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12

Your readers only want to read a scene if it moves the plot forward, adds to a character's experience or inner life, or is just plain entertaining. Realism doesn't mean a character gets up to use the bathroom just because nature came calling. It means that sometimes in the middle of a 3-hour meeting with no breaks, the anxiety that comes from needing to ...


6

The narration. I'm thinking of not using the narration at all. Please don't do this. It is very, very hard to understand even when handled by a master. If this is your first book, it will be almost impossible for your readers to follow. My suggestion for you is this: Start a blog, and write short stories, flash fiction, or chapters of your book using ...


4

One thing I can say is, do not stress yourself out. That would be rule number one. Other than that, the medium does matter. Writing directly on a forum may put on the pressure for you. Best to dose it correctly, neither too high nor too low. Different subject matter will require different levels of effort. Writing a light-hearted message about an average ...


4

"Could" in the first one is just the past tense of "can," as you correctly note. In the second example, you are referring to a possibility in the "farther back" past. "Could Tom's mother have been right?" means that you have the present when the story is taking place (even though it's in the past tense) and some incident in the past (Tom's mother accused ...


4

Look at the books you've read - do they mention it? If there's something unique about the situation - if your characters are extremely modest and are in a situation where they can't have privacy, or something - then it would add to characterization and could be included. But if it's just a standard toileting situation, as suggested by your verdict that "it ...


4

Like anything else, if it's critical to the plot, or if it would be very weird to leave it out, then put it in. If it's unnecessary or there's enough passage of time offscreen to cover it, leave it out. If it's a hostage situation, everyone involved is going to be tense and focused for hours. The hostages may get desperate and sob that they have to pee, or ...


3

I put some extra thought into it, Justin. Hope I can help: Does each character have their own compelling story? It is not enough simply for Robin to have a story outside of Batman. It seems to me that a third-person omniscient choice would be better at least for the Robin side of the story in this scenario. Is each character equivalently important? The ...


3

Like Lauren Ipsum said, don't overdo it. I personally prefer a slight dialect over the example you gave, which would become cumbersome if used in more than a few paragraphs. Also, don't make their grammar perfect. I don't mean that use garbled grammar, but rather some slight errors, and omissions.


3

You don't need character names in chapter headings, unless you are attempting multiple first person narratives. Therefore your only problem is how to name the villain. Dan Brown does this n every novel. Just pick something descriptive, e.g. The Controller, The Military Man, The Survivor. Names like these allude to a role or a personal history which can be a ...


3

First and foremost, you should get a life. What I mean is that you should go do something for yourself – pursue your interest, engage in your hobbies. I don't understand the need for the first sentence. "Get a life" is normally regarded as a negative statement, and "first and foremost" is a redundant cliché. Why kick it off with that, when you can turn it ...


3

I think the approach to this is to make what you write entertaining. Try to keep the style light, so you're not overwhelming the reader with facts. Use a steady build up, make the first few chapters skipable by someone who understands the field, but allows the layman to grasp the basics of where you're going. Keep the obvious stuff at the beginning, with ...


3

As someone with a speech impediment myself (far more pronounced as a child) I cringe reading this type of dialog. If it's important to the story, perhaps you could describe the type of impediment (like mixing up w/l sounds in this case) or have another character comment on it (for example if the child is being mocked, the other character might use "wiv" in ...


2

There are plenty of examples of first person narratives by a character whose speaking level isn't easily comprehensible by the reader. The character Benjy Compson in Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury is notoriously difficult to understand, as every sentence is somewhat disconnected from those that come before and after, in both time and space. His brothers, ...


2

It depends on why your character is "bad at speaking". I have written a short first-person story in which the main character does not say a single word, but he's thinking a lot. He is even nearly speaking at himself in his head, he criticizes the other characters, he's thinking about what he should/could have said and then realises it was not worth the ...


2

You shouldn't have a problem. People can be very good at expressing themselves in writing, while being terrible at saying the right thing in social situations. Your protagonist has the benefit of distance when communicating to the reader. He can take his time, get his thoughts in order and not only relay what happened, but also reflect on, or rationalise the ...


2

The Power of Tension In Our Stories We all understand that the thing that keeps readers reading is tension. So, we writers always want to include as much tension as possible in our stories. What Kind of Tension? You have to consider if you're writing the story this way in an effort to create tension because the story itself has so little tension. Why Do ...


2

A few years ago, I enjoyed reading the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson. It has a total of nine books, I believe, and follow the adventures of a group of kids. As the series progresses, we mainly follow one protagonist, but it begins to split off into many different chapters with many different POVs when the characters begin to move apart ...


2

Some writers have done this before, and unless its satirical, or there's plot coming from the toilet, the book tends to be bad. Authors skip useless scenes like toilet breaks just like they skip buying groceries or even eating. Unless it serves a purpose, it should be left out.


2

It would be interesting to write a story, just once, composed entirely of scenes taking place in a bathroom. People do a lot of interesting things while showering or taking a piss or a crap. They certainly think about interesting things while doing it. Make the reader try to deduce from their thoughts and actions what's going on in their lives outside the ...


2

I will not have anything to offer that is as technical and full of advice as the other responses here, but I can tell you this: Hideaway by Dean Koontz A story about two people becoming psychically linked, at first they do not know that what is happening is real or that it is happening to the other person as well. Enter protagonist, a normal older ...


2

"which corrects the mistakes they've made until now" There's your problem. You're viewing this person as a fix-it project, as a series of mistakes to be corrected. You might want to think about this person as making a series of choices based on priorities. If you want this person to change his or her actions, find out about his or her priorities. What ...


2

The sample you've provided comes off as the classic parental/big brother lecture. Unless the young person is docile, they are likely to disengage, stop listening, argue, get up, and walk away. If you want to ratchet down the tension and move toward a meaningful conversation, here are some suggestions: Express your concern for the young person. Demonstrate ...


2

If there is no story there, just say: She traveled by train from London to Paris. Then get on with the story. You don’t have to “use this time” because that train ride takes time. If there is story, you might tell it as flashback story the character recalls as she looks out the window of the train at familiar locations. This is really a rewriting/...


2

Just write the children's dialog normally. Intentionally misspelling chunks of text makes reading difficult and slow. (And if reading a story is too hard, I'm putting the book down.) If it's important for a character to have a speech problem, just tell us what it is. We're pretty good at interpreting the words on the page into the character's voice. See ...


2

There are no rules, really. Or, to put it this way, there are conventions, but that's precisely where a skillful writer comes in. A skillful writer, in control of her art, is able to see when something works and when something doesn't. Narration perspectives and focalization are no exception. The best advice I can give you is this: Don't focus too much on ...


1

i find this type of writing very quickly irritating. If you ask the reader do do an extra effort understanding what you write, you break the narrative flow. Use phonetic writing mininimaly, and only if you have to.


1

It seems you've answered your own question. How to tell a story that doesn't unfold naturally? One option is to use a first-person narrator. Your narrator can be as spastic as you need, jumping around in time, focusing on one idea then another, switching perspectives as necessary. As long as they clearly orient the reader with each transition, making clear ...


1

If you decide to do this, please don't follow in the footsteps of Robert Jordan. He started out with a few characters exchanging points of views, but those characters kept meeting people who became important to the story and they earned a point of view chapter. And then those people met more people. I quit reading his series in the sixth or seventh book. ...


1

"Both characters have extremely different background knowledge(s) and outlooks on things. They each have a unique voice. They will primarily spend their time together, but will have segments apart from each other. At first, they will have the same plotline, but later will have complimenting roles and goals and such." The factors you list above ...


1

This is a great and challenging question. I think the key to guilt is feeling complicity in an action that goes against either a person's own morality/ethics or against society's morality/ethics. This isn't easy in a narrative situation, since it requires an extreme identification with the protagonist. You could write in a sympathetic 1st person narrative, ...



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