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

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1
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2answers
151 views

Name of writing style or structure of novel that is in non-chronological order

What is the name of the structure of a novel that is not in chronological order but moves between characters (viewing the same or different topic)?
5
votes
1answer
709 views

Twist in kishōtenketsu vs. twist in Western plots

How does the “twist / ten / 転” phase in the Japanese kishōtenketsu narrative structure differ from the “plot twist” that is a standard element of many Western stories? I’m thinking, for example, of ...
11
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
183 views

Writing for an Audio book. What are specifics?

What are specific requirements, a writer should follow, when writing something that is going to be (or just can possibly be) not only read but listened as well?
4
votes
3answers
168 views

Referencing the process of writing the novel as a part of the novel's plot

I am writing a review of a novel, which I guess is postmodern in a nonstrict way. And I need help with terms. How do you call a technique when the main character is the author of the novel and ...
1
vote
1answer
300 views

How to narrate a fictional dream in third person?

Long story short. A few years ago I suffered from depersonalization and I still struggle with identity and motivation issues. This has deprived me almost entirely of the ability to feel emotion in ...
1
vote
3answers
127 views

A good approach to show dialogues over radio communication?

The novel's in first person. I'm working on a scene where there are five people dispersed on different floors of a building, all talking to each other via tiny mics and micro-earpieces. The ...
5
votes
3answers
184 views

Formal video-based creative writing courses

Are there any online video courses for creative writing? Preferably free. I'm referring to university-type courses, which are filmed and then published online. An outstanding example is Brandon ...
3
votes
3answers
250 views

What does a character in a short story/novella/novel really do while “soliloquizing”?

What does a character in a short story/novella/novel really do while soliloquizing? Are they talking to themselves or thinking silently? An example of this occurs in Jane Eyre, where the titular ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Archetypical/popular historical fiction [closed]

Supposing you're asked by a beginning writer which books he should read to improve his skills in writing fantasy, you might say Tolkien's, and similarly, you might say Asimov's for scifi, etc. I'd ...
97
votes
20answers
4k 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
468 views

Editors: Edit on first read, or read and edit on second round?

I edit novels (among other works). I was having a discussion with someone (not an editor) who didn't understand my technique. What I do is read through the document, and the moment something occurs ...
7
votes
5answers
295 views

How should I introduce new and complex technologies or tools?

I'm writing a Science Fiction book. While this book doesn't push reality very far, there are some new technologies and tools that I have added. One tool is used more frequently than all the others, ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Who can help me to describe the text line from my story in slow motion?

This here is a line of my story: As we were in the middle of our conversation, I saw a blinding light heading straight for us, followed by an abrupt honk. Mom screamed as if she saw a ghost, and ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

How should I execute this idea?

I'm writing a story. This story will be longer than a short story and shorter than a novel. The story is of a hacker. He is at a stage in life where he wants to reflect therefore he writes his story ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

State the method of how random data are produced in scientific paper?

For my research I produced random normally distributed data. The data is necessary for a statistical analysis which I describe in my paper. Is it recommended to state in the paper what tool I used to ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Synonym recommendations for “chuckle?” [closed]

Apparently I want to use this word a fair amount ("she chuckled," etc.), or, more specifically, a word that means "a short and [soft or gentle] laugh." When I comb online and other digital thesauri, ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

On writing an essay, what are some good techniques to teach to schoolchildren?

I am currently teaching the way to write an essay as this: Step 1, write the topic sentence of the whole essay. Then, in the following first paragraph, develop the ideas that you are going to ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How to depict Australian characters

In my working novel, a character encounters an Aussie. Having nigh-zero knowledge of how to make dialogues in an Australian accent, I just opted to describe that he talks without any hints of an ...
36
votes
10answers
4k views

How can I write an attention-grabbing first line?

So, the beginning of any story needs to capture the attention of the reader, so he continues and wants to find out what's happening. A Confederacy of Dunces starts "A green hunting cap squeezed the ...
4
votes
3answers
132 views

Techniques for creating a bridge between protagonists from different generations

I'm working on a short novel that has two main stories. These stories belong to relatives from different generations, but of the same age. So, although the book spans through 20-30 years, I'm more ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Shift in tense and starting a historical account with the present tense

I was just writing a historical overview of a battle and decided I'd write the introduction in the present tense--the present tense being a narration of a specific event during the war. I just ...
5
votes
3answers
410 views

Background speech with foreground dialogue

A few days ago, I stumbled upon an issue of the type; meaning I had two characters talking between themselves and another character talking in the background; actually delivering a speech. What the ...
13
votes
4answers
187 views

Are there any good magazines about writing?

As in all other fields I'm interested in, I love to have a subscribtion that makes sure some hugely inspirational material gets dropped into my mailbox once in a while. I'm not looking for magazines ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Is it possible to publish stories with experimental spacing technique? (aka, blank pages, etc.)

I've got a few stories that employ experimental stylistics. The piece that is giving me the most trouble, though, is split up into five sections-- each section begins on its own page. It's hard to ...
-1
votes
1answer
54 views

Re-phrasing help [closed]

'The glass filled with water slipped from Kekibhoys's hand while he was lost in his thoughts.' This is the opening sentence to a short story that three of us are collaborating on. I feel this ...
4
votes
3answers
107 views

Books for children: complexity

I am wondering how complex the story can be so that small children can understand it (younger than eight). Are there any rules of thumb of how many characters can be introduced before the child looses ...
2
votes
1answer
189 views

An (Collaborative) Online Outline

I'm writing a book – more as a hobby than anything else. As an amateur I often get lost regarding the extent I should include in the chapters. But the greatest problem for me is that I did not ...
-1
votes
1answer
75 views

Design stories with techniques from other creative processes [closed]

I view all creative proccesses as design disciplines. Thus composers, architects, writers etc. all are designers from my point of view. Could song rhythms be applied from design perspective to a ...
2
votes
3answers
126 views

Intervening Characters in fiction

I have been finding it hard to find info on a certain character archetype. Character traits: has very little investment into the central plot and thus plays both pro and antagonistic roles ...
6
votes
5answers
233 views

Best Practices To Learn By Reading?

I've been browsing writers.se for a while and I've noticed a lot of folks state you have to READ to be able to write. I'm currently having trouble working time to read fiction into my daily routine. ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Maintaining the consistency of voice and spontaneity throughout a piece

So straight to it, I don't write very long pieces. Usually poetry or flash fiction and a smattering of short stories whenever it needs to be longer, though I have aspirations (mostly just dreams) of ...
0
votes
1answer
148 views

What literary tools can be used to make stories more immersive?

That question derived from my previous critique question. That's one of the problems I think is more obvious in my own writing right now and would like to know of ways to address it. What I know so ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

What is a discovery writer?

From an answer to this question: How do I successfully structure a long fiction piece? I think I can infer the meaning from the usage but some elaboration would be helpful.
5
votes
5answers
208 views

Writing about a subject on which you have no expertise?

So I signed up for a novel workshop, and within a month the first chapter will be due. Problem is I that want to use characters who are well-versed in mathematics, especially group theory or model ...
1
vote
5answers
431 views

Are there rules for, or guidelines on, time gaps between a plot's scenes/chapters?

I've been reading a host of old favourites, classics and authors outside of my usual reading pool, in an effort to dissect the writing (from plot, characters and environment to voice, pacing and ...
3
votes
5answers
158 views

Combatting Excessive Familiarity Of Writing

Since writing my last question, I've been able to write a handful more items and have tried to nail down some more specific items I can ask about improving my writing. This issue became readily ...
7
votes
2answers
241 views

Learning storywriting for videogames - Handling deep nonlinearities

A recent question asked for pointers for writing for games, and the gist of the answers was that it's not very unlike writing books. The underlined differences were only superficial. There's a ...
6
votes
4answers
400 views

Non-cheap ways to make villains evil?

Do you have any tried and true techniques to make villains of your stories truly hated by the audience? I mean, frequently it's "eh, sure, that's bad, he's got to be stopped" but the audience would ...
11
votes
9answers
1k views

Where to find some good examples of combat or action scenes?

I always learn a lot about about writing by reading other works and following their examples. Right now I'm very bad at writing action scenes; the best I can do is write around them, describing the ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

How to fix writer's thought muddledness? [closed]

Honestly my problem here is that I've been on writing hiatus for like...a year and half. Apart from writing small stories here and there, I haven't really taken on a story to a larger scale in a long ...
20
votes
14answers
1k views

How to deal with self-criticism?

I write non-fiction articles for my website and a weekly paid newsletter, and I’m doing that for some time now. However, I still struggle a lot with self-criticism, and find it hard to regard an ...
2
votes
2answers
365 views

Issues with Scene/Sequel model

I'm using the Scene/Sequel model to go from an informal outline of my novel to a list of scenes. In summary, during a Scene the POV Character has a Goal, encounters some Conflict, and it ends in ...
5
votes
4answers
184 views

Is there a technique to help me write this character's notebook entries?

I wrote a short story in which the protagonist (Vasily) has a notebook. During my rewrite, I wanted to really emphasize the importance of the notebook and push the reader's focus onto it. I decided ...
18
votes
5answers
5k views

How to describe the point-of-view character without using mirrors

In fiction, the main character is often the first person we meet in the story. Given that the story is written from his/her point of view, how would you describe what they look like? The classical ...
4
votes
4answers
260 views

Are these fictional musings convincing or overwrought?

I've been working for some time on a story about a detective who finds himself alienated, delusional and hopeless while trapped inside a dystopic, postmodern dream. This segment voices some of the ...
22
votes
10answers
551 views

How can one make technical issues more accessible to a non-technical audience?

Most of what I write is non-fiction -- technical books, blog posts on open source topics, political stuff, etc. Lately, I find that some of the topics I am trying to present are much more technical ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

What is a good methodology for researching a historical novel?

I'm having difficulty with the research aspect of my historical novel. This question was originally going to be "how much research should one do to write a historical novel?" to which, answering my ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

Style signatures and uncommon formatting patterns

Style signatures are bits of words and phrases used consistently throughout the entirety of a work (but not necessarily among my unrelated works). I would like to try using style signatures in a work ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Preventing the symbolic conflict of “Hunger Games” from overshadowing widespread social plight [closed]

SPOILER ALERT: Questions and answers may contain spoilers for all three books in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Symbolic Conflict as the Climax of Social Conflict I noticed an ...