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11

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 ...


5

It doesn't really matter. You will be rewriting to close plot holes, provide foreshadowing, clean up continuity, either way. What matters is that you don't set up artificial obstacles to your writing and write whichever way gives you the most flow. Personally, I'm an exploring writer and any kind of planning stops me dead in my track. I write my novels as ...


5

Imagine you are travelling to a foreign country with different laws, customs, traditions and so on. You (the reader) travel in the company of someone who is familiar with that country (the narrator). That companion will warn you of the most deadly pitfalls (such as the death sentence for drug trafficking or that you get your hand hacked off for shop ...


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

I'm not sure what multiple points of view would have to do with how you introduce the laws of magic in your world. In general, I think a narrative flows better if you can introduce the rules spread out through early sections of the book. Otherwise, you have a long dry intro. If you can summarize your rules fairly quickly, like a page or so, you could simply ...


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 ...


3

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 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

It seems to me to mostly depend on your target audience. Scientists of this field will want full throttle facts, General scientific types will expect to be convinced by strong backable data Interested non-scientists may relate more to argument that make sense and are logical rather than specific proof, The general skeptic reader will not trust any ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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. ...


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 ...


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, ...


1

Hmm, I'm not quite sure what you're trying to accomplish. People will sometimes feel guilty when reading a book because they conclude that they shouldn't be reading something like this. Like, "this book is really obscene" or "this book is really racist" or some such, and the reader concludes that he is only enjoying the book because of his own dark nature ...


1

You can certainly provide the feeling of vicarious guilt, but directly inspiring such a feeling would be quite challenging. The emotional response of guilt requires an element of embarrassment or regret regarding an action taken (Dictionary.com: "a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined"). The ...


1

I don't think there's a name for the technique aside from nonlinear storytelling or nonlinear narrative. A story is "nonlinear" when it's not told in the order in which events occur, but the for a story to be truly nonlinear, we should be talking about a structure more complex than just a flashback or a framing story set in a different time. ("So," she said, ...


1

Successful example: Arthur C. Clarke's Rama series. The first book, Rendezvous with Rama, read to me like a history book written 50 years from now. Very hard sci-fi, technical, a bit dry. The next three in the series, written with Gentry Lee, are more typical fiction, and center on the adventures of one family who are (I think — it's been a while) ...



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