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14

Plagiarism: The act of plagiarizing: the copying of another person's ideas, text or other creative work, and presenting it as one's own, especially without permission. Technically, stealing an idea is plagiarism just as much as stealing their words. However, as another old adage goes, "There's nothing new under the sun." Everything you ever ...


9

I've read a lot of novels in my life and I cannot remember one, that uses bold for emphasizing. But maybe that's just my memory problem. I prefer italic, but honestly, that is a matter of taste and totally up to the writer. I prefer italic words, because they stand out without shouting at the reader. One bold word on a page is attracting the eye. It's ...


8

I find these sorts of formulas, well... formulaic. If I'm going to read about how to write, I want to read someone who HAS successfully written, a lot, and well. Someone like, say, Stephen King. And when I read his On Writing, I really don't see the craft being reduced to a math problem. I won't say that this sort of thing wouldn't help anybody, but I ...


7

I agree with the spirit of Kate's answer, but it glosses over an important point. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what you are describing as long as it's interesting and adds to the story. If you are writing a romance and the characters' mundane setting is what they are trying to break away from with their affair, then it is important the reader understands ...


6

Though the question title mentions scene level, the start of the question is about fiction categories. To flesh out the list of categories in the original question, Laura Whitcomb, in Your First Novel, mentions these categories of fiction: Armchair Mystery - general mystery, but with less sex and violence and milder language Chick-Lit - not a traditional ...


6

When I'm writing well, I don't think deliberately about MRUs. They end up in my writing anyway, but I don't think explicitly about needing a motivation or needing a reaction. But when I'm stuck, I find MRUs really useful. I map out a few plausible "motivations" and a few plausible reactions, maybe a few more subsequent motivations and reactions. After a few ...


6

...it looks rude? I have never heard of italics being called "rude." Your friend is full of it. Both your examples are perfect exactly as they are. The first one is a brief interior monologue, set off by formatting. The second uses italics for emphasis. Single quotes (or single inverted commas) are, as you correctly stated, used for nested quoted material ...


6

Monica is on the right track, but I'd push it more. If he's howling the name of his murdered wife in his grief, he's not aware of anything outside that grief. I would actually not show the husband being aware of the changes while they're happening. Maybe, possibly, flashes of light (which cast different shadows on her face), or he feels his ears pop, or ...


6

Keep in mind that a book is not a movie (yes, this sounds trivial and stupid, but bear with me). Movies uses images so they are easy imaginable. Opposite to that producing images in the reader's head is the hard part. And you want to produce these images and make them rememberable without the interesting, thrilling action (the heist) you need it for? Well, ...


6

Write the scene where the protagonist takes a tour. That shouldn't take too long to do, and it'll probably help you firm up your idea of the layout of the place in your own mind as well. Write the heist. Now try putting the two together. There's at least 4 outcomes I can think of: It works great with the separate layout descriptions first. Keep it like ...


6

Stage business. B takes a drink. C eats something. B lounges back in his chair, looking thoughtful as he listens. C winks at the serving guy. B rolls his eyes at something the protagonist said, and C smacks his arm to make him stop. B plays with a coin, a ring, a belt loop. C starts polishing her knives. Imagine that you're watching the scene in a movie. ...


6

All mediums have their limitations. The medium of books is the written word. Despite the popular dictum of "show don't tell", you cannot address any senses directly through writing, you have to describe everything that your readers are then asked to imagine. Music is no different than any other aspect of reality, when it comes to writing about it. There is ...


5

I think it absolutely depends on the type of story, and on the writer's goals. If you're writing a romance, and it takes place in a mundane office building, why waste space on describing the cubicles? If the setting doesn't advance the characters or the plot, gloss over it. On the other hand, if you're writing something set in another world, and you want ...


5

I'm just an amateur writer, but a seasoned soldier. If I were to write a combat or battle scene, I think I would probably try to describe the calamity of battle. Confusion sets in very quickly when you lose the initiative in a fight. At that point, there is a good deal of sensory overload. Training kicks in and fighting become an instinctive struggle for ...


5

In this case I would say you have it pretty well balanced. The whole point of her checking the news is to see if anyone else noticed the Earthquake, so seeing what's on the news works well. There's just enough there to give us a feel for it and so we can all fill it in with the same old day-to-day news we're all familiar with. All in all, I think you've ...


4

End the first scene with some marker that the readers will remember. A vivid sensory detail, maybe. Or an emotional reaction. A statement or quip. Something that clearly marks the situation as the first scene ends. For example, notice something peculiar about the demon's hands, something the character notices and reacts to. When you pick up again, reconnect ...


4

I found thinking about Scene/Sequel helpful in learning to avoid pointless scenes, both while revising and during outlining. If you want to read more about it, definitely check out the book he got it from, Dwight Swain's Techniques of the Selling Writer, and also Jack Bickham's Scene & Structure. It does seem formulaic, but that can be helpful when ...


4

For starters, avoid getting into details. This is true generally, and even more so during battle. People are moving quickly! It is no time for details. I've read a battle-scene where the author described specific attacks, and the impression I had was that the fighting was happening in slow motion. With classical music in the background. Really slow music. ...


4

I can't call specific examples to mind right now, but I've seen this sort of "wait, the world is not quite as it should be" situation handled by sharing the POV character's inner dialogue as he gradually notices peculiarities. Something like this: "Sharon, no!" he shouted to no one in particular as he cradled her in his arms. "Sharon!" He shuddered as ...


4

Let me add a lengthy quote from "The Serpent Mage" by Greg Bear, narrating the entirety of Mahler's Tenth Symphony. This is to give you a clue how deep in detail one can get, how you can convey a whole concerto piece through a written text. The first movement of the Tenth was an elegiac adagio in F sharp major-minor. Michael fell into the music despite ...


3

If you want that in deep detail, provide a tour. If you want to cut on detail a little, make a scene of pre-heist briefing (or security briefing if that's the narrator's side). The leader describes key elements, may show footage - photos or video of more important elements, may show images - that way you can fine-tune the amount of detail you convey as you ...


3

Watch the show Leverage. (It's about five criminals who turn Robin Hood, and they spend quite a bit of time breaking into buildings and stealing things.) Watch the entire first season, at least. Take notes on how often you get the layout of the place before it's broken into and how often it's not necessary.


3

Provide a map. If the layout of the building is really important, give the reader a map to follow. It's an ancient and proud tradition in books of all sorts, not just mystery/heist novels. Doesn't have to be really detailed, a sketch of the floorplan is usually all that's needed. It's a skeleton on which the reader can hang the flesh of your in-text ...


3

How do you explain anything vividly? Observe with all your senses, and add emotions and thoughts. Do the research. I will express hope that you have not personally been in a war scene, so you would have to find some other way of observing, or use your imagination. You could watch combat footage or news reports of war, you could interview veterans, you could ...


3

In many movies and novels there is a scene where the heist is planned. Bankrobbers don't usually spontaneously draw their guns when they pass a bank on their way to the supermarket. They have to have a pretty good idea of who will be where at what time, if the heist is supposed to work. So they plan. And this planning phase can be used to describe the ...


3

For this script at least, the numbers correspond to the scenes. Each number in the left margin appears at the beginning of a new location. At a guess, this could simply be to make writing easier for the screenwriter, or perhaps to correspond to clapperboard information. These possible uses are only guesses, however. As seen in @Reed's comments, this is ...


2

I am no expert, but I do not think it is a hard and fast rule. As far as I have noted, the Scene/Sequel structure is used with the sole intention of driving the novel forward. This subsequent following of a Proactive scene (Scene) by a Reactive Scene (Sequel) is most of the time used to raise stakes. In a thriller, the Reactive scenes are shorter because a ...


2

Gritty details go a long way, so I would recommend not dwelling on them too much. I feel like it would be more realistic for someone in a battle to be focused on fighting and staying alive, rather than witnessing all the atrocities happening around him. There's an old adage along the lines of "after the first shot is fired, all battle plans go out the ...


2

Mary lowered her eyes. Should she really look up again. She wasn‘t sure. Was she prepared for that? Her heart pulsed like crazy. She had to do it. Now! Or it would be too late. With all the braveness she has left, she looked up. And there she still saw it: His bright smile, his warmful eyes. Yes, he was looking at her. The best day of her life! Mary lowered ...


2

There's no reason you can't do this, as long as it's the reader understands the information you're giving them. The clearer way to do something is nearly always preferred. Writers have formatted scenes as screenplays within a novel, but it's a rare, experimental device. It also evokes a cinematic feel, which may not be what you want. Long passages of ...



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