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5

I read a book on Creative Writing before that suggested that if you describe an acquaintance of the protagonist as beautiful, then they will (in the reader's mind) automatically become the protagonists love interest. Discriminations aside, if the protagonist does certain things, or you describe certain things, it does give readers some preconceptions about ...


5

I also questioned the validity of the internal "lecturing" monologue, but much to my surprise, people often said this was their favourite part of the story. When I added other monologues to my other stories, they once again became the highlight of the story for a few people. John Green does this a lot too. In an Abundance of Katherines, the vast majority of ...


4

Honestly, I can't tell if the narrator is supposed to be male or female, but I do kind of get the feeling that the author is probably male — especially if the narrator is supposed to be female. (And yes, I got that impression even before looking at your name and profile picture.) OK, let me unpack that a bit. In the first paragraph, what stand out ...


4

You can only do this if the entire section is narrated this way. If you are doing the entire chapter/scene/section etc. from the five-year-old's perspective, it will work. What you cannot do is have two paragraphs in this style and then, without a scene break, switch back to a normal, adult narrative style. ETA clarification as requested: When you have two ...


4

I don't think the information is entirely unnecessary, but it's dry. Lauren gave a good answer about adding more feeling; in this answer I'll focus on another style issue. You have a lot of "she did this, then she did that, then she did something else...". That feels repetitive. Sometimes you want to convey the action itself; other times you want to ...


4

In short amounts, as you've done above, such "lecturing" is okay in first person. You're really not lecturing the reader so much as showing the narrator's state of mind. The trick is to ensure that these statements (also known as interior monologues) don't become long rants that are authorial intrusions and slow the forward movement of the plot.


3

I think you’re coming at this problem from the wrong premise. Your female narrator does not need to drop hints about her gender in every third paragraph. Think about your own life: do you spend every waking minute conscious of your gender (“I am a man and I am eating this sandwich in a manly way, tearing the bread and smoked turkey with my sharp teeth”)? ...


3

The reason you think it's obvious is that you assume that only a woman would be having a romantic dinner with a man. Your baseline assumption is that everyone is straight. There is absolutely nothing in the text which precludes the narrator from being a gay or bi man having a romantic dinner with another gay or bi man. If you want to assert her gender, you ...


3

It's dry because there's not much emotion there. You're telling us a lot, but you're not showing us much. You have two instances of her being "puzzled," but the rest is just a description of her movements. What is she thinking? What is she feeling? Here's an example. You start with this great sensory image: She made her way through the sand barefoot, ...


2

In principle, if it doesn't matter, if the idea is just that this happened sometime in the past, then you don't need to bog the story down with details about exactly when. I certainly wouldn't go into some long description if it doesn't matter. I mean, I wouldn't say, "In the third year after she graduated college, on the tenth of June, at 3:15 in the ...


2

It's not necessary to make it clear, specially because sometimes you can "play" with it confusing the reader to create impact. There are plenty of examples. It's quite common in movies but I don't exactly remind any in books right now. But, that doesn't mean in your context it is valid. When somebody uses subterfuges like that, he is prepared and whiling ...


2

I use flashback to explain my character's present predicament. The flashback is a specific incident. I have found that if I make the flashback complicated (i.e. with multiple timeframes), I then risk the ability to seamlessly transit back to the present. In this regard, I always indicate somehow the start and end of the flashback. In you example, I am ...


2

These are tightly connected. POV (Point of View) tells about the person, "through whose eyes we look". "Perspective" is the name for that style of view. An autobiography will be written from the author's POV, in 1st person perspective - or from POV of some protagonist. A guide will be written in 2nd person, from the reader's POV. 3rd person will be just 3rd ...


2

While it is true that nothing you wrote specifically says it is a female narrator, I do think that the perception is of one, due to the attention to small details of a flower, and the inner dialogue about emotions. I'm not saying that it HAS to be a female, but I would think it was based on that, and I also e-mailed the snippet to a couple of others who ...


2

mostly no. Overall the three paragraphs read without significant gender hints. the third paragraph might hint a little bit of feminine characteristics, but only in context (in this case the title of your question). On the other hand there are also no significant male hints either. What you have written could be used for male, female, neuter, or undisclosed ...


2

No! Absolutely forbidden! The Rule Book XVII of the Writers Inquisition explicitly forbids under pains of corporal punishment!! Just kidding. That's a pretty standard, rather nice form. I usually use ellipsis where you used em-dash, but both are acceptable (and some use a colon, it's acceptable there too.) There are a few mild typos/mistakes ( "it was ...


2

In first person, this is fine. The lecturing is coming from the MC. In third person, I think it depends on who is the narrator. Lecturing from an omniscient narrator would be bad, IMHO, unless it were very clever lecturing. But that is possible. Consider the opening line from Austen's "Pride and Prejudice": It is a truth universally acknowledged, ...


2

I think you question the utility of these passages because they stick out. This time you saw them as lecturing. Of course, "lecturing" differs from delivering a good lecture. Lecturing is boring. A teen feels an adult is lecturing when they make a point that is not relevant. That may be what is happening here. In paragraph 1, you bring up the origin of ...


1

I think the gender and sexual ambiguity only makes this story that much more compelling. I've written similarly vague characters in the past and consider it not only more difficult to hide a character's gender throughout the narrative but also a pretty big compliment. You can even use this technique to conduct your own mini-experiment of people's perceptions ...


1

I don't think you should make the gender more obvious unless it needs to be more obvious. By choosing a 1st person narration the character uncovers him/herself and the logic should flow from how you have conceived this character to express themselves. Is gender really a duality anyway? Men and women express their gender in such a variety of ways that you ...


1

Not sure about the audiobook, but the paperback for the first novel in the series (which the recent movie is based on) is in third-person limited. This is when the narrator tells the story only from the perspective of what the main character (in this case, Ender) can observe and think, but unlike first-person, we also observe the main character through the ...


1

I strongly disagree with SF's answer. 1) There is fictional 2nd person narrative. It's rare, but it exists. An example is given on the Wikipedia page to 2nd person narrative: You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although ...


1

Something like Cloud Atlas, you mean? Indeed this is basically Nonlinear narrative. I use it a lot when I write because it can be great -- if well done -- to generate expectation and mystery. For me, the key of nonlinear narrative is to leave roles that the users can't fill at that point. You can use other chapters to get back to the loose ends and help ...


1

It's perfectly alright, though it sounds weird in my head because you've drawn attention to that sentence. As a result, I feel like it could be changed in a way that it reads better. And maybe she would never be able to come back to it. The people she loved and cared about. Ruth, Benjamin — she would probably never seen them again. Things would change. ...



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