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I'm a 16 year old who often writes for fun so I don't know how much my opinion would matter. But I were to be in your situation, I wouldn't edit anything. That way the character's thoughts don't become you're pet peeves. Don't cross out anything, keep the handwriting and everything else. If the journal the that the jailbird is writing was supposed to be read ...


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If you haven't done so already, get and read "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" from Ken Kesey. Don't bother with the movie. It misses the perspective of the book, sacrificing most of its power. The book is written from the perspective of Chief Bromden, a hallucinating shadow of a giant reduced into submission by drugs and psychological warfare. Reading ...


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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 ...


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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. ...


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"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 ...


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Your protagonist must be like your readers. At least in those aspects that are relevant for your story. People cannot relate to characters that are too much unlike them. So you need to define your target audience, and then make your protagonist "ordinary" for those readers. If you write for children, you protagonist must be childlike (no matter his age or ...


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There are two basic applications of this technique: serious and comedic. In the serious version, your character changes opinion about given passage while writing it. It tells about character development, how their view of things changes through introspection and reminiscence. My best friends gave their lives for this country the wealth of the oil ...


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 ...


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Gael Baudino sort of did this in her Water! trilogy. In the three books (O Greenest Branch, The Dove Looked In, Branch and Crown) she kept switching not merely narrator and POV, but the entire narrative style: parts were standard narration, then parts were being told by a marketing guy as he was getting mugged, then parts were a stone-cutting manual which ...


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Samuel Delany does this effectively near the end of Dhalgren, but only for fairly brief passages. As with any stylistic innovation, you have to make it worth the reader's effort to adjust to it. Remember, "realism is just another style." I would use this sparingly and only for things you actually want to convey to the reader, not just for the sake of ...


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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. ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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 ...


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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 ...


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It doesn't matter if your book is 95% one person speaking. If your character is speaking aloud, and especially if you have a second person who interrupts even once a chapter, you must have punctuation indicating that someone is speaking. Also, I very strongly recommend that you don't just present your story as a wall of 95% one person speaking aloud. If ...


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Like Jay, I think that it is unimportant what this might be called. I agree with him that the reader should understand what is going on. But to me, much more important is the question wether your readers will want to follow you along that detour. Every reader loves a straight story (if it is well told). I have never read a review that complained that there ...


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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 ...


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If your character "Ivan the Eastern European" is a real estate tycoon, and you give him a hairpiece that everyone jokes about, and have him host a TV show about apprentices, and then have Ivan do despicable and/or humiliating things, then The Donald is for sure going to sue you for libel. At the least, he'll do it for the publicity, and settle out of court. ...


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 ...


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Your use of "something" is a bit of a literary crutch. Most writers have them in one way shape or form. Since you have have identified this particular issue, now would be a good time to correct it. As others have already noted, the word "something" is just a placeholder. By itself it literally means nothing. I'm not saying that "something" should be banned ...


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Every writer has certain phrases they repeat "this", "what I did", "and then", "some sort of". Mine is "some sort of". Where and how you employ these phrases have to do with your style. It would be a sin to omit all of them. It would be excellent to keep them where they fit. "something" isn't anything to omit, it lets the reader put whatever they want ...


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If you've written at all, you can write long stories. A long story is simply a bunch of short stories about the same subject that are stitched together to form a narrative. Your life is a long story. Don't agonize over how to sustain focus or worry about losing interest in a long story. Just start somewhere. Anywhere. The middle is often a great place to ...


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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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Everyone has their own method. No method is any better or worse than another. Some find it helps to create a plot outline. Others prefer to create characters and let them do whatever they want. Some writers collect snippets on napkins and business cards and notes for years and piece them together into a coherent story. A novel takes a long time. Breaking ...


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A good editor should also be a good writer. An editor might better anticipate the public response to a work, but it's hard to imagine an editor who isn't at least a competent writer. Most editors were once writers and wrote for years. Editors are also avid readers. Concepts are great but bringing them to life is another thing. How do you know you're A) ...


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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 ...


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What you're refering to seems to me like you're talking about ghostwriting? Telling someone your plot/story, and him/her turning it into an actual piece of writing.


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At first: Clearly establish the character or location. The first time you show new location or POV character, clearly establish both. To do that, focus on two things: sensory details (what the character is sensing through the five senses) and opinions (what the character thinks of the things being sensed). The character's opinions will help establish the ...


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If these proposed chapters are slow, boring and have little to do with the actual story, then you should not add them for the sake of making the story longer. However, fictional writing is all about the journey. In high fantasy novels like Lord of the Rings, the endgame is returning the one ring to Mordor. If Frodo and Sam were just able to walk down the ...


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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. ...


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 ...


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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 ...


1

Adding to Dale Emery's answer, and maybe clarifying it a bit, I would say that the tense depends on the narrator. If the story is narrated by an omniscient narrator, then the ocean is vast, because that is what the timeless and universal narrator knows about it. If the story is told from the perspective of the protagonist, as he experiences the events, then ...


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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 ...


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Short answer: Yes. Suppose you set out to write, say, a murder mystery. And your complete first draft was: "Sally Jones was found dead in an alley. A detective came to investigate. He found several important clues and realized that the murderer must be her boyfriend, Albert Fromme. The police arrested Fromme and he was convicted and sent to jail. The End." ...


1

You're actually asking 2 different questions: Is it OK to add chapters to slow down the pace of the story? When you say 'slow' that's not a good sign. You want to generate excitement and keep the reader engaged. Anything that slows the pace risks causing your reader to lose interest and stop reading. Keep in mind that given your characters, plot arc, ...


1

It's very important that when you add a chapter to your story, it has a point. Now, this isn't a 'No' to your question; far from it. Instead, I'd suggest that if you do want to slow the pace and add and additional chapter, then it should serve some discernable purpose. Some good advice I received a while back about writing was to never do anything unless ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


1

But, let's say they had achieved their goals, and all become immortal. Quin Si Haung, continued enlisting slaves to build his crazy tomb. Hiltler, would have continued to pile up Jews, until making a mountain, as tall as, Mount Everest. My great, great, great grandmother, would have, well, I have no idea, but judging from her wackiness, surely nothing good. ...


1

had achieved their goal and become immortal because you're talking about past efforts. I think the second paragraph should be in subjunctive, which is what you put in your suggested corrections. The narrator is positing a hypothetical future, not a real or hypothetical past.


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Being heavy handed is when any subtlety or naunce in your writing is lost by over-explaining a point. It can better be defined as, in general, assuming that your audience is stupid, and doesn't go down well with most people because they aren't. Realistically, your audience is most likely as smart as you are and should be treated as such - readers appreciate ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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. ...


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 ...


1

Only as much as bringing a past character forward can disguise him or her. If you have a brilliant, borderline sociopathic crime-solver who uses recreational pharmaceuticals to stave off boredom and has a physician friend/living-space-mate who helps with cases, setting the story in 25th century Starfleet, 21st century New York, or Camelot isn't going to ...



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