Hot answers tagged

4

First of all, your protagonist almost must change, or there's not much point to your book. If s/he does not at some point stop running and pull him/herself together, your reader will feel like the book is a waste of time. To make it seem not rushed or fake, you need two things: sufficient buildup before the epiphany to give enough space to the epiphany ...


3

I took a class with Ellen Meister, who said that it doesn't really matter until your book becomes published, that the publishers will decide how to write the numbers according to their rules.


2

First of all, I think that there is no definitive answer to a question like this. Stories are different, and a mechanism that worked fine in one story might fail in another. You will have to try out what works best for your story. That being said I don't see a reason why introducing a new POV in the second book of your series should not work out. Think of ...


2

The trick is to link his internal flaws and deliberations to clear, concrete details. That gives him something to do, something to engage with. It gives him a way to express his character. In this case, he's conflicted about entering the forest. That means you want one or two very specific things that he wants to find in the forest, and also one or two very ...


2

There are some common themes in literature; whether you choose to use them or not is up to you. 1. Mental illness/instability Anxiety, depression, psychosis, and phobias are common subplots and how the protagonist overcomes them. You might look online for the medical definition of these to fill out the character's deficiency. The most common solution in ...


2

I always answer these kinds of questions from my own experiences as a reader. For me as a writer it is irrelevant, how many other authors have done this or that; the deciding factor is how I feel about it as a reader. So my first suggestion would be that you find examples of what you want to do, read them, and see how you feel about them. I can't really ...


2

Growing up through the original (Episodes 4-6) Star Wars, I can tell you Return of the Jedi was going to rock most of America no matter what it looked like. We were all invested and even enjoyed the Ewoks--sort of. The same was true, but to a lesser extent, with The Matrix and Terminator series. When the first two kick ass, the viewer/reader is invested. ...


2

Generally people read for details. On 12 December 2014, Captain James D. Arkey sat in front of his computer and typed furiously. His mind began calculating and he squinted at the response code that appeared on his screen and slammed a fist down on his desk. "They couldn't have," Arkey yelled at empty office. "Those dirty rotten..." A thought ...


2

I'm not sure if there is a way to draw out a strong emotion of a certain scene into further scenes (particularly into the sequel). You can, however, draw out the emotional scene itself. I haven't seen The Scorch Trials, so I don't know the scene in question, but if the character gave an emotional speech and then turned and left, you would feel the emotion ...


2

Assuming you mean "Shenandoah", that one seems safe enough from a legal standpoint, being quite old and a folk song with no clear author; but be careful with more recent works. A work can be in the public domain federally but still be under copyright in some states or encumbered in other ways. Nina Paley was famously bitten by this when she made Sita Sings ...


1

Reading is an imaginative act on behalf of the reader which means two things: You need to give a reader all the information necessary to imagine whatever it is you want them to imagine. Readers will imagine whatever they want and you can only control them so much. Typically in more old fashioned writing you will see huge amounts of description telling ...


1

There are tons of beautiful stories out there with unnamed characters. Aimee Bender's collection The Girl in the Flammable Skirt is full of them. None of the characters in Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants," one of the best-known stories, are given names. In Aesop's Fables we don't learn the names of the hare or tortoise, or the ant or grasshopper. ...


1

There may be a good reason to do this. But in general I'd say, don't. We normally identify people by their names. Sometimes we use a title or capsule description, like "the mayor" or "Sally's brother", if we don't know the person's name or if the description is important or is how the person is addressed. Referring to a person regularly without using a name ...


1

Re. tenses - choice of tense is entirely up to you, but make sure you have considered the reason/s for your choice, and that they will make sense to your reader (e.g. does use of present tense make past events sound more immediate?). Sometimes re-writing a paragraph in different tenses can help clarify which tense 'feels' most suitable. If your reader can ...


1

This seems to be related to this question, and my answer is basically the same: Hurt him. You want him to go into the wood, but he hesitates? Great, that is natural and very nicely illustrates the concept of the "Threshold Guardian". Threshold Guardians generally try to prevent any kind of transformation. They are the inertia, the fear of the unknown, ...


1

To me, your question sounds, as if you have trouble showing the gradual development of your character. A good discussion of how to provide well-rounded characters arcs is provided, for example, in Chris Vogler's The Writer's Journey: This was the most helpful book I've ever read about storytelling. It adresses the very essence of what a story is and how ...


1

What do you think the reader will expect? I don't think that when reading your novel, they will think: "Well, he is going to be scared the rest of the novel, he will never do anything, the end." I think, that by creating the conflict, and the scared protagonist, the readers will expect him to not be scared at some point, and do something about the conflict. ...


1

Many literary greats have deep chapter titles. They can be as subtly deep as you want but their main purpose is to intrigue and give hints of what may come next. My advice would be to keep them obscure enough so that the chapter content is not too obvious before you read it. Think along the lines of TV series and the individual titles they give to episodes. ...


1

I would firstly like to say that the answer by @Jay is excellent, and provides some good pointers on which characters should be one-dimensional or three-dimensional. Like others here, I have never heard of two- or three-dimensional characters. I have heard of one-dimensional and multi-dimensional. One-dimensional This reflects a character that lacks ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible