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There are two basic applications of this technique: serious and comedic. In the serious version, your character changes opinion about given passage while writing it. It tells about character development, how their view of things changes through introspection and reminiscence. My best friends gave their lives for this country the wealth of the oil ...


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When I was young and started to write, I was so in love with the process of writing that I thought to publish that process. I made a huge effort of recreating my notebooks into a layout program, with all the crossed out words, the notes in the margins, the sideways and upside down text. I got that book printed, and it looked very fine and interesting. I gave ...


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Gael Baudino sort of did this in her Water! trilogy. In the three books (O Greenest Branch, The Dove Looked In, Branch and Crown) she kept switching not merely narrator and POV, but the entire narrative style: parts were standard narration, then parts were being told by a marketing guy as he was getting mugged, then parts were a stone-cutting manual which ...


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Samuel Delany does this effectively near the end of Dhalgren, but only for fairly brief passages. As with any stylistic innovation, you have to make it worth the reader's effort to adjust to it. Remember, "realism is just another style." I would use this sparingly and only for things you actually want to convey to the reader, not just for the sake of ...


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It doesn't matter if your book is 95% one person speaking. If your character is speaking aloud, and especially if you have a second person who interrupts even once a chapter, you must have punctuation indicating that someone is speaking. Also, I very strongly recommend that you don't just present your story as a wall of 95% one person speaking aloud. If ...


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If you are quoting the girl, or writing from her perspective, than you should have her say what she would say if this was real life. The fact that a statement isn't true (in whatever sense) doesn't mean a character in the story shouldn't say it if that is what the character would say in real life. To take an extreme example, if I was writing a story in which ...


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If the story is told from the perspective of the girl, either in first or third person, she will think of him as her father and that is what you must call him, anything else will feel contrived. Only if you are not writing from the perspective of the girl, but from an omniscient or neutral standpoint, can and should you use terms that she would not use ...


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So, this is a third person narrative, and character X knows that Y is not her real father, but the reader doesn't? I would go with language that matches what the reader knows --i.e., refer to him as "X's father" until you're ready for the reveal. If it's true third person, you could just call him by his first name, but I can understand if you want to ...


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I would use synomymouses for father, for excemple dad, daddy or father. If you use more languages in your story you can also use the words for father from both languages, language A for one and language B for the other.


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Your use of "something" is a bit of a literary crutch. Most writers have them in one way shape or form. Since you have have identified this particular issue, now would be a good time to correct it. As others have already noted, the word "something" is just a placeholder. By itself it literally means nothing. I'm not saying that "something" should be banned ...


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Every writer has certain phrases they repeat "this", "what I did", "and then", "some sort of". Mine is "some sort of". Where and how you employ these phrases have to do with your style. It would be a sin to omit all of them. It would be excellent to keep them where they fit. "something" isn't anything to omit, it lets the reader put whatever they want ...


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The reader is going to supply their own emotion. If you've strung everything together correctly. But writing with 'feeling' is a slippery idea for the ages. Certainly there must be some emotion driving the writer to write the words. The fact that a thing was written is sometimes enough. But sentimentality is the cheap knockoff that often ends up as a ...


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You have to keep going even when it's not pleasant. Also, consider that you need to be very excited about an idea to write 100 pages about it. My first book, I was so excited I wrote 120,000 words. It was first time I 'saw' the whole book before it was done. Since I saw it, I knew that it only needed to be written. Before that I never had any ideas I ...


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If you've written at all, you can write long stories. A long story is simply a bunch of short stories about the same subject that are stitched together to form a narrative. Your life is a long story. Don't agonize over how to sustain focus or worry about losing interest in a long story. Just start somewhere. Anywhere. The middle is often a great place to ...


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Focus on the conflict and changes. People are generally looking for themselves when they read. They want to see people in situations they can understand. Summaries don't have to be long. But they do have to sum up what happens in a compelling way. Try reading your summary as if it were written by somebody else. What do you think of it? The summary is ...


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Everyone has their own method. No method is any better or worse than another. Some find it helps to create a plot outline. Others prefer to create characters and let them do whatever they want. Some writers collect snippets on napkins and business cards and notes for years and piece them together into a coherent story. A novel takes a long time. Breaking ...


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A good editor should also be a good writer. An editor might better anticipate the public response to a work, but it's hard to imagine an editor who isn't at least a competent writer. Most editors were once writers and wrote for years. Editors are also avid readers. Concepts are great but bringing them to life is another thing. How do you know you're A) ...


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I will second CLockeWork's comment. I will also add that while parentheses work, I think commas are more readable. John said it was constructed in 1664, during the Dutch occupation in Taiwan, by an admiral that had decided to settle in the island.


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Others may disagree, but I'm a big fan of parentheses. In this case, the Dutch occupation is a side note to give some context to 1664. It could be omitted without changing the real meaning of the sentence. John said it was constructed in 1664 (during the Dutch occupation in Taiwan) by an admiral who had decided to settle in the island. Please note, I ...


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John said it was during the Dutch occupation in 1664, in Taiwan, that an admiral who had decided to settle in the island, constructed it.


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You are looking for a co-writer. There are websites where you can find a partner for your project (e.g. co-writers.com). If you think are good with plot, structure and editing, you could look for somebody to bring in the literary depth. However, have you tried different ways of writing your fiction yet? If you get impatient, you may want to try writing your ...


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What you're refering to seems to me like you're talking about ghostwriting? Telling someone your plot/story, and him/her turning it into an actual piece of writing.


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If these proposed chapters are slow, boring and have little to do with the actual story, then you should not add them for the sake of making the story longer. However, fictional writing is all about the journey. In high fantasy novels like Lord of the Rings, the endgame is returning the one ring to Mordor. If Frodo and Sam were just able to walk down the ...


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While it's a good idea to vary your descriptions occasionally for variety, in this instance, Siamese is not just a way to refer to the cat, but a way to differentiate this cat from other cats. If the scene were in someone's living room, then Siamese would help you identify that cat as opposed to the tabby, tuxedo, and tortie cats also lying on the couch. ...


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What you're talking about are epithets, and depending on who you talk to, they are either a necessary tool of writing or the bane of existence. When overdone, epithets can make a simple conversation between two people feel like an orgy. If Bob, Frank, the blond, the redhead, the plumber, and the lawyer are all referred to in the same scene, it's hard to ...


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When in a continuing, back and forth dialogue, use boldface everytime you reference the speaker in question (additionally you can secure good formatting by always using NBSPs per speaker reference): Sailor/Pirate: Hello, scout! Where are you headin', matey? Ziska: Oh! I was just walking along the pier here to look down at the water. Sailor/Pirate: Nothing ...


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I've wrestled with this too. Easy part: If you're writing in American English, what the character is saying should be enclosed in double quotes ("). Whenever the speaker changes, start a new paragraph. I think the hard part is making clear who is speaking. It gets tedious if you constantly write, "Bob said ... Then Mary said ... Then Bob said ..." etc. ...


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Generally accepted structures, which are used for clarity: Each time the speaker changes, you start a new paragraph. The speaker may start and stop, and you can have narration and action tags, but as long as that person continues, it can be the same paragraph. You may start a new paragraph with the same speaker if it's clear that the person is continuing ...


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Without getting into an argument about which exact verb you should use, I would suggest that it is often good practice to use a "strong" verb to support a "weaker" one. Think for a moment what you mean by a "strong" verb. Essentially, you mean one that carries drama, action and excitement when compared to its more pedestrian alternatives. As in all things, ...


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A slightly different approach from the ones already posted (some interesting ideas here though!): These days, it is rarely enough for an engineer simply to be an engineer. Maybe, to succeed, they need to innovate. Think of all the technology start-ups there have been over the last 30 years or so. What do they all have in common? The answer: a dream. A ...


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My trick: Look for variables. That is: anything I could vary. I use this technique all the time when I need a burst of creativity. And it's a core feature of any workshop I teach that involves creativity in any way (and they all do). Here's the process applied to generating fiction ideas: Write down any character, location, object, situation, action, ...


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For a simple and brief exercise: Ask them to write a first person account of a typical day as experienced by some object they would find compelling: a bridge, a computer server, a particle cannon, etc. Encourage them to avoid too much anthropomorphic thinking. Experience the bridge as a bridge. How does the morning sun affect it? What stresses of weight, ...


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Short answer: Yes. Suppose you set out to write, say, a murder mystery. And your complete first draft was: "Sally Jones was found dead in an alley. A detective came to investigate. He found several important clues and realized that the murderer must be her boyfriend, Albert Fromme. The police arrested Fromme and he was convicted and sent to jail. The End." ...


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Creative writing and engineering overlap in worldbuilding. There's even a SE site for it! Worldbuilding is the art of creating imaginary worlds or settings and describing how they work. This could be anything from a realistic neighborhood to an entire fantasy universe. Depending on the scope and style of the world, creating it may involve elements of ...


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First you need to remember that people are different. Some are most creative without rules, some are most creative when breaking rules and some are most creative within rules. The best creative engineers fall in the last category. The rules that an engineer are bound by are physical (gravity, physical properties of beams, etc.) regulatory, and customer ...


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You're actually asking 2 different questions: Is it OK to add chapters to slow down the pace of the story? When you say 'slow' that's not a good sign. You want to generate excitement and keep the reader engaged. Anything that slows the pace risks causing your reader to lose interest and stop reading. Keep in mind that given your characters, plot arc, ...


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It's very important that when you add a chapter to your story, it has a point. Now, this isn't a 'No' to your question; far from it. Instead, I'd suggest that if you do want to slow the pace and add and additional chapter, then it should serve some discernable purpose. Some good advice I received a while back about writing was to never do anything unless ...


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Your goal is to get your students to think about using standard skills in non-standard ways. Anyone can build a house; not everyone can build Fallingwater. Dig up classic engineering conundrums from the past (pyramids, aqueducts, dams) and ask your students how they would solve them. Find moderately ridiculous but not utterly implausible movie set pieces ...


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Personally, I would say another failed attempt will only be enjoyable for the reader, if it adds more than a mere slowdown. You are hungry and on your way to lunch (= the reader is full of suspense and wants the protagonist to succeed). On your way to lunch your boss wants a word with you (= you insert a chapter into your novel). Will you enjoy talking to ...


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I think in all three examples you're starting to impede comprehension, and change the meaning of the sentence. Example 1 sounds like the caller is cleaning the apartment of the narrator, because the subject hasn't changed from the beginning of the sentence. Example 3 leaves the friend in question: whose friend is he talking about? In Example 2 you have to ...


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Well, I just came off a 5 day exercise of gathering and organizing all my writing attempts and I realize that in the past 4 years I have started 15 novels, some of 3k words (so one chapter that I gave to one person to read who didn't like it) to grand 200k completed first drafts that never got rewritten. (200k is grand for me) Before this 5 day collecting ...


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This happens to me as well. There are a few things I've found to help: 1) Don't ask for feedback too early --wait until the piece is finished. 2) Write shorter pieces. 3) Try to gain some emotional distance from the writing --treat producing writing like an ongoing job you have to do, not as a way to seek instant gratification. 4) Start with a solid ...


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But, let's say they had achieved their goals, and all become immortal. Quin Si Haung, continued enlisting slaves to build his crazy tomb. Hiltler, would have continued to pile up Jews, until making a mountain, as tall as, Mount Everest. My great, great, great grandmother, would have, well, I have no idea, but judging from her wackiness, surely nothing good. ...


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had achieved their goal and become immortal because you're talking about past efforts. I think the second paragraph should be in subjunctive, which is what you put in your suggested corrections. The narrator is positing a hypothetical future, not a real or hypothetical past.


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As Lauren Ipsum's answer states one should be wary of repetitive use of words, phrasings, and sentence structures. Such can easily be seen as poor writing. (Note that this effect might be intentional. For example, repetition in a character's speech or thought could indicate a lack of coherence or clarity, perhaps from distraction, fatigue, idiocy, anxiety, ...



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