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Some pieces of advice: Do you know your setting well? If you don't have personal experience with an urban setting, your story is likely to be unrealistic and stereotypical. If this is the case, you might want to either change the setting or do some intensive research, preferably directly with people who resemble your characters (if possible). Recognize ...


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Set it in a growing town that has been undergoing so much growth due to the local supply of rare earth minerals, that the city hall is on the verge of declaring a change of state to a city. However, with the influx of worldwide media attention, there is growing pressure upon the town's accepted norms concerning sexuality, and an influx of narcotics from ...


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First of all, I think you have to give your readers enough credit to understand what you are talking about when you use the term "fayree" instead of "fairy". As long as your spelling of the word doesn't get so obscure as to be unrecognizable, then you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Secondly, the burden of responsibility falls on you to write a ...


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I'm sure that unusually-spelt variations on words like "vampire" and "fairy" would be comprehensible to most readers, but, unfortunately that is partly because "vampyre" and "faerie" are a bit of a cliché themselves. "Faerie" has more than 15 million hits on Google. Evolving yourself some names from Latin source words seems a more promising strategy. ...


3

As @what sensibly points out, just because you have an opinion doesn't mean it's wrong. Mention your biases up front. "I really enjoy rhyming poetry, and free verse doesn't work for me on an aesthetic level. That being said, if you do X and Y, you'll improve the tone of the line." If you don't want to feel like you're imposing, emphasize that your ...


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Paul, thank you for asking this question. I have the same concerns, and thinking about them helped me clarify some things for myself. Maybe my thoughts can be of help to you, too. I assume that you are widely read. You have read both a lot and quite a few different authors, genres and styles. Your bias, while it may be personal, is therfore by no means ...


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I have been in a few writers' groups over the last five or so years (am in one now as well), so I'm speaking from experience, not hard facts, so take what you will from it. Also, I critique mostly prose, not poetry. The best thing I've learned from these groups is to value your own opinion. If you don't like something, even for reasons you can't pin down, ...


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YMMV as to how relevant this is, but basically superpowers = magic. And there is no one who has more clearly thought through the necessity and workings of magic in the context of a novel than author brandon sanderson. If you're not really sure what role your magic/superpowers are going to play in your story, you should take a look at this. ...


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Filler is just like metadiscourse. Don't use them, just get straight to your point.


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You (usually) should put the thing first that you want to emphasize. But speech can be different, since it is also characterization. A hesitant or unsure character might habitually tack qualifiers to the ends of his statements. "A dog is a mammal, I think." "People should be nice to children, I suppose." "If you take one step closer I'll ...


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Think about what fillers are used for. They can be habitual. For example, some people start every utterance with 'well'. Mostly, they are used to give the person a little bit more time to think. Work out when your character most needs that time (at the beginning because they don't know what to say or half way through because they don't know what to say next) ...


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I'm not able to find a sample of the book, but, from what you've posted above, it looks like the author decided to capitalize the first three words of each section, as noted in the comments above. That first one is different because "Fear of Music" needs to be set apart from the artist. I've seen many big authors use this capitalization technique; it's just ...


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Looking at a sample of the book it seems obvious to me that the use of capital letters is rather arbitrary. It doesn't enhance the text, in my opinion. Actually, it looks like rather lazy editing to me.


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Answering more from a reader's perspective than a writer's, I'd prefer the version without the "cool for cool" powers --whenever I read something like that, it just seems like the writer being self-indulgent. You also run the risk of introducing plotholes. For instance, in the Harry Potter series, there are a number of over-powered magical devices (the ...


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If you have "too few chapters," it's probably a sign that your story doesn't have enough complexity. Here's an example of how to re-work it. Act I, Scene I: The heroine needs some information to solve a problem. Act I, Scene II: The heroine looks for, and fails to find the information. Act I, Scene III: The heroine finds the information but it ...


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The best strategy would be to let the reader come to the conclusion: Tom swallowed at the maid's sudden appearance.


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First person narrators can't know what's going on inside someone else. But they can think they know. And can narrate as if they know. That's a key advantage of first person narrators. They can be unreliable. Mindreading. I like your first example better... with some caveats. The narrator presumes to know what is going on inside Tom. That kind of ...


2

Ensuring relevance/believability are key to stories/characters and magic/superpowers. When reading, I become fully immersed in the fictional world that if a power/ability appears 'just for show', the book's credibility weakens to me and I am cautious/fearful any new aspect that is introduced will also end up being a pointless trait. Though, I do enjoy when ...


3

In the strongest writing, everything that's been included by the author has a reason to be there -- adds something relevant to the theme, moves the plot forward, develops a character, etc. If you're already suspecting that an item is superficial, then you should probably remove it. You wouldn't want an unnecessary element to accidentally remove the reader ...


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I don't know why your question got voted down; it's a perfectly legitimate question. Most works I read nowadays (I don't know how we can discuss writing without discussing existing works) don't have that much description. It seems most writers nowadays adhere to the school of minimalism or follow the style of the modernists (Ezra Pound, Hemingway, etc). If ...


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I think you're trying to hard to find a formula. I think "my heart started to race" is pretty clear. It wasn't racing before; it is racing now. The other two, yes, as isolated sentences, they are ambiguous. But you could say that about a lot of perfectly good sentences. To take a silly example, suppose I told you that a story includes the sentence, "She ...


1

Using these kinds of phrases makes me feel like you are telling more than showing. For instance, I don't care that your heart started to race, I care about why that's happening. I think it's because using start/realize/decide makes the action intentional instead of simply describing the action. It gives too much focus to something that should be peripheral. ...


1

When writing a novel of any manner (but particularly a romance) there is a danger of falling into a cliche. In fact I can boil every romance i've ever read into 1 of 2 stories: Main Character (mc) meets Romantic Interest (ri). There is some plot reason or another that keeps them apart. Together (or separately) they over said reason and execute the ...


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Romances are far more clich├ęd then you say. As Mike Ford points out, almost all romances can be sketched as: 1. Boy meets girl. 2. They fall in love. 3. Something keeps them apart. 4. They overcome and are together forever. I don't read romance novels, but I see them on TV now and then. I've noticed that these days the obstacle that keeps them apart is ...


0

The thing about romance is that it is aspirational, just like most fiction. To make a good romance, the reader needs to want to have the relationship in the book. They want to believe that the person falling in love could easily be them, and they will find the love of their life through similar means. The way most romance writers do this is exactly the ...


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Romance follows the same basic plot structure as any other genre: We meet the protagonist. An "inciting incident" disrupts the protagonist's life (in romance: (s)he encounters "the right one"). The protagonist now has a goal (a relationship with the right one). Obstacles keep the protanogist from his/her goal (for example, the right one loves another ...


3

Lyrical refers to song-like qualities. Songs are inherently emotive and use rhythm and sound to convey a sense beyond the literal. The rhythmic aspect includes not merely higher-level structure but also accentuation, syllabic pacing, repetition of sound patterns, and other mechanisms. Songs generally have a compression and a subtlety of expression that is ...


3

I agree with both your points: if your first sentence stood alone, I'd omit that. But in sequence with the other two, it sounds better to leave it in. There is an actual rule in English linguistics called that-deletion, which allows you to drop the word "that" before certain independent clauses if you choose to. In this case, I'd keep it.


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What is the purpose of the reference? If it is essential to the reader's understanding of the story that he understands the reference, than I'd be more likely to add some explanation. If it's just a side comment to add a little flavor to the story, then probably not. As What says, you can often easily toss in a couple of words that give the reader at least ...


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If you want to help those among your audience who do not know your references, add "the surrealist painter Salvador Dali" or "blue giant star". Giving not only the name of the object you refer to but adding its category (painter, star) helps readers understand your argument even if they don't know that particular item. How you describe the category ("the ...


1

If the references are meaningful to you, keep them. In removing those references in order not to confuse readers, you remove you from the story. My guess: Removing you from the story will remove the very thing that would have attracted readers. Net result: Fewer readers, rather than more. Be yourself, right out loud, right there in your stories. The ...


2

If your example is part of narration in a story, you have it written exactly right. There's no need for the acronym. "aka" the acronym originally came from law enforcement when describing someone's alias. It happens to be useful enough that it's migrated out of jargon into non-LEO usage, but you wouldn't use that acronym in running prose any more than you ...


1

I think that this question also relates to writing as Alexandro is asking how to write it - he has just simply used the wrong wording and the question does, in fact, refer to how to write something (whether or not it mentions formatting does not exclude the fact that Alexandro is asking about how to write it). I have modified the question to reflect this. ...


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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. ...


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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, ...



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