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0

Try: Linear and circular. Vertical works only if you have established a reasonably clear meaning for the up/down dimension.


1

"instead of thinking about an A-B linkage "in vertical terms" (or hierarchical?) it should be examined as a circular reference... Maybe you were over thinking it a little :) (we all do that at times)


0

The short answer is : Be Curious The longer answer requires : Explaining how being curious matters Explaining how to use your curiosity Curious Matters Because: If you're going to sell something you must be truly interested in it If you're going to talk about something you should know every aspect of it. If you're going to sell something that you ...


0

One good way to answer the question is to cite how I billed for, say, a freelance print ad. I would quote a blanket fee excluding any hourly rate. The reason is I may have the headline in five minutes or it may be five days. Creativity, in short, can't be rushed. I would encourage you to adopt a process I got many years ago from a Depression-era (I ...


-1

Don't worry about it. If you feel the need to bare your soul to the reader, go ahead and explain your situation in some section labeled 'preface' or 'about the author' or something. I mean, there are so many trash authors out there who do ARE native speakers of English and convey their stories with all the voice and passion of an accountant whose sole ...


-2

A few notches away from a finished product.


1

I recommend you reading "Six Walks in the Fictional Woods" by Umberto Eco. He explains in the book such narratives (and many other aspects of either ommiting parts of information or stating it in achronological order). The short answer to you question is: yes, you obviously can do that. Just remember (as Monica Cellio commented) to clearly state that the ...


1

Placeholders. (I'm explicitly focusing on my own reaction on this first point, because what I'm saying is very much a matter of personal taste.) I shudder at the idea of leaving placeholders in a manuscript. That impulse means that I've lost contact with the story and with the character. I'm no longer experiencing it. Instead, it's me as writer, from outside ...


0

as an addendum to the other answers here, especially Lauren Ipsum's excellent post I think the answer here is a lot to do with that much trod advice of show don't tell The first draft should simply be about telling the story as succinctly as possible. With rough pointers to the finer details of the characters behaviour. In future drafts you take the ...


1

Living in an English speaking country would be ideal, but you could get great benefits by watching lots of movies and series. Although not ideal, and less natural than ordinary people speaking together, you will get a good sense of normal language use and vernacular. my level of command of English language will always be below that of a native ...


14

Placehold the highlights. Write the notes of what you want to accomplish. Beth: Wow, that was really nice of the waiter. Alanna: Do you think the boss will punish him for that? they discuss if they should give him a big tip to make sure the boss doesn't dock him. Alanna wants to give the biggest tip she can afford; Beth thinks a large but not ...


-1

In regards to your character dilemma, I struggled with the same thing, and here's what I did about it: https://elliotcountenance.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/reevaluating-the-headstrong-character/


4

Continually editing what you are writing can mean you never get anything finished. Just churning out stuff that you are never going to use in the end doesn't help particularly either. What I do personally may help you, but everyone is different. Assuming I have a basic plot outline I try to just get the short story, play, article, ect. down on paper. If, as ...


5

Anne Lamott, in Bird by Bird, writes about starting with a "shitty first draft." That is, using your first draft to simply spew your ideas onto paper. This is the creative part of your writing. Let it all out, regardless of consistency, grammar, coherence. Later drafts are where you form that mass of crap into brilliance.


0

Why would you want to talk him into writing poetry, if he feels it is "not his way"? Motivation is the single most deciding factor in being successful in any field. If your friend is motivated, he will find his own lyrical voice. If it is not for him, nothing will change that. If he is talented, as you say in your comment, but believes he is not, then his ...


0

You can pay an editor. Google is your friend. Or you can use books on grammar to try and copy-edit your book yourself. For grammar I recommend Michael Swan, Practical English Usage. It's the best book out there. For word choice, use a bunch of dictionaries and thesauruses. You can never have too many of these. I have access to the OED online version ...


1

This is fiction? Where is it set? If you write what you know and set it where the native language is not english or the major characters don't speak english, you can emphasize your cultural background to give either a British Colonial or non British, non American feel to the work, your mistakes will appear to be part of the nature of the setting giving a ...


1

In general, people look for a writer who can integrate craft, creativity and depth in his or her writing. Out of the three, craft is the only one that can be gained in a systematic and predictable manner through hard work, practice and dedication. It is the one that is easiest to teach, most visible on the surface, and most universally admired. However, ...


1

You're talking about two very different kinds of book. In a way this is like asking, "I'm going to college. Should I major in chemistry or poetry?" That all depends on what you like, what you're good at, and what you expect to do with the degree. Someone could list the pros and cons of each, but without knowing your wants and needs and aptitudes, there's no ...


1

There's no need to choose. Write both.


3

I would say write what you are capable of. If your talents are non-fiction, straight to the point works then definitely write it that way. But if you are very skilled at writing fiction stories detailing adventures or thought-provoking ideas, then do that. Personally, I would write a fiction novel detailing all the technical experience of advanced diving ...


1

Is it better to write that as a non-fiction book or develop a novel on the subject? With one huge exception, my general answer would be that you should write a straightforward instructional book. Most novels I have read that simply wrapped a story round a lesson read like books for children. That annoys me. I'm a grown up. I don't need the pill sugared. Now ...


4

Instead of "fiction" (made up) and "non-fiction" (facts) I'll use the terms "novel" and "textbook". We expect a novel, both fiction and non-fiction, to be about experience and possibly ideas, and textbooks to be about detailed information. But there are countless counter examples. For example the scholarly field of ethnology often employs first person ...


1

i do the same and have several books at different stages of completion. i think it is healthy, and when working on one novel you get ideas for others. Also, when you are bored with the slow pace of writing, you can be refreshed and motivated by working on another project. My advice would be to work on what currently "burns" you, what you feel you need ...


0

You can also try to use the snowflake method. It's a simple and iterative process that will help you gradually build your story, and have a clear vision of what your story is going to be about. There are 10 steps, and you sometimes have to update what you produced in the previous steps. But this is the interesting side of this technique, you have a vision ...


3

I wonder whether what you're calling a plot hole might really be a character hole. Go deeper into the character. Does your character think contradictory thoughts because you don't understand the character very well? If so, that's a character hole. Solve that by going deeper into the character. Find out more of the character's thoughts, especially the ...


8

An author, whose name I forget, explained his procedure in the following way: Write your story down. Leave this version as it is, that is, do not attempt to close plot holes or correct continuity. Instead: Put that first version away, and Write the whole story again from scratch. Repeat until you are happy with your result. What this does is that plot ...


0

Try this if you think that you won't have any problem writing them simultaneously but focusing on one at a time would let do a better job than working on many of them.


3

Think about your story. All the time. I once found an enormous plot hole in the bath. (Er, I was in the bath and the plot hole was in my story, but you know what I mean.) By the time I was drying my toes I had converted the plot hole into a plot point, namely the logical discrepancy by which the main character deduced that another character was lying. If ...


1

Keep reading back your story and smooth out the holes you find. Redact your own writing until you believe it is perfect. Then redact again. Make notes on stuff that comes back later if you need to ensure consistency. Extremely hard work? Yes. Comes with the package I'm afraid.


0

Using another author's created species is something fanfic authors do all the time. It is legally something of a grey area in Anglosphere legal systems (I don't know anything about the situation elsewhere) - but in the last ten years the amount of fanfic has exploded beyond the ability of anyone to police it, even if they wanted to. It's when and if you ...


0

"What would be the alternative device in switching to a backstory narrative other than switching into a past tense?" An alternative device I have often seen work well is doing the opposite tense switch - that is, having the main narrative in the past tense and the back story in the present tense as a flashback. (In fact I don't see any significant ...


2

It is uncommon and feels unnatural to narrate anything in one tense only. Instead of believing your friend (what makes him an expert?) you might want to pick some contemporary fiction and confirm for yourself what writers (and editors) do. Something like this is fairly commonplace: I barely manage to drag myself from sleep when the alarm goes off. The ...


1

It might make sense to write two (or more) "companion" novels simultaneously. Some decades ago, I wrote two novels, simultaneously, one set in the twentieth century and one set in the eighteenth century, based on the same (twentieth century) real life people as inspiration for my characters. At some level, they were "one novel" because they used the same ...


2

Yes you can as long as it isn't the main focus. If in doubt, you may want try to contact the author ask for permission. That's what I did. Never got a response but at least I tried.


0

I don't think it is wrong to write multiple novels at the same time. I myself do it. Even though I might be concentrating on 1 novel(like right now I am concentrating on Rubiks World) I might still be writing or even just thinking about other novels(Like the fourth volume of my New Earth series where Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands are built and a ...


3

I agree with what some of the others are saying. The hardest part of writing (for many people) is making side characters who are just as interesting, round, and believable as the main character. Readers aren't as likely to be in the side character's head, so they aren't privy to the constant inner monologue that must be happening there as much as in anyone ...


1

The problem I see with De Shi is that he doesn't have a "background" in the story on which to base his responses. Or for others to base their reactions toward him. You don't need a lot of background for him, but it has to be more than zero. The best idea would be to have him disclose a small window into his past. The second best would be to have another ...


1

I think you're misreading your feedback. The problem isn't De-Shi not talking about himself, it's that he doesn't come off as a fully realized character, but rather as a plot device. He's just there to serve a function in Li-Mei's story. You might try spending some time writing De-Shi's own story from his perspective --not to go in the finished book, but ...


3

If you're insistent upon keeping his past and emotions a secret early on, one option might be to have the environment around De-Shi fill that void. Let the people around him give the reader clues as to his other side or true nature (depending on whether De-Shi always was like he is). This is of course assuming either exists, and if not there is little that ...


1

As others have said, people tend to notice others with common interests, and they tend to go to places where people with common interests are likely to go. Suppose you are really interested in, say, Amish furniture. You are driving down the street and you see an Amish furniture store. Is that a bizarre coincidence. Probably not. In your drive you passed ...


2

A rule of thumb: A good coincidence gets the character into trouble. A bad coincidence gets the character out of trouble.


1

This doubles as an answer to your other question, How to make the reader "accept" absurdity? Some books strive for the appearance of realism, others don't. In either case, what is most important is a) that the book follows its own rules and b) that it has a sense of emotional reality. For instance, some books are built entirely on frameworks of ...


5

If Li-Mei gets laughed at the Animal Behaviour class and gets attention of the founder and if all of this happens right before the first act ends or the first 20-22% of the novel which sets her story goal and the story question, it's not a Deus ex Machina. If it doesn't happen in the first act and happens elsewhere and entering the club is crucial for the ...


3

Considering the club Li-Mei "stumbles into" consists of only two people, one of them absent half the time, and the club's founder is in the animal behavior class for the same reason as her - because it's the most likely place to learn about the topic - I'd say it's perfectly reasonable to have them meet that way. In retrospect, it makes a lot of sense. ...


0

Who cares? No realy, book and story categorization is an effort doomed to failure (even though it does have uses). The main reason That categorization will fail is that stories are about people and people do not fit well in well defined boxes, and besides once you have a story that defines a category every other story in the category won't fit quite right ...


5

In real life people interested in the same thing do eventually find each other. This is especially true in the age of the internet, as is demonstrated by this very forum, but was true even before then. It's a standing joke among scientists, academics, and students writing dissertations that however obscure the subject of your research, you will find some ...


1

Some general reasons why readers would see a chapter as a dead end: They don't care about what is happening in the chapter. They don't see how the chapter contributes to the story. I'll expand. Possible reason: Readers don't yet care enough about the character, and so don't know why they should care about the events of the chapter. Possible reason: ...


4

As Ville Niemi comments above, the simplest way to make this not a coincidence is to have your protagonist do some work to find these people. In fact, I can't imagine how she could casually stumble over something called an Animal Suicide Club. It's the "Club" part which requires the work. Animal suicide researchers, yes, you'd probably find those without an ...


2

Keep them, adapt the storyline. How often does research succeed in one go? Life is not like that. If at any time the current attempt is shown as the way to go, and only at the end the impossibility is revealed, and in such a way it could not be known before, I say that is discovery, learning experience, and a nice way to show protagonist perseverance. If ...



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