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

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5answers
141 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
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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
84 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
415 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
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3answers
147 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
116 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
58 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
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4answers
137 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
55 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
83 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
79 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
426 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
73 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
114 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
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2answers
50 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
69 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 tried,...
24
votes
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
134 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", ...
1
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7answers
154 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 ...
0
votes
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
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
310 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 ...
1
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2answers
156 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 ...
15
votes
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?
0
votes
2answers
60 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
votes
3answers
123 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
121 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
659 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
votes
0answers
76 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 ...
5
votes
7answers
343 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
167 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 ...
1
vote
6answers
162 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
127 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.
1
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4answers
195 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 ...
12
votes
12answers
2k views

Is touch typing skill important for being a good writer?

Yes, I know - it is important. But my question is: does it influence the speed only? Do "two finger typing" and "peek typing" eat part of writer's attention and destroy creativity? Does the method ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

How to write a book in 2 weeks?

I got challenged to write a book of 100 pages in two weeks. I see this challenge as a game that can be played in many different ways. What are the most effective strategies for writing a lot in a ...
0
votes
3answers
85 views

Narrating something that happened between chapters as a flashback in a present-tense novel

So say the novel is written in first-person tense. a chapter ends, and the next chapter starts 10 days later. Here I start narrating something that happened 5 days ago in past tense as a flashback. ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Is there a language technique for factual, philosophical style writing? [closed]

I recently re-read Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. I think the following line is interesting but am unable to determine what kind of language feature it is: "But man is not made for ...
2
votes
3answers
121 views

How to find the balance between research and the obvious

I'm embarking on writing my first popular science book on a controversial subject. For sure the writing must be rational, coherent with a clear train of thought and littered with references to be ...
2
votes
3answers
280 views

How to suddenly introduce a scary character, but include description?

I have a scene in my story where the main character (the story is told from his POV) opens a door and there is a monster in the room. I want a sudden introduction, to show how shcoked the character ...
5
votes
7answers
244 views

How to handle characters being funny in a dire situation without ruining the mood

There's one thing I always find impressive and moving when I see it in accounts of historical events or depicted well in fiction: gallows humour, when a person who is facing likely or certain death ...
3
votes
5answers
169 views

Subtle writing and speed readers

I want to write a dystopia and find it hard to convey that things aren't at all right. I had planned to convey this in subtle reading clues, but I am worried that certain types of readers - or perhaps ...
1
vote
1answer
253 views

Commercial novels, a prefered POV?

This pertains to the potential salability of electing to choose between POVs, here specifically between first or third person limited. There are several threads, like What are the advantages and ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

Dealing with quick shifts in emotion

I have a character that, by design, quickly jumps between emotions. To put it into human terms, I have pictured scenes where he will, literally, within the span of a sentence, go from hysterically ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Advice on writing a research paper [closed]

I am a math major who hasn't written a research paper in 6 years, and I need some help. I have to write two thesis statements, and have both written, but I'm not sure they're right. I also must state ...
4
votes
5answers
484 views

Condensing words, to condense or not?

I am doing a lot of writing lately. Novels, short stories, and so forth. I have one person that tells me, Immense improvement from the first version. A great deal of your description is ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

How do I create different speaking styles for my characters? [duplicate]

In my fiction writing, how do I create individual speaking styles for my characters? It is more than giving one or two of them an accent or dialect. What techniques do you use to vary the structure, ...
2
votes
4answers
314 views

How Do I Fill In The Gaps Between The Chapters [closed]

I know this may come off as weird or strange but i want to know how do i finish my novel. The thing is that i already know how to end it and i have a impeccable beginning but that isn't how a novel ...
9
votes
9answers
3k views

Inventing names for Sci-Fi characters

How can I invent names for fictional characters in a future-setting Sci-Fi story so they won't be connected to any existing culture? I considered the following options: Invent some random names. ...