currently working on a story which is based on a flashback event of life. I want the past scene to appear as a current phase to involve readers in my flashback event as if it is happening now. ...
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4answers
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How can I tell if a novel idea is made for a series or a stand-alone?

If I have an idea for a novel (consisting, let's say, of a premise and a vague idea of characters), how can I tell if the idea will turn into a series or a stand-alone? I don't want to start ...
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Write multiple trilogies or make a saga?

So I am currently writing a fantasy story that tends to be long. This question is related to the following question: related The main difference resides in that it is certain that the story will be ...
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1answer
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Can I use the same message over a series of novels?

This question is slightly less straightforward than the title implies, and requires a little explanation. Firstly, I am an entirely self-taught writer. Because of this, my methods are probably a bit ...
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4answers
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what is the best way to make money on the side as a beginning author?

I am a new author and as I am writing my novels, I need a little revenue. Are there sites that would pay for articles being written? Any suggestions would be great!
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4answers
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Should I write something I don't care about first?

When I was 14, I had an idea for a novel but never wrote anything. I'm now 24 and just finished participating in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org) where I wrote a 25k word "long outline" of ...
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4answers
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When is passive voice acceptable?

I am working on a fiction novel and have had difficulties with the passive voice. I feel that in this case the sentence is stronger when the passive voice is used. "Born in a land without ...
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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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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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No English degree, what are my chances on successfully publishing a novel?

I don't have an English or Writing-related degree in any way. As of right now, I have no degree, but what I mean is that I'm not even pursuing a degree in writing. How does this hurt my chances? Do ...
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1answer
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Is it possible to do novel-scale writing on a Chromebook?

I've been looking into Chromebooks for their portability and cost and was wondering what kind of writing tools, if any, exist on the platform that could be used to write larger projects without making ...
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How to collect my ideas in one story?

I start to feel that i'm mad. I make storys from everything that i see on the street. A dialogue, an interesting personality, a funny couple, a hard question or a perfect view to write about. Words ...
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6answers
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Is it a bad idea to publish individual chapters of my book idea, online for feedback?

I have already typed at least 6-7 chapters of this book I've been focused on, but what I want to ask is, is it wise to post what I have so far online for feedback? Or am I just setting myself up for ...