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Here's the dictionary.com definition of poem: a composition in verse, especially one that is characterized by a highly developed artistic form and by the use of heightened language and rhythm to express an intensely imaginative interpretation of the subject. The problem, which everyone is indicating with their answers is the portion that states: ...


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Ah the eternal question in all art forms. What is music? So John Cage created 4'33" What is dance? So someone I forget who, possibly Merce Cunningham, stepped on stage and didn't move, and then left. What is a painting? So many a painter put a blank canvas on the wall. What is an artist name? The artist formerly known as Prince.


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First, they don't have to, a one-to-one correspondence is not mandatory. That said, they are two different narrative styles, the former simpler and faster to scan, the latter much superior literally, reflecting a creative twist added in. Occasional use of the latter can be enriching. (Also tests the reviewer's acuity.) .


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I disagree that a colon does not simulate normal speech. A classic example would be when I enumerate something to my dialog partner: "Hey Joe, we offer the following colours: Gray Blue Yellow." There, maybe even with semicola in a single line: "Hey Joe, we offer the following colours: Light Gray, Dark Gray and Eternal Gray; ...


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The sad truth is that semicolons are slowly dying. NGrams However as one of the few people who still attempt to use semicolons in writing (and a programmer) I sincerely hope they don't die out. Ultimately a lot of it boils down to a lack of proper teaching; teachers these days do not often teach students the correct use of semicolons. In an attempt to stop ...


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The real answer here is: Whatever makes your message the most clear to your readers. Learn to use punctuation as properly as possible, because this is what people learn at schools. Since they learn it there they tend to understand it as common usage and it's easier for them to gather meaning. And since most people learn to read at school, a common ...


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I suppose my answer might sound old school, but I greatly enjoy when the author describes the physical features of the characters in their story. I prefer knowing just how the author envisioned the character. From there I can build around the character and their corresponding thoughts and actions. I don't lack imagination but I do like the author's ...


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Linguists have found that semicolons, colons, and even commas, are on the wane in everyday usage, and that many speakers no longer understand the use of a semicolon. Non-writers – and you will see this in emails, forum posts, and other written messages – often do not use punctuation at all, but rather let all "sentences" flow into each other, only putting ...


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"The point of a Horcrux is, as Professor Slughorn explained, to keep part of the self hidden and safe, not to fling it into somebody else's path and run the risk that they might destroy it — as indeed happened: That particular fragment of soul is no more; you saw to that." "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", J. K. Rowling "Lord Voldemort liked ...


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This is widely accepted, a rather common "flavor". Yes, there are legal implications, unless you use public domain works or made-up citations. In case of citations from works still covered by copyright, such use is not covered by Fair Use clause (unless you're parodying the content of the citation in in the following chapter, or referring to it by some ...


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Chapters don't need to have a title. "Chapter NN" is fine. Or you can have only a title — that's generally when the title identifies some kind of shift, like a different time, location, or narrator/POV focus. So you can have Chapter 1 Chapter 6 Chapter 47 or Location: Vulcan, 2265 POV: Brienne Time: A few hours ...


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Your question makes me come up with the following example: For twenty years I lived in the land of milk and honey - along with the bees and cows. To me, this sounds better than: For twenty years I lived in the land of milk and honey - along with the cows and bees. I can't explain (though I find Lauren Ipsum's explanation in the comment below ...


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The additional "and" changes the rhythm of the list. It elongates it, which can have the perhaps paradoxical effect of increasing a sense of pace and tension. "Monotony" isn't simply a matter something being boring or tedious. Used properly, it can convey a meaning of fullness and richness. Somewhat comparable to how "said" disappears in dialog, the ...


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In brief: Yes. But: If you make a direct (word-for-word) copy of a news story, then you'll be in breach of copyright. If you write a story with characters in it who are clearly based on specific living people then you (or your publishers) risk being sued for libel by those people if they think that your story disparages them unfairly. That's the ...


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A very good read which is informative and entertaining is, How To Read Literature Like a Professor, by Thomas C. Foster. Another very good book is Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice by Charles Bressler. A bit more academic, but quite good.


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One of the standard introductions for university students is Literary Theory: An Introduction by Terry Eagleton.


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One of my go-tos is "Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction" by Jonathan Culler. It's great for people who are new to literary theory, or for veterans that are looking to brush up on the basics.


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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: ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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.


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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 ...


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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.


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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, ...


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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 ...


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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 ...



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