Hot answers tagged

17

That's why the tropes Unspoken Plan Guarantee and Impossible Mission Collapse exist. When you first describe a plan in detail and then describe its flawless execution in detail, the latter is just a retelling of the first, which is boring and redundant. It is often more interesting to have the elaborate plan fail early in some way, which challenges the ...


7

Philipp provides a good answer, but I think there is more to say. First, "show don't tell" has kind of become the touchstone of all advice about storytelling but it is good to remember that it originated as a piece of advice for novelists moving to writing screenplays. What is told in a novel must be shown in a movie. In fact, novels do have to do a fair ...


4

The answer is "it depends". It depends on why you are writing and the answer to that defines how and what you will write. If you are writing for money more than the joy of writing then you are going to be looking hard at what people want to read. That's fine insofar as it goes. Maybe you can write well without having any passion behind what you are doing... ...


3

I think chapter titles are one of the elements that contributes to the sense of a strong narrative voice -- that is, the sense that there is a narrator telling the story. This style is somewhat unfashionable today. Many authors like to create the sense of a stream of consciousness narration or to suppress the voice of the narrator in favor of the voice of ...


3

Chapter titles which aren't used as orientation sort of delineate the story: Potions Class, The Quidditch Match, A Long-Expected Party, The Tower of Cirith Ungol. They are a distillation, not even a précis but a suggestion, of what's coming. The question is whether you feel the reader needs this sort of narrative flag in the TOC and/or at the beginning of ...


3

The pertinent question here is: what is it you're trying to show? In other words, you need to first understand what the focus and purpose of the planning scene is. Only then do you know what to show, and therefore how to do it. A few simple examples: If the purpose of the scene is to set up a brilliant plan which later fails dramatically, then you ...


3

Although, I totally understand that experienced ones... do not spend hours thinking up a new pun. How do you know that? Skills take time and practice. Maybe the good writers do spend hours working on puns. If you want to practice at wordplay, you need to think about the meanings of words, and how they can be looked at obliquely. One exercise I did in ...


2

You could try looking at lists of homophones and homonyms. These lists can give you ideas about similar sounding words. However, in the end, you just have to keep practising. Sometimes it does take hours to get a line or a sentence right, whether it contains a pun or not.


2

Write what you wish to write, which includes writing for others if and when you wish to. One caveat: In the end, there is no reward in writing anything that makes you come to despise writing, no money, no fame that can bring back what you will have forfeited, so check in with yourself along the way and remember that respectful choices are important to ...


2

I too would recommend italics. Also, I'd avoiding single quotes as I find things can get a bit confusing if there are apostrophes in the material.


2

Write what you want to write and what you love writing. Post it in an appropriate forum for that genre. Your followers will come. Trust me, with what I write I thought NO one would ever read it. Couple of years later I'm able to sell an E-book because I gained enough of a following.


2

You should write what you want to write, because only with your emotional investment will your story have the richness that makes readers enjoy it. But you will only be successful if by pure chance what you want to write coincides with what readers want to read. If you try to write what readers want but don't enjoy writing it, you will never have more than ...


1

I don't see anything wrong with the construction per se. It's just how English works for a structure that is action followed by consequence. It is far more important that your prose should seem natural than that it should be varied in structure. That said, the passage you present as an example strikes me a overwritten. This kind of stuff may be okay in ...


1

Chapter titles can work for you or they can do do nothing. Numbered chapters only give your readers an idea of what is an average length of a chapter in relation to the total number of pages in your book and offer them a break from the pace of the narration, because one has to turn a page to get to the next one. You can name your chapters any way you wish ...


1

In a work of non-fiction, a table of contents with chapter titles helps the reader find specific information he may want and see where the book is going. Like if I'm looking for information about World War 2, I might open a history book and scan chapter titles for something about World War 2. Or if I open a math book and scan the chapter titles I might see a ...


1

To quote Oscar Wilde: Improve your own writing by reading the work of people you admire. Oscar Wilde was a so-called 'Wit', someone invited to enliven parties. His conversation was pure entertainment, and his wit carried over in his writing. Highly recommended. His biography reads like a tragedy, sadly. References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde ...


1

I've never translated anything longer than a paragraph, but I have had to produce extended pieces of writing in a consistent style. Here are my suggestions: Rather than starting at the beginning of the original and steadily translating page by page until you reach the end, do the translation out of sequence. E.g. if the original has twenty chapters, ...


1

The best approach is to query the agent first and ask them what their preference is. It is unlikely that they all have the same policy. Asking them first shows them that you are aware of the issue and willing to adjust if required. That shows professionalism, which counts for a lot with agents.



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible