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2

You've made the same mistake I did. You've picked up a book and realised that it has 500+ pages of text, you've started writing and got to the end and realised you're 475 shy of writing the next epic novel. You're approaching the task backwards and there are a few things to realise very early on. A good story starts and ends when it should. How many films ...


1

Yes, such generic placeholders are definitely washing out the image. The reader reads descriptions to gain knowledge of given situation, and these are empty, useless duds. If the information is limited, give the scraps that are still available. A surprising sight made me stop again. Two hands shoved me, or a mass against my back shoved me. Only use ...


2

I don't know about the repetition, but I feel the somethings are bad style for different reasons. Avoiding "something" makes your text feel less wishy-washy and more intense and to the point: Not a minute passed, however, when the rottweiler stopped me again. At that same moment I was pushed to the floor. “... it seems like the dog wanted to ...


4

By and large, overusing a specific word or phrase is not great style. However, what I see here is the same word used three times with three different meanings. The first usage references a mental idea or thought process. This could probably stand to be more specific (what made the narrator stop?) but otherwise is a perfectly cromulent usage. The second is in ...


1

I see from also searching online as you did that most people seem to think of character sketches as just filling out forms or writing a straight description. But I remember writing "character sketches" in college and we basically wrote "mini stories" as you've said. I think I wrote a sketch describing a man's character using his hat as an analogy for his ...


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There are no rules. Readers are different and enjoy different things. Every rule will result in a text that is uninteresting for someone. If you find your text interesting, others will, too. Note: You did not ask how to write stories that sell or stories that are reviewed well. You asked what makes a good story. I answered that question. There is no ...


2

Adding to Dale Emery's answer, besides the effects listed in Wikipedia, one basic effect is that of emphasizing the staggering number of things: "there were apples, oranges, and bananas" is just a neutral list, whereas "there were apples and oranges and bananas" emphasizes the fact that there are impressively many different fruits to choose from. There ...


3

I don't know how to give a quick summary of its effects. So I'll offer some terminology to aid your research. That technique is called polysyndeton. Wikipedia has a little bit about the effects: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polysyndeton You can also go in the other direction and remove all of the conjunctions. That is called asyndeton: ...


0

The Chicago Manual of Style says that "unspoken discourse" can be either in quotations marks or not according to the author's preference. (Referencing some of the other respondents' contributions, Chicago does mention that in some countries em dashes are used for dialogue. I can only come from an American English perspective on this.) A good way to bypass ...


1

1) It does not to have to be in third person : I don’t know if it was part of your assigment to write it in third person, but to make good story, you do not have to write it in third person. Third person does not imply that it will be good story. 2) Make it unusual: Few ideas on "discovery" topic which may make good story: Dog puppy discovering its ...


2

Just as a side note, I would alter the second/third sentence to this. I was beginning to like her more. I also realized we had some things in common, like our attempts of suicide. "Like" should be part of the previous sentence. With that in mind, the two examples in Lauren Ipsum's answer are great. Here's another: I smiled and gave her a nod. I ...


0

In all written English, dialogue by a character should be quoted as well as any other vocalized words. Ei. the character is talking to himself. Inner dialogue and thoughts should be italicized. The only real difference between dialects should be small punctuation changes, like whether to use single quotes or double.


3

It's "whereas." It's a formal and slightly clunky word. Plus you're using the exact same sentence structure twice in a row, but only twice. Once is fine, and three times is an effect, but two looks like a mistake. Kate’s problem had been physical, but mine had been psychological. She had been motivated by an excess of sensations. My problem was a lack ...


1

There's nothing technically wrong with doing this, but you're right to think it sounds fishy. I'd suggest confining exclamations like these to dialog. Ultimately, though, you'll have to rely on your ear and the ears of your beta readers.


3

I don't see any tense changes in your examples. It all appears to be in past tense. The reason the reader has the perception of the passages happening in present tense is due to the narrator presenting their rendition of the events in the way a storyteller would. To clarify, your examples give the impression of somebody telling a story around a campfire, ...


1

Suggest minor edits: As if sensing my presence, the girl turned around. She looked young. Probably sixteen or seventeen. Her long black hair, crimson red lips, and skin so pale made me wonder whether she had any blood at all. What struck me most were her eyes. There was nothing unusual in them, but they made her face look lifeless, completely devoid of ...


1

Close. Part of the process of evolution is that it doesn't happen once, but repeatedly over a long period of time, and that "falling through a particular hole" allows something beneficial to happen later on (reproduction and thereby continuance of the species). If the pebble doesn't fall through the hole, you have to explain what bad thing would happen. And ...


3

There seem to be two basic issues in this question. The first is similar to the issue of when a pronoun's antecedent is clear; is the extra information necessary for an understanding of the basic meaning of the text. This is addressed by Lauren Ipsum's answer: "if there is no other reasonable interpretation" when the extra information is excluded, then "you ...


4

These two examples make the scene more specific in a particular way: By adding modifiers. In these cases: By adding adverbial phrases. Your temptation to add the modifiers is telling you something. Some word elsewhere in your sentences may be too abstract. Your concern about adding words is telling you something. Some words elsewhere in your sentences may ...


1

Sounds pretty good, in that I can kind of picture the scenes. (Of course, I actually know a couple with these names.) If you're worried, though, play around a little with the scenes. Record yourself saying the dialogue out loud. Then playback, listening with fresh ears. (Kind of like when you revise.) Listen for anything that sounds too stilted & edit. ...


6

My thought is, if you can remove the text (which you've bolded) and it still makes sense — that is, if there is no other reasonable interpretation — you can take it out. Can Cath reasonably cover her nose with her knee? with a bandana? If not, you're fine.


2

What is in your head and what is on the page may be very different things. The characters, places and developments of your story may seem a tightly woven tapestry in your head. But the fresh eyes of another will clearly see loose threads, tears and great big holes in the fabric. Always be open to the critiques of others. That being said... By all means, ...



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