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8
votes
2answers
363 views

How far into a speculative novel should one go before introducing the central conflict?

By speculative, I mean mostly science fiction, fantasy or intrigue. For example Neal Stephenson's Anathem, which is a 900-page book, goes well past the 200-page mark before the central conflict ...
4
votes
3answers
154 views

Adding more characters as the story moves forwards

I'm 20 and have been writing a lot of fiction since I was 11, and there is a story that I keep rewriting as I get older and learn more about writing and storytelling. Strangely I haven't done that ...
0
votes
3answers
349 views

American English: Is it acceptable sentence structure to write, “May God have compassion on your family, in whole.”? [closed]

Does it make sense to write, "... May God have compassion on your family, in whole." I am attempting to rhyme the last word with the last word of the sentence prior to it. Thus, the odd--but hopefully ...
0
votes
1answer
533 views

How to further improve the flow and crispness in the essay?

I am writing an essay in which I used a simple chronological flow. Setting first the background, then the circumstances I was involved in and the decision I took, and finally my conclusion after the ...
5
votes
6answers
910 views

How do I re-interest myself in a plot I am working on?

I've been working on my plot for almost a year now and every time I open my Excel sheet (yes,I know its odd to plot a novel in an Excel sheet but I find it's kind of a clean and clutter free ...
5
votes
3answers
209 views

Should The Secret Antagonist have dual goals set in the ending of Act I of a 3-Act-Structured Mystery?

Okay, There's this antagonist in my plot who is supposed to secretly frame my protagonist (due to some undecided reasons) and also help him publicly to cover his tracks. And since I'm working with the ...
4
votes
3answers
743 views

Single character POV vs. two POVs - how to decide?

I'm starting to look at my next novel, and I'm trying to decide whether I should tell it from one POV or two. I've used both techniques in the past, so I'm aware of the basic ...
2
votes
2answers
252 views

How much outlining should I use in writing my book?

In my writing style, I make an outline of what I'm going to write, and I have fun in between. I was kidding myself in thinking outlining contrasted with "stream of consciousness" in which thoughts ...
6
votes
4answers
202 views

How to give the readers breathing space, without putting them to sleep?

I remember reading somewhere that while plots should have tension, too much tension will tire the readers out, so there should be some breathing place, where the reader can get a chance to catch their ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

What's a typical trilogy structure?

Is there a typical structure for a fantasy trilogy? To be more specific, would they usually follow the three-act structure, with an act per book? And would each book need a self-contained story arc ...
2
votes
2answers
348 views

Is there a typical structure for non-fiction popular science books? If so, what is it?

Is there an accepted or suggested structure for writing non-fiction (specifically, popular science) books? As an example of the type of book I mean, there's Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational: a ...
2
votes
4answers
267 views

Does my story structure for an ensemble zombie story sound effective?

I'm working on a novel about the psychological struggle of 7 characters. It's got an ensemble cast, where every character has the same importance. I've got a structure for this that sounds good to me, ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Example of a fictional story without any characters (the story being 1000+ words)

Guessing that there is no such example, but if there is, I'm very interested in knowing about it. Just as a short example, just to make it clear it's possible; the example is not intended to be a ...
7
votes
4answers
769 views

Preventing genre-savvy second-guessing in murder mysteries

In a murder mystery, most of the story is generally focused on figuring out who the murderer is; in "Fair-Play" mysteries, it's assumed the murderer is a significant character in the book, and the fun ...
6
votes
4answers
405 views

Which goes first: summary, background or justification?

I am trying to write a long expository piece and cannot figure out which information should come first. Here are three candidates: A summary/abstract lists the main points, without necessarily ...
4
votes
9answers
246 views

Trying to indicate that the frequency is annoying

I am trying to state that a particular question is not annoying, but its frequency is. I have come up with the below sentence, but I feel like it could be worded better. It is an annoying question ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the most effective way to deal with flashbacks in a novel structure ?

In writing a novel, often flashbacks are difficult to manage: if too long and detailed, they can appear as second class (at worst, aborted) plots whose only task is to sustain the main plot line; if ...
3
votes
3answers
236 views

Put text between section and subsection headings?

Are there rules about whether or not to put text between section and subsection headings (in scholarly works)? 1 section heading text / no text here? 1.1 subsection heading more ...
5
votes
2answers
616 views

Guideline on turning points in a novel?

What are some popular guides regarding structuring a novel, specifically what turning points the story should hit and approximately at what point in the manuscript? I'm looking for something more ...
8
votes
4answers
536 views

How do I avoid a “mid-story info dump?”

I am revising the manuscript for a novel. About a third into the story, a major turning point occurs when the main character (through whom the reader follows the story) realizes that things are not at ...
19
votes
17answers
2k views

Are complex sentences uncommon or unwanted in English?

I wrote my opinion essay using a lot of different complex grammatical structures, linking words and so on, and some of the sentences were even over 4 lines long. However, I was afterwards told by my ...
5
votes
5answers
711 views

Do episodes of the show House follow a constant structural pattern?

I've seen a few episodes of House M.D., and I wonder, are the episodes written according to a fixed structural pattern? If so, what are the details, and why does such a structure make the show ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Dashes vs. Commas vs. parentheses?

Occasionally I write sentences containing subparts with extra information. I never know how to block off his information from the rest of the sentence. Three ways I have seen are dashes, commas, and ...
1
vote
4answers
580 views

Formula for a memoir

If one were to distill memoir writing to a formula, what would the formula be? This question is inspired by the following quote from the article America's Top Parent: She knows enough about the ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Do Novels follow a 3 Act/2 Plot Point structure like most Movie Scripts?

Many Movie scripts use a Structure where there are 3 Acts (Setup, Climax, Resolution) with 2 Plot Points (end of Act 1 and end of Act 2) (Three Act Structure) I wonder if there are standards for ...
2
votes
1answer
837 views

Characteristics of an “example” in essay writing

Example: an item of information that is typical of a class or group; "this patient provides a typical example of the syndrome"; "there is an example on page 10" (Google) Maybe I haven't ...