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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

It depends largely on how you've lead up to it over the course of the novel, not just in the final scene. The reader won't be disappointed about not knowing the outcome of the battle if Steve's decision is sufficiently important to the reader, and sufficiently unsure up to that moment. We have to be seriously worried that he won't do it, and someone (maybe ...


3

I never read prologues. They bore the hell out of me. Start with your story. That's what I want to read. Weave in the information I need, and don't bother me with what's irrelevant. What I dislike the most: a prologue that makes me identify with and invest emotions in a character that does not appear in the main narrative the myths of a fictional world ...


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 ...


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 think your question is a bit shallow for proper answer, but i will try to discribe: 1) What kind of story are you telling? Is is criminal story about your hero going in pathway of the briefcase bomb maker? If it is, your hero will need some information about that briefcase. Color, weight, maybe small details as locks, material of the briefcase or such ...


2

I would say it would depend on whether specifics of the device has any bearing on the plot. In your example the bomb specifications themselves don't seem to be relevant to the story.


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 ...


1

I don't read romance novels, but I've seen a few romance movies. It seems to me that finding some odd way to get the characters together is pretty typical of such movies. Having two people meet through a dating service is fairly boring. So neither of your characters is outgoing enough to initiate a romance, maybe not even outgoing enough to initiate a ...


1

When hope that the protagonist(s) will win is snuffed out. I came very close to this with Person of Interest in the middle of the most recent season. There are a number of Good Folks and several groups of Bad Folks. About mid-season the Bad Folks had racked up so many successes and the Good Folks were getting boxed into such a corner that I was struggling ...



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