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Some of the stories that I have read are incredibly dark, based simply on the events that occur, but did not feel that way when read. Bringing out a lighter side can be done in a number of ways: Characters/ Relationships Having characters that are hopeful or optimistic will go a long way to brightening a story (unless they are annoyingly optimistic to the ...


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It depends. If it's being described from the POV of a human, then it should be ok, the person is merely describing the look in terms they are familiar with, which in turn, the reader redefines to terms they are familiar with. If it's not a necessary detail in the story, though, do you need to include it? Is there a plot reason for a pony tail, or could you ...


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You can talk to real-life veterans and see how they coped with war. One tactic is "gallows humor" or "black humor," which is seeing the humor even in grim moments (common to veterans, law enforcement officers, doctors, and first responders). The TV show MASH was essentially built on this. There are many examples on the TV Tropes page (consider yourself duly ...


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I think the trope is less of a conscious choice than the result of a series of decisions by the author. First, the author wants the protagonist to have broad appeal. Because he is intended to be a reader-substitute, he cannot be unusual in any way that is not unambiguously positive. He can be smarter, stronger, richer, or better-looking, on the theory ...


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Writing a memoir style fantasy story could work well, if you follow a few guidelines. Write it as though the main character intends to explain the magic to someone who doesn't understand it. For instance, someone born in the new peaceful age who wasn't around for the introduction of the magic and therefore might require an explanation. Create suspense. You ...


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1) What I like to do is go to a book store and look at the titles in the genre I am writing in. If you do that, you will notice that books from the same genre often have titles that are similarly structured. For example, thrillers have short one or two word titles that relate to things hard, cold and dangerous. YA SF also has one word titles, but these ...


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I see your problem, humans can show striking ingenuity in constructing narratives to support the notion that everything is a divine sign. I can only come up with two solutions: The chaotic one. Rather than trying to destroy her narrative, have her realize that different narratives can be constructed around the same events and take agency as the writer of ...


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I recently watch 7 editors choose stories for anthologies. They had read all of the stories a month or two earlier, and were now considering them in front of a live audience. Every now and then, an editor would pick up a manuscript from the pile, read the title out loud to the audience, and say, "I have no memory of this. Give me a minute..." Then they'd ...


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It can work, and quite well. The Ciaphas Cain series (Warhammer 40k) does this to a degree. From the wiki stub: The novels are presented as Cain's personal and often rambling notes. After his death, a third party edited them into a more coherent form, interspersed them with footnotes or snippets of other accounts where Cain's first-person (and ...


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Hmm, the question is too broad to give a definitive answer. How would you describe any experience? It depends on the nature of the experience, the nature of the character, and the role of the experience in the story. If the experience was fundamentally emotional, like a character is sinking into despair at the mess he has made of his life and suddenly ...


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I'd write about a religious experience the same way I write about any experience. Something tangible happens, which the character witnesses, and his own behaviors change in some way. Check out A Prayer for Owen Meany, which begins like this: "I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ...


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Antagonists and villains (which are not identical) do things for the same reasons that protagonists and heroes (which are not identical) do. They have the same motivations. Antagonists and villains feel like they are the protagonists and heroes of their own stories. In the case of real historical persons and real historical conflicts used in fiction, ...


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What makes a passage strong is almost always its context. We walk by the wonders of nature unseeing everyday. Only at certain times and in certain moods or circumstances do we pause to notice them or be moved by them. Squirrels accidentally plant forests by hiding nuts and forgetting where they put them. By itself, that is a mildly interesting fact. In the ...



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