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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2
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6answers
207 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

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 ...
0
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0answers
20 views

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 ...
6
votes
7answers
748 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

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 ...
7
votes
8answers
3k views

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 ...
4
votes
6answers
160 views

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 ...
9
votes
8answers
922 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
671 views

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 ...
11
votes
5answers
911 views

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?
3
votes
5answers
4k 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" etc),...
2
votes
4answers
81 views

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 ...
7
votes
10answers
986 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
109 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 ...
7
votes
10answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
10answers
6k views

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 75,...
3
votes
6answers
430 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
13k views

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 ...
2
votes
4answers
137 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
171 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
260 views

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 ...
2
votes
6answers
153 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
129 views

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 ...
0
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3answers
68 views

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 ...
0
votes
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?
0
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1answer
40 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
132 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
139 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
51 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
165 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
8
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4answers
127 views

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 ...
1
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2answers
46 views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
141 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

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 ...
1
vote
4answers
94 views

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 ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
3
votes
5answers
86 views

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 ...
5
votes
5answers
566 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
72 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
162 views

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, ...
5
votes
6answers
280 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
47 views

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 ...
4
votes
7answers
366 views

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 ...
1
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4answers
76 views

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. ...
5
votes
4answers
133 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

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 ...