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You may have an interesting story there, but the graph shows one that is "disconnected." It's not bad to have "substories" relating to the friend, boyfriend, and father, but most, if not all of them should also have a second "circle" (link) to the main plot. That way, interesting substories will have a function, rather than just be random events in your ...


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There could be a simple answer to "rebalancing" the roles of the backstory and main story. That is, pull part of your backstory into your main story, and leaving only a "remainder" as "backstory." If some facts of your backstory are so compelling, maybe they don't begin there.


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The trick is to identify what is driving your story forward. Is it event driven (the volcano is about to erupt and everyone is reacting to that) or is people driven (a group of people decide to rob the local museum while everyone else is distracted by a volcano). For some reason, it's easier to write when events drive the narrative. Everyone just reacts to ...


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I'm also an aspiring writer, and am working on a TV series. I want to kill my main character too, the protagonist. I want to do this because I want my style to be more realistic and believable, not all planned out and outlined like most fiction. In real life does the protagonist live forever, let alone win? No. In reality heroes die. All the time. Every day, ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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Firstly, I would say that if your prologue is 18k long, it is not a prologue it is your story in chief. Or it is a prequel to your story in chief. I think the problem with a lot of prologues is that they are a device of laziness. it is heaping a whole lot of information into the storyline without putting the effort into making it a part of the storyline. ...


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Obviously, there is no definitive rule on how long a prologue can be. If I were you, I would approach a prologue with caution. Why? Usually the first chapter sets the tone, style and themes of the text. If the reader doesn't like the first paragraph/page/chapter etc. they will put down the book.(permanently) A prologue (by definition) is not written in the ...


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To answer your last question (and sort of the rest of it): Sidetracked: When introducing a story, would a prologue be best for those with historical and adventure genres? Prologues are very common in the fantasy genre. It's a good way to introduce different elements of your world to the reader. As I read mostly thrillers, here's what I've noticed in ...


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Prologues are good for the author's purposes (fleshing out your backstory), but consider whether the reader needs to know it. Many agents and publishers immediately throw a manuscript aside when they see the word "prologue" at the opening. This is because quite often, what we write in a prologue is actually backstory that is more for the author's sake than ...


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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 ...


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For me, it all comes down to emotional reality, which can have very little to do with the externals of the scene. When I watch a big Hollywood blockbuster where the lone hero takes on an enormous CGI army with just his trusty sword, it leaves me completely cold, because nothing makes that big army feel emotionally real to me. On the other hand, to use ...


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Why should Steve make a stand? His decision must have some kind of effect for him. If it doesn't, he's not living his own life, and his decision will leave him and the reader feel empty. Translate your structure to everyday life. John grows up the son of a carpenter. But he is interested in writing and wants to become a writer. There's lots of conflict and ...


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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 ...


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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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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 ...


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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 ...


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"The openings of my novels seem fine. This may be because they are generally only one scene long. But it may also be because I develop them differently than the rest of the plot." In that case, treat each scene as the "opening" of the rest of the novel. Develop it as you would develop the real opening, rather than the "rest of the plot." That way, your ...



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