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7

Write it the way you feel it should be written. However, I would then finish the entire trilogy before finding an agent and shopping it to publishers or publishing it yourself. That way you can either promise your self-pub readers that the next two books are coming, or let your agent pitch that it's a finished trilogy. (I can't see a publisher taking on ...


6

Each of these techniques will apply better to some topics than others. Make the learning process interesting. A few years ago, when my wife and I were preparing to visit Ecuador, we learned a little bit of Spanish. Every day I would listen to the next 30-minute Pimsleur Spanish lesson. And that evening we would walk the dog together, trying to tell each ...


4

Unless readers know they've picked up a trilogy or a book in a story arc, most will find a cliffhanger ending unsatisfying and wonder why the author didn't finish the story. As most television show episodes, motion pictures, novels and short stories have a clear beginning-middle-end, readers have become accustomed to tales that follow such a plot line. If ...


4

A common approach is to give the detail, but to disguise its significance. Mystery writers are masters of this. One trick is to insert the relevant detail in the middle of a long list. Readers tend to skim long lists. They read the first item and the second, and then skim to the last. So you can hide the clue in plain sight by writing it as the fourth item ...


4

Word count matters. Here are some posts about what word counts are acceptable for which genre and age group: http://literaticat.blogspot.ca/2011/05/wordcount-dracula.html http://www.literaryrejections.com/word-count/ http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/word-count-for-novels-and-childrens-books-the-definitive-post New ...


4

Don't worry about the number of pages, that is dependent on the way the eventual book is typeset. The question you want to ask, as the writer, is "do I have too many words (or too few) for the amount of story I have written." It's perfectly possible to use too many words to tell too little story, or too few words to tell too much, but the number of pages ...


4

If you as the writer find the process of X fascinating, you will be able to translate that to the page in a way which makes it fascinating for the reader. If you enjoy math, you talk about the satisfying click of numbers as they slide into place, and how there is always a right and a wrong, unlike the slipperiness of philosophy. If you love languages, you ...


4

In a case like this I would recommend looking up town records and using an old residential address that has since been demolished. This might take a bit of work, but gives the accuracy that your client seems to be looking for. Otherwise, look up some addresses and pick a number in between. Only locals would know the problem, and it would be a Platform 9 3/4 ...


3

I have seen some books that talk about a related idea. Stanley D. Williams's The Moral Premise focuses more heavily on what life lesson the story illustrates. Williams doesn't necessarily encourage starting with the moral premise in mind. That can lead to a pitfall that I'll say more about below. Sandra Scofield has a very nice, short audio workshop about ...


3

The main con is fear of corporate lawyers if they think you're portraying them negatively. I am not a lawyer (nor a writer or publisher of fiction), but my impression as a reader is that minor mentions don't provoke their wrath but if your plot hinges on, say, a horribly-malfunctioning vehicle, you might not want to name a brand. The main pro, on the other ...


3

You are going to want simple past most of the time. Simple past gives you the widest array of active verbs, and it's the active verbs that you absolutely need to make your narrative vivid. I should say, actually, that this explanation only applies to people writing in English, written by people for whom English is the primary language and for whom their ...


2

Let's call your characters Dave (the intuitive tactician) and Kate (the analytic) so we have some way to refer to them. Kate can be so analytical, so dependent on data, that she feels like she can't ever commit to a decision. But what if there's one more supply train coming? Did we think of every single possible scenario and prepare for it? Do we really ...


2

My feeling is that unless the brand name plays a critical part in your story, don't use it. You don't want to risk the wrath of corporate lawyers unless you absolutely must. Why build your entire story around "do you eat the cookie part of the Oreo or the cream?" and then have Nabisco refuse to give you permission, so you have to rewrite it as "chocolate ...


2

Your fears are correct: "all the details included" is a terrible way to write fiction. If all the details were included it wouldn't be fiction, it would be a textbook--and we all know how much fun those are to read. The power of fiction lies in the reader's imagination--what you want is enough detail to prompt their imagination, while still giving it some ...


2

In historical fiction use real address for real historical events. If a real historical figure lived in a house that is there to this day, use it. If some real place was a famous hangout of some society, use it. If you know of historical events that took at a specific location, have them re-enacted there in your story. Say, you write a story about the ...


2

If you want to learn about plotting fairy-tale stories I recommend you to read "Morphology of the Folktale" by Vladimir Propp. It is a study that dissect the different elements of the folk tales from examples and present a common structure composed by 31 "functions". It is easy to structure your tale after that schema. You can have a bit of it by reading ...


2

As I mentioned in my comment above, the Aarne-Thompson classification, specifically the section on fairy-tales, may be useful to you. A handy summary can be found on Wikipedia. It classifies stories by theme and gives common examples which are likely to be familiar to you. It also lists lots of fairy-tales that have become forgotten in recent years, which ...


1

It looks like what you have written in your example is an outline, not a story. I think it's perfectly possible to go through and write an outline in the manner you have described, but the primary story-writing work will take place when you go through and fill in all the blanks you left when creating the outline. I empathize with your dilemma, but it's ...


1

You are confusing a traditional fairy tale with the Disney version of it. The traditonal fairy tale does not "show how girls should follow their dreams". They either show how disregarding common contemporary moral standards leads to a tragic end, or how acting in accordance with morality leads to a happy end. Cinderella does not get the prince because she ...


1

Oh, it's easy! What you need is a villain! First, think up a reason, why someone wouldn't want the princess to meet the prince. What is it in that connection, that someone might hate? Any reason? Knowing the reason, think of means of keeping the two apart. Lies? Betrayal? Poisonous, controlling relationship? Dependence? Guilt trip? Force? Dark magic? Then ...


1

Since you can't please everybody, you might as well please yourself. Write the book that you would like to read. Life itself is a series of cliffhangers, isn't it? Picture that friend or relative who would love reading a book like yours, then picture him turning the last page and it's a cliffhanger. What will he say to you? But overall, write the book that ...


1

The whole trilogy fad started with the Lord of the Rings being published in three volumes instead of one as its author intended, because of post war paper shortage and to keep down the price (of one single "book"). A trilogy in this original sense is one book that is so long that publishing it in one volume is impractical. Its story runs smoothly through ...


1

When I think about books which have truly surprised me with unexpected discoveries, they are usually books that avoid obvious genre tropes. When Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice, readers were probably surprised along with Elizabeth to discover that Mr. Darcy was actually a much better man than George Wickham (Jane Austen did prepare the ground for this ...


1

Looking back at my own writing, my recommendation is: You'll have to find out yourself. There are two main directions writing can take, often called "outline" and "no outline". The no outline approach means that you sit down with the seed of an idea (a scene, a character, a first sentence) and just start writing, letting yourself be surprised by where the ...


1

So you've got a few adjectives for the character, to start off with. Some people are a fan of the figure-your-character-out-as-you-write approach, and some prefer outlining the character first. Since this is an assignment, and you don't want the character who spontaneously appeared as you wrote to differ from the one described in the assignment, I'd have to ...


1

You might benefit from some ideas: 1. Avoid the info dump (a long description scene) 2. Add your description in showing/active sentences 3. Use character contrasting (contrast one character to another) I explain more here: How to describe your point of view character in a first person novel? If you want your character to be: unusually smart clever, ...



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