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1

As has been said by others, it sort of depends on the perspective. This might be troubling to write in first person for the exact reason mentioned - the character is probably not paying attention. In that case, you might be better off having him revisit the experience in a flashback later. However, if we're dealing with any other perspective, I think it's ...


0

If to you the chapter seems good, and it seems to be fulfilling your purpose for it, I would not worry about it now. If it is too short, what that really means one of the following: either you didn't establish as much in the opening chapter as you think you did, or else there's some other major problem (e.g. it's short because you're infodumping, or because ...


0

I'm personally of the opinion chapters exist more to organize information and events. It's functionally identical in most cases to have 20 chapters to having 10 chapters twice as long. Of course formatting or specific requirements might come in (publishers wanting specific chapter lengths, for example, and if this is a potential concern, you should research ...


5

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 ...


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 ...


2

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 ...


3

In my experience, chapter length does not matter. Your book may look more 'impressive' or 'official' with long chapters, but are they necessary to the book itself? No. As long as the first chapter does what the first chapter is supposed to do (be that introducing the protagonist, setting the scene, introducing the conflict, etc.), it doesn't matter if it is ...


0

I'm not sure if this is helpful but this is what I do: I always finish reading novels I start.


0

Here are two guidelines I use. Camera Shot. In Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury offers this simple and useful idea: Think of each paragraph as a single camera shot in a movie. Every time the shot changes (e.g. change in camera angle), start a new paragraph. Character tempo. This is a more complex idea. At what "tempo" is the character experiencing ...


3

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. ...


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 ...


5

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 ...


3

In my opinion, only describe what you need to describe. And only when you need to. At least that's what I try and do in my writing. I recall in an Isaac Asimov novel, I forget which, he kept back the detail that a particular character had dwarfism until quite near the end but it was crucial to the plot. Until then, the reader assumed, (a dangerous ...


2

There is so far no rule or restriction for placing description of a character in earlier or later chapters of a novel. It is not necessary to portray the appearance of the protagonist in the very beginning of story. In some situation you have to give the same feel to the readers what you are trying to express in the novel. So at least you should provide ...


6

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 ...


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 ...


11

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 ...


1

It's science fiction, and more specifically dystopic fiction. That means the purpose of the story is to highlight the differences between the fictional, 'incorrect' reality and our own 'correct' one.^ That means that in order to keep the reader interested, you have to start the scavenger search for anomalies as soon as possible. What you should be concerned ...


0

I just tightened it up, removing verbs of the to-be form, removing adverbs, and any redundancies. I agree that the Sectors seem a little too Hunger Games, but otherwise I didn't have a problem with it. As one of the other posters said, lots of books start out like that. As a professional writer, I think the writing style could use some revision and honing ...


7

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, ...


3

Yes, it constitutes a lie, technically speaking. Yes, it is legal. The use of pseudonyms is an established practice in publishing. There's a wide range of reasons where writing under a pseudonym might be obviously beneficial to the author: The author's real name is similar to the name of a more-popular author; readers might confuse the two. The author is ...


1

Note: I am not a lawyer In Czech, we have saying: "When there is no lawsuit, there is no damage" In other words. Someone lied to you. So what? What can you accuse them from? What is the damage caused to you? The question is not about legality but more over about morality because the only damage caused can be, that you are not going to buy a book ...


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 ...


2

My personal opinion? Do not rush it. Do I need to know that its 31st August? Do I need to know that main character is 17 years old boy? Do I need to know that there is some "Wall" which needs to be protected? The intro should give me a hint about what’s going to happen. And not little details about something which can be revealed later. I will think about ...


2

"This book is a work of fiction..."


1

The transition seems fairly smooth to me, probably because the action doesn't feel like action: It feels like the continuation of the musings in the earlier paragraphs. Maybe this is because we're not seeing the setup, but I think the entire excerpt feels rushed. This is someone who's thinking through reasons why life just doesn't make sense, but I'm not ...


0

As others have said, show, don't tell. Because that advice is rather vague, however, allow me to explain. The way I understand 'show, don't tell' is 'let the reader form his own conclusions. Just make sure they are the ones he is supposed to form.' For example, you don't need to say that someone rolled their eyes in exasperation. The fact that they rolled ...


1

You say you want your books to reach as many people as possible. In my writing, I focus on a very specific audience: people who are technologists or love technology and who think about the future. When I focus this specifically, I'm always going to alienate some people who fall outside my target audience. But on the other hand, the audience I'm writing for ...


1

Genres like Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Historical Fiction are mostly defined by their setting rather than the type of story. Thinking of Orson Scott Card's MICE Quotient... Within any of those settings, you will find many stories that are primarily about Milieu (exploration, travel), Idea (mystery, problem-solving), Character, and Event (disaster, war). ...


3

It's been my experience that a well-written book that engages an audience reaches many people, regardless of genre. But one thing to keep in mind. If you plan on writing more than one book, and most of us do, do you want to have to build a new audience each time? And as a new author, it's much harder to sell a book that doesn't "fit" into a category, than ...


2

I will just broaden very great answer by few insights: You will never make everyone happy There are people who generally hate Shakespeare. And there are best selling books which confuse most of people. The Fifty Shades of Grey is great example of such book (and movie. Yes, they made it into movie). So, ultimately, focus on telling a story. Although I am ...


8

Even multi-tools generally place significantly more emphasis on one or two of the tools; Swiss Army Knives concentrate on providing a decent pocket knife. Even so, people use them not because any of the tools are as good as a tool dedicated to a specific purpose but because they are convenient and good enough for limited uses. There is a reason for the ...


2

Situation is expected. Twist is unexpected. As always, the difference is blurred; you can set up a twist, foreshadow it, build up to it, and smart readers will foresee it, so for them it will be more of situation. But unforseen situation is a twist, something that changes the game. Forseen twist is a situation, something inevitable. Both can create a ...


4

I think the confusion around this example is because the problem is going to happen no matter what Ralph does, so his actions won't change anything. He will have to face living alone whether he writes the will or not. Having not read the book, I can only guess that the author is trying to draw a line between things which can be changed and things which ...


0

I understand the question so that the story continues after the (postponed) death. Usually the reader knows how far into the story he is, so if there's too much story left, the reader will know, or at least expect, in advance that the first-person narrator will not die (unless it's a ghost story, as Jasper guessed). But then, tension may still build up on ...


1

Are you writing a ghost story? A ghost story can be written in first-person, and have the narrator die at any point -- including before the story begins, partway through the story, or at the end. You can even have the story be entirely about when the narrator was alive, so the narrator dies after the end of the story.


0

The first few sentences left me puzzled: Of all the people who wanted to join the trip, Paola was the the last I expected would come. It surprised me. We barely knew each other at school, and I was pretty sure she wasn't interested in me. So the only reason why someone would join a trip with several people joining is that the person in question was ...


2

The voice in your first paragraph reminds me of Holden Caulfield. More a monologue than a narrative; a thought process noted in great detail, slowing the pace. To me this is promising. It could be YA or something else - The Catcher in the Rye is only YA on the surface. In the next paragraph the plain-speaking teenager seems a different person, I don't ...


1

Another possibility that has not yet been mentioned is magic that works differently on humans and goblins. For example, the hero could have worn an amulet that offers some magic protection for humans, but has a very bad effect on any goblin wearing it. Of course the goblins would have stolen that amulet, but not knowing about its special properties, some ...


1

Another route you could take with the story is for your hero to use trickery on one of his captors. for example: Hero shows a few gold coins to a guard. Guard reaches his arm through the bar to get them. Hero grabs guards arm and pulls. The guards head hits the iron bars and renders him unconscious. Hero grabs guards keys. Freedom. Another great escape ...


-1

Instead of something like,"Suddenly,I heard a scream behind me.I was scared by that sudden scream.",try something like, "Out of the blue.. 'SCREECH!'a loud shriek sounded behind my back,and I froze in terror,puzzled and alarmed at the same time."Using phrases would make the writing a little more interesting,and try using direct speech and sound effects to ...


1

A few points that got kinda stiff for me as a reader and as a writer were when you split a sentence with a dialogue tag. For example, "I used to do it a lot," I explained, "when I was a kid." "Wow," I said, "no need for that. However, the dialogue you split with action tags was fantastic. "Uh, Paola?" This was the best moment to bring it up. ...


2

It's a little slow to develop. I prefer a short simple paragraph with some phrase that's either intriguing or "sticky" that I can't get out my head, like the hook to a pop song. Here's an edit that lacks the hook but gets to the point quicker: Of all the people on the trip, Paola was the the last I expected. We barely knew each other at school, and I ...


2

What you're forgetting, and no one seems to be mentioning, is that you are the AUTHOR. You CAN and SHOULD go back, rewrite a section so that he can pull a rabbit, pixie, lockpick, magic spell, etc. from his ass, so that he can save the day (or his ass) in this situation. Go back several chapters. Reveal that he has been studying the forbidden and damned ...


2

The tense in narrative fiction is not a time specification but a narrative convention. When a story is narrated in present tense it does not mean that what is told happens now, which is why linguists call it "historical present". Tempus in literary writing does not have the function of locating an event in time, but, among others, of creating immediacy or ...


3

Overall, the opening seems fine. I've seen worse. I don't see a problem with the setting being mentioned a couple of paragraphs below. The only thing I can't figure out is the genre. Every genre is suited different types of opening. If it's a short story (I see on your profile that's what you like to write), then it's a pretty good opening. For an YA novel, ...


2

There is a very simple solution to the first-person-narrators-cannot-die-at-the-end rule: Set the story in present tense. If the story is set in present tense anything that happens later happens in the narrator’s future. And the last breath of air rushed from my lungs, as blackness claimed my life. Becomes And the last breath of air rushes from ...


0

Twist endings are the best kind of endings. One story which has become a recent favorite of mine was "One flew over the cuckoo nest"(Novel/movie) From the title you can tell that one of the Mental institution patients was going to get the better of the asylum. Naturally the reader assumes its the main character. (SPOILER) Surprise: At the end of the story ...


4

First person narrative is just a device, and it doesn't necessarily imply that the narrator lives through the story. For example, plenty of horror stories end with something on the lines of: And then the beast's bloated tentacles began to squeeze me. The world grew dark, and I knew no more. ...or some such. (Shel Silverstein did this in True Story, ...


8

One possible solution would be to structure the narrative in such a way that the reader might come to believe it is a (rather long and drawn out) suicide note, explaining your character's reasons for her act. Obviously, this would only work if the potential suicide is right at the end of your story, rather than in the middle...



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