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23

Please, don't. I have often encountered this in Fantasy and Science Fiction, and it breaks my make-believe. I am immediately thrown out of my beautiful escapist reverie and back on my sofa. I hate when authors do that. I expect a fiction to be consistent, and the narrator has to be part of the fiction if this is to work. The only setup where a quote like ...


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 ...


7

Here are some specific ideas to help you get started. First of all and most importantly: You must understand the core challenge you are facing. You are facing the overwhelming challenge at the start of writing a story that many writers face and run from. You have all of this information compiled and in some ways you feel as if it is too much. It ...


7

For your "Houston" example, definitely not if Apollo 13 is not culturally relevant to the person saying it. You can use some sayings from this universe in your universe, for example Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Because this could come about without someone having seen The Godfather Part II. It's just advice. But any quote or ...


7

In my own writing, I skip everything that I'm not interested in. I don't care if it is usually part of other novels, because if I read those, I usually skip reading those parts as well or only scan them quickly to have an idea of what is going on. I totally rely on my readers to have seen so many movies and read so many books in my genre, that they are ...


6

A different slant on things, but Ayn Rand's Anthem has a non-supernatural hive mind (collectivism gone mad, I guess) and she shows it by using collective pronouns even for individuals. So instead of "I" she uses "we", even when there's only one character involved. I hate the book, but the pronouns were interesting. You might also want to check out Ancillary ...


6

The very first story I ever wrote was written from the perspective of a collective mind. So, as they say on /b/, this question is very relevant to my interests. I would approach the concept of an intergalactic hive mind from the perspective of sociology, neuropsychology, and biology. A hive of bees can be considered as a single organism: only the queen can ...


5

Here's a thought: would the infected members of the population even be aware that there is a hive mind of which they are a part? Sure, they experience extreme empathy and are subconsciously driven to act in ways that benefit the whole, but perhaps there is an individual experience that is largely oblivious to the organizing structure in which it is ...


5

David Brin's Uplift series has the traeki/Jophur, which are physically connected hive minds of stacked rings. Each ring is nominally a separate entity; the distinction between traeki and Jophur is the presence of a so-called 'master ring', basically an overriding personality which controls the other parts of the hive mind. As the species is only one of the ...


5

I've actually seen this used deliberately, to help establish the character of the... err... character in question. In the first chapter of The Tales of Paul Twister, we're introduced to Paul, a thief-for-hire in a magical world who's got a bit of a sour, snarky attitude about the world around him in general and his line of work in particular. He's been ...


5

You should find a way to skip ahead. If you don't want to write it the reader won't want to read it either. And your references to 'some switches' and 'several lights' suggest you aren't really invested in this scene at all. If you want to jump ahead though, you need to jump too something so concoct a little bit of drama. Things to try: Focus on the main ...


5

If the quote is in reference to something that would not exist at all in the world you've created, it is completely inappropriate. Even if it happens to be a quote that would make contextual sense (no references to anything in our world), I would still avoid it. References to things that happen in our world, in a world that is not ours, only serve to ...


4

This is certainly valid in some contexts, e.g., in a parody, or while leaning on the fourth wall, for example ... "And using this device you can communicate if there are any issues." explained Houston. "Oh, great, but what if I have to fix it first, «Houston, we've had a problem?»" However, I would advise you against using it if you are not ...


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

(This might get good answers on WorldBuilding SE also.) I think you have to decide, from a storytelling viewpoint, how these people communicate. Does each individual have his/her own thoughts but others pop in and out like everyone is always in the same room and thinking out loud? Do you only hear the thoughts of people within X geographical distance? Or is ...


4

I will answer your first question, as it seems to me like you are asking two questions. How long should a sci-fi Young Adult Novel be? First of all, the number of pages in a book does not matter. Adjusting the margins, font size, or spacing even slightly could alter the page count. What matters is the word count. A novel is classified as any book with ...


3

I once heard an entertaining lecture by the British pulp-SF author Lionel Fanthorpe about how he managed to produce at his peak an average of a 158 page book every 12 days. If Badger Books wanted a rush job, he could do a novel over a long weekend. Taking time off to watch the cricket if there was a Test Match on, obviously.


3

Check out Dean Wesley Smith's blog posts on "Pulp Speed" writing, and the number of words possible for some people. A million words a year? Wow. Heck, Michael Moorcock can write a 60K word novel in three days. The use of Lester Dent's Master Plot is blown out from 1500 words per section to 15K words per section, IIRC, and planning is key. NaNoWriMo says to ...


3

Yes. Here are some NaNoWriMo success stories: http://www.tor.com/2014/11/06/nanowrimo-success-stories-published-novels/ Edit, Additional: I personally know someone who's finished the NaNo sprint, and it's tough, but definitely possible. At the very least, NaNoWriMo may not be the novel you want, but it can serve as a first draft that you can later ...


3

It seems you have a lot of information that you've gathered, you have a strong idea of how your world works and the people it contains. Maybe it is time to start compiling some stories around the data that you've got. It doesn't need to be your primary novel, just some short stories to help you get the feel for who your characters are and how they react to ...


3

There are no watertight definitions when it comes to fantasy, the Gothic, and science fiction. In my personal opinion (which, though educated, is still only a possible reading), the best way to approach this is through Tzvetan Todorov's definition of the fantastic. In a nutshell: - if the world remains as you know it and everything is explainable within the ...


2

Relevant thought on the subject "The reader wants to work. ...the reader wants to fill in the details. He wants to be invested in the novel and to make his own decisions and reach his own conclusions . You don’t need to write everything. You can leave pieces (of plot, description, dialogue) out. The reader will get in the game. His imagination matters ...


2

I have this exact same problem, I'm glad you asked the question! The other answers have been very helpful, and I'll take be using their suggestions in my own work. I've been looking at cutting down some portions of my story, and this will help immensely. In case you absolutely need the 'intermediate' scenes, I will offer suggestions to what I've been doing ...


2

Also check out And Then We Came to the End, by Joshua Ferris. It's second-person, and it works. Where you seek an effective hive-mind, Ferris sought an effective Office — the collective murmurings of a bunch of coworkers. The use of second-person enables an omniscient narration — all of the events are well-known gossip, water-cooler talk — while still ...


2

Character is in trouble situation on a planet and danger is closing in. He is in a good mood and he is speaking over a com with his mates, quoting: "Houston, we got a problem." But in this universe for example Earth does not exist. I'm going to edge away from the opinion part and try to focus on the when and why it may be appropriate. As with so many ...


1

Is the raccoon's brother also a raccoon? Like, are these just anthropomorphic animals? Because there's a pretty long tradition of that in children's books, so if you're writing a children's book, I don't think it's a problem at all. If you're writing an adult book? I have trouble seeing how the anthropomorphism would feel real, but I certainly don't think ...


1

What will make him similar or dissimilar is not things like age. It is his attitude and his speech. Rocket is defined not by who his friends are particularly, but by how he behaves towards them. So, put simply, if you can hear Rocket talking or imagine him doing exactly what your character would do, he is too similar.


1

It very largely would depend on the quote you are using, and how you are using it. Using 'Houston we've got a problem' on a planet that has no Houston is going to leave the reader a little confused. Using 'Foobar we've got a problem' would fit better, and the reader would understand the context you're likely aiming for. The thing to be careful of is to ...


1

One common way to do this is to have one character that is as new to the environment and knows as little about it as the reader. (I think this is what meer2kat was talking about above.) Then as the character learns when s/he needs to know, the readers learn it, too. For example, if you've read DUNE, consider the part where Paul and mother run away to live ...


1

The short answer is no, having a slightly fantastic setting won't make your story harder to fall into, unless you do things that break your readers' willing suspension of disbelief. Rather than write a bunch of stuff about suspension of disbelief, I'll just direct you to this question from a few years back: What breaks suspension of disbelief? My advice ...



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