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

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2answers
49 views

What is the Difference Between yWriter5 and Scrivener?

I see that a lot of people like Scrivener better than yWriter. I know Scrivener is better, but my dad refuses to buy it, and I don't have a credit card. So, what does make Scrivener better than ...
3
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4answers
79 views

Switching perspectives for a single chapter in a first person POV novel, to do or not to do?

Allow me to explain what prompted the question before you immediately say that it's not okay and it would confuse the readers. The protagonist of the novel - also the narrator - has the ability to ...
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1answer
34 views

Suggestions for ways to say “I'll come back to this later …”

I'm looking for several suggestions for techniques to handle 2 similar cases ... While writing my current non-fiction book, there are a few times where a section ends with somewhat of a teaser of a ...
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6answers
168 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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1answer
85 views

Scientifically proven optimal environment for writing?

I've stumbled upon some insights regarding the best writing environment. There are many different advises regarding this matter, and maybe it is too subjective for a fact based research. Nevertheless, ...
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3answers
126 views

Can a scene be written to be disorienting and not be to confusing to readers?

I've written a scene in a short story where the character and her party are suddenly attacked in the night. It's written in first-person and the character had just been shaken awake from a nightmare; ...
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8answers
19k 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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3answers
74 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 ...
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3answers
66 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
73 views

How do you give the murderer away? [on hold]

'There once was a popular soap opera staged in the southern, modern capital of Imaso in Europe. It had run for 50 years and over time produced new characters; some viewers liked them, but other ...
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1answer
48 views

Developing a fictionalised Royal family

In my fictional world which is very much like Earth, I have started the development of a royal family who shall appear in meantioned news reports and dialogue (in the fictional world) throught the ...
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6answers
143 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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2answers
61 views

How to find different ways to express things that happen to the reader?

I am currently writing a "quest" (a sort of real time you are the hero adventure online) and find myself using the formula "You feel/do/see/etc X" much more often than I would like. I think it makes ...
118
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23answers
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 ...
3
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4answers
287 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 ...
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1answer
32 views

Transitioning from one setting or location to another

How does a writer transition from one setting or location to another in his story, in a way that the reader does not feel the jerk. For example, in a prior scene the character is shown getting dressed ...
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1answer
51 views

Writing Science Fiction when the writer is from a society which is not very scientifically advanced

When a writer belongs to a society which is not very scientifically advanced, creating organizations like NASA and characters like indigenous Scientists would look terribly out of place. And, if the ...
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 ...
3
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3answers
105 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
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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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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1answer
75 views

How to describe a characters clothing? [closed]

Yeah, So I was bored and decided to write some action Naughty adult fanfic type story today. And then as I started to write I was faced with this issue. How the legit **** am I suppose to describe my ...
11
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6answers
6k 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 to get a feel for the way J.K. Rowling passes an entire year in a ...
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1answer
54 views

How to communicate multiple meaning in a sentence more concisely?

Good day everyone, I have the following sentence: Around 70% of small businesses in the United States struggle to hire qualified employees, and around 50% attribute this challenge to ...
3
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4answers
105 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 ...
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10answers
13k 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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3answers
112 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 ...
6
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4answers
139 views

How to make a dark story not-so-dark (Shining the light in darkness)

I'm writing a war story, and it's dark. However, I find that every scene turns out to be depressing because of it. Readers will be overwhelmed. Are there ways I can induce hope/shine the light in the ...
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1answer
38 views

Specific character's thought in 3rd person omniscient writing

I'm currently writing a story that is being told from 3rd person that switches perspectives frequently, but I'd like to focus on only one character's train of thought for a paragraph. The thoughts ...
3
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3answers
176 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 ...
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0answers
21 views

Thoughts on Writing Self- Help Books & Workbooks [duplicate]

First off i'm asking this question not as an advertisement nor i am asking anyone's opinion on this matter i am just asking an experienced review of my question. The thing is that recently I've ...
6
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6answers
1k views

How to introduce a world that's alien to the reader

I'm writing sort of a space-opera and I was wondering what would the best way to explain everything about the world to my readers. The story is kind of a political intrigue, and it would be very easy ...
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0answers
48 views

How to write montages in prose? (fantasy novel)

cue Team America song Okay, now that you know I like to have fun with my writing... I'd like to write a montage in prose fiction. It would be a sort of a wizard training sequence, or something to ...
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1answer
41 views

Describing protagonist's experience from using magic [closed]

I am writing a fanfic where the protagonist is a skeleton living on Earth. He possesses a magic skill which revolves around moving objects. Of course, there are limits. He cannot move things as heavy ...
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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 ...
2
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4answers
148 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 ...
0
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4answers
105 views

Is it possible to write about failed detective novel?

All detective novel ends with the killer caught, right? Is it possible to write a completely bad ending detective novel? Imagine the Titanic of Sherlock Holmes, or is it done yet? By Titanic I mean ...
4
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3answers
4k views

Describing common hand gestures

While writing stories how do I describe the action of common hand gestures, for instance the "come on" signal. Is there any reference? I found a list of hand gestures in wikipedia but obviously it's ...
0
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3answers
69 views

Length of a scene?

Really, just how long should a solid scene in a chapter be? And what about when characters move setting but the topic is still relevant to the scene? How long would that be? Currently my scenes in ...
1
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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).
18
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3answers
15k 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 ...
5
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2answers
74 views

Techniques for picture writing?

So, the title is unclear. What I mean, is I want to create a piece of writing which the reader does not imagine as "real". I want the reader to imagine this piece of writing as pictures instead, and ...
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1answer
172 views

How to write sexual/romantic scenes? [closed]

Yeah, I just decided today to write a Porn/Erotic Book. Seems writing ebooks is a quick way to make a couple of bucks and rise up the ladder these days. But, the problem is I don't know how to write a ...
2
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5answers
121 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 ...
4
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5answers
296 views

How to write a good prison scene

I'm attempting to write one or two chapters with one of my main characters in a jail cell. It's important to the character development that he is isolated for an extended period of time, antagonized ...
0
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1answer
59 views

What's the book that explores emphasis on words in sentences to change the meaning?

I'm looking for a book I saw many years ago. The book showed how a sentence could have different meanings, depending where you placed the emphasis. To indicate the emphasis, the book put a dot above a ...
3
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2answers
57 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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4answers
108 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 ...
5
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4answers
186 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 good,...
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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 ...