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13

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 ...


11

Heavy-handed means you force your plot, your characters, your prose, your dialog, and any other aspect of your writing, to fit a preconceived concept, regardless of how well or naturally it integrates with the writing. In other words, you write with no subtlety or realism. It's a subjective judgment, so it is hard to provide examples, but here's an ...


8

The sports term for "heavy handed" is "piling on." In American football, if the runner has been "tackled," there is no need for other defensive players to jump on him. Chris' example, " She had vanquished the evil, greedy, squirrel-kicking lawyer," is a good one, because "She had vanquished the evil lawyer" is plenty, without the "piling on" of the other ...


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 ...


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. ...


5

You can compare Ham-handed, which emphasizes clumsiness of execution. Heavy-handed instead suggests that you have the skill, but that you belabor each point. But confusingly, Hammy Acting implies a certain heavy-handedness, rather than clumsiness. In contrast, handling something "deftly" implies that the points are touched upon only briefly and with ...


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 ...


5

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 ...


4

Heavy-handed is the opposite of subtle. Even by its dictionary definition, it can take two forms: It can mean being clumsy - imagine trying to do delicate work when your hands are very heavy. It can mean using blunt force - imagine bringing your hands down heavily on somebody else, e.g. "He ruled the kingdom with a heavy hand." The two shades of meaning ...


4

In general, your characters will be assumed to be fictional, unless you give overwhelming reason for them to be considered otherwise. Which means that you're asking the wrong question. There's no one twist which will make a borrowed character untouchable in his "disguise"; there are only ways that you, the author, can expose that the character is borrowed. ...


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. ...


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

Note: Not a legal expert If you based a character in a historical novel on a real person from the present, it would take a fair amount of concerted effort for anyone to even notice, and even if that character had distinctive traits or speech patterns linked to the real person, one could make a good case that it was usage for satire. No reasonable person ...


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

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 ...


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

Reading through your question above, I don't find your writing to be overly analytical or unemotional. You report quite clearly your desire for personal improvement and in your words, I can sense your emotional concern about your ability to write emotively. Seems to me that you are doing that already. At least when you are writing in the first person ...


2

This may be who and how you are. You can't just say you don't want to love the taste of your favourite food anymore. Changing a basic personality trait requires intense therapy and often has unwanted side effects (think Clockwork Orange and the dishabituation of violence). In my opinion, you have two options: Embrace your self. Accept who you are, and ...


2

As Lauren Ipsum's answer states one should be wary of repetitive use of words, phrasings, and sentence structures. Such can easily be seen as poor writing. (Note that this effect might be intentional. For example, repetition in a character's speech or thought could indicate a lack of coherence or clarity, perhaps from distraction, fatigue, idiocy, anxiety, ...


2

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...



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