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As long as you label the chapters with the name of the POV character, you're fine. George RR Martin famously has like a dozen POV characters per 700-page book. At least one that I remember had to take on a new identity, so her POV chapter name changed from A to B. I just finished a Patricia Briggs novel with 20ish chapters. Eighteen are in the first person, ...


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Well, I'm a great believer in a very broad interpretation of freedom of speech. But surely even the most extreme advocates of freedom of speech would not say that it means you have the right to say absolutely anything that you want about anyone with no fear of consequences. Like if you said on the witness stand in court that you saw Mr Jones commit the ...


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As others here have mentioned, you want to show, not tell--have your smart, clever, insightful and thoughtful guy do smart, clever, insightful and thoughtful things, rather than just dictating a description. That said, if you can't think of smart, clever, insightful and thoughtful things for your character to do, here's a way to cheat: think of some people ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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

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 ...


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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 ...


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They typically: Fall in love with one another, hate each other at first, get lied about, always have misunderstandings, almost die, are betrothed to each other or someone else, involve a witch, have an evil/good stepmother, princesses are either helpless or more macho than the man hero, they try to quit being royal and go gallivanting off with peasants, ...


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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 ...


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One of most important aspects of a good story - I'd say about the most important of all - is the aftertaste. It's the feeling left after finishing the story. Satisfying or disturbing, puzzling, leaving us thoughtful - that's all achieved by closures, by finishing various threads in various ways. Some stories are open-ended. It could be said they end where ...


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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 ...


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 ...


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More than likely you will alienate whatever readers did pick up your book. They PAID to buy your story, and you did not provide them with a complete story. A Series does not mean each story segment is left unfinished. If it is made clear up front your Trilogy is an ongoing SERIAL which requires all three books to reach the conclusion, you might get by with ...


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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 ...


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 ...


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I would use a fictional house number. You don't want to end up with the 221B Baker Street problem — so many people over the years thought Sherlock Holmes was real and tried to reach him that the genuine flat is now a Sherlock Holmes museum; nobody can live there. (The BBC had to film their series Sherlock on another street, because the actual Baker ...


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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 ...


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"with all the details included" If you mean that literally, then your book will be teaching the reader Japanese. Which probably won't make for an interesting novel. If you can really merge together teaching the reader a new language with an entertaining story, that would be a great achievement, and your book could become very popular with educators. But wow, ...


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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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In addition to Dale's excellent answer, try ending a chapter or a scene break on a phrase or sentence which can be slightly misinterpreted. The example I'm thinking of is from Anne McCaffrey's Moreta. Briefly, people ride dragons, who have the ability to teleport in both time and space. When teleporting, the dragon is said to "go between," which is a place ...


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 ...


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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 ...


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To develop story for any novel, first you need to have a start and an end points. Now the whole story and the characters in it will be moving according to this final goal point. You can add as many characters as you want but one condition they need to support your story and shouldn’t go beyond your perception of the story because this will confuse the ...


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 ...


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 ...


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This was literally decades ago (the 1980s), but what I used to do was to "splice" characters by mixing and matching the traits of my heroes and heroines. For instance, in one novel, I gave the fictitious heroine my jet black hair, my real-life boss, and my English pub, while otherwise keeping her true to her "other" counterpart. I gave the fictitious hero ...


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Someone with a tactical bent quickly "resolves a problem into its clearest, simplest form" (Conrad Hilton). Someone of the other kind "overthinks." The second person is actually more analytical, but the first person "gets to the point" faster with less "circumlocution.


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 ...



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