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But I can't have the narrator simply lie to the reader Sure you can. That's called an unreliable narrator. Instead of having a generic narrator-to-reader chapter, your "The Story So Far" material can be delivered via some other medium, or two characters who aren't in your story otherwise. It can be a newspaper article, a series of emails, a radio ...


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Oh man, it really bugs me when all the characters know a secret but I don't. It feels deceptive and manipulative. What works is to have a character who's also ignorant of the secret. Tell the story from their perspective. Then the reveal is not pointed at the reader, but at the character. In The Sixth Sense Bruce Willis is that ignorant character. The ...


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We don't. It's a blurred line and a fortune in legal costs on arguing where it lies. Of course there is a classification, but the lines are always blurred. On the "white side" there's alluding - when you make your own characters, but draw specific parallels, exploring what-if's of the other work, mocking its shortcomings, or referencing its most brilliant ...


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Legally, there have probably been millions of words written on the ramifications of this question for the law of every nation that has laws on the subject at all. Historically, Shakespeare didn't just get away with it because he was brilliant but because the laws and customs of Elizabethan England did not have any more than an embryonic concept of ...


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First point, as Lauren Ipsum indicated, be very, very careful about taking a living person as your model. Taking a dead person as your model could also give you problems if that person was a writer (a category which could include people primarily famous for other reasons), and his or her writings are still in copyright. Whether this (putting in-copyright ...


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I recently watch 7 editors choose stories for anthologies. They had read all of the stories a month or two earlier, and were now considering them in front of a live audience. Every now and then, an editor would pick up a manuscript from the pile, read the title out loud to the audience, and say, "I have no memory of this. Give me a minute..." Then they'd ...


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When I am Writing my titles I make a list of what I think is most important about the story. Then what I do is I reread parts of it. then I brainstorm and write words that come to me, about and from the book. I will read them then try and make a something that sums up the book. For instance, I wrote a story about a well that holds all the memories of the ...


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1) What I like to do is go to a book store and look at the titles in the genre I am writing in. If you do that, you will notice that books from the same genre often have titles that are similarly structured. For example, thrillers have short one or two word titles that relate to things hard, cold and dangerous. YA SF also has one word titles, but these ...


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There are two ways to approach this: marketing artistic Though they aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, an excessively obscure title might be risky in terms of the former (although, it might also help; you never know). My advice is to ignore any marketing concerns and focus on art. A title must be: indicative of the book in question (can you ...


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The passage is making too many assumptions, and does not really open much of a dialogue with the reader. The De-Shi character is just kind of thrown at us without really explaining who they are, and why we should care about what they are saying. There is also very little supporting evidence of forests that are planted by squirrels. Sure, a handful of acorns ...


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What makes a passage strong is almost always its context. We walk by the wonders of nature unseeing everyday. Only at certain times and in certain moods or circumstances do we pause to notice them or be moved by them. Squirrels accidentally plant forests by hiding nuts and forgetting where they put them. By itself, that is a mildly interesting fact. In the ...


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It depends. If it's being described from the POV of a human, then it should be ok, the person is merely describing the look in terms they are familiar with, which in turn, the reader redefines to terms they are familiar with. If it's not a necessary detail in the story, though, do you need to include it? Is there a plot reason for a pony tail, or could you ...


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The website http://co-writers.com/ is specifically set up to help people find writing partners. It's not the most active site, but it gets a steady stream of postings, and doesn't charge for usage.


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I would not advise swapping round the languages. Part of the flavour of any story is its setting. If I am reading a book set in Germany or Austria I expect and understand that, for the most part, the characters will be depicted as speaking German, even if it is translated into English for my benefit. I also accept and understand that English will be a ...


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While not a perfect solution, this may help somewhat: Der arme Siegfried stand herum, hörte dem Gespräch der Fremden zu "Ha, der versteht uns doch eh nicht" to demonstrate in english: Poor Siegfried was standing around, listening to the foreigner speaking "Ha, he will not understand what we are saying, that moron" Of course there is always the ...


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There are three issues here: copyright, trademark, and plagiarism. Copyright law explicitly says that you can't claim a copyright to a phrase or slogan. If what you have in mind is some clever turn of phrase or witty line, there's no legal barrier to using it. Quoting classic phrase is generally not considerred plagiarism, as long as you don't imply that ...


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A friend once said: "Every beautiful thought we consider ours." At the age of 13, I used quotations in my writing so often, it felt like I didn't have a single thought of my own. They called me "the walking sutra"... As much as I revere the talent of other writers, I have to say I have outgrown this practice big time! Whenever I try to steal or borrow ...


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In fiction, pretty much everything is allowed legally-wise, including using trademarked catchphrases. If you plan to say something really bad about a famous company, you might wanna cover your posterior by including a disclaimer in the front that it's a work of fiction. EDIT: I'm talking within the body of the text. You can't use a trademark phrase as a ...


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Totally fine in prose writing. Where it gets iffy is in formal writings like cover letters and scholarly essays. You really need a license to do so in these occasions or else it is kind of seen as lazy. But as far as your case in concerned, completely acceptable.



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