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Use of a predictable sequence can bore your audience but can also make them feel smart. There was an article that concluded that audiences preferred knowing the story (http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/27/trailer-spoilers-southpaw). A predictable plot element is a miniature version of this. The audience knows what is going to happen ("Don't open the closet!")...


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One of my writing professors is a fellow believer of the notion that everything is cliche. Almost everything has been done before, and redone many times over. The question is, can you write it in a way that your characters are still unique and interesting? Lots of things can be similar, but still different, and entertaining. In comics many characters are ...


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Surprise is the cheapest of literary devices. People often reread their favorite books and re-watch their favorite movies. They would not do so if their enjoyment of them depended on surprise. With effective storytelling our hearts can still be in our mouths for a character at a critical juncture no matter how often we have read the story. If we can enjoy a ...


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There's an easy answer: It depends on the genre. Generally speaking, genre readers (that is, detective fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance) will expect a certain degree of predictability - you are in control of the degree, knowing that some pleasant twists and surprises are welcome, but something too experimental will probably be received less warmly. ...


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Google Maps is fine for geography, but your question mentions "cultural and political references." If you cannot travel there, you have to find some way to be exposed to and/or interact with the people there. Cities have their own personalities. They have neighborhoods, cliques, sections, classes, ethnicities. With New York in particular, you have boroughs,...


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Google Maps and Street View is your friend. Take a virtual walk, learn the area, click on local stores, read reviews for these stores, check bus & metro schedules, find out about the parks, etc. If you're interested in more in-depth elements, you'll need to provide more details about the particular elements. But basically, the answer is the same: ...


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This what I do: I give what I have to someone I trust to tell me truth. If they like it, it gives me motivation to keep writing it. I hope this helped!



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