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How well do YOU understand the physics of what the character is doing? If you have a detailed, fully internally consistent process worked out, then you can probably just allude to it in very general terms if the in world population wouldn't understand it (and perhaps the character himself doesn't have the scientific vocabulary to articulate it if he is the ...


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A former boss asked me to: "State your results, but don't tell me the details." That might be a good rule for your physics "whiz." Talk about what he can do, but don't tell how he does it.


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If you're writing for broad audience, you will be accepted if you're skimming the details and not going in-depth. If you focus on a specific audience, you might ride the wave of the success of The Martian if you go really in-depth. Instead of "power of light", gain mastery of electromagnetic waves. Radio, laser, X-ray, microwave (+radar), infrared, ...


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Dialogue and monologue. Dialogue with her friends, one by one, until they leave. With a bartender or barista. On a chat room or a BBS. Monologue could be writing in a diary or a blog. Or potentially she monologues at her cat, who will look interested only until she's fed. Whoever the audience is, have the character say out loud the things she's thinking ...


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One key thing you can do is to have your character fight against their own anger, instead of luxuriating in it. If she's really doing her best to move on, but having trouble --well, most of us can identify with that. You also don't have to have all the back story come out at once, and you might want to simplify it. If one detail or another has a real and ...


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I think it depends on what the main problem is in the novel. If the main problem is technical in nature, the reader needs to have some sense of what it technically possible. If the main problem is psychological or moral, however, what matters is the decision to use or not use the power in question. There is a whole cottage industry online doing "if A has ...


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Being filled with regret does not necessarilly make your character pathetic. If what she is regretful about is truly horrible and self-damning, then that regret may be an appropriate response to the loss. It only becomes pathetic in the eyes of your readers, when what has been lost and is now sorrowfully missed, was never real or really valuable in the ...


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I suggest a popular literary technique called 'indirect characterisation' If your writing in first person; write about her thoughts and reasons and actions. If she is approached by someone who speaks and she reveals how that person has affected her ,good or bad. If in second person you may start a chapter revealing that she had suffered a breakdown and is ...


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While through your description i assume your story is a serious one, i think your best point of reference would come from comedy. It is a common trope in comedy, specially british comedy, to have characters who don't like anyone else, or that aren't particularly interested in anyone else. Like for example Jim, from Yahtzee Croshaw comedy novel "Mogworld". "...


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You are talking about two different things here but you are treating them like they are the same. Sheltered vs. not sheltered is different than immature vs. mature. A girl who takes care of seven younger siblings will probably be somewhat mature for her age because she is used to responsibility. If she is sheltered, she may also be rather innocent. The 11-...


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Every human being strives to establish a place in the world, to be seen and accepted in a certain way. Their voice, the way they react to each situation, is developed in an attempt to establish and maintain that place. Their way of speaking, their vocabulary, their boldness or timidity, is shaped by the place they wish to claim and maintain. What they say ...


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The choice of "mom" or "mother" or some other word helps to characterize the narrator. They differ in formality, and perhaps other attributes. This offers an interesting opportunity: Your character's choice of words could indicate something about her mood or her attitude toward her mother at each particular moment in the story. Similar to how a parent's ...


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I feel they are similar enough that they could be used interchangeably, as long as it's not too frequently. Also, consider the personality of your characters, and the scenes that they interact in, and their upbringing. Growing up, because of my families Southern Appalachian heritage, I generally tended to call my Mother Momma. Growing up in the mixing pot ...


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Addressing characters in dialogue: Anything goes. I usually call my mum 'mum', but I might call her 'mother' to be mock-serious. 'Queen of the Muffins'? Sure, if in the middle of some exchange it makes sense for me to call her that, as a joke, as an insult, whatever — you can put it in my dialogue. Addressing characters in the narrative: Orson Scott Card!...


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"Mom" and "mother" and the other variations are all common enough that alternating between them probably won't be disruptive. On the other hand, they are different, with nuances of formality and attitude - so if you're alternating between all of them, with great frequency, like you do in this sample - then yes, it does start to feel a little weird. I think ...


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As a general rule, dialogue is not bound by the rules of grammar as tightly as the rest of the novel. Therefore, if a person says something a certain way, you write it that way. As far as your example goes, there is no right or wrong way to refer to Quorraline's mother in dialogue. If Quorraline refers to her both as 'mother' and 'mom,' then her dialogue ...


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My advice (Probably not helpful advice, but still) Make the character relatable You have probably heard this a million times, but it is important. Many readers, including me, are turned off by relatable characters. And I've also learned "relatable" does not mean "average". The character could be the leader of an empire, but they're still human. They have ...


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So basically, the question is, how can she change her mind on fate, given that she takes every event that happens to her as fated? That's a tough one. Well, a turning point here could be an intellectual one. Let's assume, as you mentioned, she believes she's not fates to meet a kind man. Rather than having events prove her wrong by introducing her to a ...


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I have not been in any kind of trauma, but here we go. You said the protag. is in shock. There is a change they would experience "survivor's guilt"(If I'm reading this right). It happens when everyone else in the party dies and the patient doesn't. The patient then tends to think it's unfair, and that they should have gone as well. I probably didn't help at ...


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The character doesn't have to be "normal" to be relatable. I have read books where the character is the leader of the rebellion and is still more relatable than a character I read that was middle school fiction. The character just has to have feelings that are appropriate for the situation, and have a well rounded personality. No one will relate to a Mary ...


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I've had a related discussion with my wife two weeks ago about whether there's anything significant about men writing a female protagonist and women writing a male protagonist. For example, Robin Hobb writing about FitzChivalry, or Witi Ihimaera writing about Paikea. In the end, my wife and I concluded together that the protagonist's gender is really only ...


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men can identify and empathize with male as well as female protagonists, while women identify better with female protagonists (the claim being, they can certainly sympathize with male protagonists, but identification is harder). Anecdotally, I would consider the reactions of a percentage of male fans to the all-female Ghostbusters, Daisy Ripley's Rey in ...


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I see three keys to character-driven stories: The character wants something strongly enough to struggle for it. The character has a unique reason for wanting the thing. Something about the character makes the struggle more difficult. The first one is common to all stories. I'm not sure the second one is essential, but it sure helps. Give the character a ...


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Character-Driven Story Is Driven From Self-Concept Self-concept is one of the strongest powers on earth. That's because so many people have self-concepts which put them at odds with the world around them. Self-concept drives the actions a person takes. Because it is so real, it is the essence of what we search for in our stories. Self-Concept Drives ...


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Some people do. I don't. I prefer to discover who my characters are by just writing them. I'll put them in scene after scene with each other and see what happens. Sometimes the unexpected happens. This requires a lot of exploratory writing that might not make it into the final draft, but I find that this technique creates characters that are more natural, ...


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By definition, character-driven fiction is that where the plot takes a back seat to the characters. What's essential? Everything that's in a plot-driven story, really, just in a different balance. There is usually a plot, but its purpose is to keep the readers engaged while the author digs into the characters. A teacher of mine said plot is the shiny keys ...



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