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5

A few things to consider: If you're eager to write the "good stuff" where your characters are kissing, go ahead and write it out of sequence. Get it out of your system. Now you can go back and create the "building up to it" part. Your characters can acknowledge that they are attracted to one another but that it's not the right time, for whatever your ...


5

Write "ha ha" if you want those words spoken, but not for laughter. Vera rolled her eyes. "Ha ha. Very funny." Actual laughter is a nonverbal sound and is better described. Vera's eyes widened. "You mean you—" A roar of laughter escaped her mouth. Tears streamed down her cheeks, and her body shook. I wouldn't normally spell it out, just ...


4

There are only a few basic storylines. Some say there are only seven basic plots in all fiction. What differentiates different works is the telling. If the telling of your work reminds people too strongly of the telling of another work it will seem derivative. But if the basic story structure does not resemble one of the story archetypes written into the ...


3

If there is a cognitive limit on the number of characters in a book, I suspect that the limit is on the author's side, rather than the readers'. As long as your characters are distinct, memorable, and important to the story, you should go ahead and use them. If you want an example of a series with an unusually high amount of named characters, I would ...


3

About 99+% of books printed in English use quote marks for dialog, not dashes. Why are you considering using dashes? Is there some advantage to this for your story? Like any rules of writing, you can always break the rules if you have a good reason. But like any rules of writing, I would strongly advise you not to break the rules unless you do have a good ...


2

You have an ability to write screenplays that even you are forced to describe as "pretty spectacular." Given this, and your dislike of descriptive writing, I can't for the life of me understand why you want to make the transition to books. Focus on your screenwriting. A screenplay will typically make you much more money a novel. Current WGA rates start at ...


2

Obvious answer is to read more novels. At the same time, don't worry about your previous skill set; novels are as much about dialogue as they are prose. Try and have a strong grasp of figurative language while still remaining clear in your description of events. Otherwise I recommend learning to slow the pacing of the story quite a lot. You have time to be ...


2

In Chicago Manual of Style, they recommend spelling it out. "At five foot one, he was as thin as a rail." In some cases a hyphen may help avoid ambiguity. If it's being used as an adjective, you might add hyphens. "His five-foot-two-inch body was thin as a rail." You can use numbers if you prefer—"He was 5'2" and small for his age"—no spaces, and be ...


2

This is a question for http://english.stackexchange.com . But the answer is no. When you are continuing a quote, as long as it doesn't begin the sentence or begin the quote, you do not capitalize it.


2

Your first example is the best, but I would avoid using "exclaimed" - it's generally better to stick with "said" all the time, as words like "exclaimed" tend to draw attention to themselves and away from the actual dialogue, where the focus should be. I would recommend: Stu laughed and said "So the bug turns into the robot." or simply: Stu laughed. "So ...


2

In CMOS 16th edition, section 9.29 (Numbered divisions in legal instruments) comes (as best I can determine) to answering my question: "Arabic or roman numerals are sometimes used to distinguish divisions within legal instruments and other documents. ... A mixture of arabic and roman numerals sometimes distinguishes small from larger divisions." The ...


2

It is very common for writers to come up with similar ideas—sometimes extraordinarily similar. In some cases, it comes about from two writers being influenced by the same previous works. I remember, when X-Files was popular, quite a few people independently came up with TV series ideas that were basically "X-Files for kids". Other times, the connections are ...


1

If you make your story unique and different, it doesn't matter. Maybe you know "The Hunger Games" by Susan Collins. The storyline is practly the same than "Battle Royale" by Coshun Takami. The idea of a group of people stucked in a place killing each other, is the same, but Susan Collins put her own style turning it into a TV show. Same story line, totally ...


1

George Lucas wrote a Flash Gordon movie, but couldn’t get the rights to produce it. So he changed all the names of the characters and changed the title to Star Wars. So short answer: no, it doesn’t matter. Plagiarism is when you literally copy/paste pieces of someone else’s work into your own, not when your story belongs in the same section of the bookstore ...


1

You don’t have to write in a seamless flow. You don’t even have to write a first draft that flows seamlessly. It may take a number of rewrites before you have a story you are happy with. Also, you can’t necessarily sit down and write for 4 hours or 8 hours if you haven’t already been doing that regularly. Writing works the same as any other exercise: you ...


1

Easy question. When you start to write them, do not focus on the subject, do not attempt to maintain a seamless flow. Just write them out. What's coming out it a compilation of all the things you consciously or unconsciously put aside as worthy of thought and retelling. However, this is just your raw material. Then, with the benefit of a daily writing ...


1

In my opinion, these are essential for fight scenes: Motivation. I want to know why your characters (on both sides) are fighting and why. What are the stakes? What will happen if they lose / win? Is there a danger of severe injury or death to make me care about the outcome? Tactics. Reading "he hit him, and then he hit him back, etc." isn't engaging for ...


1

The capitals are yours — they belong to your sentence, not the speaker’s sentence. So your sentence is capitalized correctly.


1

I'd force myself to spend 20 or so minutes on only describing one scene or only going through a single character's internal monologue. Stop yourself from going ahead and only work on describing/monologue. Good luck!


1

The first is most often seen. Most journals have their own specifications for citations, but that one is very common. Also note you don't always have to place them at the end of a sentence. See here for examples.


1

The dash may be European formatting, but it's not standard in English-speaking countries. Some information on the dialogue dash here: Using dashes in writing dialogue However, if your readers are in America, the U.K., or Australia (at minimum), you should stay with quote marks. Americans use double quotes for dialogue and the British use single quotes; I ...



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