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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

4
votes
4answers
185 views

Punctuating dialogue with oneself

I am wondering what the convention is for punctuating dialogue with oneself. In particular, if a character speaks to himself, do the words need to be put in open and closed quotes? Note that the ...
1
vote
2answers
52 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 ...
-2
votes
0answers
28 views

How do I analyse pictures? [closed]

How do you get good at analysing techniques employed in writing? I would absolutely love to solidify this skill. For example "The author juxtaposes object a with object b to represent ___" or "The ...
25
votes
11answers
2k views

How does the 10,000 hour rule apply to writing?

The 10,000 hour rule, popularised by Malcolm Gladwell, says that: the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours ...
8
votes
5answers
440 views

Avoiding cultural differences

I'm not a native English speaker, but I write in English. I'm now visiting the US, and I have made some very interesting observation regarding the way ordinary life goes on here. It made me think of ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

Are newlines effective for adding weight to certain phrases?

Sometimes I'll write something where there's a few paragraphs of buildup, then a "whammy line" or two. I wrote a quick example, pretend it's a climactic moment from a bad YA romance. She wrung her ...
1
vote
1answer
147 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
156 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
3answers
109 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
339 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k 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 (notice I bring those books up a lot...I think they're brilliant) ...
5
votes
3answers
480 views

Handling an Inauthentic Character

One of my main writing projects centers around a character rich with vices. Probably chief among them is self-interest, followed by dishonesty. When I say dishonesty, I mean more than lying to get by. ...
3
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
49 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
164 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
1k 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
68 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
894 views

How important is it to know the end before the writing the beginning?

One of the Rules of writing indicates that knowing the end before the beginning is critical to writing. Which I find odd, because in my writing (early days, probably doing it wrong), one of the best ...
1
vote
1answer
108 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 ...
27
votes
16answers
3k views

How can I catch more errors when I proofread?

I have a problem where I often proof my own writing and I don't catch all the errors while I am reading through it. I often miss entire words out of sentences or find myself repeating words. I can ...
13
votes
5answers
743 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?
2
votes
5answers
355 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
214 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
107 views

Methods for writing from an alternate gender/age/cultural viewpoint?

While many aspects of a culture, etc, can be researched - there are intrinsic difficulties to writing from the PoV of a woman as a male author and vice versa, and I'd argue even harder for an adult to ...
6
votes
5answers
224 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 everthing about the world to my readers. The story is kind of a political intrigue, and it would be very easy ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Does this dream sequence work in my introduction?

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. ...
1
vote
2answers
111 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
262 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
230 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
4k 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
180 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
158 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
214 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
114 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
164 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
177 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 ...
91
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
444 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
532 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, ...
7
votes
5answers
285 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
551 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
91 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
47 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
80 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
479 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 ...
35
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
114 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 ...