Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

21

It's definitely possible to do this without losing the reader. The New Testament is a story where the "protagonist" dies towards the end. I'm sure plenty of readers are quite satisfied with that. Much like the Gospels, killing the protagonist is advisable only if it really means something. Emphasis on the really. Even if you make your character a martyr ...


12

The biggest risk you have by describing the physical appearance of your character later on in your story is that your readers' mental image is shattered when you describe your character in detail. This can be quite jarring. The only way you're going to know for sure is when you ask someone to review your novel. Perhaps once you're ready you could ask them ...


12

It is always a good idea for readers to provide feedback to the authors. When authors read their work they don't get the same experience as the reader. Most books' authors will have a way for you to contact them about their books. You said it has a forum; you should see if that is an appropriate place for suggestions on the book. If the author has a personal ...


12

I'm not an accomplished writer (heck, I'm not even an unaccomplished writer), but here are some techniques used by actual real-life authors: Charlotte's Web: The eponymous character (the spider) dies near the end, but the author deals with this by having two main characters; the spider and the pig. When the spider dies, the attention is drawn to the pig, ...


10

Every line you write should have some goal or purpose in your story: drawing the reader into plot, character, or setting. (In fact, having each line, or as many lines as you can, do two or more of these can work very well). For example, the Fly episode presumably increases your empathy with characters, sets up important moments later on, etc. If your break ...


9

If how the character is dressed is important to the story, then you should certainly describe it. If not, then don't bring it up. Give as much detail as is relevant. If, for example, you picture Mr Jones as always being immaculately dressed in a formal business suit and carrying a walking stick, I'd mention that, at least once up front. Or at the other ...


8

Sure, go for it. One of my favorite books has two entire chapters where the name of one of the major characters is misspelled in every single reference. This was fixed in later editions. If it was intentional, the author may appreciate a chance to explain it. If it was a mistake, the publishing house would probably like a chance to fix it. In either case, ...


8

I think that you should define your main characters, and especially the love interest, only as much as absolutely necessary. If it is important that the protagonist is male, write that he is male. If not, keep this ambiguous. If it is important that the love interest is thin, write that she is. If not, keep this ambiguous. Why? Because you want as many ...


8

The bits you put in parentheses don't (necessarily) take me out of the narrative. They are the character's opinions of people and events. That takes me deeper into the character, which is a big part of where the story is. One test for such parentheticals is: Do these opinions characterize the character in a way that serves the story? As Lauren points out, ...


7

The public image of public figures is largely made up or manipulated. Politicians hold doctorate degrees by questionable foreign universities or are being convicted of plagiarism. Degrees signify expertise to the voters, but take time and effort. George Clooney and other stars supposedly pay young women to play their spouses for some time so as to appear ...


7

The best answer would be depends on the story. One of my favourite writers, Stephen King, does leave a very little info about the characters in their story. I remember, that in his book On Writing, he said, that Carrie was originally described only as shy girl, always having wearied off sweater on. If you keep vague description about the characters, you ...


7

We've addressed "the protagonist continues to talk after dying, even in first person" here: Ways for main character to influence world following their death 1st person story, but the main character will die in the end and some of the story needs to be told after his death. How to solve this problem? It sounds like your concern is that the death of the ...


7

All depends on what kind of book you write. The great novels of the past often meander like a continent-crossing river. The bestselling novels of today, on the other hand, quickly build tension and keep it taut and rising until the final explosive resolution. The price for this break neck speed is depth and meaning: many novels of today are meaningless ...


6

Saying "In the end of June" is a form of telling instead of showing. That is, you've told us time had passed, but it's not meaningful to us in terms of what it means for the character, setting, or plot. With just a little more information, it does flow well with the time information: I had finals to finish and an apartment to pack up, so despite the ...


6

Monica is on the right track, but I'd push it more. If he's howling the name of his murdered wife in his grief, he's not aware of anything outside that grief. I would actually not show the husband being aware of the changes while they're happening. Maybe, possibly, flashes of light (which cast different shadows on her face), or he feels his ears pop, or ...


6

Make sure you have introduced another character to take his place, and that at that point the reader has already developed some connection with it. From that point forward, work to intensify the connection between them.


6

You need to ask yourself why you add these references in the first place. Are they relevant to the development of your characters or the plot of your story? When not, you should sacrifice them to the law of conservation of detail. There is little point in wasting your readers time with indulging in your personal pet-issue when it doesn't lead anywhere. On ...


6

For color-to-name converter, a quick Google search gives me this link: http://chir.ag/projects/name-that-color/#C0C0C0 In which you can just pick a color from the color wheel to see its name. Perhaps the color you want is "Mercury" But, as Phillipp said, you might better explain the color in words more frequently used, instead of using some rather ...


5

It is like writing English. Obviously people in a fantasy world or the far future won't speak English, yet you present their dialogue in English (or whatever language you write in). Does that put readers off? Certainly not. Writing in a fantasy language is what would put readers off! Terms are the same. If you use the current (in your language) general term ...


5

1) Lengthen it. You're not going to have rat-a-tat-tat patter graveside. 2) Take each phrase you feel is clichéd, determine the meaning, and rewrite it in different words. "All we want is for our children to grow healthy and happy" becomes "That's my biggest responsibility and my biggest hope — that my children are healthy and happy, and we ...


5

Even if readers are radically and nearly exclusively committed to the protagonist, there are several ways for the protagonist to "speak after death". The protagonist's legacy can speak. (This is covered in the answers to "Ways for main character to influence world following their death", linked in Lauren Ipsum's answer. The legacy of a Cause does not seem ...


5

Oh my, yes. Just a personal opinion, but these lose me faster than anything else. I have a love/hate with Stephen King for the same reason. He gets so much into "atmosphere" (read - useless backstory) that I can hardly finish a large part of his books (and literally skip paragraphs and paragraphs when reading to get to the salient points).


5

Yes. Unless your following metaphor is easily related to one or the other. "She has green eyes and red hair. It looked like a wild forrest fire...." Then people can easily relate it to the hair, and not the eyes.


4

I can't call specific examples to mind right now, but I've seen this sort of "wait, the world is not quite as it should be" situation handled by sharing the POV character's inner dialogue as he gradually notices peculiarities. Something like this: "Sharon, no!" he shouted to no one in particular as he cradled her in his arms. "Sharon!" He shuddered as ...


4

What paragraphs accomplish Text that isn't split up into paragraphs is often referred to as a "wall of text" and can be very difficult to read. Paragraphs are used for a few reasons: Organization, pacing, and to give the reader a chance to pause, similarly to what the end of a sentence does. Paragraphs exist to group sentences on the same topic together. ...


4

(a) Try to differentiate yourself from your narrator and protagonist. That person is not you. Define that person in relation to the plot: what is his goal, how does he see the world, how does he behave, and how does the world react to him. If you have difficulty with this, write relevant passages in third person and then "translate" them to first. (b) A ...


4

The second option is OK, if you can smooth out the phrasing. What would be more ideal is if you could rephrase to avoid the problem, to avoid lumping the two items together in the first place - for example: She had green eyes, and curly hair that looked like a cluster of ferns in a mountain forest. Another option is completing the list, and then ...


3

An excellent question, and a permanent source of controversy and disagreement in fantasy and science fiction. Let's try to break this down: Basics of worldbuilding. You cannot construct an entire world out of whole cloth. It's simply not possible, primarily because the world is much larger than most of us tend to notice on a day-to-day basis. If your ...


3

Please please please PLEASE use date/time of day references. Please. With chocolate on top. It's way too easy to get lost in the flow of narration and not have a damn clue when we are. Is it morning? Is it night? Shouldn't the moon be out? How can the narrator see the cows jumping off the cliff if it's the middle of the night? Why is daylight slanting ...


3

In my experience, and from research into other's writing and professional opinions, the length or lack there of does not matter. Only you can know when your chapter is officially over. If you feel you have accomplished what you intended when you wrote that first chapter, than it is a success. If you feel it is lacking, than it probably is. Reread it and see ...



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