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14

I don't think your protagonist has to be ordinary to be relatable. While I haven't read the series, isn't the point of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid that the protagonist isn't the "healthy good guy hero" type? Writer Graham Moore just won an Oscar for his screenplay adapting The Imitation Game, a biography of codebreaker Alan Turing, and said that Turing was ...


7

I think you've gotten some bad advice. Lead characters do not need to be "ordinary", they need to be realistic. You could easily write a book from Luna Lovegood's point of view, provided you could make her actions relatable, which is to say, logical and reasonable. That's not the same as "ordinary", that just means we can understand why she's doing things. ...


7

It gives the most room to expand. As the story progresses, we observe the change of the protagonist, be it growth in strength or fall to corruption, or getting tangled with powers, or struggling to retain virtues against onslaught of temptations. By starting with someone "generic" you give yourself the most room to expand, to make the change more drastic ...


6

Try plotting backwards. The writers of House, MD often worked this way. They figured out some esoteric disease or ailment (or perhaps something not so esoteric but easy to confuse with other problems) and then worked backwards to lay red herrings and misdirection. So you have the ending you want (heroine gets macguffin). Work backwards from there. Each ...


5

You can certainly write a successful story or novel with a non-traditional POV --I'm thinking of Room, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time --it will just be a different kind of narrative. The main thing is that a neutral POV acts like a window onto the wider world of your story --which you can then populate with many strange and ...


5

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 ...


5

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 ...


4

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 ...


4

You really should be asking a lawyer rather than a group of writers. I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that for something to be "libel": (a) It must be written or printed, i.e. not simply spoken (that's "slander"). (b) It must be about a "clearly identifiable person". (c) It must be false -- truth is an absolute defense against libel. (d) If it is ...


4

"Glennkill" is written from a sheep's point of view. Which is one of its main points of attraction. I remember a story from the perspective of a cup (Böll maybe?). "The Remarkable Rocket" from Wilde's "The Happy Prince and Other Stories" has fireworks as protagonists. Of course, the Happy Prince himself is a statue. Many fairy tales have things as ...


4

Relateable Characters My favorite childhood character growing up was Bilbo Baggins. He was a single-living half-sized creature with a magical ring who was cowardly but clever, and had a great reluctance to try to go on any sort of adventure. I'm nothing like Bilbo Baggins, yet I can relate to dreams of adventure and wanting to be a quick-witted hero. ...


4

It's vanishingly rare to need a constructed language in written fiction. Orson Scott Card sums this up in How To Write Science Fiction And Fantasy: Invented languages are a lot more fun to make up than they are to wade through in a story. Here's the thing: very few readers will have the patience for more then brief, occasional snippets of languages ...


3

I think the important question is not whether this qualifies as a "flashback" by some technical definition, but rather whether you make it clear to the reader what is going on. I've occasionally read books where there was a flashback and I was well into it before I realized it was a flashback. I started getting confused, saying to myself, "Wait, I thought ...


3

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 ...


3

Only people can be libelled or slandered. Places cannot. Provided that you do not write in a way whereby specific public officials could make a case that you are attacking their personal behaviour and reputations, then whatever you think about a place is your own business. In most western-type jurisdictions, the dead cannot be libelled (that is certainly ...


3

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 ...


3

Here are some possibilities: As you play around with the premise and the theme before mapping out the story, look for twists in the premise and the theme. As you consider endings, look for twist endings. As you map out the events that lead to the ending, look for ways to make your chosen ending a twist. That is, think of events that will lead the reader to ...


3

The key thing is not that they are everyman, it's that people can relate to them. If it's Dr Who or Gandalf, no - they're totally other. But if it's someone like Einstein or Alan Turing, it can work if they're also going through normal human life struggles that your audience can relate to. The difference with using a non-traditional narrator, is that now ...


2

If you're deeply in the character's viewpoint, it doesn't matter that a sentence is expressing an everlasting fact. What matters is that it is what the character is experiencing at this moment. Of all the things the character could be thinking about, this is what he is thinking at this moment. So you write it in the same manner as the rest of the character's ...


2

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." ...


2

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. ...


2

You practically answered your own question. In these two cases, you should probably use a third party narrator. "very intelligent, like Sherlock Holmes (In the books, Dr. Watson is the point of view) very limited, some say stupid or mentally handicapped, like Hodor from A Song of Ice and Fire" The first person shouldn't narrate, and the second person ...


2

I use git for fiction. Sometimes I'll save versions at various milestones, such as when I finish a chapter). But more often I forget, and save a version only when I finish a draft. Some other times that I save versions: Before and after I apply my editor's edits. When I finish creating a book cover, book interior file, or epub file. Whenever I want to try ...


1

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 ...


1

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 ...


1

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 ...


1

If your character "Ivan the Eastern European" is a real estate tycoon, and you give him a hairpiece that everyone jokes about, and have him host a TV show about apprentices, and then have Ivan do despicable and/or humiliating things, then The Donald is for sure going to sue you for libel. At the least, he'll do it for the publicity, and settle out of court. ...


1

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 ...


1

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) ...


1

At first: Clearly establish the character or location. The first time you show new location or POV character, clearly establish both. To do that, focus on two things: sensory details (what the character is sensing through the five senses) and opinions (what the character thinks of the things being sensed). The character's opinions will help establish the ...



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