New answers tagged

2

There is actually quite a variety in the way dates are depicted in a newspaper article. It depends, as usual, on the nature of the event. Please note that the samples below are all fairly old. A quick scan of today's newspapers and on-line publications seems to show that detailed dates are on the decline, with just plain weekdays mentioned most frequent for ...


0

Definitely numbers, not words, in this case. The second way you have it written does not track at all with a newspaper article. It looks more like some kind of scientific paper.


4

If you're "reproducing" a newspaper article in your book, write it exactly as you would an actual newspaper article. That makes it look real, and helps keep the suspension of disbelief for your reader.


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One on my favorite authors, Michael Crichton, used chapter titles in his books to great effect.


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What I did in one of my stories is to have the character change her mind about "fate," even while believing in "signs." Briefly, my heroine meets a man who echoes something she did before her trauma. But while she continues to believe in fate, she starts to question the premise that her fate is not to meet a kind man. Because she also takes this "echoing as ...


3

Millions of people bought tickets to see Titanic even though they knew in a advance that the ship sinks. They went back to see it again and again even though after the first time they knew exactly who lived and who died. Good books do not depend solely on the audience not knowing what happens. Rather, they rely on the identification with the characters to ...


3

Your description has to be about the setup — the 5% that isn't about the discovery. Or maybe the first 10%, after the initial discovery which gets your protagonist over the threshold of the adventure. The rest will have to be vague puffery about the wonders of discovery, adventure, fantasy, thrills and chills, etc.


1

Chapter titles can work for you or they can do do nothing. Numbered chapters only give your readers an idea of what is an average length of a chapter in relation to the total number of pages in your book and offer them a break from the pace of the narration, because one has to turn a page to get to the next one. You can name your chapters any way you wish ...


1

In a work of non-fiction, a table of contents with chapter titles helps the reader find specific information he may want and see where the book is going. Like if I'm looking for information about World War 2, I might open a history book and scan chapter titles for something about World War 2. Or if I open a math book and scan the chapter titles I might see a ...


0

Plagiarism is an academic violation. If you wrote a scholarly article for a professional journal and did not give proper credit to your sources, you would be guilty of plagiarism. If you were caught you might lose academic standing, maybe even lose your job at the university. But works of fiction are not scholarly articles. We do not normally expect a work ...


0

The US Census bureau reports that 126,601 Americans are employed full time as "writers and authors", and they have a median income of $58,150. http://www.census.gov/people/io/ That's way more people and way more money than I would have guessed. They don't define "writers and authors" nor do they break it down into categories. This probably includes many ...


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No, I know of several fantasy authors who not only use citations without the philosopher's name, but attribute the quotes to a fictional author who is part of their world.


2

Many people do make a living as novelists, but it's a very small percentage of the people who write. To offer some personal perspective, over the course of nearly 20 years writing, I've produced one traditionally published book (a picture book). It was well-reviewed, reasonably successful and went through more than one printing. Over the lifetime of the ...


1

Artists starve. They hold food service jobs part time, or the like, and devote themselves. Or they have alternative forms of income or a supportive spouse or savings. To try to give yourself a reasonable target, taking into account the time it takes to publish and see an income from an accepted manuscript, six years (a number out of my behind) is my ...


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Is it possible to make a living as a novelist? Yes, a few people do. Is it sensible to plan on making a living as a novelist, the way you might plan on making a living as a dentist or an accountant? Absolutely not. Very few of those who try ever make even pocket money from writing fiction. A realistic approach is to plan on making you living doing ...


1

Ideas are not copyrightable. Having a character follow a philosophy is definitely not a form of plagiarism. Presenting that philosophy as a paraphrase of the original work might be plagiarism, though dubiously illegal (copyright on most of these works has long expired already anyway.) In most cases, if you just follow the idea but express it in your own way, ...


1

No, Dostoyevsky explored religious and existentialists ideas in many of his books--his genius was to add to the discussion by exploring existing ideas through fiction and finding new ground through the exploration.


3

I think chapter titles are one of the elements that contributes to the sense of a strong narrative voice -- that is, the sense that there is a narrator telling the story. This style is somewhat unfashionable today. Many authors like to create the sense of a stream of consciousness narration or to suppress the voice of the narrator in favor of the voice of ...


3

Chapter titles which aren't used as orientation sort of delineate the story: Potions Class, The Quidditch Match, A Long-Expected Party, The Tower of Cirith Ungol. They are a distillation, not even a précis but a suggestion, of what's coming. The question is whether you feel the reader needs this sort of narrative flag in the TOC and/or at the beginning of ...


1

I hate to try to divine motive, but are you sure this is a story question? It sounds more like you are trying to make an argument than tell a story, more like you are trying to find a way to convince that reader that their lives are not governed by fate than that you are trying to find a convince the character. The destruction of someone's life view is ...


0

I think you need to present an alternative explanation of why things happen, and provide your character reason to believe the alternative. For example: Chaos. Everything happens at random. Have the character get to know one of two men based on the roll of a die. Human Agency: Things happen because we cause them to happen. Have the character do something ...


2

An "idea" is not copyrightable, only its expression is. "Bad faith" is an idea that is as old as time, that Satre "popularized," but did not invent. What is attributable to him is an exposition of what constitutes "bad faith (say a paragraph or longer). That would be copyrightable. That you would cite and attribute to him (and get permission to use). But ...


0

You want to begin a story with "action." In most cases, it's physical action. But in some cases, it's "psychological" action that is best depicted by dialog, so starting a story with dialog is not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice begins, "IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a ...


3

The reason people say not to start your story with dialogue is because doing so throws you into the story without giving you any context. The exposition you give has no background to build off of, and the action that tends to follow feels meaningless to a new reader. Here, that lack of exposition is very prevalent. The problem I have--and that a lot of your ...


2

Typically, when dreaming, we don't realize we're dreaming, so the way to write that most closely approximates the actual experience of dreaming is just to write as if it were any other scene, but with the unquestioned alterations to reality and believability that are typical of dreams. Although the character is fooled by the reality of the dream, you ...


0

It's fine to start a story with dialogue; a lot of books do this. Using dialogue at the start could help you build a sense of mystery, or suspense, as you have been thrown straight into an ongoing scene. Starting a story with dialogue isn't bad, but some might say its overused. Be sure not to throw the reader into a maelstrom of dialogue right away though. ...


0

It's okay to publish a book at any age. If it is a good book (or at least "good enough.) Worse come to worse, if you can't publish at age 13, you can try again at age 18 or age 23. A famous writer, Pearl S. Buck published her first book at age 10, I believe.


0

Do you dream? If so, what sorts of dreams have you experienced? If not, perhaps reading up on the experiences of others in their dreams may prove beneficial. Also, are you writing in 1st person or 3rd person, or even switching between views to emphasize the dream sequence? How the events are presented will need to be worded differently depending on the ...


0

Well, this has a lot of answers, so i'll keep it simple. Most people don't publish their first book, regardless of age. You could be forty, writing a book, and still wouldn't be able to publish it. If it's a good book, obviously you can get it published, no big deal. It's actually pretty impressive. But good writing comes with practice, not with age. Write ...


0

Nancy Yi Fan started writing her first book at age seven. At 10, she got it published. It was called, "Sword Bird". I never read it myself, but it got good reviews and was fairly popular. Now she has two more Sword Books published. Three books published before you're twenty is a pretty sweet accomplishment.


3

Of course you can start your story with dialogue. It happens in many books. However, it is true that the reader will feel disoriented from the get go, so you should do your best to clarify everything (through dialogue or otherwise) as early as possible. Nobody drops a book completely in the first chapter, the absolute worst thing that could happen is people ...


1

According to the (note: controversial) theorist Bruno Bettleheim, fairy tales have an important psychological function because they directly access archetypal images with deep cultural resonance. In other words, they play out the central conflicts of the universal human life in an allegorical manner. There is a big difference between modern fantasy novels ...


2

It is not difficult to think of fantasy novels that don't have big battles (Voyage of the Dawn Treader). The battles, the strange creatures, etc, are set dressing. Sci Fi and Fantasy are often lumped together, and often appeal to the same readers, because they essentially do the same thing. They examine life through the lens of a different set of rules. The ...


1

Oooh, i liked this question. Basically, for fantasy novels, i believe that readers expects epic battles between huge armies, they expect a deep lore, fantastic new creatures, fantastic new places. I guess that is the best definition i can give for what people expect in a fantasy novel. They expect Fantastic things. But let's get a bit broad here, now that ...


3

As you say, there are many stories that work that start with dialogue. Far too much advice about writing is much too mechanical in nature. Dialogue is just a mechanism for telling a story. Rules about which mechanism to use are silly, and usually easy to prove false with counter-examples. What a story must do is to establish conflict. Can you do that with ...


1

"Stock characters" are shortcuts to creating characters. As such, you want to limit their use to secondary characters that nevertheless play important parts in one or more scenes. Doctors are examples of stock characters. They may play an important role in saving the life of the hero or heroine, for instance. But they do this in their roles as physicians, ...


0

I use a few methods for finding a name for a character - I like to have names that have the right kind of sound and / or also have the right kind of meaning behind them. Though it's not always possible. I quite often start with going to baby naming sites and searching for meanings to find out which names come up. They often let you filter by country or ...


0

Personally I avoid picking names based on their "meaning" it's lame and highly unoriginal. Also names don't affect your personality at all, so why would it define your character. What I do is just collect names/surnames when I read a name somewhere I find interesting I just save them in a document. Then when I need a name for a character I just browse ...


1

Sometimes I like to look into the inspiration for the character, the characters background story, or their personality. For example, I have a character in my novella who is on the LGBTQ+ and I borrowed his last name from a long dead gay author. Another character I named is based on a greek tragedy that has become a regular trope in many manners of fiction. ...


3

To my knowledge (not a lawyer), you don't have any legal responsibility to attribute the ideas in your actual text, unless you're directly quoting or paraphrasing. It's very rare (but not unheard of) to footnote a fictional text because it damages suspension of disbelief (except where the fiction is presented as if it were an academic work). Given that you ...


7

I think we need to make a distinction between a stereotype and an archetype here. The two are often confused, as illustrated by Wikipedia's unhelpful definition of a stock character: A stock character is a stereotypical person whom audiences readily recognize from frequent recurrences in a particular literary tradition. Stock characters are archetypal ...


4

Footnotes and citations in fiction (and, in particular, children's fiction) are extremely rare, and I recommend against using them. It's often said that ideas are common; it's how they're used and implemented that matters. Nevertheless, fiction writers who feel they owe a debt to another writer's ideas usually say as much in an acknowledgements section. In ...


2

You summarize the problem very well when you said: "I can barely get maybe ten or fifteen thousand words in before I completely lose all interest." I really hope you'll reconsider the difficulty you are going through and see that it isn't something wrong with you, but is a very common challenge among most (if not all) authors. Most Common Problem ...


1

Looks like you are off the old hyper-focus. ADHD makes it impossible to proceed with anything unless extreme interest breaks through the barrier and produces an immense ability to focus, far beyond regular levels. If at first you could, and now you cannot, you have sunk below the threshold. The challenge is, how to get it back. Maybe it is just a phase. ...


1

It's fine as long as you're acknowledging the philosopher (clearly or not). But if you don't want to add the quotation details (such as the originators) to too many other quotes, you could always make reference by adjusting your story to actual events that also happened to those philosophisers: such as one of your characters having a mystery reason to depart ...


1

(I'm going to come at this from a writer perspective, not an ADD/ADHD perspective.) Depends on what kind of writer you are. It's possible you just haven't found the story for you yet. You haven't found the one that really captivates your attention and makes you want to push through. So you may just want to keep trying out books until one keeps you. Unless ...


1

I think that if you want to write more, getting back on those meds will be easier; I found these tips for when your on Adderall: Eat essential amino acids, glycemic carbohydrates and healthy fats Exercise is known to release certain hormones that relieve you (but do it as a general activity) Rest for 8 hours


-1

If a you're looking for a real-world name, and have a general feeling of what you're looking for, you could try using a name recommendation tool. Rather than going through long lists, you can type in a few options you are considering, and then browse a focused recommendations list.


2

I've written dream sequences, and remembering, a number of different ways. I think the main thing to focus on is having something that fits with your book. If your book is hard buttoned down realistic, then you could go the same route, or you could go decidedly against that making the dream sequence seem more ethereal. I think the only wrong way to do this ...


2

It's not "history" but rather "geography" that determines whether you should use kilometers are miles. If your characters are German or Russian, use kilometers, because that's what they use, even today. (Depending on the time, e.g. Tolstoy in the 19th century, a Russian might use "versts", which are just a bit more than a kilometer.) On the other hand, if ...



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