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8

You seem to reduce inner conflict to "characters being pulled in two opposite directions". That is, a person who wants two different things, is "conflicted". We can imagine a person wanting both to lose weight and to eat a creamy cake to be conflicted in that manner. This is of course boring and not worth a novel. We can also imagine stronger, more tortuous ...


7

As any deaf person will tell you, sign language is speech. How else are you going to tell your story if you don't report the communication that does take place? Bearkiller signed: "Walk quiet. There is a mammut ahead." Darkwalker nodded. "I'll circle to the left," he gestured. And don't argue about this again, his face said. Bearkiller frowned, ...


4

If you read any Dan Brown books (Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons etc.), he generally writes a prologue where the main character (of the prologue) is actually the victim of the murder that the protagonist investigates throughout the rest of the book. There are many more authors than just J.K. Rowling who are accomplished and have managed this feat. That ...


4

Speech is simply communication. Your characters communicate and all you need to do as a writer is make clear what is being communicated. I once read a fantastic children's story to some children. Teddy never actually says anything but communicates on every page. "We should get biscuits to make us brave" said Joe. Teddy indicated that he agreed. ...


4

(I thought @what gave a great answer, which I upvoted, but it also made me want to look for counterexamples.) In Remains of the Day the main character is a repressed butler who devotes his life to providing exemplary service to a family that may not deserve his loyalty. In the process, he misses a shot at love with the family's housekeeper. The conflict ...


3

In English, interjections such as ugh or tsk are considered words and listed in standard dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary or Merriam-Webster (see the linked words). As they are regular words, you can use them like any other word. You do not have to mark them up in italics or enclose them in quotations marks or anything, just write: ...


3

There aren't rules. As previously mentioned, it's a matter of opinion. But, things to remember include: Brains like patterns. So, if you use similar phrases several times in a row, you might consider putting them in the same place to add emphasis. That said, if you don't do that carefully, you can sound repetitive or uncreative. I received a pretty good ...


3

I use git for fiction. Sometimes I'll save versions at various milestones, such as when I finish a chapter). But more often I forget, and save a version only when I finish a draft. Some other times that I save versions: Before and after I apply my editor's edits. When I finish creating a book cover, book interior file, or epub file. Whenever I want to try ...


2

After reading the question and answer that Joel Bosveld linked to in his comment, I installed Git to do version control of the novel I was writing. If find the idea of version control intriguing, because I often rewrite parts of my fiction only to realize that a previous version contained some great phrases that I'd like to reuse but can not remember and ...


2

You should keep the quotation marks. If you believe that they will be distracting or disorientating to the reader, then don't take my word for it, try it yourself with an example: Look at the famous 'Heart of Darkness' by Conrad (the copyright has expired, so it is in the public domain and free to read). It consists almost exclusively of somebody on a boat ...


2

You mentioned that I do not trust myself to be fully capable of judging my own work against what others might think of it. I may have an answer for this. I suggest writing a little every day, as you said, but not editing. Try to keep from editing for several days in a row. Then once or twice a week edit whatever you have. I prefer music when I edit ...


2

You are writing for an audience. Your audience is not "everyone" or "general audience" or "teens". People are different, even teens are different, and there is nothing that every person likes. So your audience is always a subset of all people, and you need to (a) define that audience and (b) research what they like. If you have done that research, the ...


2

This is a matter of opinion, especially since the meaning is the same. There is no hard and fast rule, but rhythm is very important in sentence structure. Ordering the words so that they roll off the tongue in many instances makes them more pleasing to the eye. In this case I think the first example just sounds better.


2

I know third person gives me more power over emotions but that would be limited to just one character. No. With third person omniscient narrator freely switching the followed character, you can easily flip between the two. Such switches are not nearly as freely available with first person, where you must follow one character for a full section. It boils ...


2

I think that some people have an unhealthy obsession with this show-don't-tell thing. Show don't tell is one possible specific style, it is not a God given commandment or one of the basic laws of physics. Most current bestsellers are full of telling, and they read (and sell) well nonetheless. I for one am completely happy with a writer telling me that her ...


2

The thing to do with any writing rule is to consider its functional utility. One good reason to start with the protagonist is that otherwise the reader may become invested in the the initial characters and narrative and may resist transferring that interest to the main protagonist and storyline. For me, both Salman Rushdie's Enchantress of Florence and ...


2

First, Imagine you are experiencing the same conflict as your character. Next, imagine that your mortal enemy (seriously, think of somebody you really dislike) wants to go with Option 1, which would naturally make you want to take up Option 2. The beauty of this is that you are not your character and thus do not have an opinion or a preference either way; ...


1

Best way is to treat it as verbal and use what are called interjections, words that have no grammatical meaning but convey emotions. So many different words convey these utterances: tch um ugh gah eh huh argh The list can go on and on. Here's just one partial list of interjections. A possible alternative is to convey it through the way the speech is ...


1

I (sometimes/often) do the total opposite; I barely describe some characters and leave it almost entirely up to the reader to decide what they look like. I may give general descriptions, such as "male", "forties", etc., but that's about it. Why? Well, because I am writing a story and the story itself is what matters most - not what colour the ...


1

Here are the things I consider. Clarity. Moving a phrase can make the sentence more clear or less clear. For example, moving a modifier further away from the thing it modifies sometimes makes makes the relationship harder to see. But not always. I'm not sure how to give rules about that, but if you consciously check how the ordering affects the clarity of ...


1

I prefer the first example, the "where-and-when" one. If you think about it, humans tend to (at least in my experience) ask the question "where and when?" when asked if they would like to meet; rarely have I heard anybody ask "when and where?" Example: Bob: "David, would you like to meet for lunch?" David: "Sure, where and when?" Now consider ...


1

In general, for a passage create an emotional reaction, the reader has to be able to relate to it. First, determine the point you want to make. Next, make your point in a way your intended audience can relate to. Using metaphors helps, as does using visceral language that really drives home your message. For example, first determine if the point you want ...


1

I start my documents as "NameOfDocument 000.doc" (or similar, depends on software being used.) Every time I start a writing/editing session on the document, I do a "Save As" and increment the number, before doing anything else. I find the Undo/Redo commands to be sufficient within a session. Exception: If I'm about to perform major surgery, e.g., ...


1

I think git is a bit overkill, because you have to remember to commit it all the time it does not just happen like after a save. Options that I can think of Google Docs it has a Revision History view Microsoft word has Track Changes (I don't know much but one site I found ...


1

It is possible to become and exist as a writer in isolation. If you write primarily for your own enjoyment you need not worry about anyone else. But being curious creatures we want to know what other people are writing or what is good writing. I would recommend that you read as much as possible and read many types of books. A great help to me over the years ...


1

While I have never published anything like this, I have plotted and written something based along the same premise of a TV series. Therefore, I'm speaking from the viewpoint of the writer and plot developer only. What is some general guidance on how this might be done? The first thing you need to do is work out your premise - the main storyline, the ...


1

Though I have not read them, I know of examples of a similar episodic series structure: Most of the books written by Self-Publishing Podcast" hosts Sean Platt, David Wright, and Johnny B. Truant. These guys write novellas that they call "episodes." They even write the first episode as a "pilot." As they finish each episode, they release it as a short ...



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