New answers tagged

2

A few things to consider: If you're eager to write the "good stuff" where your characters are kissing, go ahead and write it out of sequence. Get it out of your system. Now you can go back and create the "building up to it" part. Your characters can acknowledge that they are attracted to one another but that it's not the right time, for whatever your ...


3

Synthesising the ideas above, you could consider leaving the framework of a strict dialogue for this kind of scene. Instead of merely fleshing out the dialogue with "stage action" as suggested by Lauren Ipsum, you could start the scene as a dialogue and lead the reader into the short story of Simon White by means of a transition phrase such as "He told him ...


3

An infodump is when the author has to get a whole bunch of important information to the reader, but it's not integral to the plot at that moment. If Character 2 is ranting and finally getting something off his chest, it's not an infodump. It is the plot. It's the culmination of the plot. To keep it from being a wall of text, break it up with stage business ...


3

No, a character telling a long story is not by default an info dump. The key to making sure it's not just clunky exposition is to make sure it is not a case of 'as you know, Bob' by which I mean one character should not be telling another character something they already know. An example of this would be experienced police officers explaining procedures to ...


5

No it should not be an info dump. The story continues. The only thing that should change is you switch to the character’s voice instead of using your own. You might think of it as though your reader is going to put down your book, pick up a short story written by a character in your book and read that, and then pick up your book again. As a writer, you can ...


1

There are several techniques for doing this, as Lauren Ipsum illustrates, but consider that the first person narrator is also a character and how they narrate the story is part of how their character is formed in the story. So if the narrator describes their physical appearance, the fact that they are doing so says something profound -- and not necessarily ...


1

Your narrator compares herself to others. I met Sandy at the coffee shop. I towered over her by a full head. Cheap and simple: Your narrator looks at himself in a mirror. In the bathroom, I ran a hand through my hair. Still black, just like my dad's, although thinner. He went gray early — nothing for me yet. I had my mom's blue eyes, which ...


1

You describe post-traumatic stress disorder. I would start with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV or V for psychiatry. The PTSD section isn't that long. However, I'll add "blocking it out" has been considered a medically incorrect concept for about 30 years or more and usually appears sophomoric in fiction. (It is, of course, possible to forget ...


1

What, in the end, are you asking? You have planned out parts of the story: your protagonist blocking an incident and that incident 'defines her character and life choices'. It seems like you have decided what is going to happen whatever. Yet you want information that is believable without you having to take the trouble to 'dive too deeply into psychological ...


1

I had a friend whose mother remembered being fed human flesh as a child. This was late in WW2 in Holland, at time when everyone was starving and many died. She was a cheerful older lady. If she was traumatized by it, it didn't show. In real life, people react in many different ways. Some find it easier to take things in their stride. Others might be ...


0

Part of the reason we read is to learn. When Superman stops a bullet with his bare hands, it doesn't really teach us anything. But if Superman overcomes his own pride and arrogance, we might glean something useful from that. In general, if a character successfully and believably overcomes a challenge we also might face, that is compelling. And even a ...


0

Give him a totally unexpected hobby or interest that seems at first to be antithetical to his character. For example, if he loves to bake in his spare time, or likes to do Karaoke on the weekends, that reminds us not to assume we know everything about him. What other unexpected traits might he have? Don’t be afraid to give him typical flaws. A character ...


1

There's nothing---NOTHING!---in the detailed list given by you that's forbidden, if used, just as you described, in a "passing reference." NOR is there any problem with mentioning real businesses or hotels, UNLESS you do so in a derogatory way; such as: "I stayed three nights in the SOUTH NARK hotel, right off Broadway, in New York. And it took me three ...


2

As long as you're just making references that don't portray them in a negative light, you're fine for brands and celebrities. Things like Jaguar or Rice Krispies don't really date a work, either. Fictional characters, however, are copyrighted for a long time. So no using Luke skywalker as a character. Your characters can talk about Luke, swing swords around ...


0

1) Sherlock Holmes is public domain. No one's going to sue you for it. We all own it. 2) While classics like Sherlock Holmes are safe, referencing pop culture can date your work. Just FYI...


3

Research is surely the way to go. An even deeper alternative would be to lose your hearing, not forever of course. Just wear protective earplugs or some gear of that sort, and try interacting with your family/friends for more than a week. You'll get first hand experience to how it feels to be suddenly isolated from the world of sounds. You may vocally get ...


2

There's no substitute for research. Either find a deaf group in your area or contact a national group, or possibly Gaulladet University, and start talking to people.


1

In his novel The Broken God, author David Zindell features a race of Neanderthals on a non-Earth planet who were originally Homo Sapiens, but whose forebears genetically engineered themselves into Homo Neanderthalensis bodies (apparently retaining Sapiens brains and their own identities). "How" was advanced genetic engineering, and "Why" was never as far as ...



Top 50 recent answers are included