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

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110 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 ...
4
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1answer
183 views

What is this 'pretend dialogue' technique called

There's a style that is popular on blogs, and takes the form of a dialogue between the reader and the author, where the author provides both sides of the argument, like a ventriloquist. Often there's ...
4
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2answers
255 views

How do you write a fiction or non-fiction query letter to an editor?

What do you put in the letter? What if you have no experience or very limited experience. Should you write about yourself in the third or first person when explaining your experience?
4
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1answer
376 views

simultaneous dialogues in novels and short fiction

Suppose that several individuals are speaking. There are two conversations occurring at once in the same place. Both are heard simultaneously by each person that is present. Each person participates ...
4
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1answer
366 views

Word Clouds and Phrase Clouds

I'm familiar with word clouds (or tag clouds) as used on blogs or on sites like Delicious. It seems to me that a tool similar to that could be of use to writers like me, who don't have an editor, when ...
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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 ...
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3answers
293 views

What techniques do you use to invent snappy turns of phrase?

We all know clichés are bad[1] and that fresh, inventive and "fitting" phrases will delight and entertain our readers. What techniques can be used to invent such phrases? Sometimes they just "...
3
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6answers
1k views

How short can a poem be until it can no longer be a poem?

I am on a small journey to help me understand what the definition of a poem is to different people, what poems mean to them. This made me wonder, some poems are longer than others, so: How short ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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5answers
167 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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
3k 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 ...
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4answers
269 views

How to hide something in plain sight (and keep it hidden)?

I’d like to include in a story “mysteries” and deceptions that (ideally) should be obvious in hindsight (By obvious, I mean "elephant in the room" kind of obvious). How to give to the reader every ...
3
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5answers
485 views

Typical Fairy-tale Story Especially Princess Stories

I have a question. I am planing to write to a fairy-tale like a Brother Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson type of fairy-tale set in the modern time but after conducting research(reading fairy-tales of ...
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3answers
167 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 ...
3
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2answers
61 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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3answers
100 views

Colorfulness of Language Vs. Simplicity

In school I've always been taught to use colorful adjectives/verbs in writing. I recently wrote a blog on Medium and sent it to a couple friends, they advised me to use simpler language. I'd love to ...
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2answers
56 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 ...
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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 ...
3
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2answers
143 views

Is there a systematic overview over the approaches of describing a physical object?

If one tries to describe sth. very concrete, like a house, for instance, one could try it with different approaches: describing the very physical attributes: the house is 5m wide, 5m deep and 5m ...
3
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3answers
98 views

How do you force a turning point in a narrative that is supposed to be precisely about the lack of such devices?

Please, before flagging this question as subjective or generic, take a moment to read it through. IMO this is a valid, specific question, albeit a bit complex. To try and unpack the admittedly ...
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7answers
145 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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2answers
82 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 ...
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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,...
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2answers
78 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 ...
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1answer
83 views

Suggestions for revising style and cadence within a children's book

When I submitted a manuscript for a children's book to a publisher, they expressed an interest but wanted me to improve the style and cadence: The syntax and cadence would possibly work well in an ...
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3answers
436 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 ...
3
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1answer
381 views

How to structure an essay answer?

What is the best way to answer an essay question. The question below is similar to one in my situation but I have taken out all the technical aspects related to my subject. Using an existing ...
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0answers
179 views

Are there any techniques to arrange or list ideas from a short text? [closed]

For example I wrote this: !Paying! for exams, and also books to pass them is only a small price / to give poor people the opportunity / ...to contribute for the MANSIONS of the people in ...
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5answers
833 views

How can we have foreshadowing in a story that takes place in a universe where the future can't be known beforehand?

In a (non-comedic) story where the philosophical implications of the existence of any way of predicting the future (except by accident) happen to be unacceptable or incompatible with the laws or the ...
2
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3answers
412 views

How credible is wikipedia?

I understand that this question relates more to wikipedia than it does writing but... If I was going to use wikipedia for a source for a research project (for example) would the information be correct?...
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7answers
16k 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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5answers
117 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 ...
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4answers
143 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 ...
2
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3answers
358 views

How to describe a scene involving a shift in the environment due to forbidden magic?

Background/scene for question: A character witnesses his wife killed before him. While holding her, he begins screaming her name. With each time he utters her name, the world around him shifts as he ...
2
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4answers
139 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 ...
2
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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 ...
2
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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
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5answers
280 views

Writing an article avoiding Libel

I will be creating a blog article that talks about Illuminati in our local country. I will be talking about the "organization's" role in making specific artists popular (for a duration) and in return ...
2
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4answers
98 views

Preserve “The Reveal” vs lying to the reader

My story involves a kind of plot-twist towards the end. The problem is that the one of the sources of the misdirection comes from a kind of "Story so far" chapter towards the beginning. It sets up ...
2
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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 ...
2
votes
3answers
122 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 ...
2
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3answers
111 views

How do I make the downfall of a character moving without being cliche?

So, the character is an anti hero, he loses all his morals, and becomes the very thing he fights against. How can I make the downfall of this character more emotionally moving/impactful without ...
2
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2answers
140 views

Template for IT technical report?

I'm looking for a template or guidelines for how to write a technical report. The report is IT-related and intended for a project manager to review the work of the investigation of a IT-related issue....
2
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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.
2
votes
4answers
313 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 ...
2
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1answer
57 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 ...
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2answers
101 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 ...
2
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1answer
319 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 ...