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

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2answers
103 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
325 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 ...
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3answers
168 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 ...
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3answers
120 views

A grand scheme or destiny in literature

There's one thing in literature that no matter how cliche or over used it might be, I always find very compelling. For example, when a story unfolds as if there is a larger force at work moving all of ...
2
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1answer
109 views

Using citations in chapter headings?

I noticed in some books I read that under each chapter title, there is a citation, somewhat related to what the chapter in question is about. I was thinking of maybe using the same technique for my (...
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2answers
541 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 ...
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1answer
179 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 ...
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2answers
43 views

Why do most online articles get to point only after 2 or more paragraphs?

A lot of articles you read online would start by random quotes and abstract thoughts or philosophy not on the actual subject but on things related to the subject,including a lot of personal opinions. ...
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2answers
92 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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3answers
136 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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3answers
71 views

How to use sociological and/or psychological studies in character building?

A story I’m trying to write have several characters who have been raised in foster families. None of them have been physically or emotionally abused, but I still felt like their childhood sould have ...
2
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1answer
87 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 ...
2
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1answer
119 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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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6answers
142 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 ...
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1answer
154 views

Do I correctly utilize my naming adjective concept in this book?

In my story THE GOSPEL OF THE RETURN OF A CHRIST THAT WANTS ANSWERS I wanted to evoke a sense of the middle ages in a modern book. So I utilized a technique where whenever I referred to a character, I ...
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5answers
143 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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1answer
265 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 ...
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2answers
163 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 ...
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3answers
148 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 ...
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4answers
204 views

How to indicate the topic has been changed without using words?

I am writing an an article to share knowledge, not novel. Usually, when you change the current topic, at the beginning of the new paragraph you would like to use some transition words such as Addition,...
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1answer
410 views

What is the name for the literary technique where the author writes him/herself into a book?

In a number of novels by Clive Cussler, the characters are sometimes offered help by a person whose surname is Cussler, same as the author. I believe this also happens in Sahara and Dragon, and ...
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4answers
106 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 ...
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6answers
164 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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3answers
4k views

Quality examples of 'in medias res' starting sequences in SF literature

You can find my initial trials here, and, based on feedback, version two here. I was trying to create a sort of 'flashforward' opening (please don't cite Sawyer) for a novel. That is: of the 45 ...
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7answers
158 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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1answer
348 views

Chapter titles or numbers?

I am about to start writing a science-fiction novel, and having only ever written technical documents before, I have very little experience in the finer details of creative writing. In particular, I ...
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2answers
99 views

Need A Way To Avoid Excessive Use Of Subject When Refering To Character

I'm writing a short story, and need to avoid excessive use of a subject. Using he, his, or the man will get very repetitive over time since the character has no name. I'm hoping to find some way to ...
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2answers
368 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)?
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5answers
1k 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 ...
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4answers
99 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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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 ...
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3answers
170 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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1answer
116 views

Does a proposed graphical scheme exist to organize the whole story?

My language skills in general are very low, i have problems to form sentences, each sentence is a frustrating fight not won at the end of the point. Nethertheless, i would like to prove myself being ...
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2answers
77 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).
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2answers
283 views

What literary techniques are evident in this quote?

What literary techniques are evident in the following quote? I read each bullet scar in the Quai stonework With an eerie familiar feeling, And started at the stricken, sunny exposure of ...
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3answers
65 views

In a nutshell, how can a friendship become a tragedy? [closed]

The narrator is called Karl who is a sixteen year old pupil at a boarding school. During a summer Sports Day with a rival school, he meets one of the pupils who is both a nuisance and is adorable (and ...
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1answer
36 views

Is it okay to describe the protagonist's friend's appearance before the protagonist?

I am still fairly new to writing, so I am bound to make plenty of mistakes. The beginning goes like so: The female protagonist wakes up in the morning after passing out at her female friend's house. ...
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3answers
124 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 ...
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1answer
59 views

Avoiding passing time by switching PoV - Viable method?

I once wrote a short story that was around ninety pages. It encompassed approximately a month. Since it was a short story, there were necessarily parts of it where days, weeks even, went by without ...
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1answer
142 views

Do you set yourself daily goals and stop once you've reached them?

I don't follow any kind of time or word limit. I write when I have time and stop when the time is over (e.g. time to eat, to work, to sleep). But now I'm thinking of setting myself some daily goals ...
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1answer
1k views

Writing simple short sentences first and connecting them later

Recently, I've been experimenting with new ways to write sentences, and I came out with the following: I'll write very short and simple ones describing what's happening in the scene. After I'm done, ...
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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. ...
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1answer
132 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
59 views

Best blind sequence? [closed]

I'm trying to write a story in which the sun has essentially gone out and visibility is constantly limited, and sometimes completely gone. Being a very visual person, I'm finding it hard to describe ...
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2answers
287 views

Does this dream sequence work in my introduction? [closed]

I'm writing the introduction to a story. The intro starts with a dream, then the main character wakes up, and then he and one of the secondary characters have a conversation while waiting for a bus. ...
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1answer
539 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 ...
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4answers
199 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 ...