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

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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 ...
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1answer
12 views

Writing a Platonic Relationship

I wanted to know that these days i'm writing a story however i can't just seem to form a platonic relationship between my characters. Whenever i am writing my characters Eric and Abigail it feels they ...
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4answers
67 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
53 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 ...
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6answers
91 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?
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1answer
32 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 ...
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2answers
47 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.
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0answers
40 views

How to write polite follow up email? [on hold]

I have written a mail to my senior developer, for which I haven't received any reply. I need to write a polite follow up Email. How I am supposed to address and ask him to look into the Email.
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4answers
61 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 ...
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3answers
48 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 ...
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5answers
120 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 ...
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3answers
45 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. ...
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1answer
68 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 ...
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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?
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5answers
304 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 ...
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3answers
135 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
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3answers
90 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 ...
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2answers
53 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 ...
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4answers
118 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 ...
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2answers
51 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, ...
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2answers
65 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
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2answers
51 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", ...
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4answers
379 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 ...
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1answer
67 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 ...
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4answers
99 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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
5k 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 ...
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1answer
65 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 ...
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8answers
4k views

Avoiding the “as you know” trope in exposition

When writing fiction, especially in universes other than our own such as sci-fi/fantasy genres, the reader often has to be given a piece of information about how the world works in order for what's ...
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3answers
125 views

Resources for learning how to craft plots

The main problem for someone moving from non-fiction to fiction is the development of a plot. It is especially frustrating to someone who already knows how to string words together and "write well", ...
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7answers
134 views

Can non-interactive stories make an audience feel guilt, and if so, how?

Interactive stories can do this quite easily- give the audience a choice, reveal choice to be a bad one, everyone is very sad. Simple. But can a story the audience has no direct control over manage ...
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0answers
10 views

What's the best way to make a catchy slogan? [duplicate]

I am trying to write a marketing slogan to draw people's interest. Because it's a slogan I only have a few words to do this in. How do I use just a few words to make the reader want to know more? ...
0
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1answer
587 views

I'm writng a biography; what questions should I ask when interviewing the subject?

I will be meeting someone soon for a multi-session interview where I will be gathering information for the book i am writing about that person's life. I am not a journalist or a novelist nor have I ...
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4answers
155 views

What is the “inner consistency of reality” that Tolkein refers to in his essay On Faerie Stories?

I read Leaf by Niggle, and I've ever since been recommending it to just about anyone who will listen to me. Now, I want to know how The Magician did it. I read over his essay On Faerie Stories, and ...
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2answers
131 views

What are the drawbacks of writing too much in the active voice?

I always hear people say, "Write in the active voice," so I decided to eliminate passive voice from my writing (as much as possible). It made my writing stronger, but I wonder: Does writing too much ...
13
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8answers
10k 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 ...
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12answers
1k views

Which techniques can I use to become a better editor when editing my own writing?

I'm looking to improve my ability to edit and correct my own writing. What are some techniques I can use to help me with this?
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2answers
57 views

I am writing a book, fiction and this is a question about technique [duplicate]

I am deciding between First Person and Third Person (and inclined towards First Person) One of the limitations of the protagonist is that he is a poor communicator and this impacts his relationships. ...
2
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3answers
106 views

Can a character with poor communication skills be used to create an excellent first-person narrative?

I am deciding between first and third person narration for a book (and am inclined to write in the first person). One of the limitations of the protagonist is that he is not a great communicator, and ...
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2answers
88 views

Writing about a future hapenning with a present time narrative

What sort of a literary technique is it when writers narrating their story in the present time (in first person) talk of an incident that happens to them in the future? I recently read a non-fiction ...
113
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21answers
6k views

The “Rules” of Writing

There are a lot of axioms that get tossed around in creative writing courses, books on writing, and of course, the internet. Often, these little gems are explained to new writers as though they were ...
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2answers
11k 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 ...
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5answers
573 views

Will using real-world cultural vocabulary in a fantasy setting disengage readers?

If I have certain minor rituals/garments/culture tidbits in a fantasy setting that mirror those of Earth, and I describe them using the real-world vocabulary, will that disengage readers from the ...
2
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0answers
73 views

Humor in Writing [closed]

I'll be honest here and say that I'm a pretty funny guy. I tend to make my friends and family laugh from time to time but I've got a problem on my hands: I have no humor in my writing. I'm writing a ...
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7answers
335 views

Does this writing create emotion in the reader?

The thing I hear most often about my writing is, "It's too dry." I'm sure this happens to other people too. I'm working on eliciting emotion through writing, and I'd like a critique on some of my ...
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3answers
148 views

How important is education for an author?

By education I do not mean to ask how important a degree in English is for an author. A literate person, without any formal education, could pen an amazing story. On the other hand, a PhD might not ...
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6answers
141 views

How to make distinguishing characters who have almost the exact same traits?

I have a problem. I have 2 main characters, A and B, who have pretty much the exact same personality traits. The trouble is, this is historical fiction and I can't change who they are. The 2 ...
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6answers
5k views

How do I cleanly show the passage of time, with multiple, varying time scales?

Semi-complex idea, more easily seen than explained, but here we go. I was re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone recently (notice I bring those books up a lot...I think they're brilliant) ...
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5answers
124 views

Spacing out dialogue?

I'm an amateur writer. Whenever I write, I tend to put in too much dialogue and not enough story. What are some techniques I can use to space out my dialogue? Thanks in advance.