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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Revising a manuscript and resubmitting to same publisher?

I have 7 publishing houses currently evaluating my manuscript for possible publication. Some houses have already read a few chapters and have requested the entire manuscript, others are basing their ...
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3answers
237 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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3answers
504 views

How to cover different perspectives/levels of thinking in one story?

I was reasoning with a friend about why movies/novels often get highly successful while others, despite having an interesting story/topic, don't get much attention. We came to speak about Matrix, Pulp ...
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3answers
130 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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2answers
262 views

How to know if the events in my novel are 'realistic enough'?

Sometimes I find my self wondering if the events in my novels are 'realistic enough.' I aware that they don't need to happen in real life, but I want the reader to think: oh yeah, this could happen in ...
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2answers
447 views

Is character driven fiction more successful than plot driven fiction?

I have heard that editors and publishers prefer character driven fiction, where the characters grow and learn, rather than plot driven ones. Is there any truth to this? Edit: In response to comments: ...
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5answers
343 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
1k 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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4answers
365 views

Is my opening chapter too short?

I've just started writing my first proper novel, I've written short stories and started to write before, but never really had the motivation, but now I have a new, interesting storyline to write ...
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3answers
256 views

Is a glossary needed in a novel?

Is a glossary needed in a translated-novel? or I would only need to put the translation of the native words under the brackets?
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2answers
74 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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4answers
156 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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4answers
3k views

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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2answers
516 views

How do I maintain flow and interest when handling numerous plot threads?

I want to learn how to maintain the flow of a novel's plot - there are so many characters and events to organize. What I find most difficult is the way a writer needs to shift from one phase of the ...
2
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1answer
105 views

Using citations in chapter headings?

I noticed in some books I read that under each chapter title, there is a citation, somewhat related to what the chapter in question is about. I was thinking of maybe using the same technique for my ...
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3answers
495 views

Can several related short-stories make a good base to write a novel?

I've been writing related short-stories for years, but around 10 months ago, I started to think about a novel based on these stories. The same universe, the same main characters but a longer story ...
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3answers
1k views

How many different words are in the average novel?

I realize there's going to be a bit of variation here from one author to the next and depending on length of the novel, but the range shouldn't really be too large. The thing is, I really have no ...
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2answers
81 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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1answer
100 views

How to format a novel synopsis

Is it standard practice to format a synopsis in the same manner as a manuscript (double line spacing, indented first line, 12 point, aligned left, times new roman size 12) when submitting to an ...
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1answer
61 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
89 views

A question about dialogue and paragraphs?

First question I've asked on here so hopefully it isn't a silly one. I am a little confused about a certain paragraph/dialogue convention I am using in something I am writing. Occasionally I have a ...
2
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2answers
792 views

How long does it take publisher to respond to requested manuscript?

I started sending my synopsis and cover letter out for my first novel about a month ago. In that time, 3 publishing houses responded that they were interested in reading my manuscript, and will get ...
2
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1answer
333 views

Are there any contests for teenage writers?

Are there writing competitions/awards for novel length works by authors under 18? There are certainly prizes for professional novelists, and amateur novelists, but I'm looking for something for ...
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3answers
60 views

Literary criticism handbook

Can you point out some reference books on literary criticism – from a theoretical as well as practical point of view – to hone and systematize my skills, acquired through first-hand reading of lots of ...
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2answers
57 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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5answers
209 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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3answers
250 views

A novel without verbs?

A recent Snapple cap of mine proclaimed that: French author Michel Thayer published a 233 page novel which has no verbs. Does anyone know the name of this book? Can anyone explain how this is ...
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2answers
219 views

Why is this ‘loved’ italicized?

I’m interested in italics in novels. Italic writings in novels have a wide variety of feelings, for example surprise, delight, anger, irony, humor, etc. However, consulting reference books, I only ...
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2answers
140 views

Writing in between dream sequences

I am writing a story in which a set of events occurred that the main character cannot remember, but they come back to him in his dreams. Basically the entire actual story takes place in his dreams, ...
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3answers
161 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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1answer
78 views

Nonlinear novels [closed]

If you are writing a nonlinear novel, say the narrative from Chapter 1 continues to Chapter 6, and Chapter 2's narrative continues to Chapter 9, etc, what is your opinion, to write Chapter 2 after you ...
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2answers
286 views

Third Person Multiple POV in a single scene, how to refer each other if one character does not know the name of other character and vice versa

I am writing a romance novel. I have two main characters, Niranjan (male) and Jennifer. POV is Third Person Multiple (above two). I have a scene where they meet first time in a restaurant. While the ...
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2answers
43 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
99 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
232 views

Chapter titles or numbers?

I am about to start writing a science-fiction novel, and having only ever written technical documents before, I have very little experience in the finer details of creative writing. In particular, I ...
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3answers
148 views

I'm a new author and I have three projects with complete drafts. Which one should I focus on first?

I'm a new author and, for some strange circumstances, I ended up finishing three stories (first drafts): Ghost Earthquake Eri misses an earthquake that hits her city. She doesn't remember what ...
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3answers
211 views

How should I begin my research for my Military Fiction?

Where can I learn about the voice procedures, military jargons, submarine communications and politics involved in navy?
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1answer
73 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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3answers
141 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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2answers
138 views

Can prologues and epilogues change POV from the main text?

I have completed my book. But I'm stuck writing the prologue. I've written the story with narration by the writer (not from the point of view of any of the characters). But I don't feel like that ...
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4answers
115 views

On offering feedback to stories/novels/poetry

Very often, I happen to have to offer my feedback on friends' short stories or novels or poetry. However, I find it very difficult to give a throughout feedback on this kind of writing which is not ...
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1answer
235 views

Story first approach in plot outlining

I have been wondering a lot recently about a method of writing which I haven't read about anywhere but seems like it must exist. It would fall somewhere in the "plotting" style of writing, where you ...
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2answers
237 views

Does my poem convey the character of the (fictional) author well?

The core character in my current work-in-progress is an immortal goddess (of the minor kind), who goes increasingly desperate. In her desperation she's about to do something quite terrible, and the ...
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2answers
56 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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2answers
433 views

Tenses I should use in a translated-novel

I have been translating a novel that is originally written in my native language into English. Considering that the book's plot is the author's experience of a life that has happened in the past, I've ...
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2answers
188 views

What constitutes historical fantasy?

I'm writing a trilogy set 80% in Italy and 20% in other European countries. Each novel incorporates real historical characters and fantasy elements (a magical object, real/imagined symbols, ...
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1answer
77 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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1answer
20 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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4answers
87 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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191 views

What is the best marketing strategy for a novel and two short stories?

We are currently in the process of writing our debut novel which is set to be released some time next year. On top of this we are writing two short stories which I guess you could call an extended ...