Common, repeatable methods of achieving particular storytelling effects or of avoiding narrative pitfalls.

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2
votes
3answers
114 views

How to create suspense in a very short story?

I wrote a short story (900-1000 words) about a character presenting some election process and at the end, we learn that The problem that I have is that the suspense in that story lasts about as ...
-1
votes
0answers
10 views

Thesis statement for Shirley Jackson's Lottery [closed]

What will be a good thesis statement to use for analyzing Shirley Jackson's short short story titled lottery with the feminist and marxist lenses.
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Thoughts on Writing Self- Help Books & Workbooks

First off i'm asking this question not as an advertisement nor i am asking anyone's opinion on this matter i am just asking an experienced review of my question. The thing is that recently I've ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

How to introduce a world that's alien to the reader

I'm writing sort of a space-opera and I was wondering what would the best way to explain everything about the world to my readers. The story is kind of a political intrigue, and it would be very easy ...
13
votes
9answers
12k views

Effective techniques for describing pain

I've noticed something in writing: it's difficult to convey pain, and even specific types of pain, to an audience who's comfortably sitting at home in an easy chair. I can hardly imagine pain until ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

How to write montages in prose? (fantasy novel)

cue Team America song Okay, now that you know I like to have fun with my writing... I'd like to write a montage in prose fiction. It would be a sort of a wizard training sequence, or something to ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Describing protagonist's experience from using magic [closed]

I am writing a fanfic where the protagonist is a skeleton living on Earth. He possesses a magic skill which revolves around moving objects. Of course, there are limits. He cannot move things as heavy ...
1
vote
6answers
99 views

Voices of young children, how to write?

I am currently writing a narrative featuring many young children. Some of the children are under the age of five, and I'm wondering what the best way to write dialogue for their age group would be. I ...
1
vote
3answers
111 views

How to write a strong villain who isn't really present?

I'm working on a quite large story since a while now, but going through my drafts I noticed one weakness: My villains are very underdeveloped / weakly characterized. I'll try to generalize the ...
2
votes
4answers
121 views

What is the best practice for writing a character that speaks with a whistle lisp?

For a character that whistles when pronouncing the "s" sound, how can I write in the lisp effectively? I tried using multiple "S"s, but it reads as a snake-like sound, which I don't want since there ...
0
votes
4answers
89 views

Is it possible to write about failed detective novel?

All detective novel ends with the killer caught, right? Is it possible to write a completely bad ending detective novel? Imagine the Titanic of Sherlock Holmes, or is it done yet? By Titanic I mean ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Describing common hand gestures

While writing stories how do I describe the action of common hand gestures, for instance the "come on" signal. Is there any reference? I found a list of hand gestures in wikipedia but obviously it's ...
0
votes
3answers
64 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

How to create interesting character conflicts

How might one go about creating character conflicts that intrigue people? As in, ones that are innovative/original that are not cliched (for example, the love triangle when it was brand new).
17
votes
3answers
13k views

How to write a prophecy?

No, I'm not actually asking you to tell me how to predict the future! Several pieces of fiction I've read/watched recently have prophecies. One of my favourites is On the fields of Trenzalore, at ...
5
votes
2answers
68 views

Techniques for picture writing?

So, the title is unclear. What I mean, is I want to create a piece of writing which the reader does not imagine as "real". I want the reader to imagine this piece of writing as pictures instead, and ...
-1
votes
1answer
122 views

How to write sexual/romantic scenes? [closed]

Yeah, I just decided today to write a Porn/Erotic Book. Seems writing ebooks is a quick way to make a couple of bucks and rise up the ladder these days. But, the problem is I don't know how to write a ...
2
votes
5answers
107 views

How do I avoid tradeoffs with showing vs. telling? [closed]

I learned early on (as most writers have) "show, don't tell," which I agree with for the most part. However, I've found many situations in writing when I'd start to write a statement in tell, catch ...
2
votes
7answers
11k views

How to show a crying/sad scene without using sentimentalism?

Previously, I had no difficulty in showing a scene like that, and as for me, to show a crying scene I'd write something like "then a teardrop rolled by her cheek". However, I had read an article from ...
4
votes
5answers
138 views

How to write a good prison scene

I'm attempting to write one or two chapters with one of my main characters in a jail cell. It's important to the character development that he is isolated for an extended period of time, antagonized ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

What's the book that explores emphasis on words in sentences to change the meaning?

I'm looking for a book I saw many years ago. The book showed how a sentence could have different meanings, depending where you placed the emphasis. To indicate the emphasis, the book put a dot above a ...
3
votes
2answers
55 views

Handling small bits of background story

I have a scene in which two characters are introduced to the reader. They met once before at a party, prior to the start of the story. In the following excerpt, I add a short explanation of that first ...
1
vote
4answers
80 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
172 views

Need guidance on my writing method

I have decided to take up writing as a hobby. First because I have so many ideas and like creating things. Second, because I enjoy it so far and thirdly, I like the idea that if my writing is any ...
1
vote
4answers
89 views

How do I describe the effects of extreme psychological trauma on my protagonist?

I am working on a novel where my young protagonist has certain character flaws/issues which are the result of having survived a horrific incident as a child. The incident occured during a time when ...
3
votes
7answers
142 views

Forming a strong relationship between 2 characters

How can one organically develop a strong relationship (father-son, to be precise) between 2 strangers over the course of a novel without making it seem contrived?
4
votes
2answers
124 views

Writing a Platonic Relationship

I'm writing a story, however I just can't seem to form a platonic relationship between my characters. Whenever I am writing my characters (Eric and Abigail), it feels they should just kiss and make ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Can I add Drop Caps to my Manuscript in the Storyist program?

I have a manuscript that I'd like to add Drop Caps to at the beginning of each chapter. I currently have it loaded into my Storyist program on my Mac-book Pro. Does anyone know how I'd go about adding ...
2
votes
4answers
129 views

When a character tells a long story, is it always an info dump?

I have two characters who don't get along and are sniping at each other from the moment they meet in the book. Throughout the story, they keep ramping it up. At a certain point, one character is still ...
31
votes
20answers
3k views

How can I catch more errors when I proofread?

I have a problem where I often proof my own writing and I don't catch all the errors while I am reading through it. I often miss entire words out of sentences or find myself repeating words. I can ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Writing a scenario

I have always wanted to write a scenario for a series that could be translated into several episodes, but I didn't know where to start or how should a scenario look like. My question is: does any one ...
3
votes
2answers
57 views

Realistically Writing newly-deaf characters

I am not deaf and nobody I know is, yet I am curious how an author goes about writing in a newly-deaf character's POV when they aren't deaf themselves.
0
votes
4answers
83 views

OCD Writing Techniques

When I was a kid, I could sit down put the pencil to the paper and the words would just flow; then I was diagnosed with OCD and things started changing for me. The words don't flow anymore, and ...
1
vote
5answers
135 views

Writing a bad review in a tactful way

I have a blog which sometimes features bad reviews based on my personal research and point of view. Please help me know how to say something critical without being too hurtful. For example, the ...
1
vote
3answers
53 views

Writing Action In A fictional Journal

I have written a story in the form of a journal. It's about a man who is going through a separation/divorce, living alone in an unfurnished apartment; now lonely and longing for companionship. ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Ways to influence the readers subconscious?

Are there any proven techniques of influencing the readers on a subconscious level? Preferably techniques involving only words as I'm interested in writing technical books and I don't have the liberty ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you make a story succeed in spite of an unsympathetic main character?

I'm looking for techniques specific to a story with an unsympathetic main character. Confederacy of Dunces, for example. Why does that work, and why wouldn't that work with a likable hero?
6
votes
5answers
361 views

Can anyone think of books that contain two separate stories or two very different perspectives on the same story being told together? [closed]

I fear that the question sounds vague and confusing, but I can't conjure up the words I need to say exactly what I mean without going into detail. I thought it would be interesting to have two ...
1
vote
3answers
142 views

How to give written advice in a way that is encouraging, not overbearing

How do we write something to inspire a person which corrects the mistakes they've made until now, but without making them feel like they're getting mocked from the recipient's perspective? I was ...
2
votes
3answers
106 views

How to write a scene where something devastating suddenly happens? [duplicate]

I've always struggled with writing scenes like these. For example, imagine a situation where two characters, Steve and Alice, are walking down the road. Suddenly, somebody shoots Alice, and she dies ...
3
votes
2answers
56 views

Repeating a subject

Can I repeatedly use the same subject to start several sentences in a paragraph that describes a process? Does it build continuity or become redundant? For example: A passenger arrived. He ...
4
votes
4answers
134 views

Forming The Perfect Inspirational Character

I would like to know what cues I can use to make a character inspirational. What are some of the traits of characters like Albus Dumbledore, Peeta Melark or Gandalf, that are quoted often in popular ...
4
votes
2answers
52 views

How can I include my own words within the quotation?

How can I include my own words (of an extra information) within the quotation? Can I do it in the following way, with the words in bracket being my own? To quote the words of the Buddha: “Here, ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

Pacing yourself as a writer.

I am a third year undergraduate student at university (21yrs). I absolutely love writing and I want to publish my pieces at some point. I write poetry, short stories, and novels. I was wondering - how ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

How to write about paternal and maternal grandparents?

What are some practices to write about paternal, maternal grandparents, especially when their names are not used? In my case, the names are not given. One method I am considering is "p-grandfather", ...
10
votes
4answers
413 views

What are potential pitfalls for a young writer?

Though I'm by no means perfect, I generally consider myself a good writer. The issue is that most older writers I know look back on their writing at my age and cringe at the sentences their artless ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

How to format neural actions in a story

I'm writing a short story with androids and cybernetically enhanced humans who have access to neural interfaces. Essentially, they open up some kind of computer terminal, but it's via internal sensors ...
0
votes
4answers
111 views

How Much Dialogue Is Too Much Dialogue

I wanted to know How Much Dialogue Is Too Much Dialogue ? I'm writing chapter and i can't really seem to trim my dialogues since my all 4 of my characters are to talk to each other and interact with ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

Acronym issue transitioning from prose to dialogue

Fiction. There is a group called the Mental Health Access and Referral Team. In prose, I can either use M-HART or MHART. In dialogue, I'm a bit stumped. (I use THE CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE.) I think ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

What is the fine line between “confidence” and “presumption”?

I am about to apply to a grad school, and I have prepare the SOP for it (think it like a cover letter to apply to a job). I know the rule: show what I've got, not tell how I think I'm cool. I've ...