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There are certainly many well-received books that explicitly elucidate a philosophical viewpoint. In particular, existentialism seems particularly suited to this, perhaps because its emphasis on allowing people to make their own decisions about things makes it better suited to fiction than more prescriptive philosophies. The Brothers Karamozov, The ...


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YMMV as to how relevant this is, but basically superpowers = magic. And there is no one who has more clearly thought through the necessity and workings of magic in the context of a novel than author brandon sanderson. If you're not really sure what role your magic/superpowers are going to play in your story, you should take a look at this. ...


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Answering more from a reader's perspective than a writer's, I'd prefer the version without the "cool for cool" powers --whenever I read something like that, it just seems like the writer being self-indulgent. You also run the risk of introducing plotholes. For instance, in the Harry Potter series, there are a number of over-powered magical devices (the ...


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Ensuring relevance/believability are key to stories/characters and magic/superpowers. When reading, I become fully immersed in the fictional world that if a power/ability appears 'just for show', the book's credibility weakens to me and I am cautious/fearful any new aspect that is introduced will also end up being a pointless trait. Though, I do enjoy when ...


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In the strongest writing, everything that's been included by the author has a reason to be there -- adds something relevant to the theme, moves the plot forward, develops a character, etc. If you're already suspecting that an item is superficial, then you should probably remove it. You wouldn't want an unnecessary element to accidentally remove the reader ...


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I once tried to write a (ten scene) screenplay with only a backstory and an ending. I started with Scene 1 (basically a "continuation" of the back story). Then I jumped to Scene 10, the ending, followed by Scene 9. I continued writing the story "backwards," jumping back to scenes 5 and 6 in the middle, finally adding scenes 7 and 8 to connect them to scenes ...


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Echoing what Dale said, politics will alienate your readers. However, if your political statement (that you wish to address in the author's note) is central to the book, then the book description should do enough to deter readers who would be put off by the note. You mentioned that it will be at the back of the book (which is where I've seen most author's ...


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What Dale said. And: I think that your novel should contain a short, biographical author's note including the URL of your webpage. On your webpage you can have either a page dedicated to your political views, or a blog where, besides other writerly blog posts, you voice your political opinion. I would keep the book as the book and not water it down with ...


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Politics will limit your audience. If your novel is highly political, your author's note will fit right in. The author's note may even be a draw for people who agree with the politics. A political author's note up front will annoy many readers. Annoyed readers may close the book and not open it again. They may be annoyed with themselves for having spent ...


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One of the main techniques that can be used to build a sense of epic destiny is foreshadowing, where events that will come later in the narrative are hinted at, or alluded to earlier.


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Life is random. Fiction is not. This is called "plot". The basic rule of (most, regular) fiction is that everything that goes on in the narration must somehow relate to the protagonist and his goals. You do not fill your story will irrelavant details or randomly string together people and events that lead nowhere. In life, things might happen that have no ...


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A good example would for what you're talking about may be found in the Harry Potter series, in which, correspondingly to your EDIT, there is a spotlight on Harry Potter being the chosen one. Her literary shortcomings aside, Rowling weaved the most intricate plot i have ever witnessed in a series. In fact, upon finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ...


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A few guidelines I learned from Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Describe whatever the character has an opinion about. This guideline helps me figure out what to describe. If it matters to the character in the moment, it goes in. Describing through the character's five senses makes the descriptions rich and vivid. Whatever you describe, ...


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I have the same problem --plot is my strength and description is my weakness. I think it corresponds with being a "big picture" person rather than detail-oriented. Something that helps me is to remember that description isn't just decoration, it can do a lot of substantive work. It can foreshadow, echo, or recall plot elements. It can develop a subtext, ...


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In his book From Where You Dream, Robert Olen Butler describes a method for generating a story that he calls "Dreamstorming." It works. In a nutshell, you enter a dream/trance state and imagine scenes or scene fragments that touch you somehow. Write a brief description (just a few words, not even a sentence) of each scene you've imagined. You can write ...


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For me it's easy. Pick your characters and start living their lives. Have little nudges of fate guide them towards key points of your story, but don't force it; if the character just doesn't realistically fit in there, change the plot point and keep developing the story. At times it will be entirely different from what you planned, but better. Essentially: ...


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Plot... Story... blah blah blah. You're talking about a journey. You're talking about a quest. You're talking about a goal, a conflict, and a resolution. What I don't like is the use of the term "filler content". You can't go into a story thinking like that. Everything you write has to be important, every sentence should define a character or the world, or ...



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