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10

There are plotters, and discovery writers. You sound like a plotter. There's nothing wrong with that. Take the time you need to outline your story so you feel comfortable with it, and additionally accept that things will change as you go. There are many different methods to creating a plot, and none of them are wrong; you just have to figure out what works ...


8

The "first draft" and extensive re-writing you alluded to is often what "pantsers" - people who write by the seat of their pants, without outlines, produce. Those aren't what I would really call a first draft, since they can be unstructured messes or streams of consciousness (though they can sometiems be good). They then take that material and structure it, ...


7

Treat fantastic, made-up facts the same as you would treat facts about our own world. Do you describe the physiology of human beings when you write a book about people like you and me? No. Neither should you go into medical detail when you write about aliens – unless your protagonist is a scientist studying them. In that case, give us the same amount of ...


5

There isn't a one-fits-all answer here. Generally speaking, your personal talent/skills in seeing and imagining connections will allow you less effort (and "work"/"formula"/"method") in devising them. It doesn't make you a better or worse writer to have that gift, but it certainly makes your job easier. If you want a couple of tips on how to be able to ...


4

If the characters are only reacting, give each character something to want. A desire strong enough that the character will struggle to achieve it. Then make the character struggle. For dialogue, give each character an agenda. Things they want from the conversation. Things they do not want to happen. Things they do not want to reveal. And make sure their ...


4

Whatever point you choose on that spectrum you will have some readers who won't like the place that you have chosen. You will never get the balance exactly right for everyone. I am sure some people would enjoy a purely anthropological study of another species, if it was well written and contained interesting insights - myself included. Equally, that would ...


4

There are two kinds of series: (a) What is really one very long story that is broken into pieces for convenience or marketing purposes. That is, if a story takes 1000 pages, rather than try to sell one 1000-page book, we instead make a trilogy and sell three 330-page books. This makes each book more manageable and makes pricing more realistic. Etc. (b) A ...


4

You could, but having separate stories is a good idea as well. Knowing the outcome can actually make the story more interesting; think of Anakin Skywalker, who everyone knew from the beginning was going to become Darth Vader. The interesting part here is how he became evil, rather than the discovery of it. You could also, as you mentioned, fuse the two ...


3

Well, this is a tough question. You've provided a lot of background and it's still a tough question to answer. I'm tempted to say yes and no, at the same time. In fact, I'm gonna stick my neck out there and just say it: yes and no. Yes, your highly detailed outline is essentially a first draft. But it's also not. Many authors craft extensive, highly-...


3

I think that the greatest factor you have to consider is the length of your story. Would combining the stories make your book into a 150,000 word epic? Or if they were separate would there not be enough substance that you would have to invent a lot of filler just to get the word count up? There is precedent for having the stories separate or combined, so ...


3

Are you writing for fun and to relax after your job? Then follow your inspiration as David Roberts suggests. But do not expext to ever finish a book, because very likely what you perceive as inspiration is the joy in dreaming up stories coupled with an unwillingness to do the less pleasant parts of a writer's job. Or are you writing to publish? Then finish ...


3

When there's no one likeable left alive. Or if there is anyone, you just know they're either faking it or doomed. TV Tropes calls it Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy. I lasted until somewhere in the third Game of Thrones book. Or maybe it was only the second, I can't remember. Then I put the book down because I didn't want to read an account of a rape and ...


3

J K Rowling said that she imagined her entire story nearly all at once in one sitting. That means that while the readers were doled out a single book at a time, she basically had one giant story, broken up into seven parts. If you think about it that way, connecting all of the stories together is not much more complicated than connecting elements between ...


3

Print Edition If you want to publish a paperback edition, you can use CreateSpace or other print-on-demand (POD) service. CreateSpace (and maybe the others) take no money up front. They take a cut of each sale. And the retailer takes a cut of each sale. You set the retail price, and your royalty is whatever is left over after CreateSpace and the retailer ...


3

This related answer may help you, but I'll expand more here: I think it was J. Michael Straczynski, writer of Bablyon 5, who wrote that one could sum up "conflict" in three questions: What does the character want? What will the character do to get it? What will someone do to stop the character? As noted in some of the other excellent answers here, the ...


2

I guess it really depends on the readers. There's a lot of fuss about GRR Martin, and if he does have a tendency to kill off characters unexpectandly, there are less murders in the books than in the series. And there are some author more prone to characters killing, as can be seen in many internet memes. Nevertheless, IMHO, the key isn't the death toll, but ...


2

I use sequence diagrams to map non-fiction (design) stories. Update after comment @what: A very simple example of a sequence diagram is: Or perhaps I want to write a story about me and my mapmaking obsession. Then I would start like: On the top row are the story's participants (humans, object, places, moments in time etcetera). The arrows visualize ...


2

Something you need to be aware of when creating a theme before characters etc is that you can end up shoehorning characters into the theme they are telling. If you're not careful with character development they can end up being stiffled by their 'role' in the general theme. The benefit of ignoring theme until the story and characters are written is that ...


2

I think the problem with dialogue is often that people try to make it sound like real conversation when that isn't the purpose at all. The purpose of dialogue in a novel is to convey a point, but using a character to do so, instead of just telling the fact. Don't worry too much about what the character is saying, initially just get their point across, even ...


2

We can't tell you what should happen in your story. (In fact, questions asking what to write are off-topic here.) But perhaps you can ask yourself a few questions: If the scene is described graphically, in gory detail, what effect will that have on the reader? Will it help to further the story, or will it cause the reader to put the book down in disgust? (...


2

I think you would be better off writing some of the story and discovering along the way where this story fits into the grand scheme of things, or even if it does. I also have a vague plot and some momentum going in the first few chapters that I'm very excited about, but while there is likely potential for a number of stories to be extrapolated from the ...


2

Writing and World building are different. It sounds to me that, even though you like the world building part, you could be postponing the writing part. If you ever want to finish a book, it is critical that you like writing. So let's test it. Just write a small story. It could be a side story, it could be the main plot of your book, it could be a story ...


2

Start writing. Don't be so afraid to get it wrong. A writer can get a long way by emphasizing quantity over quality.


1

I started out refusing to write a trilogy. I enjoy reading series, but I sometimes think writers like Christopher Paolini just needs a better editor who was willing to trim his series down into one book. I finally had to admit I was writing a trilogy because I had three very distinct stories. At the end of the first story , the characters succeed in their ...


1

The theme (I think that's what you're talking about) is something that is often part of a novel, but it's not part of the plot at all, if that makes sense. The theme is also not the concept (a vague, 7-ish word plot summary) or the premise (which is a one or two sentence description of your novel with specifics). I think that's where you're getting messed ...


1

To answer the questions as simply as possible: Yes it is too similar. No you won't be sued, with what you're worried about is a cease & desist and no that won't happen either. And I assume even though there's a question mark at the end of University that's not a question but to be thorough my answer is 'Okay.'


1

I'm not entirely sure your example demonstrates the lack of public stakes. The world of the novel is the immediate world the character inhabits, a social world that encompasses all the characters whose lives are affected by what happens in the novel. In your Jane Austin example, this would then suggest that the public stakes would be the social standing of, ...


1

So first of all, don't know what your story is about, writing style, etc. That said: I dunno if you've read Lord of the Flies, but there is an excellently handled scene there where someone falls to their death. It does describe the outcome - brains on a rock - but it's a quick, short description. However, because we have grown to know the character, the ...


1

It'll depend on what impression you wish to convey; If it's the horror of the boy's death, don't. It'll have more impact, and you won't distract the reader with details he might not want to know, or can perfectly imagine himself. On the other hand, if you're writing on the boy's point of view, you might want to convey his last moments to the reader. In ...


1

I've found that the best time to write is when the inspiration is active and flowing on its own. If you've got thoughts and images pressing to the front of your brain and the words and outlines are presenting themselves - write them down! Don't put it off. Then, when the urgency to work on your 8 book series begins to wane, switch gears back to the novel ...



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