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'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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1answer
61 views

Do US literary agents accept manuscripts from UK?

I am two thirds through writing my novel and just wondered if any writer out there-wannabe like me or published has ever sent a manuscript from UK to agent based in the States. Thanks Eleanor
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1answer
74 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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1answer
92 views

(Negative) references to real people and places in a novel

I was wondering about how much freedom a writer has to refer to real people and places in a fictional work and in what situations it's best to get permission or avoid it altogether. I do know that ...
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3answers
177 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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2answers
238 views

What's the exact format of letters/text messages inside novels?

The following is from The Fault in Our Stars: If I'm not mistaken, this is the formatting: The font should be half the size of the normal font. They should be indented with twice the indent ...
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1answer
75 views

Dialogue identifying the character that is currently speaking

I am writing a novel, and I am trying to find the right dialogue tags for identifying the character that is currently speaking. Here are some examples of two forms, and I am unable to decide which one ...
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1answer
152 views

How To Write An Unreliable Narrator?

So in my latest works I've decided to make my narrator, whom is my main character as well, pretty unreliable. How do I get this across to readers? I read a few short stories online that were pretty ...
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3answers
82 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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8answers
292 views

Can I write same scene from 2 viewpoints?

I'm writing a romance novel and want to include some scenes that are described first from the female protagonist point of view and then from the male. Will readers think it's a waste of time (as the ...
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5answers
143 views

How to handle a pidgin language?

Question: In reference to this question about how to show a foreign language in a manuscript, I am wondering: What is the best way to handle a pidgin language in a manuscript? In a wider sense: How ...
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1answer
173 views

How to ask detailed questions about a novel?

I'm taking Junior AP Eng Lit, and my assignment is to write some detailed questions about the beginning chapters of Catcher in the Rye and answer them. These questions are supposed to be in depth and ...
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3answers
254 views

How can I get my romance through a two-year breakup?

My story calls for the main characters to break up for at least two years, before getting back together. (In this particular case, the breakup is for ethical reasons - the relationship began when the ...
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1answer
83 views

How to write an instructor instructing others about complicated tasks?

I am want to write scenes in a story which include one character providing instruction to other characters on how to perform complicated tasks that require a lot of technical detail and applied ...
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7answers
902 views

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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5answers
593 views

How do I realistically describe using a whip?

I'm writing a character who is going to be using a whip. while the scenario is clear in my mind, whenever I try to describe the characters usage of the whip while fighting, the only thing I can come ...
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3answers
232 views

How to Develop a Theme Before Writing a Novel

I've given some thought to this, and I decided that I want to either make or find a theme to my fantasy novel before I really get into it (as I have started a couple pages already). I did some ...
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2answers
57 views

Beginning to write a novel? [closed]

I already wrote the girl's (Ali) chapter and I'm very pleased with it as I've been trying a lot of different things for about two years now and when I start the boy's (Gunner) chapter I can't figure ...
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1answer
91 views

Learning to write transitions and segues [closed]

I'm a writer but unfortunately I don't read nearly enough, I'm looking for some suggestions for novels that feature well made or unique segues and transitions between scenes. My closest comparison is ...
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1answer
86 views

Writing a Novel [duplicate]

So, I am writing a story. I have book 1 done, half of book 2 and of course the ending in book 3. I am not an English major, and I am not at all great with grammar, or using proper English. Which ...
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2answers
82 views

If you could design writing software, what would be your top 5 required features? [duplicate]

I am a developer. I'm curious what features other writers look for in writing software. (I am, of course, excluding features of typical word processors such as options to change font size, paragraph ...
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8answers
3k views

Writing Multiple Novels Simultaneously

I am, at present, 50% of the way through my first novel (17 chapters (and counting), ~55,000 words, ~100 A4 pages) and yet I also had many other (what I think are) wonderful ideas pop into my head for ...
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2answers
112 views

Writing a Romance novel, starts in present but after two chapters the flashback starts

I am writing a romance novel and the story starts in present in a very tense environment. But after two chapters it goes into the protaganist flashback. The love story is all in the flashback. Is this ...
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2answers
99 views

Is there a problem in switching from present to past for a backstory sequence?

My understanding was that it's fairly normal for a present-tense novel to switch into past tense in a backstory sequence. But I was having a conversation with a friend and he insists any tense ...
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3answers
164 views

Should I completely eliminate passive voice

I have read that a lot of passive voice deadens the story to 2 dimensional even if you are just trying to show something that takes time when you use the passive voice. I quite often use passive ...
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3answers
4k views

What is the expected target age for a YA (Young Adult) novel?

I'm curious about what the expected age for a YA young adult novel is, because it seems to have a huge range. I think most people believe these books are targeted at roughly 12-16 year olds, but to ...
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3answers
229 views

Is a novel with 50K words more likely to sell than one with 40K?

I'm asking this because I wrote a novel with 40K words, but somehow I feel it would sell more, or at least be more like a "novel" if I add stuff until it's 50K (I checked on Amazon and most ...
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2answers
388 views

Basics in the world building of a novel

About a year ago I started developing something like an alternative world. About two months a go I finally found some time for more work on this theme and now I am collecting information from few ...
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3answers
2k views

Should a long flashback be written in first or third person?

In my novel there will be a chapter-length flashback as one character relates a story from his past. The rest of the novel is written in limited third-person, seeing into one person's mind at a time. ...
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1answer
419 views

What are the poetry/quotes at the start of a chapter/book called?

For instance, "A Rasin in the Sun" starts with the poem "Harlem." I've noticed many (mostly contemporary) novels will start chapters with pieces of Poetry or quotes that are completely separate from ...
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6answers
2k views

Can I use real presidents (past and present) and real companies in a fictional story?

I'm not sure if I want to use real people and companies or make up an entirely different world with different people, presidents, and companies than our real world. If I did the latter I would offer ...
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4answers
291 views

How Do I Fill In The Gaps Between The Chapters [closed]

I know this may come off as weird or strange but i want to know how do i finish my novel. The thing is that i already know how to end it and i have a impeccable beginning but that isn't how a novel ...
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3answers
198 views

Female Pet Names that a Londoner might use

I was wondering about female pet names, like darling, sweetie, pet, babe etc. One of my characters refers to his other half as "pet" but I've been told that this is common to the North East (UK). As ...
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3answers
9k views

What is the recomended word-count for a fantasy-fiction book?

By recommended I mean what is the standard for it to be not too long and not too short. I know I should write until I am finished but I want to take practicality into account as well. Mainly when the ...
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2answers
237 views

Use of the Chicago Manual of Style by UK-English writers

I am Australian and have just finished writing a novel. The publisher I will be using is in the USA and uses the Chicago Manual of Style. Because I use UK English, I would prefer to leave my ...
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3answers
115 views

How political can an author's note be, would the following fly? [closed]

"If the ANC does to you what the apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government." – Nelson Mandela I wrote this novel in what was at the time my ...
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2answers
44 views

What are some common pitfalls when adapting a novel (thematic autobiographic in this case) to a screenplay?

I am working on an adaptation of a book into movie format, and I would like to know what experience and guidelines exist for this, so I can improve my way of doing this where possible.
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2answers
292 views

Should I turn my enormous novel into a series?

I am currently writing a novel and am 25,000 words into it, but only about 10% of the way in total. My intention was to write a single novel, but as I write, it has clearly evolved into what I can ...
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1answer
106 views

Any Good Method for Calculating Word Count Based on An Outline?

I've written short stories before (around 6,000 words), and I know what I have outlined is longer than a short story. But, I cannot decide if it is "novella length" or if it will break into "novel ...
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2answers
90 views

How do I tell the story of a societal change using a discrete number of narrators?

When I started writing and first tried to characterize my work, I came across a wonderful word: psychogram - a story that revolves around the psychological evolution of a specific character. The ...
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2answers
108 views

Which one is the correct dialogue punctuation format?

I am writing my first novel and this the very first confusion I would like to clarify. As I am not a native English speaker, I find it very hard to understand the punctuation scheme in direct ...
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6answers
1k views

How can I turn my short story into a novel?

I just wrote last week about Sleeping Beauty but a different version of it. (I changed the characters, and the conflict, and mostly everything except the fact that one of the main characters is cursed ...
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2answers
111 views

Should I drop the quotation marks in a chapter that consists mostly on a character telling a story?

The structure looks like this: Chapter 10 (...) And so Cath began telling me her tale. Which turned out to be grimmer than I'd expected. Chapter 11 "I've been suffering from ...
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1answer
36 views

MLA parenthetical citation of a character in a novel

If I am writing my essay on only one novel, and I have made it clear in the previous sentence that the quote is from a character in said novel, do I still have to include the authors name in the ...
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5answers
343 views

Use of realism in a fictional setting

I am writing a fictional novel. It is set in many fictional places and the book will have it's own set of rules of physics. However, I feel that if I lose the sense of realism too much there will be ...
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4answers
95 views

Starting Out a Novel [closed]

Would it be more effective to the reader to start out a novel explaining the setting and scenery or, introducing the characters?
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3answers
97 views

Point of view chapter to chapter

Would it be more interesting reading a book that switches between 3 character's points of view chapter to chapter or, staying in the main character's mind the whole time. All of the point of views ...
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2answers
86 views

Question about longer chapter length flashbacks

I'm working on a novel. The POV never leaves my main character (third person point of view.) Throughout the story he is given hints at a past life so to say. In reality the man has been alive since ...
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7answers
2k views

Why does an author need an editor?

I'm firmly in the camp of "your novel needs an editor, and that editor better not be yourself." But recently I was asked why that was, and I couldn't articulate an answer that was passable. Young ...
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1answer
336 views

Being a non-native English writer how can i improve my English Writing style? [duplicate]

I'm an Indian and trying to write a novel based on 2 sisters. My problem is that i don't feel very comfortable with my english sometimes. How can i improve my english? And sometimes i use the same ...