Ask Your Questions About Novel Writing And We Will Try To Answer Them!

(And Invite Others To Submit Their Own Take)

If we could answer all your questions about novel writing - or indeed about book writing - in a few simple articles, we would be overjoyed. However, in our quest to keep things simple enough so our readers don't get overwhelmed we probably create as many novel writing questions as we provide answers.

In addition to writing articles that may or may not address your unique concerns, we would like to hear your specific novel writing questions. That way, we can address the topics you most want to know about.

At the same time, we would like to give author/readers the chance to make their own comments on the questions we receive and the answers we give.

Of course, it could be that we have already answered your writing questions in one of our articles. If you'd like to search our site, just enter your search term in this box...

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How to Phrase Your Questions About Novel Writing...

Writing Questions

Submitting a clear question makes it easier for us to provide a clear answer. While we try to answer as many questions as we can, it helps if your question is...

  1. Specific. Questions like "How do I write my novel?" are too general for us to answer succinctly.
  2. Actually a question. A statement like, "My character is complex," doesn't give us anything to respond to.

With these provisos in mind, feel free to ask your question below...



Have A Question About Novel Writing?

Submit a question about novel writing, dramatica, story structure, etc. and if we feel we can provide an answer that will benefit other visitors and that the question has not already been addressed at length in the articles on this site, we will post it. (We also invite you to comment on questions others have submitted. But please, don't post unrelated links.)

Other People's Novel Writing Questions

Click below to see questions other visitors submitted to this page...

know the characters 
Hello, I really enjoyed from your website. I write my story and I'm in the fourth chapter. And friends tell me they do not feel they know enough …

How does someone connect their short strories/novellas 
Question: I have 2 Questions. It is said that most agents don't accept collection of short stories or collection of novellas from debut authors because …

Long dialog segments 
Hello, I'm writing a novelization of a stage play, a comedy. There are very lengthy passages of dialog between only two characters, some are about three …

Devopling conflict 
Question: So I'm having trouble with conflicts. I want my story to be about a girl who is a princess but doesn't know it. Later on in the story she, …

Third person writing  
Question: I converted my novel from 1st person to 3rd. It's confusing to me and I feel I lost some momentum. A Dr. (3rd person past tense) is asking …

Star Wars 
Question: Would it be possible for you to post a complete analysis of Star Wars, A New Hope? Preferably including the signposts for all four throughlines …

My Issues with Writing Books 
Hello. I am a 13 year old writer who'd rather be anonymous. Could you determine if this story idea is good or not? If so, can you help me with the problems …

story based on published work 
Question: I want to take up the story from where a published work finishes, as I believe the ensuing events could be dramatic and emotionally compelling. …

Is writng a novella sometimes a better, more practical option? 
Hello, Mr. Strathy. Suppose there simply wasn't enough material for one's dream novel and rather than abandoning the project tried to find a market for …

Does a status-quo Consequence need to be averted? 
I am going through your 8-Step Plot Outline exercise, and I think my Consequence is the type that is in effect when the story opens. (I'm outlining the …

Starting a second draft before finishing the first one 
Hi Glen, This is Wolfgang from Germany. Great website you got here! I was lurking for quite a while now, perusing your writing advice. But now, I finally …

How to increase suspense in my novel 
Dear Glen, I am about to complete the final draft of my novel and to start sending it agents. One agent that showed the first 2000 words to (as part …

Should I use real-world locations or fictional locations for specific places? 
Question: I'm writing a contemporary romance novel, and I wonder if I should use real locations or fictional locations when it comes to very specific …

setting 
Question: Is there anything wrong with setting my detective novel in the recent past (1990s)? I have been advised that publishers aren't keen on this. …

Plagiarism? 
Question: My novel started out as a fanfic and now I'm worried that it's too close to the original source material. I tried to change as much as I could …

Discrimination in Publishing? 
Question: I'm writing a romance novel right now targeting women in their twenties and I hope that when I am finished it I could get this book published …

Time To Quit? 
Mr. Strathy, is there any type of sign or marker which indicates it's time to give up? I am so "stuck" and frustrated right now because I can't think of …

Too much, if any, backstory allowed... 
Hello, sir. May I have your thoughts on backstory, please? Is devoting most of the first chapter to backstory unwise? Would doing that "turn off" an editor …

Difference between Impact and Relationship Throughlines 
Question: Could you please give more information about the Impact and Relationship throughlines? There is a clear differentiation between the Overall …

Proposal submission 
Question: I thank you for your time to read and answer the questions. I have submitted my proposal(synopsis, initial chapters) to a few agents and …

Good practice while stalled? 
To Mr. Strathy, I am stuck and frustrated to the point of throwing in the towel with my novel. So I've taken to writing what I guess one would call …

Will the Ending work? 
Question: I've got everything for my To-Do list done. The plot, Characters with a role, the Protagonists journey from zero-hero etc. Except the ending. …

I Think I Use Too Many Exclamation Points!!! 
Question: How does one determine that one is using too many exclamation points? Should they be avoided at all costs? Writers are discouraged from dialogue …

Where to put what 
Question: Well, I'll explain it better: I'm confused about where to put some kinds of information. For example, I want to explain each character's story, …

Click here to write your own.

Question about dialogue tags 
Auestion: Must one always use a "he/she asked" while putting a tag on a question? For instance: "Are you going to the store?" he asked. I assume that …

Theme in a series 
Question: I struggle with theme. Whether I'm over or under simplifying it I'm not sure but it feels (in my lack of experience) like a slightly narrow, …

The Difference Between Showing and Telling?  
Hi there! I'm currently working on a novel, and one of my main goals is to allow the reader to really feel like they're in the moment, as if they they're …

How to deal with a lot of important characters and all their throughlines 
Question: I've been worldbuilding a fantasy universe for more than 10 years... suffice it to say that I now have a WHOLE F*** LOT of characters, most …

Stuck on the climax 
Question: I am writing a crime novel (as if that hasn't been overdone already) and my climax is a bit of a rough one to hammer out. I want to give as …

Climax 
Question: Ok, so I'm only 13 years old, and a first time writer. I'm currently planning out my book, with the plot outline, and ending and all that stuff. …

Who's the protagonist, here? 
Question: I've finished the 8th draft of my first novel, a contemporary romance with some comedy, but not enough to call it a rom-com. It is in omniscient …

Confused about the order of things 
Question: I am 13, and I finished my manuscript, and I'm about to give it to my sister, who is an excellent writer, to edit. While she is doing that …

A Cosmic Kick-Off 
Question: The major backdrop of my story is a war of ideals going on between a variety of cults and new religious movements (all of which will be fictional, …

Narrative Dilemma 
Question: My story is very much dependent on its being told in first-person (as I tend to write character better than plot). However, given that I'm …

Names of characters, places, things in a memoir/fiction work 
Question: I have changed the names to "protect the innocent". But my convention has been use just a first name, unless you are going to call that person …

Urges to keep editing instead continue the story 
Question: (First, this is not my native language so I'm sorry if I make any mistake.) Hi I am a beginner at writing novel. Actually I just have slight …

Worldbuilding 
Question: My friend and I are currently world-building for our collaborative piece, but we are having difficulties with the man-made geography. We have …

Which Books/Websites? 
Hi, I have reached the editing stage for my 95,000 word novel. This is my first time finishing a novel I'm only thirteen, but I want to try querying …

Originality and "nods" to other works? 
I had a couple of questions regarding the originality of content. I've got two examples which I'll try to keep brief. Firstly, my current project features …

Editing a rough draft 
Question: I just recently finished the first book in my series. It is over 120,000 words and I have begun re-reading to find sub plot holes, grammar …

Understanding Dramatica Theory 
Hi! I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around the concept of an impact character, and am wondering how interpretive it is. For example, …

How to quote 
Question: I want to know when get information from other sources e.g. internet, different web sites books etc; at the end do I have to mention all the …

Past vs. Present Tense 
Question: I've noticed that people say I switch tenses in my writing sometimes. I think most of the time I'll write my story in one tense but then in …

How would you show slow progress without boring your audience? 
Question: How would you show slow progress without boring your audience? By slow progress, I mean your character practices ballet/sword fighting/chess …

Character "mouthing" words 
Hi. I was wondering, if a character "mouths" or "silently says" something, should it be in quotations? Or italicized? Thank you. Answer: My personal …

Fonts  
Question: When a first person character is thinking something or express their feeling in thought, should I type it in italics? For example: She rummaged …

en medias res??? 
Hello, I first want to say that I appreciate all of your brilliant advice to you give on this site. I find them all extremely helpful. My question …

How to name character and place, so that reader feel connected.  
Question: I am an Indian, and Indian names and places appear sometimes alien to people in other countries. I want to write horror fiction inspired by …

Afraid of Second Act Sag 
Question: First of all, great to have found your site. Very well thought out and detail oriented. Am well into my novella, which deals with a very …

Click here to write your own.

Reading helps writing 
Hi, Glen, I come across several authors advising aspiring writers to read a lot to improve the writing skills. Does it mean one needs to look for how …

Dialogue Layout 
Hi. Was wondering if the dialogue should always end with she responded or he asks, etc.? Can it be written in script format with the character's name first …

Rejection 
Question: Should one reply/respond to a rejection notice from an editor or from a workshop such as Clarion or Odyssey? If so, what do you suggest? …

Characters reading books 
Question: What is the best way to write about a character reading a book? I am writing in omniscient but mainly following one character. He is currently …

How to organize my book 
Question: I just started writing an idea that popped into my head. It's about a girl that finds her fiance cheating on her and gets her heart broken, …

Requirements, prerequisites and preconditions. 
Question: (First off, this is not my native language so please forgive me any mistakes) I've come across some uncertainties while outlining my novel …

What do you think of Twilight Saga? 
Hi, I read the twilight saga (or at least the first three) a few months ago and absolutely despised it, for many reasons mostly having to do with the characters. …

Second POV Character? 
Hello and thank you to everyone and anyone who answers my question! Here it goes... I've written a novella in the deep 3rd person pov of one character. …

Plotless adventure novels 
Question: I'm writing a few fantasy novels, and some of them have this storyline: basically, the hero has to travel from Point A to Point B. During his …

beginning at the end 
As many others have stated, this site has been an absolute blessing to find. I`ve been able to organize all my thoughts into a comprehensive outline and …

How to introduce information that would be obvious to the characters 
Question: I have spent a lot of time working out characters and plot lines in a story of mine, and am finally sitting down to flesh it out into a real …

Writing A Novelization 
Question: I'm about two thirds of the way through a novelization. As in most films, there are transition scenes where time passes and events have taken …

Tips on writing facial expressions 
Question: Is there any tips that help to describe facial expressions. Such as the position of the mouth, eyes, eyebrows, head or even hands and arms. …

UK English or US English when submitting a Query Letter? 
Question: If a manuscript has been written in English (UK), yet the author is submitting a query letter to the USA, should both letter and future submissions …

Writing in multiple points of view 
Question: I never know if I should write in first or third person. I always want to do first but I'm not always sure if it would work especially when …

Adding complexity to a plot that involves just two characters  
Question: I'm in the process of writing a novel that revolves around a teenager struggling to survive after her plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. …

WordCount Problem 
Question: What is your advice about having trouble in reaching the desired word count? I've just finished drafting my first novel but it didn't reach …

Mini flashbacks/ snapshots throughout story 
Question: My MC has a really traumatic experience in the past with his brother. He and his brother were very close before. So throughout the story so …

Publisher Preferences 
Question: I've heard that publishers are unlikely to consider a single book (novel), or are more likely to consider one if it is the first in a series …

Character Details 
Question: I have a general idea of how my plot is going to work and I have the character bios created to help me remember all of their specific details. …

Novelization Of A Screenplay 
Question: I have the rights to a complete screenplay that has not yet been made into a film. It's a very compelling and mostly true historical drama. …

Can I submit with a working title? 
Question Pretty much what it sounds like... I'm in the middle of drafting a submission to an agent and realised that I'm not sure if the title I've chosen …

Introducing Characters 
Question: I have already introduced a 2nd major character but in the 9/10th chapters i am introducing a group of them. Is there an easier way to introduce …

How my characters speak as compared to the narrative 
Question: I am writing a book that takes place in the medieval period, swords, bows, knights, kings that type of thing. I have done research on how they …

Determining the Impact Character of my time-travel novel. 
Question: - I was wondering; is it ever possible to consider a specific circumstance, environment or event as the "Impact Character" in a story, rather …

Click here to write your own.

Read a book on fighting and need some advice 
Question I recently purchased and read a book you suggested for another post about fighting scenes (Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall) In that book …

Story Goal/Goals in Plot??? 
Question: If I understand correctly, the plot of a story has one story goal. Goal, consequence, etc. Something the main character needs to achieve. I'm …

Writers Block 
Question: Whenever I start a book, I just give up on it and start a new one. If it is possible, how do I write a story without getting writer's block? …

Using "and" too much? 
Question: I am an inexperienced writer and at times I feel I am using "and" in my sentences way more than I should. My book I'm writing is all first …

Two or more main characters and their respective points of view during a chapter 
Question: I have a couple of main characters and they have now met and are in the same chapter. While most of the book will be written either them together …

Software for a book containing artwork 
Hi everyone, I am just beginning to write an astrology book and I want to have lots of pics etc. in it. Is there a free software program available to …

How to write when the story doesn't result in victory .. 
Hello, I'm looking to write a short story, non-fictional. It's about a race season, David vs. Goliath, etc. The main character wins races and championships …

brands in nonfiction 
Question: Can you include brand names in nonfiction writing without prior permission? For example if discussing social media and the major players. …

More Minimalistic Prose 
Question: I was reading on another blog about how writer should try to use words with Anglo Saxon roots as opposed to Latinate roots. They claim that …

More on Multiple POV 
Question I am writing a Sci Fi Fantasy type novel. Most of my ideas for it are in 1st person, present and seem to really work like that. However, there …

Genre Distinctions & Publication 
First off, this is the BEST writer's resource site I've found! Thank you for existing! I have several questions about if and when I finish my first novel …

How to create a good introduction 
Question: I'm having trouble creating my first paragraph. I always feel like I have a good first sentence but after that I feel like I keep giving way …

Short Story 
Question: How many words constitute a fictional short story? Not a short, short story but a short story. Answer: Generally, a short story is any …

Dracula name 
Question: Do I need permission to use the name of Dracula in a novel? My idea is to have his son as my main character and Dracula as secondary character. …

Purpose Of Interludes 
Hi, First i want to start off by saying how much i admire your blogs and tips on writing so much that it EXTREMELY helped me with starting my novel. It …

Turning Point Problems 
Question: The climax or turning point of a story usually changes the fortune of the protagonist in some way. What I want to know is if the climax can …

How do I convey to my loved ones that I need space to do my writing??? 
Ok: This question deals with working AROUND my family while trying to further develop my plot. Many of my loved ones encourage me in my endeavour and believe …

Character relationships 
Question: : My book has a pretty big cast list (with about 6 'main')- basically a school bus went missing and these kids are stranded, for weeks by themselves. …

Writing famous people into a novel, anonymously 
Question: I just stumbled on this fantastic site about 50 pages into my little mess of a novel, and have a question about a famous person being a character …

dialogue or summary 
Question: I am writing a novel in which a survivor of the story is actually writing the book from events that happened 5 years prior. I would like to …

Descriptive Dummy 
Question: I have a plot, all my characters and the world they live in but when it comes to describing my characters and my world, I find it either is …

beginning a story 
Hi I would like to write a romance short story but i really don't know how to start. I have so many ideas and I have the ending already. Each time I start …

Keeping motivated to write 
Dear Glen, I find your website and your answer to my previous question very helpful so I am writing again. I completed an MA in Creative Writing …

Story inspired by real events 
Hi. I'm planning to add a tragic event in my story that is inspired by a real tragic event. I wanted to dedicate that to the victims of that certain event, …

Writing Action/Fighting sequences 
I'm having trouble writing fighting sequences abroad and would like to ask if at all possible - are there any techniques, tricks, hints, etc to writing …

Click here to write your own.

Rejection or new ideas 
From: http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/i-have-tons-of-story-ideas.html "In that case, your subconscious may get tired of rejection and stop giving …

Good websites for posting your stories 
Question: I'm looking for good websites I can go to to post my book on to get feedback and see if it's good. I want good feedback and for my story to …

What is Theme? 
Question: I've read that theme can be an opinionated message or a one-word concept that the story explores. Which one is it? For example, is "revenge" …

Using time travel in my book 
Question: In my book I want to do some time traveling. The book isn't about time travel and it's not the main thing it's just something the characters …

character relationships 
Question: In my book series the main main character is introduced in the second book and she has a boyfriend but they break up in either the second or …

Worried my book is moving too quickly.  
Question: I'm writing my novel and even on page 11 a lot has happened. I'm aiming for the book to be approximately 200 pages long so how might I be able …

Multiple Novels Coming to Completion Simultaneously 
Hi I've so enjoyed using your resources for a series of novels I've been working on. Although I know you always advise to focus on writing and selling …

Researching weapons and armor 
Question: I can picture the weapons and the armor I want to use in my book because I've seen it in movies and tv show or something similar but I don't …

Crossovers 
Question: If you have write one series like where people fight monsters and demons and then you write another series where not the same type of people …

Not a hero and not a villian 
Question: The main character of my book isn't a hero but she also isn't a villain. She's killed people, has done horrible things, and will do whatever …

How to write just enough but not too much 
Question: When I asked a similar question you said sometimes less is more like with torture or sex scenes. Well in my book I have a sex scene and I was …

I'm Probably Doing This Wrong 
Hi. So, I'm working on my second draft of a manuscript wherein my main character, Tyla, has to overcome a series of obstacles involving her mental health …

More than one book 
Question: I can be working on coming up with ideas for a book but then come up with an idea for a totally different book and then I keep coming up with …

opinion 
Question: This isn't really a question I just want an opinion. So my book takes place in a dystopian world where some people have powers and they either …

First Novel have a broad concept but struggling with specifics. 
Question: I have never attempted to construct anything further than a couple of pages of fiction before this. However being inspired by epic ideas such …

Not Your Typical Writer's Block 
Hi, first of all, thank you so much for the resources on the site. I love your advice and the community that's developed here - so thanks. :) Now on …

How to write a villain protaganist that's evil but somehow likable? 
This type of story focuses on a villain who has an "interesting" moral compass, one vastly different from the rest of society. Because of this, she views …

Which portions of the plot outline need multiple items 
Question: I have gone through the 8 parts of a plot outline and I can't figure out how many items should be listed under requirements, forewarnings, …

Languages 
Question: In my book I have a character that speaks multiple languages but I don't know if I should say they said blah blah blah in this language or …

Too similar to another story 
Question: Ok so I got an idea for a book after reading Vampire Academy and that's about a girl who's a guardian and they are half vampire and half …

Narrator POV 
Question: I've been working on a story for about a year, a little bit here, a little there. This is my first attempt at a novel. I'm about 20,000 words …

I have a prologue dun dun dun.  
Question: Ok. I have a short prologue in my book, about three Microsoft word pages. I've read that it is bad to have one but I really like how it fits …

Will the Reader Hate Me? 
Question: I've heard a lot of readers complaining lately about young adult novels wherein the main character's life changes when she meets a boy. And …

Writer's Notebook 
Question: I want to create a writer's notebook to jot down all my stuff in my head. All the research I have done on this says to just to basically use …

I accidentally came up with a story that very closely reflects that of another story. 
Question: Ok, I've been thinking about this story for almost a year now, and I have finally distilled it into a (in my opinion) beautifully well-laid …

Click here to write your own.

Copyrighting a work 
Question: When should my novel be copy written? Answer: Copyright is automatic. As soon as you have finished a draft, you have copyright on it. …

Treating the contagonist favorably 
Question So I've got two questions, both revolving around the same character. I have a character I'm developing who is assuming the role of both the …

MC/Protag split and POV 
Question: After a long time of thinking my Main Character and Protagonist would be the same character (and written in Limited 3rd POV), I am exploring …

Male or Female? 
Question: I'm a female but I love writing from a guy's point of view and I find it easier to do and to relate to them that way. However, I've heard that …

Climax to end of novel 
Question: After the climax, how many more chapters should there be before the novel ends? Answer: Generally, I think it's better to think in terms …

Voice and the use of adverbs 
Question: New writers are always being told that adverbs are bad. That the use of adverbs indicates lazy writing, never adds anything to a sentence, …

Preface or first chapter. 
Question: Wondering if my first chapter should be called the Preface. Chronologically speaking, it would be about the third chapter. This first section …

Writing A Novel At A Young Age 
Question: I'm only 13 years old, but I have always loved reading and writing. Recently I wrote a short prologue that seems to have blossomed into an …

How to practice writing? 
Question: On the very first page of your 'Novel Writing' you mentioned that if one wants to become a writer they should practice writing everyday. But …

Flashbacks. I know, I know. *sigh* 
Question: My main character has PTSD and experiences four separate flashbacks throughout the course of the manuscript I'm working on at the moment. I'm …

More Than One Story? 
Question: I'm currently working on a manuscript that's pretty good, I think, and I'm very passionate about everything I'm writing in it. However, there's …

First Person POV - How to "tell" 
Question: I am writing my first novel in a series and I have been writing in the first person for my main POV. Or at least I thought I was until I had …

Kissing Scenes... Can't help but be cheesy!!! 
Question: I'm writing a short story and there is a love sub-plot between two shy characters who discover that they have been secretly crushing on each …

Mix Genres ( comedy will be a drama ) 
Question: For more than 100 stories that I wrote (ALL ARE HIATUS :P and most of it are just a story goals) I HAVEN'T BEEN STUCK IN ONE GENRE. I am always …

Two related stories or one combined?  
Hello there, I've started pulling my ideas together for a historical fiction novel about a girl who grows up in Nazi Germany during WWII. At the same …

Completely separate internal and external conflicts 
Question: I have a story that has the main character in a battle against some evil people. They are his external conflict. At the same time, I have him …

Multiple Impact Characters in the same story 
Question: Can there be multiple impact characters in the same story? For example, can there be an impact character who appears later in the story …

Forward 
Question: Does a non fiction book have to have a forward? Answer: Certainly not. With some types of non-fiction, such as business books, it is helpful …

Switching POV 
Question: I think I am writing my novel in limited third person but the problem is that there is one part in the story that my main character cannot …

How to be original?  
Question: I've always loved books since being little and I have always wanted to write my own but I don't know where to start? I'm worried that if I …

Writers block 
Question: Ok. So I really love reading and I would love to write my own novel. I have plenty of ideas, but every time I try to write something down I …

Best way to end scenes? 
Hello there! I've fallen prey to the hundreds of writing books out there. So naturally, I have read some contradicting information and was wondering …

Episodic Plotlines 
Question: I was wondering if you have any tips on writing stories in a more episodic format. I'm writing scripts for a comic book series that my friend …

Family Saga set in the 21st century 
Question: I have written a family saga dealing with the effects of climate change on three generations of a family living through the 21st century. It …

plaglarism 
Question: My novel is about a subject better covered by other authors. Can I lift some portion of their work and then give them credit in the acknowledgement …

Click here to write your own.

Prologue 
Glenn, I'm starting my novel with a prologue, which describes the little town and the mind set of the residents in the story. The prologue is ten pages. …

Good opening lines 
Question: I have an idea for a good story for a novel, but I am not sure what is a good way to start it. I don't want to use anything that has been …

keeping suspense 
Question: First of all, I want to compliment you on this wonderfully helpful site it's just great! I'm writing a scene where my group of heroes are …

Authorisation at a young age. 
Question: Where can I find a publisher? I have got lots of positive feedback from lots of different audiences, so I think it is time for the next step. …

Just One or Multiple Throughlines 
Question: Can each character have their own throughline, or do throughlines belong solely to the plot? Maybe I don't understand the concept of throughlines, …

mixing first and third person POV 
Question: I'm just curious whether or not it's okay to mix the first person and third person POV in a novel? Like for example, the story is about the …

How to deal with thick native dialect? 
Hello, and thank you for putting such effort into this site, it has been extremely helpful. I've wanted to write for years, and have finally found the …

Can too many cliffhangers become boring? 
Hi. Thank you so much for answering our questions in so much detail and so promptly! I'm writing a book which revolves around a kidnapping. I followed …

Planned Booked Series Timeline... 
Question: I have a planned Trilogy where the timeline is not like, for example, Harry Potter (each sequel is approximately a year later). Instead, the …

Flashbacks and Prologues  
Question: I have always heard these are not very well liked. And i never understood why. Personally i enjoy a good prologue (one that isn't just a 50 …

Fonts and font sizes in fantasy 
Question: I have just completed writing a fantasy novel which is aimed at the young adult market and was wondering what the best font and font size would …

Throughline domains, concerns, issues and problems 
Hi, I'm a bit stuck with the throughlines and I was just wondering if maybe you had any suggestions for my story in regards to the domains, concerns, …

multiple first person POV or third person POV 
Hi. I'm currently stuck right now of what POV to use. My original idea was like a diary of events that happened with the couple (the main characters), …

How to alter the story 
Question: I had a great idea for a story, got into mapping it out and developing the characters, etc... and then I noticed a book, same genre and similar …

A novel in a well developed world 
Question: So I just recently started writing my first novel in a science fictional setting I've been developing for years now. I decided early on that …

Two Main Characters 
Question: My story traces two romances: one that starts off with total hatred and eventually leads to love and marriage, and one that starts out slightly …

Writing Concerns 
Hi, I am a S/W Engineer and am not an avid reader , but, I still want to write. There is some something inside that gives me the urge for writing. …

I'm never satisfied with this chapter? 
Question: I've spent about a year writing, outlining, and researching for my novel. Everything was going fine... until Chapter Twenty Four. I've rewritten …

Sagging Middle 
Question: I have read your page on the 'Sagging Middle' and I have followed all your steps and almost have a complete story plan, but whenever I get …

Show not Tell: on-page vs off-page reveals 
Question: On television shows, when something embarrassing is about to happen, they cut to later in the day where that character is being laughed at …

Story goal 
Question: I have written a historical novel, set in the late 19th/early 20th century about a woman's journey from teenage girl to old age. I may decide …

How to Write a Sermon Into My Manuscript 
Question: One of the characters in my manuscript is a minister. He is giving a sermon on forgiveness. It will only be a portion of the sermon; the part …

Layout 
Question: Is there a physical layout that publishers prefer? i.e. double line spacing in font size 12, with a 1cm page margin? My mum once did …

How to know if I'm good enough... 
Question: I know that I should have people read my story/stories to get an idea of whether I have such talent or not, but what if I can't share my stories …

Using amazon kindle or other digital means to publish 
Question: I know this question isn't really about writing a story but I am curious if you know anything about it. Assuming I ever get a book finished …

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Focus and "show not tell" 
Question: I'm curious if you have any tips for keeping your focus when you write. I'm not sure if it would be considered writers block or just a flighty …

Third Person POV Past Tense 
Hey Glen, One more quick question about 3rd person POV past tense. When describing the action, I know that everything is past tense. However, I'm …

POV 
Hi Glen, Quick question about POV. I started my novel in 3rd person. Just way too many characters for 1st. It is a YA novel as all of the main characters …

Story Goal/Consequences 
Greetings, Thanks for posting such great information. My character's mom died during child birth and he never knew his father. Is it a strong enough …

Making up yor own town? 
Question: When making up a town what must you include? My book includes mythical creatures. I want my town to come alive like J.K Rowling did in harry …

Another question about thoughts 
Glen, You answered my question about underlining thoughts, but I also need to know if underlined thoughts need to start a new paragraph, like dialogue. …

story goal 
Question: I'm writing a story about my protagonist being forced to marry the hero. Her father died early in the book. He arranged for her to marry a …

Writing Height and Time in a Manuscript 
Question: When describing a character's height in a manuscript should it be written in words or can numbers be used? Example: 5" 10" or five feet ten …

Quotations 
Question: When a character in the manuscript is thinking, should those lines be in quotation marks? Answer: That's one option. The trouble is that …

Word amounts 
Question: I always thought the novel I'm writing is too short, as I thought my novel should be at least 200,000 words. I'm currently around 100,000 words, …

Writing Werewolves?  
Question: So far, the only thing I know about my story is that I want a werewolf protagonist. I have read plenty of stories about someone being turned …

consequences and goals 
You’re right about the consequences not being steep enough. I have a tendency to want to avoid or minimize conflict which is good in real life, bad in …

Finding the story goal second follow up 
So I've looked at the advice you've given me so far and the website and think maybe i have a very rough version of a plot outline. I'm not sure if the …

Disaster stories 
Question: I'm stuck trying to wrangle a disaster story. Survivors of a plane crash have to trek out on their own. What does Dramatica tell us about the …

A writing course??? 
Hi. I've always wanted to write books. I often have a few in my head but lack the courage to get started. Do you think it's good to do a writing and editing …

Any tips for exposition in fiction? 
Question: I'm particularly curious about exposition in 3rd person narrative. Which method is preferred to readers, standalone paragraphs of information …

dull story 
Question: I am writing a full length story on my walk from Seville to Santiago. Originally, it was a type of guide book for other people who might want …

the story before the story 
Question: I have a first draft finished and am now trying to polish my work. I wrote an introduction - which is really fiction, but written like it's …

Mild drug use in YA? 
Question: OK, my book is a dystopian science fiction novel and I'm thinking of targeting it at YA audiences. It does have mild drug use: pills people …

improve vocabulary 
Hi, I’m 14 and I love writing. I started writing when I was 11 but no one would read them because they were long and boring. I used to write fairy tales …

Basketball Coaching 
Question: Hi, my name is Steve and I am a varsity girls basketball coach. I've been coaching for a relatively short period of time (7 years) but live …

Use of conlangs 
Question: In the interest of being the best writer I can be... and a burning drive to not be outdone by Tolkien... I'm making constructed languages for …

Thanks so much for explaining!! 
Thanks, Glen! I asked a day or two ago about just what exactly makes "gay liturature" (and made a beginner-level typo for which I will never forgive myself): …

Publishing elsewhere for early feedback and self-marketing...Shameful? 
Question: I have a story that I'm considering serializing on a quick and free publishing site for original fiction (i.e. Wattpad, Booksie, Fictionpress, …

fictional book writing and involving government 
Question: If you involve government corruption in your book that's fictional can that get you in trouble. for example writing some novel on a scandal …

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Names of fictional lands 
Question: Hey, I'm writing a novel, and I came up with a really sweet name for the country that the characters live in, But I googled it, and I found …

The Beginning 
Question: I struggle to open the very beginning of my novel; the first chapter. I have been to many websites that say that the first chapter has to contain …

Trying to come up with... anything... 
Question: I have a character, and I'm starting to know her like the back of my hand, but I can't seem to do anything with her. I know a tremendous amount …

How can I organise my experiences to write about 
Hi, I always felt I could be a writer. I write a poem once in a while and people admire my poems. The last ten years I went through hardship, I was …

Story Goal 
Question: How do you create a story where the only real story goal is to survive? Obviously, the consequence of this story goal not being met is death. …

Solving a family mystery from 90 years ago 
Question: I need some help to write about a family mystery, that I have partially solved and spans more than ninety years, and three continents. My …

I'm having trouble identifying place names, streets etc. 
Question: Do places and locations have to be real if the story is made up? I'm having trouble with addresses and localities. Answer: It's entirely …

Themes 
Question: Can you have more than one theme in a story? Thanks. Answer: Absolutely. In fact, dramatica theory states that a completely developed …

How to keep the reader on a false goal, while the real goal is something else 
Question: Okay, I know that the question might be a bit hard, but I am really wanting to write this novel that won't let me sleep at night! I have …

Structure Models in Dramatica and How to Find Them 
Mr. Strathy, First, please let me thank you for this website and the invaluable information you're providing to writers of every level. I can't tell …

voices 
Sorry, I know I already sent a question like this one not to long ago, but I have to make sure. So my question is: I don't want my villain to shriek …

AGAIN YOU HELPED ME, AS YOU ARE AWESOME GLEN! 
Question: Thank you Glen once more for all the details about the software of Dramatica and what it actually does. I see two of the programs for sale, …

Antagonist's Point of View only one chapter at End of Novel 
Question: There are several antagonists in the book but the main character's love interest is also an antagonist--almost to the end of the book. I …

Using the real name of a person who died in a non-fiction account of survival 
Question: I am writing a book about surviving in the North Atlantic after our boat capsized. The skipper of the boat drowned in dramatic circumstances …

Problems with dramatica... 
Question: I have finally read what seems like a million pages, and now finally I'm writing! I'm just writing about the minor characters and their stories …

Thoughts all in knots, basically. 
Question: I can pick up a pen and write a random short story without a second thought, but since I've had a good book idea I've had my thoughts about …

Synopsis and throughline questions about how and where to place in each? 
Question: Thank you Glen, for helping me understand about synopsis and the throughline; however in my synopsis, is this just for the editor or agents …

Is it okay if the inciting incident is a coincidence? 
Question: Can what sets everything in motion (on the first page) be something that 'just happened', or will that disappoint readers? Thanks! Answer: …

When Writing Goes From Fun to a Frustrating 
Question: A long time ago, when I first started writing, I did it purely for the enjoyment of making interesting characters and events. Once I started …

Rewriting by accident... 
Question: How do you remember that you had already wrote a paragraph, and you write it again, until you are editing and see the mistake? Answer: …

play format novel writing 
Question: Is it possible to use more than one style of writing while trying to write a series of novels? Answer: Of course. The great thing about …

Can i insert diaries in a novel narrated by 3rd person narrator style?  
Question: Good morning. I am writing my first novel and I have a technical question. I am writing the novel in a third person narrator style and I was …

side story 
Hello, I would like to ask how to write a side story and develop some side charters that will be loved by the readers? I would like to develop some …

Proper Nouns Usage 
Question: I'm currently working on a novel and I stopped for a moment because of something bothering me. The question that bothered me was "does using …

How late is too late when it comes to your Story Goal? 
Question: Hi! I love your website and it's really helped me! I was wondering about my Story Goal. I have a prelude that sort of keys the reader into …

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Is writing a big book wise for a first time writer? 
Question: My idea is for a team to come together to investigate an evil presence that has been betraying mortals and the gods and mythical heroes. The …

Finding Originality When Even Plot Twists Are Cliched 
Hi, I've been trying to finalize the outline of my novel, however I'm skeptical and critical of every plot outline I've come up with. I'm to the point …

First chapter 
Question: In the novel I am writing, I would like to know how to get the reader actually hooked into my book. I have read the other answers to along …

Organization 
Question: I’ve been trying to find an answer to this question for the last few years, and I may be missing something obvious, but at this point I’m stumped. …

Character/Plot Development - 2nd follow-up 
Question: Okay, sorry about all my frivolous questions, but here is one more. Thanks to your advice, and your amazing website, I've developed some …

Character/Plot Development - Follow-up 
Question: Thank you so much for your answers to my last quesion. But, I was wondering, about that scene where the main character gets captured, it's …

Character/Plot Development 
Question: Hi. I'm just barely started writing a novel, that I hope will turn into a series. But I haven't figured out much of the plot for the first …

Maps 
Question: Are there any tips for creating a great-looking, detailed and informative map for a fantasy novel? Answer: It's not my specialty, but …

How do I find an illustrator for my novel series? 
Question: Hi, my name is Summer and I'm currently working a novel series of 6 volumes. My books will be aimed at teenagers, so I want an illustrator …

World building 
Question: The super humans in my novel wear tunics...has this been overdone? If I tailor a new costume for my super humans for instance a sleeveless …

Outline the plot of the story. Describe the situation, rising action, climax, and denouement 
Question: I dont know what this means :( please help. Answer: Okay, let's take each part in turn. "Outline the plot of the story." This means …

When to start 
Question: I'm 15 yeas old and dead convinced that I want to be an author. I want to start seriously writing what will hopefully be a novel. Is it reasonable …

Connecting ideas 
Question: I have a really good story idea and have every thing planed out but when i try to connect my different scenes i just cant find a way to fill …

Crossing Writing Structures 
Question: I am currently working on a novel that I have let my brother read and give some of his feed back on. He told me that I needed to make up my …

How to write a series - particularly the first book? 
Question: I find myself thinking of a great series yet the first book seems both the most fun and most complicated to write. In most good series and …

scenes and movies 
Hello, I would like to know (maybe we might need an article), on how can I show a place/room to someone, without obviously drawing a map. Also, are …

Double climax 
Question: I have been working on a novel for nearly two years. I can never seem to get it quite right. My latest version I feel very hopeful and confident …

How to know if your pacing is too fast/slow 
Question: When writing, I feel like the pacing is fine. However, when I reread or go to edit, I either feel like things are too slow and unexciting or …

Premonition 
Question: Is it useful to have the main character have a premonition or dream/ flashforward with little detail of whats to come? Answer: All techniques …

Dialogue 
Question: I have real trouble creating dialogue between characters, it never seems realistic enough or sincere to me. Are there any tips you can give …

Trouble coming to the Problem/Event. 
Question: Hi, I need major help with this series I'm writing. I've posted other questions here and the answers were great! (Thanks!!!!!) But I have another …

I have tons of story ideas 
Question: I have a lot of ideas that I want to expand into different stories. But I have this one huge thing that I want to do most of all. Whenever …

I have too many holes in my story 
Question: How can I fill in the gaps of my story? I have the major characters figured out and I know where each book in my eight book series needs to …

Using Trademarked Names 
Question: Is it legal to use a Trademarked name such as Facebook in a novel where it is simply a part of the story. For example "Bob made a Facebook …

Outlining  
Question: I can't outline for the life of me. I am told that Outlining is critical to writing a good novel. But I am an organic writer, I come up with …

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Understanding/Identifying Signposts (Harry Potter and Dramatica) 
Question: You often use examples from Harry Potter; can you identify one or more of the overall, main character, and impact character signposts in the …

How to start your first chapter 
Question: How should I begin the first chapter? What techniques are there? Answer: Obviously, the challenge with first chapters is to convince the …

Don't know where my plot is going! 
Question: Hi, my name is Thea and I have a problem with a fantasy novel I'm writing. Nothing serious, just something I write for fun, and that I've been …

Writing About Real Places, Companies, and Products 
Question: Do you have to get special permission to include something in your writing? For example, if I mention "Warriors: Into the Wild" by Erin Hunter, …

too much drama? 
Question: I know it's not a problem for too much funny .. how about the too much tragic? or the "too much sad? " or lots of crying scenes? Example: …

wording 
Hi there, I have so many ideas for stories and I have no experience in writing. I wasn't the best student at school but I now want to write a fictional …

OMG! This is incredible, advice about a fictional town was perfect, now I'd like to know the font and size etc. 
Question: I'm just sooo impressed with this place for the two answers has me jazzed about my location, but this is a suspense, love story with a twist …

Day One...(Question about developing a Writer's Style?) 
Greetings, I am an Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry who celebrated the academic year-end graduation yesterday. Today, being my first day-off …

Can I use the names of real people? 
Question: I am writing a non-fiction novel using my own diaries as reference material. My question is, can I use the names of real people without their …

How long should a scene in a novel be? 
Question: : I just started writing a thriller, but the scenes are too short, only about 500 words. But I don't want to add any more description, because …

Length 
Question: I am writing a story, I think it is flowing well. But, it seems to be so short compared to books I read and my plot seems to be developed. …

Strong and weak plot lines. 
Question: Hi! I love your website, it has given me new hope. I have been struggling with my science fiction novel for about 3 years, not sure about …

When writing about an overused supernatural creature? 
Question: What with Twilight, True Blood, and their many carbon copies nowadays, a lot of people are feeling tired of vampires, werewolves, fae, and …

Character Traits 
Question: Can you recommend to me an unusual as well as unexpected combination of personality traits? I am trying to find a personally trait that does …

hyphen use 
Hello there. First of all, this website has helped me so thank you. I want to know if "kid me" needs a hyphen or not. I do not plan to use it as in …

Using Real World vs. Fictional Company Names and Product References in Your Story 
Hi Glenn! Got married a year back and had a name change, but still follow you, and really want to thank you for this wonderful and NECESSARY, relevant …

Point of View Questions 
Hello! In my current novel, I switch back and forth between the POV of my main character and her love interest. At the moment, I have the main character …

Where do I go from here? 
Question: So I have almost finished my novel. I have 81,000 words divided into 23 chapters. I have no idea where to go. I have never written a book …

Length of story 
Question: Even though I've told my story the way I intended in a little over 41,100 words, would it be more advantageous to add more to lengthen the …

policies 
Question: Can I write about a company and my experiences since I retired been with the company 21 years? Answer: I am not a lawyer and cannot give …

Creating a strong reason(s) for antagonist to against protagonist  
Question: I am writing a thriller that features a 17-year-old girl that fights against a witch that wants to destroy her. Can you please give me …

Which Order to Introduce Multiple Protagonists  
Question: Who's story goes first in a multi-narrative story that involves a false protagonist who dies before Protagonists A & B are introduced and none …

Using References to Real World Companies and Other Author's Published Works In Your Story 
Question: In a story I am currently reading, the author uses real world company names rather than fake ones, and when using humor, sarcasm or other plot …

Two-Person Narration 
Hi, I wanted to know what are the pros and cons of writing a book with two narrators? Answer: The downside is that, whenever you introduce additional …

Writing about topics I don't know too well... 
Hi! I'm John (big fan of your page!), and I have a question that has been haunting me for a while and will not let me begin ANY book I try to write. …

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Multiple Points of View 
Question: I've been told I'm "head-hopping" in my contemporary romance manuscript. How do you convey different characters' thoughts, feelings, or reactions …

Story goal 
Question: Hello again it's me Antoinette and I changed my story a little bit. I have a question to ask, is it okay if your character doesn't know the …

Low self esteem 
Question: I've been writing ever since I was 6 years old but the only people who have ever read it are my mom and dad. Now I'm 17 years old and I just …

Switching Perpsectives 
Question: I'd like to apologize in advance for the lengthy paragraph, sorry. The story I'm writing uses the perspective of multiple characters, alongside …

How to develop my ideas 
Question: I have a plot in mind put it is very difficult to develop it. I don't know what to do. I have the idea but how to write about events and things …

what are the external and internal goals of the heroine and hero of my romantic novel 
Question: The story is all about two lovers who met in a particular restaurant somewhere in New York. She wasn't able to pay her bill because she noticed …

Antagonist as main Character 
Question: I'm writing a book where the main character is an Antagonist; the bad guy, and it's from HIS point of view. In the very end, however, he …

What to do for when a character thinks? 
Hello, I am of course writing a novel and I am having some problems with characters thought. What if there are two characters in the scene having …

Dramatica "this scene represents" and creating scenes..but what about Sequels 
Question: After months of creating my elements for my novel in Dramatica I'm finally up to creating scenes. I've read countless materials from a variety …

Is My Novel a collection of short stories or a Novel 
Question: My novel is told from 7 POV characters. Each POV story is like a short novel (Novella). I say this because each POV has its own beginning, …

How Might I Attempt My First Fantasy Novel? 
Question: Now, I'm very young for making novels (Not going to say exactly) but I would like to know exactly how to create my own fantasy. You see, I'm …

Narration tenses issue 
Hey, so the story I'm writing works best if I feature narration in the past and present tense. I.e the (first person) narrator talks about what he is …

Musicians/Actors' names in novels 
Hello, I've been hearing that a writer shouldn't mention or quote a lyric of a song, due to the copyrights, but if a writer wants to mention the name of …

Writing about a training camp 
Question: I was wondering if I need permission to write about the WAC training camp in Daytona Beach in a book I'm working on. You see,I'm writing a …

Setting of the story 
Hi, I am writing a young adult story where they go to a fighting school (a made up school) and I would like to know if putting it in a real country or …

Ways to edit 
Question: Now, I understand that, when doing the first draft, you must simply write, even if pace, descriptiveness, and character accuracy are dead. …

Time Management 
Hello, Glen, In September last year, I finished the first draft of my novel (and thanks to your Novel Planning workbook). In January this year, I have …

Beta reader and paid editing service 
Question: As an English second language speaker who doesn't live in an English speaking country, I found myself having trouble with finding beta readers. …

How long should a chapter be?  
Question: Hi, I'm struggling to decide when to change the chapter. I know it's when you change the subject but I seem to write 4 or 5 pages and then …

Novel Spanning Months??? 
Question: In the current novel I am writing, (a realistic fiction with a paranormal-ish twist,) the protagonist, in short, is staying away from home, …

Is it okay to have a completely fictional setting for an otherwise realistic story? 
Question Writing a story which takes place in a city where I've never truly lived in is treacherous. I've seen a lot of comments on other books pointing …

How to find an agent? 
Question: I never have a problem writing, I do get occasional writers block but I'm not sure where to even start to find someone to read my book. Where …

Uninteresting Scenes 
Question: I'm working on a story that I've been outlining for a while now. I've started chapter 1, and my protagonist starts alone in her room, woken …

Protagonist with Evil Story Goal in Novel 
Question: How do you write a good novel in which the protagonist has an evil story goal? Answer: Though they are more rare, there are stories told …

Not Quite out of Thin Air 
Hi Glen I'm having a blast working on my novel. Ideas are jumping out at me from all over. This is actually problematic, though, in a way. One very …

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How to create more psychological suspense 
Drear Glen, I am nearing the final (6th) draft of my novel and I will soon be ready to start sending it off to agents. My novel is in the psychological …

How to make my character less stereotypical? 
Question: I'm writing a story about a boy who just moved to town and falls in love at first sight with a girl in his school. The problem is that his …

Just another love story? 
Question: I am a first time writer and I have an idea for a novel I want to write. But I am afraid that it will just disappear in the crowd of the other …

Story written in US English but want to publish in UK 
Question: My murder story takes place in Key West Florida so I have had to write the book in US English and also primarily because it would have the …

Locations 
Question: So I have written a book that takes place in America. The problem is, I am Irish. Most Irish publishers prefer books that relate to Ireland …

about genre, novel ?  
Question: I have a story about my family's history. Personal events, things they don't want anyone to know. How can I use the true events, while threading …

Writing necessary Scenes 
Hi. I'm a first time novel writer and I've found this website amazing to help develop my novel. I have hundreds of questions, but at the moment I'm …

Too Similar to Another Story 
Question: So, the novel I'm writing is set is a Superhero/Supervillain world and is about a preteen girl who discovers she is a Mad Scientist. She goes …

If I choose to write a literary novel should I follow the same steps ? What about theme as opposed to Story goal? I am confused. 
Question: I chose to write a literary novel as opposed to genre. How about theme as opposed to story goal? Should I use both theme and story goal? You …

Truthfulness in the details of a story  
Greetings Glen, I seem to pass here asking lot of questions but thats because I want this novel of mine to have much ' Credibility ' in it, so it doesn't …

How to write an effective outline. 
Question: My question is I wrote a brief outline and I'm unsure how to write an introduction, also I'm stuck on whether the plot is at the end of the …

Idea development. 
Question: When one only has a setting, or a character, or a short scene as their idea/inspiration, how do you develop that into an idea that would support …

Muddled up ideas 
Question: My entire story stemmed from one simple image of a soldier & a firing squad. The problem is that since then I have created proper detailed …

When do I know when to move to the next chapter? 
Question: I'm been writing a draft for my novel in a journal that I keep to myself for the past months and looking back on the pages I notice some chapters …

setting the story goal 
Hello, thanks for your advice so far, nice articles:) I have some idea about my story, about characters, plot, setting but when I tried to work on your …

Can the prologue and introduction be in the same chapter?  
Question: I recently finished my 2nd draft of the first chapter of a book I'm working on, which opens with an event that will act as a Chekhov's Gun …

I keep getting distracted 
Question: Okay so I really love writing, it is my dream to become an author. Right now I am writing a story and I have all the ideas for it in my head …

Novella 
Question: I am using your Step by Step Novel Planning Workbook to plan my Novella. I'd like to know if I need to simply adjust anything because …

Help with emotions and suspense in a story 
Hi. I am writing a novel about a disaster. There's chaos worldwide and people have nowhere to go. It's all about natural disaster, but I can't bring in …

How to put it down on paper 
Question: I've been wanting to write a book for a while now and have multiple ideas for books. My problem is I can't figure out how to get my ideas from …

External goals for my heorine in a romance novel. 
Question: I am writing a romance novel about a woman who moves to Maui from Omaha after her fiancee dumps her because he doesn't ever want to have children. …

A New Language 
Question: My book idea is fantasy and takes place in our world so most everything will be in English but I keep wanting the demons and monsters to have …

Plot Outlines and Story Arcs 
Question: On your plot outline you explain how you have an Overall, Main Character, Impact Character, and Relationship Arc. I understand how the Main, …

Is changing POV between protagonist and antagonist a bad plan? 
Question: My original story is completely from the POV of the protagonist. I feel that I can make the story more "fleshy" if I switch between protagonist …

antagonist in first chapter 
Question: Is it all right to mention the antagonist in first chapter? Most advice I come across says focus on main character and what their …

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Aliens talking 
Question: If I have aliens that speak English but still use their own language occasionally, how do I explain the meanings of those words without out …

citations needed in novel writing 
I'm a freelance editor, working on a novel containing a number of quotes, some several paragraphs long, from sources in the public domain. Also, one of …

Discouraged Writer 
Hi, I just want to ask an advice on this. As an aspiring writer, I'm aware of the fact that it's tough to publish especially for newbies today, but I …

Starting novel and switching characters  
Question: I have begun writing a novel but sometimes i get lost. It is about a woman who has left a abusive man for another man who she marries, of course …

Autobiography 
Hi I am a 27 years married working lady; I would like to write an autobiography. I am sure my story will be inspiring for many; but I'm not sure how to …

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE 
Question: I LIKE AND LOVE WRITING BUT SOMETIMES I RUN OUT OF IDEA SAND I DO NOT KNOW WHERE TO START I WOULD LIKE TO PERSUE A CAREER IN WRITING.I ALSO …

Issue in 'Character Narrator' mode 
Hello, I've been following the right techniques in writing and trying to apply them, while doing so, I faced an issue. I noticed you wrote in the Narrative …

Writers Block 
Hi, my name is Lucas, I've been writing since age 11 and I am now working towards my first full length novel, but that is where my problem comes in. For …

Antagonist's presence in the story 
Question: I am working on a series of 3 or four books telling one central story. How do you write a villain like Sauron from Lord of the Rings who has …

Backstory in chapter one.. 
Question: I'm writing a story in which the backstory, which is kind of like a flashback is important. I began the first chapter with the main character …

Manuscript Formating  
Question: How do you format a manuscript when there is differing points of view? Each chapter of my book is told from a different pov, so should I put …

Too many ideas? How many points of view?  
Hello all, I am currently writing my second novel, and the first that I hope to finish. I have two issues: my points of view when writing in third …

Three characters in three different locations at the same time. 
Question: Three characters are all doing something very important to the plot at the same time. Can I swap from one location to another in order to explain …

Which narration should I use?  
Question: I intend to focus my story around an 19 year old boy who has suffered a lot of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of his family. I want …

writing the 'loglines'... 
Question: Is this the appropriate place to put a question for 'Step by Step Novel Planning Workbook' question? Following in your workbook pages I …

Including real historical figures in fiction book. 
Question: Any pitfalls with including real historical figures having small functions in my historical novel. i.e. a short interaction between my main …

Story Goal 
Question: Just in your own opinion, is defending something an effective story goal? I doubted that's kinda passive? Answer: For example, a man defending …

Third POV 
Question: How do I make a character connect to the reader strongly even if I use third POV since the First POV can do much. Answer: You can certainly …

Character's Delimma 
Question: It’s the highlight of all stories when protagonists will corner to choose a critical decision, like in Star Wars, Luke wants to bring Vader …

Describing how to pronounce things 
Question: I need to describe how to pronounce a special word in my book. The word is simple, but the spelling is apparently usually pronounced in another …

Plot element 
Question: How many instances should there be under each plot element? Answer: Assuming you are referring to the 8 basic plot elements... There …

Ideas 
Hi,I would like to come up with a unique idea for a novel which no other author has used. I want to be the first to write the story and create something …

Structure 
Question After I organize my plot, what comes after that? Thank you. Answer: After that, assuming you have reached the point where you feel excited …

Consequences 
Question: I read somewhere that an intact plot should have two outcomes, if the protagonist fails in his goal, something bad will happen and if …

Informing the Reader without Expo-dumping 
...or how much expo-dumping can you do without completely pulling your reader out of the plot. The book I'm writing deals with a brother and sister …

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is this hook too much, or do I need more.  
Question: I am writing a story about a family who loses their immortality. I was wondering if this would be a good way to start it. "Life ceased to a …

Finding Original Ideas 
Question: I prefer to write fiction, and really want to give a supernatural element to my main character, but everything seems to already have been done. …

Two too many? 
Question: I've been working on a story for a while when I got the thought that the main character (Brooklynn) should die at the end. At first I thought …

I can't move forward 
Question: I'm 19 and I like writing. I love reading and it gives me ideas but then I get stuck and I don't know how to move on with it always feeling …

Grammar Editing Software 
Question: Is there a free link or software I can use that helps editing my grammar for my writing? Answer: Plenty of websites and companies offer …

How much is too much when writing emotional situations? 
Hello, good work here! Question: how do I make it so that I don't go overboard in detailing my character's grief but still have an effective emotional …

How do you transition smoothly from plot point to plot point? 
Question: In a "Hero's Journey," where the quest is essentially to find something (treasure, person, lost island), how do you transition from plot point …

first time writer 
Question: I have always been told I write well no matter what I am writing about. I would like to write a fiction book but I do not know where to start …

Naming chapters pros and cons 
Question: What is the pros and cons of naming the chapters? Is it suggested to do so? Or something that isn't really needed? Thanks. Answer: It's …

1st Chapter 
Question: Is it ever acceptable to not immediately reveal setting elements like "where" and "when" in the first chapter of a novel? My first scene happens …

Word Count Blues 
Hi Guys, here's my question... I'm writing my memoirs (of sorts) ..so it is non fiction, first person true narrative told in past tense...hope this …

Novell writing 
What is the Best way to arrange Plot points of my Novel Storyline (Major and Minior ones) to increase the dramatic-ness, action-ness? I also would …

importance of sequence 
Question: So I'm writing for the first time ever, and I want to know if what I'm doing is acceptable or not. I started off at the birth of the protagonist. …

Publishers 
Question: I already got a plan, a storyline and everything down in my head. I'm 12 but I don't know how to get publishers interested in my story. I'm …

Too similar to another story? 
Hi, I'm almost done with my novel (85,00 words, probably gonna end up being 95,000). In my novel, one of the main relationships is between two brothers. …

Controversial topics 
Question: In this novel I'm writing many of the subjects and characters deal with harsh and rather controversial topics. I don't know, an example is …

chapter structure 
Question: When should one chapter end so that another can begin? Answer: There are no hard rules about this, but here are a couple of guidelines …

how should I "format" my book?  
Question: I want to base a book on events in my life. I'm having two issues. 1. Its been through the course of years and need to know if I should compress …

characterisation 
Question: I'm writing a novel in third person limited on an online site, and while everyone loves the protagonist with all his quirks and awkward nature, …

Prose Repetition 
Question: Repeating some words in novel is unavoidable but in what case will your prose writing be tagged as repetitive in literary expertise? Answer: …

Middle Grade Novel 
Question: What is the ideal word count for a middle grade fantasy fiction? How dark could it be, I know there's a limitation but somehow I want to have …

main characters 
Question: Do the main characters have to have a last name and should those characters backgrounds (careers, hobbies, etc) be described at some point …

the climax complications 
Question: I am currently working on a story with two plots. One, a story of a man who turns into a terrorist and the other, a college student with his …

Should I Write or Wait? 
Hi! Thank you very much for helping me (and other writers) in developing plot. What I am currently missing, though, is the ability to write well enough. …

Story Goal 
Question: I am writing a murder mystery and the story goal at first would seem to be that the protagonist(female who discovers dead body) solve the murder. …

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External Conflict 
Question: Can a man's age be an external conflict, such as the man not being able to fight as well as he did when he was young? Answer: More likely, …

Descpription - Not enough?  
Question: I'm currently writing a fanfiction and I have a friend of mine who says I don't have a lot of details. I describe what the character does, …

How do you know how long your book will be? 
Question: I know it's not really important and probably the last thing you should worry about and you should just write your book but I can't help but …

I'm not really sure how to make this work  
Question: I started writing a vampire story about a man and his children. He's trying to find stability for his family and at the same time keep them …

describing your main character  
Question: How do I properly describe my main character's physical appearance when I am telling the story from his/her point of view? Answer: This …

Grammar 
Question: What are some common grammatical mistakes made while making a book? Answer: This is a huge topic, which whole books have been written …

Writing a strong female character 
Hi there, I am new to writing, and I am finding it very difficult writing female characters. I have two female characters, one is a more feminine …

Multiple MC's = Multiple Intros?  
Question: Not sure if this was already answered or not.. I read a few similar posts but wasn't sure. If there are multiple characters, and every story …

refering to military characters 
Question: I am currently rewriting my science fiction/naval novel. My question is how do you refer to the officer characters. For example, one of my …

Main Antagonist 
Hi, my question is regarding about my antagonist, I have here antagonist A who I decide the story's main opposition. But somehow I tempted to an idea to …

Novel Series 
Question: I want to write a series but I'm doubtful if my first book is a stand alone one. It has its own plot but there are events on it that will …

Is my novel to complicated? 
Question: I'm writing a teen werewolf novel and it's hard for me to make my characters and plot unique. The problem is that I read the Twilight series …

Will readers object to a lack of romance? 
Question: I have an idea that I have been turning over in my head for quite a while. The main characters are a boy and a girl, who are very close. However, …

Detailed description 
Question: How should the details in my description be? Should I be writing like Charles Dickens (writing too many details) while writing or can I …

Create A Plot Outline in 8 easy steps gone wrong  
Question: I followed the steps and came out with a beautiful plot summary for one character. Where it went wrong....I am working on a first person piece …

Plot twist  
Question: I'm stuck with plot twists, and kind of run out of ideas. Don't know how to move the story along and I don' want the story to slow down. How …

Best way to write a betrayal 
Question: Okay, so, quite early on in this book i'm working on one of the main characters stumbles upon a plot to kill another main character. The main …

Sticking With A Story 
Question I'm trying to write a book, and I keep having trouble sticking with a story. I know I want it to be a fantasy novel (medieval styled) and I …

Theme? 
Question: I've had difficulty understanding this for quite a while. What is theme exactly? What I mean is, why is it needed in a story? Isn't it because …

Chapters 
Question: I stumbled upon your web site and have found it extremely informative!! Thank you!! I'm a beginner writer who has finished (rough draft) …

incorporating language 
Question: I really want to get this right and need some guidance, so I've been planning to write a fictional book that includes sorcery and spells and …

Detailed Outline 
Question: I have been planing my novel since January 1. Your site has been a goldmine of support! Now that I am ready to outline my book, I need more …

POV  
Question: This question has really been bumming me out and slowing me down even though it may be quite simple. When you're writing in first person but …

Quoting Someone Else's Work in a Novel 
Question: I'm writing a fictional novel, and I would like to quote from a few different sources (quotes my characters say in reference to another's actual …

Book art 
Question: This has really been bugging me. I'm not writing a child's book. I'm trying to write a serious authentic Adult Novel taking place in a fictional …

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Languages 
Question: What if you decide to add a new language that you've created and already finished perfecting it but don't know how to incorporate it into the …

describing fantasy/fiction  
Question: If you're writing a fictional book with a made up world and made up land with settings never seen before, does the "show, not tell" tip apply?? …

flashback or narrarated past? 
Question: My MC has a really dark/sad past. I hint at it vaguely a few times throughout the book. A while in, I finally explain his past straightforwardly. …

Writing a story  
Hello there I'm a 12 year old girl who wants to become an author. Right now I'm in the process of writing a book but I think I could add more things to …

Making an outline 
Question: What questions will help me to efficiently write a novel? For example answering the question,"Who is my audience?","What message do I want …

How to select a topic? 
Question: How to select a topic? What are my first steps? Answer: Inspiration can come from a huge variety of sources. The first thing you …

I'm thinking on writing an animal fantasy novel or story. 
Question: Ever since I've seen the Lego show:Legend of Chima I wanted to write an animal fantasy like "Chima" but better. For example there would be …

Deep Third Person Limited POV 
Answers in bold below Hi, I thank you for your immediate and quick response to my earlier question about logical story and its repercussion on …

Planning 
Question: Does it tend to be better if you plan out the whole story and then write it all out, or to just start writing and see what happens? Answer: …

Prioritizing Multiple Writing Projects 
Hello again, Glen! I was watching the penultimate episode of "Sons Of Anarchy" tonight (cried the entire episode), and at some point I read that series …

Similarities to other works 
Question: What do you do when you come up with an idea and plot for a novel, and it turns out that another author has already written something very …

Chapter 
Question: Is there a set amount of words needed in a chapter of a book? Answer: No. The length of chapters can vary both within a book and according …

gods and goddess 
Question: I was wondering if I were to write a book with gods and goddesses that are already in mythology if it was better to recreate/add my own version/ideas …

Logical Story  
Hi, I'm a member of a critique group and actively working on my second novel. Some critters complain about the logic of the story. They say it's impossible …

Alternate Universe Tips 
Question: I would like to write a story that takes place in an alternative universe. The differences between it and ours are very small and almost nonexistent, …

Sex: How To Utilize It Effectively and What Is Considered "Too Much"? 
Question: It's been a long time since I have asked a question, and I have been getting SUCH GREAT advice in the questions that hit my inbox almost daily. …

Developing your writing style 
Question: Your blog is amazing. You've done a great job in helping people like me. I have a thousand questions on mind now but anyways I have just started …

Point of view 
Question: If I use third person won't it be awkward? I mean, if I know exactly how the other person feels. I want it to sound real. Suppose I use third …

From one story to a completely different story. 
Question: When you write one short story do you stick with that one story or can you make another completely different after that one? Answer: You …

how do I make my detective story credible? 
Question: How do I write a credible detective story? I'm stumped on how to write a credible detective story without violating the law of copyright. …

background of minor characters 
Question: How do I reveal the background of my minor character, who is my main character's best friend, in third person POV? Answer: If you mean …

POV 
Question: Is it better to write in the character's 1st POV or 3rd POV? Answer: There's no "better" or"worse." Each mode has its own benefits and …

Church Scenes 
Question: I'm writing a murder story novel that features numerous deaths. But I have a scene set on a Sunday in church. I have done the sermon part. …

Does my protagonist's story goal have to involve other characters in some way? 
Question: Okay, I have this story where my protagonist's story goal is to reconnect with his brother. The protagonist's brother has grown detached with …

story structure 
Question: How detailed should the structure of my story be without overloading the reader and still maintain it's integrity? Answer: Good structure …

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more than one book in a series 
Question: I have a few ideas for how my books are going to lay out. I would like to see which is the least time consuming, but the best way to bring …

Archetypal Characters, Can the Skeptic be the "Evil One?"  
Question: Is it possible to Have your Antagonist (avoid, reconsider) Character NOT be the evil guy but to be someone who wants the Protagonist (pursue, …

How many points of view should I have? 
Question: I can't decide which person the point of view should be. Originally I had 5 POV's for the five main characters, but now I've gone down to two …

Setting 
Question: How can I plan how can I plan and develop the setting for my novel? Answer: The best settings to use are places you are intimately familiar …

how to start 
Question: I really want to be a writer like Dave Pelzer. He wrote about him as a child and how he was abused. I had a dysfunctional home life. I want …

Is little information at first ok 
Question: My story has to do with an assassin. The story starts out as the main character is after someone within a building and from there the audience …

God's Child 
Question: The setting is in Ethiopia and the book is being written in Amharic language. The novel is about a mom, who as pregnant teen was thrown …

citations in fiction 
Question: Am writing a longish short story, pure fiction. Hence acknowledging T.S. Eliot as the author of a couple of lines out of "April is the cruelest …

Have no idea where to begin writing a novel? 
Question: My question with novel writing is where do I begin? I have an idea but have no idea how to even get started? Answer: There are two main …

How do I know if I should add an idea to a book? 
Question: This is kind of an opinion question I guess but I'm just not sure what to do or well if it would work. Ok so my story idea is about different …

reality of characters 
Question: How can I make my characters into "real" people? Answer: I'm going to assume you want your characters to "seem" like real people, because …

When drafting a short story, at what point in the plot should the story’s central problem be introduced? 
Question: When drafting a short story, at what point in the plot should the story’s central problem be introduced? Answer: It really doesn't matter, …

Don't know my main charachter 
If I have already started but don't know my main character what do I do? Will I start again? Answer: Some writers, namely pantsers, prefer to discover …

Dialogue 
Question: I am currently writing a science fiction with dialogue and this is my first time writing. I'm well into the book with a word count of over …

novel writing difficulty  
Question: Is it easy to write a novel at the age of 13? Answer: It's not easy to write a novel at any age, but it can be quite rewarding (personally, …

Organizing your material and scenes and chapters 
Question: I have a tendency to write scenes at random. In other words, no order at all, but as they come to me. What I have by the time I'm half way …

Trilogy vs.series and length 
Question: I've written my first novel, it's been edited and I am in the second re-write prior to publishing. My editor advises that it is too long (600 …

Issues :3 
Question: I'm unsure as to which category this would fall under, but my writing partner and I are having trouble agreeing or understanding things to …

First person narrative 
Question: I am trying to write my first story and I am writing in the first person. In the story the person may or may have not died so that is giving …

Main Character and Thematic and Moral Issue Illustrations 
Hello, I have two burning questions. 1) My story is about domestic violence; however, it focuses on the wife being the perpetrator. The story …

Fonts 
Question: If I want to be dramatic in my writing what font should I use? Answer: Never use fancy fonts in a manuscript. The drama should be apparent …

Immortal/Mortal Romane 
Hello, I'm having trouble with a story I'm writing. One of the characters is a new species/race that I created, they're immortal but age normally until …

Titles 
Question: How do you come up with a title? Can a title be long or are they usually short? How do you know if a title works for that book? Most trilogies …

How to describe hair styles? 
Question: How do you describe hair? Both guy and girl hair. I really have no idea how to describe different hair styles. What words do you use? I can …

About novel writing........... 
Question: What to do when I am stuck in a paragraph while writing novel? Answer: Here are some possibilities... 1. Step back and remind yourself …

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Should I write in 1st person POV or 3rd? 
Question: I do not have much experience in 3rd person POV, but it seems a bit harder because you have the limited and omniscient types. The majority …

1st does size matter? With chapters. Insertion? How to get my own font inside my gadget. And last, Usage? What is a good writing program to use. 
Hi, I'm Lauren. I am taking a swing at living my dream and so, I have started my first novel that is a fantasy fiction, mythical whole other world type …

How to do a phone conversation? 
Question: In my book there are a couple time when a character is talking on a phone or through an ear piece to someone. How would I do the conversation? …

Something has to go wrong 
Question: Character 1 is going abroad to spend time with his friend. Things have to go wrong here before and after they meet. I've put in a delayed flight, …

How do I pick up a story after a break? 
Question: I have the beginning of a great story in my head, and I've written 4 draft pages. But when I stop writing for the day, I can't find the energy …

throughline 
Question: What is the difference between throughline and theme? Answer: The term "throughline" is similar to "plotline" or "storyline" in that it …

The Setting 
Question: How do you describe the setting? What is important and how deep should the writer go. It's about the characters, the setting is just the place …

They Don't Know they are in love 
I recently started writing I guess what you could call a new take on Beauty and the Beast but I am having trouble writing romantic scenes because I don't …

Prologue integration 
Question: My novel begins with a prologue that depicts an action sequence involving the three main characters (2 protagonists, 1 antagonist). The sequence …

Starting Stories With Flashbacks/Prologues 
Question: I enjoy writing, but I usually tend to start all of my stories with a Flashback/Prologue. It's becoming repetitive, and for the story idea …

personal family history 
Question: One of my daughters would like to know what I am writing about, but I don't think she'd like me to write my personal family history. I just …

scenes 
Hi your site is wonderful. I've learned so much. My question is if I'm planning for sixteen chapters and I have 4 scenes should there be one scene per …

Protecting intellectual property 
Question: I have done quite a bit of research about sending a finished novel to publishers, agents, etc - but I am concerned about protecting my intellectual …

fantasy with two plots.... 
Hello I'm starting to write a fantasy trilogy book about a young girl who is from a small town down south. She is from a broken home and wants to get out. …

Too Little time 
Question: I really want to be a published writer, but schoolwork and family time take up a lot of my time. What can I do to find more time to write? …

Mythical creatures in a modern setting... how would a modern-day protagonist react to meeting a fairy tale creature? 
Hi there, I'm currently trying to develop an outline for a story idea that's been churning around my mind for ages now. It's a romance/modern day fairy …

An autobiography that is anonymous, or made into a fiction 
Question: I would like to tell my story for many reasons. To help others in along their journey in life and to help make sense of my own life and past. …

Changing a character's archetype 
Question: Is a character's archetype based on its final state when the story ends, or can a character's archetype change one or more times during the …

Determining Time Period 
Question: How can I decide what time period to use for my novel? The names of most of the characters have been decided upon, but I don't know if the …

Romance 
Question: How do you write romance in stories? I've been wanting to include it in some of my stories, but I always come up with something boring and …

Naming a sequel 
Question: If you wrote a book and it got published and there's a sequel to it do you have to come up with a title? If you can't think of anything can …

Sequels 
Question: If you're writing a book and you have a planned sequel in your head like 7 books and you get the first one published do you tell your publisher …

What type of research needs to be done? 
Question In my book I want one of my characters to be a pretty good hacker and as cool as it would to be one I am not and I know really nothing about …

When to get an agent 
Question: I thought that you got an agent and then they helped you get a publisher but someone told me you usually get a publisher and then after you …

Do I need an agent? 
Question: Do you need an agent or can you just have a publisher? Do you not need an agent and it's just better to have one? If you don't have an agent …

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How to do a time jump 
Question: I don't want to do a prologue and I want the first chapter to be how the world got that way and what the character went through to get where …

Increasing my vocabulary 
Question: I am an aspiring writer, aged 14. I am working on my first romance story. I read the advice you gave about learning big words. I am not sure …

What sounds cooler? 
Question: In the end I know it's my decision but I just need opinions and Yahoo didn't really give much help. So I'm thinking about creating a book where …

How to come up with a title 
Question: I know that the publisher usually comes up with the title or can change it if they want. But you need to come up with a title for your book …

Creating a powerful scene (character's emotions) 
Question: In any of my book ideas someone dies or someone get very emotionally hurt. I picture what the character are doing and how they act but I don't …

books with the same name 
Question: If you come up with the name for a book but it's the same name as another book. Is that ok? Or is that not allowed? Answer: Titles cannot …

prologue or not 
Question: I'm not sure if I should do a prologue or not because there's stuff that happens before that explains how the world got the way it is and then …

Details 
Question: I can come up with a scene and totally picture everything in my head like a movie but I'm having trouble adding detail to things so others …

Prologue 
Question: I planned on having a prologue and introducing the main character at the end of it. Should I do that or should I wait till the first chapter? …

Who should read my book? 
Question After I finish my book should I have some of my friends and family read it before I send it to an agent or publisher so I know if it's good …

Dialogue 
Question: I'm not sure how to write my dialogue should it be just in one line like "We have to do it." "Why?" or in separate lines like "We …

Character relationships keep changing 
Question: I had an idea for a relationship between my main character and another character but then I changed it to another character then changed it …

How do I come up with the dialogue and little details in a scene? 
I have an unlimited number of story ideas. My outlines are thorough and complete. I can give a summary of each chapter, know how I want the overall story …

First Chapter length 
Question: My understanding is publisher's only read the first chapter of a manuscript before they accept or reject, My first Chapter is only eight and …

more than one prequel 
Question: I want to do a prequel for my character for before the events in the actual series and it's for the last 10 years of her life. I thought about …

Naming a group 
Question: In my book I have normal humans and then humans with powers but I'm not exactly sure what to call them. Right now it's just superhumans but …

Prequel 
Question: In my book I have a character that when you meet her she's already been through a lot and met a lot of people and just thought of the idea …

Agents and Publishers 
Question: Ok I'm no where near trying to find a agent or publisher but something I've always wondered is that well you pick an agent that does your genre …

Onomatopoeia 
Question: My book is in first person but I was wondering if I could use words like Bam, Bang, or Boom like if the sentence was something like "I was …

Chapters 
Question: I know that it doesn't really matter but I'm going to ask any way. How many chapters should be in a novel? Like what between what is usually …

Titles 
Question: I have the idea for my book but I can't think of a title but I was wondering do I need to come up with a title or does someone else do that …

Grammar 
Question: I'm not that great in grammar like I never know when to put a comma and I know that is a problem if I want to be a writer and I've looked up …

How to do flashbacks 
Question: In my book I have a character that has been through a lot before you meet her and I want to show some of the stuff she's been through and some …

Protagonist with 2 goals? 
Question: I am working on a book for a musical. Question, can the protagonist have two main objectives...for instance, one to achieve his dreams of …

Plot: Spontenaity vs. Structure 
Question: How can you combine both spontaneity and structure when outlining the plot of a novel? Answer: I would hazard to guess that no writer …

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Prologue or Not 
Question: I have 2 ideas for an opening sentence and I don't know which will be better. 1. Would give some background like saying that 100 years ago …

Using the names of songs and movies 
Question: Are you allowed to use the names of songs and movies or do you need permission like "We listened to (name of song) along the way." or "It will …

Being too graphic 
Question: In my book a few of my characters get kidnapped and tortured and I want to be pretty detailed about it so you can really feel what they're …

Writing Memories / Flashbacks 
Question: What is the proper way write memories or flashbacks in a novel? While I am unsure of how to integrate a flashback into a story, I am more …

A mythical question 
Question: I'm writing a novel based on mythology, the main antagonist is from mythology but I am aware that other franchises have used Nergal in their …

What to write first  
Question: I have followed your 10 step guide on how to start writing a novel, and now have a fully planned novel. Now where do I start writing? Should …

two main characters 
Question: I'm writing a series and the first book is about introducing one of the main characters to that world and he's telling the story but then the …

Questions About Manuscript Format 
Question: What does it mean to double space your manuscript? Answer: It means that there is space equal to a blank line between each line of text. …

How do I write an action/sci-fi novel aimed for young teenagers.? 
Hello, I'm currently writing a novel about mythical characters set in a modern world with the main character being a fifteen year old kid. I was …

How do I get the book out there for people to read? 
Question: I want to write a small book. Who do I contact to publish it, and proofread, and edit it? Answer: If you want to go the traditional route, …

Using a deceased person in a novel 
Question: I'm writing my first fiction novel, and I would like to know if it's okay to use a real person from the past who is deceased in a fiction novel. …

I came up with an idea but it's similar to another book 
Question: I read a book and it gave me a great idea for a book and the book would have some similarities but other than that I think it's completely …

Writing in a language that isn't your mother language? 
Question: I'm currently 20 years old and the last 5 years I have been writing up a story I have held dear since I was 9 years old. The only problem …

How do I go about writing a book that is loosely based on my life? 
Question: I am an 80s fanatic and know a lot and love a lot of what happened from 1980-1989 and would like to write a book about it. The problem is that …

Development 
Question: An agent told me my manuscript has "way too much development work" for him to represent me. Where do I begin to make improvements? Answer …

Copyrighting issues 
Hiya I tried asking this before but I don't think I sent it correctly. My question was, due to my novel I am using several vehicles and was curious …

Novel Fonts and spacing. 
Question: I have written several screen plays, but was wondering what font and spacing should you use to write a novel? Answer: If you're used to …

Basing my story somewhere that I live? 
Question: I live in Tennessee, somewhere that's probably not too popular, and I wanted to write about it in my book. It seemed easier to me, but I'm …

Having a same sex relationship with characters? 
Question: Okay, so, I have this story I want to write where the main character is gay. But, I'm scared to write and try and publish something like that …

Too much clog? 
Question: My friend and I are in the process of writing a book together. We decided at the beginning that it would take place in a different planet that …

Writing dillema 
Question: I've begun writing officially my novel, the only problem is that I haven't decided who my main antagonist will be. I have a few candidates …

Stuck on getting started 
Question: I have an idea about what I think is a great horror/suspense novel that could easily turn into a movie. The problem is I don't know how to …

Goal setting 
Question: I am working on a family saga with one over arching goal - financial security by one of the protagonists. Can there be sub goals in a good …

avoiding plagerism 
Question: I draw cartoons from a variety of books in my spare time and have given a bit of thought to writing an adventure story about some of those …

Having a hard time connecting my characters to the plot 
Hi I really find the website helpful. I'm having a hard time relating my characters to main plot. My story is about a young desert prince soon to rule …

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Problem with description 
Question: I have real trouble describing things in my novel (people, places, etc.) It makes my writing feel weak and amateurish. I also love to reuse …

Starting newbie 
Question: So basically, in order to develop my writing skills I just write, So I have a novel I want to make, I just write my novel now to develop my …

How do I not tire of my story? 
Question: I'm thirteen years old and have been writing since I was eight. Since then, I've completed multiple short stories and one novella, none of …

How to keep your passion for your story 
Question: I've always wanted to write a book. I've experimented for years, often times knowing an idea was just for practice. But now I think I've …

Good Novel Writing Software 
Question: Could you recommend a good Novel Writing Software package? Answer: There are plenty of novel writing software programs available. The …

How Do I Copyright My Material? 
Hello Glen! It's been awhile since I have written in for a question, though I have participated in the comments section of several questions answered …

Bloody accents 
Question: I'm writing a story where a character is Nubian. She is raised in a small village called fangross. anyway she is raised there and is later …

Dramatica's Drivers -- What? Where? How? 
Question: I've read your article series "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps" and it revolutionized my outlining. I'm a stronger plotter now than I …

Is it bad to have an unlikable person as the protagonist? 
Hi Glen, I'm currently working on a novel where the main protagonist has to save the world (anymore than that and I'll give away my story). The only problem …

publishing 
Question: Can an author write a novel and get it published if he/she isn't a qualified journalist or a writer? Answer: Absolutely. Or, to put it …

How to write a believable battle scene? 
Question: I'm writing a battle sequence that takes place in Boston. I was wondering how do I make it seem realistic, should I focus more on the destruction …

How to create a complex story outline 
Hi, The reason that I am asking the question is because my story doesn't follow the usual outline involved in storytelling. It is more autobiographical …

Writer's Block. Sort of. 
Hey there. Great site! I've been reading over every article and learning a lot. My problem is this: I get stuck in my writing not when I'm confused …

Do you think about the balance of elements when you're writing? 
Hi, you've helped so much with the structure of my novel, but this question is about the finer details. As you're writing, do you consciously think about …

endorsements 
Question: Should book endorsements be edited by an editor? Answer: You should get the person giving the endorsement to approve of all edits or corrections …

Too many writing ideas at once 
Question: How do you write down ideas when they come quickly, and sometimes all at once? They also tend to be the whole story played out as a movie; …

Can I use street and building names? 
Question: I'm writing a story and I was just curious, are street and building names and landmarks acceptable to use? Answer: Certainly you can use …

main character 
Question: Can two people be seen or known as the main character or can there be more than two? Answer: You can tell a story from more than one point …

Topic Ideas 
Question: What is an effective and relatively quick way to think of good story starters or ideas that the book could be based around, especially if you …

descriptive text 
Question: How can I describe a building in which a gunfight involving maybe a dozen people takes place. Answer: It's usually easier if you …

Character Dynamic/ General Plot 
Hi All, Thank you for taking the time to read my questions/ concerns. I am only about 35 pages into a fictional story that I think could turn into …

Trying to decide on writing fiction or non-fiction? 
Hi, I am an acupuncturist, homeopath etc. They are the treatments I do but mainly I counsel the patients on making the connection between their physical …

How to write in the right way 
Question: I want to write a romance novel about someone who every day deals with everyone else's problems but cannot deal with her own love life problems. …

publishing 
Question: What characteristics get a book published? And how is the publishing done? Answer: Writing teacher, Brian Henry, often says in his workshops …

how important is character  
Question: How important is character in a story? Are the names of the characters in your story important? Answer: There is no story without character, …

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Character Description  
Question: What methods other than similes and metaphors do you use to describe a character? Answer: The best way to reveal a personality is to show …

Choosing Settings 
Question: When you are writing your stories how do you decide where you are going to set it? Answer: A lot depends on your individual creative …

story structure 
Question: How much planning is required when it comes to structuring a book? Answer: It all depends on the writer. Some writers (pantsers) can …

When and how to use quotation marks and or Italics and reduced font size. 
Question: Here's a potential headache though certainly not a very, very important problem. Advice would be very much appreciated though; I can't find …

Writing emotions 
Question: You allude to writing emotions in a story with "You'll know you have it right when the story flows in a way that is emotionally compelling." …

Genre conventions 
Question: To a question, you included the statement, "Each genre has certain conventions and can give you ideas about how you might use those conventions …

Names that sound similar 
Hello Glen. I'd like to start off by saying that this website has been a tremendous help to me! In all my searching the web for instruction and tips on …

Use of fictional characters in my novel 
Question: Is it legal to have a team of doctors in two or three scenes at the end of a book be "Quackenbush, Hackenbush, Hrfurrurr, Howard, Fine and …

base on a true story death row immigration 
Question: I have a true story to tell. First time writer. Cannot get it on paper. Answer: It sounds like a great story, but please don't take offense …

Getting the universe right and writing it all down 
Question: I'm working on a collection of stories set in an alternate future and need to find a good way of presenting the brief history of the universe …

Previously established creatures 
Question: I want to write a book and use a previously established creature and universe. What kind of permissions do I need? Answer: UPDATED: Generally, …

Similar scenes 
Hi there. After almost finishing my novel I have since read/watched different media and read/seen some parts of plot or scene that is similar, (in one …

without the complete 8 easy steps 
Question: I've been writing since I was 10 years old .. Now I'm 15 .. ^_^ the thing here is, I write stories with just 3-5 of these 8 elements. Do you …

Jump Forward 
Question: Is it a sound idea to start off a novel with an event then flash forward several years? If it is, is here a reliable way of showing that …

Jumping Perspectives 
Question: This doesn't have to do with a specific story I'm writing, but it's always been something that I've been confused about. I'm not sure how to …

8 step guide- what if the goal changes? 
Question: I've been using your 8 steps to help me flesh out my plot for my book, and it's been really helpful! I am having problems with a couple of …

Writing with multiple leads 
Question: I'm working on my first book right now, a historical fiction novel focusing on a specific family, and because of that I have multiple characters …

Opposing characters 
Question: I have these two characters,one of which is the main protagonist, who have a "remarkably alike yet critically different" dynamic. My main …

Chapter One - Opening with Speech 
Question: Can I start the first paragraph of chapter one with speech? Many Thanks B. Answer: Opening with a line of dialogue is a good way to plunge …

Two narrators 
Question My protagonist is also the main character. At various points I want to have either the MC or the author be the narrator. I assume that is acceptable. …

Lengthening My Book 
Question: I am having trouble making my book longer. I feel like I am at the climax of the novel on Chapter 7 and my chapters are already short. How …

Point of view switch in flashback. 
Question: My story is in first person POV, but I need to flashback to a scene in another character's perspective. Rather than have this character tell …

The Plot? 
Question: I know you may have found yourself answering the same question over and over, but how can I figure out a plot? Many times I have attempted …

scary book writing  
Question: I want to write a scary book about an old school on top of a hill but I am stuck on characters and how to start. Answer: I suggest you …

Sequence of events 
Question: I'm a little confused about breaking down the sign posts into sequences. Does the sequence event that is broken into four parts Inciting …

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Drawing a Plot Diagram 
Question: After reading the wonderful article, "How to Creat a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I am wondering if the 8 plot elements can be drawn in the …

need to stick to one idea. 
Question: How can i stick to one single idea while writing the script? It is said whatever ideas comes to mind we need to put down. I do same, when …

Too many names for a character. 
Hello I have a question concerning names for a character. I have been writing my story called Elias for over a year now, where one character has a …

Protagonists 
Question: Can a novel have two main protagonists? Answer: Two protagonists within one story is not considered a viable option simply because they …

3rd person 
Question: I am a little confused about the difference between tight third person and omniscient. I am writing a young adult historical fiction and I …

Naming Characters 
Question: I am writing a book detailing a very personal family tragedy. In writing the book, I am using real names, but I do not want to use the real …

Chapters 
Question: How long should an average chapter be? Answer: There are no hard and fast rules regarding the length of chapters, but there are some guidelines …

Prologue 
Question: I have a prologue for my book, but I don't feel it will open the story very well; chapter one feels like a better opener. However, I can't …

Flashbacks and recollections 
Question: My novel is the telling of a classic medieval villain's life from his own point of view. The history and setting are real, and the villain …

The Impact Character 
Question: I just finished reading your article on Writing an Outline, and the only snag I've really encountered in it is the Impact Character Throughline. …

Creating Problems and Action... 
Question: I am fifteen years old and am beginning a 'realistic fantasy' novel (similar to Percy Jackson series, where the real world is meshed with a …

Which Beginning Should I Use??? 
I have two beginnings I could potentially use for my book. I asked a question here earlier about it and I know I seem desperate but I'm just very confused …

I don't know what title to give my story 
Question: I have found a plot for a story I like but i can't seem to think of a fitting title to call it. any ideas on how to come up with a great story …

About research 
Question: I am writing about a thief, ones that uses computers to steal money. All I know about computers is net surfing, writing my stories and yes …

Impact Character Outline 
Hi, so I plan to write in first person and got curious about the impact character. When you say "The impact character's story" do you mean that they should …

Shapeshifting Fiction 
Question: I'm writing a book about wolves, time travel, and magic. But I'm not sure how to start my book. I know it's going to have two main characters …

Story Goal 
Question: What if the story goal changes halfway through the book, due to a discovery unbeknownst to the protagonist? Can a story goal change? Answer: …

No plot 
Question: I have a really good idea for a novel but I think of it more than a chain of events with the same characters and in the same setting rather …

Start at the begnning or go back in flashbacks? 
Question: My story is set in a dystopian society where mythological Titans rule the world. The main character is a slave but before the Titans took over …

Descriptive Writing/Showing not telling 
Question: I am someone who uses lots of similes, metaphors, personifications and other literary devices when I write a description. Does doing this help …

Website citations 
Question: I'm writing a non-fiction book. I'm really struggling with website citations. What information is absolutely necessary for website citations? …

A novel never ending. 
Question: I am currently writing a novel called Elias (name of the main character). The whole story is intended to to introduce a series of novels …

More Than One Goal? 
Hi, so in the "How to write a novel" area, I read that there's a main goal. I got a bit confused because in most of my stories, the goal changes multiple …

Describing the Town In My Novel 
Glen, In describing the little town where my novel takes place, do I put the names of stores and churches in italics or just capitalize the first letter …

story goal and chapters 
I liked your tips and information.. I am working on a novel in which a girl lives in other world with her boyfriend.the other world is same as ours...she …

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Interesting, as now I need help in God or god in a sentence? 
Hello again Glen and thank you so much about the way to write numbers as with hyphens. Now I have a question on how you put God when it's a sentence like: …

What about the rule of the - at the end of a sentence... 
Hello Glen! I'm having a blast writing;however, is there a rule I read somewhere about not having a hyphened word at the end of a sentence {book is fiction} …

Use of other authors titles 
Question: Is it in order to make use of a phrase in one's story that form the title of another book? For example: A writer in African wrote a popular …

endings  
Question: So i wrote a book and finished I but its a lot shorter than I would like it and the ending still need work. How should I fix it? Answer: …

How to write the content of my book title 
Question: I want to write a short informative book about the life of fostering children and what I think or can prove has helped children to be successful …

Too many stories to tell? 
Question: I started with a simple story. After that one was finished I began writing the next one, and then everything went out of control. Now I stand …

Question about time scale of getting an editor 
Hi. How long does it take on average between sending a query to agents and getting a contract with an editor? Also, how many agents is it advisable …

First person or not?  
Question: I am wondering whether I should write in first person or maybe have a distant take. I think this question must already be asked, but I couldn't …

Short Stories 
Question: What is the best technique for writing short stories? I am never able to squish enough information into a short story to make it feel complete …

Plot outlines for subplots? 
Question: Thank you for your helpful 8-step plot outline! I was wondering if you recommend having similar outlines for subplots? For example, if the …

how to start 
Question: I already have an idea of the story but i don't know how to write or what to write i just start it but i feel as if my work isn't just good …

Historical novel 
Question: I have written a historical novel covering a 20 year period, encompassing 3 wars. I used a soldier's diary as a vehicle to provide historical …

Personalities 
Question: Can you make a list of character personalities that I can use in my writing? Because I'm sure there are interesting ones I haven't seen or …

Fictionalized Characters based on real people 
Question: I started writing as soon as I could hold a pencil, in one form or another, and as soon as I realized people LIKED what I wrote, I did so as …

Writer's Block/Copying 
Hello (Insert name or psuedonym of choice in the following blank: _______________), I've tried and failed at writing various novels on differing …

Trouble with story goal 2 
Thank you so much for your advice! You've really kick started my creative process :) The dream world is affecting the real world in a few ways. It's …

Follow Up on Writing a Portion of A Sermon Into My Story 
Glen One of the characters in my manuscript is a minister and I asked you about how to write a portion of his sermon into the story. You said that there …

Trouble with story goal 
Question: I am having a lot of trouble with finding my story goal. There seem to be several! 1) The story takes place in both the real world and a …

historical fiction 
Question: If I use real people from 1806 in my historical fiction, do I need to be ready to footnote it? How can I avoid doing so? Change names? Put …

plot development 
Question: I am writing a psychological novel and at the moment have good ideas about my characters in terms of their back story, motivations and also …

Giving away the plot 
Question: Should the synopsis give away the major plot twists? My feeling is that if you do, the agent/editor/prospective publisher won't get the …

Dramatica related: Impact Character Signposts 
Question: I'm writing a metaphysical thriller in which my main character, after a few hurdles, finds himself thrown into a new and twisted sort of world. …

Chapter Length 
Glen, So far, the chapters in my manuscript range from 2,000 to 3,500 words. Is this acceptable for a fiction manuscript? Can chapters be shorter or longer …

Through lines 
Question: This website has been very helpful to me, however, I'm still a little confused about through lines. I know there should be 4, the overall, …

how to know if I have the talent to become an author. 
Hi my name is Gina and the idea of becoming an author has always being in my head and in my heart. I am a house wife, which means I work 24/7, but if …

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Main Character 
Question: Glen, My story is about my main character spending time in a cottage on a lake in the woods during the winter. She is normally at the lake …

Narration : main character v omniscient  
Question: Loved your articles on this subject.. My novel sets out to tell the story from the main character's POV. However there are certain situations …

Timing Writing Sessions 
Question: I just came back from a life-changing, world altering experience that has cemented the calling for me to be a writer/author into my head as …

Sticking with it 
Question: I started writing a story but I get another idea for a different one, then it gets stuck with me. Should I stick with the one I already started …

Setting the scene for a dream 
Question: The character in my manuscript is an older adult dreaming about her childhood. The dream takes place during the summer when she was sixteen. …

"How To Best Utilize Video" OR "When Or When Not To Utilize Video" 
Question: I will soon be starting a series of How To Manuals on copyrighted materials that I have developed over time. I want to utilize embedded …

Use of Graphics, Images In Storytelling 
Question: I have some concerns about the use of graphics and/or images in the telling of a story. For one, I am concerned as to whether it is wise …

using real people as my charaters 
Question: What is the the law on using real live people as my characters in my novel? For instance I want to write a fiction novel about the Vietnam …

Autobiography 
Question: My brothers and sisters would like me to write a autobiography about our lives as children. What we went through and how we made it! Just want …

story goal 
Hi, I am sorting my story and the characters. But I have a little problem. My novel is going to be about a few protagonists with a separate lives from …

Quoting Official Sources and Using Snippets of Government or Company Forms 
Hello, I am writing a report currently that is a how to that references real world government agencies and benefits organizations that would, in a …

To Finish or Not to Finish 
Question: Every time I come up with an idea for a novel, I start writing and then come up with a better idea that I think has a better chance of getting …

Setting vs. Culture 
Question: I want to use setting of Victorian era London in my novel, but I don't like the culture, especially when it comes to the way they address each …

An author's salary 
Question: I am still confused about an author's salary. Could you go a little deeper about royalties and the difference in incomes between self publishers …

format 
Question: I am writing a fictional adult fantasy book. What size page and margins should you use? I am typing on standard 8 1/2 X 11 inches pages. …

putting too much information in the first chapter 
Question I have a hard time when it comes to the first few chapters, I always seem to put too much information about the character or the plot and I …

Writing Trilogies: Episodes, Books or Chapters? 
Question: I have been afraid to ask this question for fear that it would be too convoluted, so I will take a cleansing breath real quick and then attempt …

Selecting A Winning Title 
Question: Just like this question is titled, "Selecting A Winning Title", I realize before really asking my question that some titles are just a matter …

I don't have my 8 elements - does this matter? 
Question: I have an idea for a story, the main characters and background characters, and I have my goal(s) but I don't have any of the other elements, …

Problems Weaving Multiple Plotlines 
Dear Glen, I am writing a story about a suicidal young mortician who talks to the dead in his head. He gets conned by his boss, a guru like character, …

The Evilness of Opposition  
Hey there! I've been working hard over the past weeks to build the foundation on which my plot will be built. I have solid ideas, but several holes …

Goal and Purpose 
Hello, the kind hearted Mr. Strathy First of all I would like to wish you a happy new year :) I'm so glad I found your website here, it helps me so …

starting the first sentence 
Question: What should or shouldn't I start with? Answer: Some guidelines (not rules): 1. Start with something intriguing that makes the reader …

Consequences. Follow up 
So I've been thinking about the Scrooge/Marley example and someone commented on one of my posts. So with those 2 bits of advice I realize that I have …

I forgot the standard form in a fictional book? 
Hello, I'm back and forgot some things as I'm just about ready to type my work; however I forgot the marginal as well as font, font size etc. I've written …

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Writing a first novel through Dramatica Pro 4 
Does Dramatica Pro4 have all the essential tools needed to successfully write a first Novel? No, you also need a good writing style. Dramatica is …

Finding the story goal follow up 
Question: This is a follow up on some advice you gave me yesterday. So maybe the story is about impulsive responses and alcoholism is one of these. Main …

Finding the story goal  
Question You gave me some great advice a few days ago when I asked about deciding what a character wants: "Maybe they all want validation, love, or …

What the main character wants 
Question: I love writing characters and settings, the intricate details are what I get tied up in. I have started several novels with a situation in …

Signposts 
hello again, So I'm developing my story like this: a 12 yo girl (ex:Ros) lives a hard life. Her mother has to take care her crazy step-father and her …

Anttagonists in a Quest Plot 
Question: In a quest plot, if one antagonist is vanquished (whether it is a person or a thing or a condition), can something else take it's place? …

Advice on How To Come Up With A Title  
Question: Regardless of length or type of work (article, report, how-to book, vignette, novel, epic series, etc), are there different considerations …

Story Is Somewhere Inbetween? 
Question: So this question is simple really, and I hope you can easily help me. While I was going along with you Climax and Ending, I couldn't decide …

nonfiction novel 
Question What type of questions do I ask the person that I am writing about? Answer: I'm assuming you mean you're writing a biography. Novels, by …

organizing non fiction 
Question: what are some additional methods for organizing non-fiction? Answer: It rather depends on the type of non-fiction. If you're writing …

Help With Martial Arts 
Question: I really want to write a sort of martial arts epic, and since I write in fictional worlds it only makes sense to have fictional martial arts, …

Oops? 
Question: I'm trying to write a novel sort of half-way between steampunk and fantasy, sort of "swords meet early guns". Think of a more Western version …

Young High School Writer 
Question: So I'm in high school (very obviously) and I'm very interested in writing. I've read some tips about how I should take classes, but I'm a little, …

Writing Websites  
Question: I absolutely love websites like www.figment.com but I fear if I share any of my writing on those websites for critique that someone might steal …

Young Writers 
Question: What is our advice to young teen writer's trying to make in the world as an author? Answer: Much of the traditional advice still holds …

how do i start? 
Question: I've been trying to a book. I don't know what to do. Should I just start writing? I know what I want to write, but don't know how to start …

Coincidence in Writing 
Question: I have been struggling with a problem for years now. I have often found that when I get halfway through a project, or finish it, I find something, …

A fun little project 
Question: I was reading an article on how to write a good fantasy novel and I came across an idea that struck me as odd and was something I never thought …

Prologue or Chapter 1?? 
Question: I start my latest book with a small newspaper item that is important to the plot. It is three paragraphs (about 9 lines) all italicized. Is …

Locations 
Hi, I have yet another question. When I begin my story, I usually first think of the setting. I always ask myself the following: should I have real …

Chapter Length 
Question: My chapters are coming up a bit short. I've been told the average chapter is around 5000 words. I know I shouldn't worry too much about the …

Too Sudden? 
Question: I often read through the stories I begin, and I feel like all of the individual events end too quickly. What can I do to change this? Answer: …

I may be paranoid, but... 
Question: I just have to check on this. If, in my novel, I mention specific songs or books by specific artists - maybe one of my characters is in a band …

Ideas 
Question: I struggle to find ideas to write about for my stories. I often look for inspiration but I can't find any. Should I just wait for inspiration …

Help with villain! 
Question: I am trying to write a book but I can't seem to develop the "villain" for it. My book is about a girl who wakes up and everyone is gone. And …

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Houston, we've had a problem... 
Question: OK, I was reading a series of detective stories called the Kindaichi Case Files and I thought, "Man, this is awesome! These are brilliant! …

Writing something you are not 
Question: This is driving me insane! I need help about writing things into my stories that I've never experienced before myself. I know the logical thing …

Chapter Breaks 
Question: How do you recommend dividing a novel into chapters? I'm trying to figure out how long my chapters should be, if they should revolve around …

main characters and POV'S 
Question: I've been reading through the articles here (which I might add are the best things I've stumbled upon thus far) and have been giving it a go …

Length (Overall) - Where to add 
Question: I feel the overall length of my story is way too short, and I am not really sure where to add anything. How do I figure that out? I have …

Times to use Passive Voice  
Question: I know when you want time to pass and for people to see the action, Active Voice is better. But aren't they're times when Passive Voice …

character development 
Question: I am currently writing a book whose protagonist is loosely based on my own experiences. How do I move from autobiography to fiction? Answer: …

Must characters have a goal in the beginning?  
Question: Hello... It's me again LOL I think I've post in the wrong section before I just finished writing novel with two povs and 7 characters. …

Conveying Culture 
Question: I was wondering how I can convey enough of the fictional cultures in my books for my readers to have at least a basic understanding of what's …

Sympathetic Sociopath 
Question: OK, my story is, more-or-less, meant to be an embodiment of every negative thought, feeling, impulse or emotion ever felt by the "outcasts" …

The "Gore Factor" 
Question: So, my stories are high fantasy in that they are in "medieval" type settings and are in fictional worlds, but I don't use magic or fantastical …

Questions About Content  
Hello there, First, let me say how glad I am that I've found your site. The information you offer has been so helpful, and (after a year of different …

Location Names 
Question: I'm currently world building a setting I intend to use for a novel. However, I can't figure out what to name political entities, regional divisions, …

Writing Chain of Command 
Question: I've heard a lot about writers having to work with agents, editors, publishers, the publisher's marketing teams and a lot of other things, …

writer's block 
Question: I am writing a book. I have my idea for the beginning and the end and for some what in the middle but I only have 20,000 words and I am at …

legends 
Question: How do I write a legend that involves magic and martial arts? Answer: The simple answer is that you make one up. If you're stuck, you …

Abridgement 
Question: I'm reading the pros and cons of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, and I have to say I'm torn in two over it. Traditional publishing …

How long before the plot can begin? 
Hi, I'm planning a novel for 2012's NaNoWriMo, and I have the basic premise and synopsis in place. The novel's prologue will be the hook for the reader, …

Which person to write in? 
A FICTION The book is in second person but there are times when the heroine is telling a story about herself and family member. When she is telling about …

Changing Perspective 
Question: Is it okay to have the vast majority of a book in one character's POV and then change to another for a chapter or two? Answer: You can …

how to put my story across 
Question: I'm trying to figure out whether I would have more success in writing my book from a third persons point of view which will give the story …

I have something to ask about getting started 
Hello. I am from Romania. Your website it's awesome, so helpful. I recently decided I want to become a science fiction writer and I planned some plots, …

Theme 
Question: When writing a series should the whole series have a theme and then have each individual book have a sub-theme of its own? Answer That …

Too much dialogue? 
Question: I am currently writing a book where a vampire pursues a woman and the ending will not be a happy loving one. His obsession leads to her demise …

Chapters 
Question: How do I structure chapters for a long story? Answer: That's a pretty big question, since not every chapter will be structured the same …

Click here to write your own.

First time writing from an idea 
Question I have a couple ideas that I've envisioned an entire 90 minute movie about but can't figure out how to get the ideas into an enjoyable readable …

Is less always more? 
Question: Long time no see. After asking you lots of questions and trying to follow your eight step plot outline, I have decided to start writing. I …

Word Count 
Question For a novel-length chapter, what should my word-count be roughly? I ask because all books are formatted differently in terms of pages per chapter …

More About YA Genre 
Question: I was wondering if my book would fit this genre. It's about a sixteen-year-old girl in the 1600s who gets into trouble (no gratuitous sex scenes) …

Paragraphing 
Question: How do I structure a fiction paragraph? Answer: A few tips: Try to make each paragraph about one thing only: an action, a reaction, …

what is needed to write a good whodunit? 
Question: What is needed to write a good whodunit? How do I develop a good mystery? Answer: Classic whodunits focused a lot on the mystery. The …

Lucid Dreaming 
Question I have been wanting to write a novel for a long time, and have recently become interested in lucid dreaming. But I know the use of dreams in …

Using Real-life / Historical events and Country Names 
Question: I'm making a story about a time-machine. Can I use an event from 'history books' and somewhat change it's outcome? (eg: Saving JFK in his assassination …

Ill-fitting subplots? 
Question: I'm working on a story about a group of 8 teens with special powers, trying to stop dark forces taking over their town. However for the majority …

squirrel stories 
Question: Is it wise to write your stories down in a notebook first? Answer: It's always a good idea to write your stories down, in any form whatsoever. …

Plot 
Question: How do I come to a main plot while balancing sub- plots? In this case: a murder mystery? Answer: Well, if it's a murder mystery, then …

Dramatica....I still don't see how great it is, 
Question: I've read all the comments on how great Dramatica software is a thing that makes you work very hard, but it reminds you to add interest in …

Is it ok to have small descriptive kissing scene in a young adult novel 
Question: I have a kissing scene in my young adult novel and it's pretty descriptive but I'm afraid people might think it's a bad scene and doesn't count …

Word count 
Question: How many words should there be in a teen / young adult novel? My writing seems to have too many words. Answer: You should probably aim …

Just another awesome lesson from you Glen! 
Question: I can't believe I have found you! You are a gold mine and see people from all over the world thinking about all you know! I just spent …

problems with plots 
Hi.I'm a kid who likes to fantasize a lot. I'm interested in writing a novel, but I think my problem is that, I have a problem in creating a story plot. …

Hello again Glen! But I'm more confused on the flush left... 
So Glen, Are you saying at the top of my word that I should pick the view of moving all written material to the left? And then the ragged, I have no clue …

POV jump for only one chapter? 
Question: In a story I'm writing the main character who has first person point of view is a girl and there are two guys. I was working on subtly hinting …

I asked questions on the comment page instead... 
Hello again, I'm going to rewrite my questions, since I wrote by accident on the comment page...I love and am consumed in reading all I have read from …

Where should my story take place?  
Question: I am trying to writing my first novel. But the problem is I don't know what write to start me off. I am have been trying to find books …

conflicting stories 
Question: I am currently working on at least five stories that I think all have potential, but I think that I need to concentrate on one or else I'll …

Plot dilemma 
Question: For a while now I have had an idea for a really brilliant character, but I simply can't think of a story to go with it. This is as far as I've …

Effectively skipping or transitioning over periods of time 
Question: I am writing a novel based on true stories that take place over fifty years. There will be periods of time where nothing exceptional happens …

How do you know a novel idea is not cliche? 
E.g. a book focusing on criminal psychology. I have no idea whether it's been done to death or not. A friend of mine says it's different but my sister …

Villain a a protaganist 
Question: I'm writing a novel with the villain as the centre of attention. Most chapters (80% of the book) are in his point of view. How do readers …

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What do you do after you're done with the first draft? 
Hi. This question might sound ignorant, but I'm working on my first novel. Surfing online, people talk of writing a second draft and then a third and …

Do you need to have studied psychology to write a psychological thriller? 
Hi. Thank you for answering my previous question. I'm a high school student, and I'm writing a psychological thriller involving a stalker. I talked …

What point in my story should i introduce the backstory of my other charecters 
Question: I have about 11000 words and I just introduced that backstory of four of my other characters. Is this a good time? Answer: I have confidence …

Starting a story 
Question: Maybe this is stupid but I'm reading a book on how to write a novel and apparently I am starting it wrong. It's supposed to start with a scene …

Writing in first person 
Question: I'm beginning a novel, where I want the characters to develop independently as well as coming together to form the story and plot. My question …

If I'm a kid is it ok to write small torture or violence scenes? 
I feel like people won't like a story written by a thirteen year old kid if it involves some inappropriate scenes. Response: I think the bigger possibility …

Is my story going to fast? 
Question: My story is getting good but I wonder if I'm taking it too fast. For example I have just begun chapter 4 and I have 7,761 words and I've already …

Use of extinct animals 
Question: My idea is based on a fantasy/medieval period, and has characters based on old mythological creatures (centaurs, minotaurs, etc); however, …

I want to get my book printed  
Question: I would like to know where I could get my book printed. Answer If you just want to have a book printed, there are plenty of Print On Demand …

Making the plot appeal more to readers and not have them no longer want to read 
Question: My story has a really good plot but I'm afraid of it not getting interesting enough at the beginning. Answer: I think you already know …

size 
Question: What is the actual size a starting novel should be? Won't forty thousand words be enough? I have written 170 pages of it. but some say that …

Tips for Novel writing 
Question Can I begin my novel with a poem? Are 30000 words enough for a Novel? Answer: 1. Sure you can begin with a poem. It has been done …

Novel Treatments 
Question: I somewhat recently attended Robert McKee's Story seminar where he very briefly mentioned treatments. The little that he stated about them …

Annoying writing mistakes... 
Question: I'm writing a fiction novel and as I'm writing I think 'oh, this is great, sounds wonderful,' but when I look back I think, 'how in the world …

Plotless Fiction? 
Question: Hi, I've been working on plot-driven novels for a couple of years now. I'm to the point where I'm feeling confident enough to enter a few short …

Chapter length 
Question a) Is a 2000 word chapter too short? I've surfed online, and some say that it's too short while others say that it's fine. I know that one …

If you are doing different POVs in third person, do you need to change the voice in each chapter? 
Question: I'm writing my novel haphazardly e.g. writing the chapter I want to write today. If write more than one chapter in a day, I change point …

I'm getting all of this, but the 4 pt. is still very cloudy... 
Question: I have to tell you that I'm getting a tremendous amount of novel standards that I'm getting more and more confident in my writing, but the …

CONFUSED ABOUT THE NORMAL 4PT. METHOD AS WITH THE TOPS OF THE RIGHT CORNER WITH? 
Question: I was reading your manuscript format for novels and very confused about the writing on the top right corners with missing pages as with why …

Great advice about accidental rewrites, now I have a problem with facts concerning things 
Question: Ok...I'm writing a 4 book set about something that was actual in the bible, Torah etc. but mine is fiction but have trouble with facts, like …

copyright infringement 
Question: If I mention a popular, or even outdated character, movie, piece of music, or anything like that in a novel I'm writing, is it important to …

Elevator Pitches 
Question: I've been working on an elevator pitch. What do you think of this? A Case of Hearts Client-Attorney privilege compromised by a three …

Scenes  
Question: In order to have a strong scene in each chapter, what must it have? I read that it needs a beginning, middle and end? or Goal, conflict and …

Organizing Research Tips Sought PLEASE!!! 
Question: Firstly I re-iterate the opinion of others on the utter wealth of information, help and advice available on this site. But, what is so wonderful …

How to get permission to use established characters for a play 
Question: I have written three plays for a group that does dinner theatre for fundraising, strictly amateur and small scale. I do it as a creative outlet …

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Characterization over Plot 
Question: I have a hard time deciding whether I should develop my characters before I start writing, or whether I should figure out the plot, and let …

Holes in plot and characters. 
Question: I have already written the first draft of my novel, but I feel like something is missing. I realized I have holes in my plot and my characters' …

Point of veiw 
Question: I would like to display three of my character's thoughts, but I don't want to use third person point of view. Would switching point of view …

Character Emotion 
Question: I was wondering how I can show characters emotions and thoughts in a way that doesn't detract from the narrative when in 3rd person? I find …

Quotes 
I have already asked quite a few questions on this site and they have helped me so so so so so much! Thank you! After my questions were answered, it seemed …

Historical era writing 
Question: What is the best way to study a specific era for accuracy in content? Answer: A good reference librarian, especially one with knowledge …

Idea Issues 
Hello, I'm new to your website and so far this site has helped me. Since I'm new to writing also, my question is: Can a writer write about his/her own …

Impact characters  
Hi Just wondering is it possible to have two impact characters. Answer: Generally, you have a main character and an impact character who represent …

I think my story is too complicated? 
...Or, at least, I think I may have planned everything way too much. My story was really simple when I was just thinking it, but somehow when I started …

Stuck 
Question: I have a bit of writer's block, I suppose. I plotted and mapped out a great story. I wrote furiously, at least a chapter a day, for approximately …

Do You Give Angel Characters Flaws or Not?  
Question: Hi. I'd first just like to say that your website has helped me out a lot. I'm currently writing a book that has characters that are angels. …

Writing Idea 
Question: I'm 18 years old and attending college to achieve the ultimate goal of receiving my journalism degree. The path that I want to take with journalism …

Proper Nouns 
Question: The stranger and the lawyer are both characters who do not have names. They are the main characters throughout the story. See below example: …

Choosing a Counterpoint (Consequence) 
Hi, I am confused with the idea of choosing a counterpoint? Every step makes sense apart from this part under Consequence. I have easily written my …

Word Choice 
Question I feel I'm using a lot of the same words again and again. Some of these words are "but," "instead," "though," "after," "then," "really," and …

Actual places 
Question: Is it ever OK to mention the names of actual places in a fictional novel? Such as a theatre on Broadway or a small bar in a small town as long …

kinds of conflicts 
Question: Two men glare at each other. Then, a tree falls and pins them both to the ground. What kind of conflict exists in both situations? Answer: …

Internal conflict 
Question: How would a character who is experiencing internal conflict feel? Answer: The simple answer is that they feel a certain pressure to do …

Can you have a follow-up climax? 
Question: I have quite a few questions... but I'll explain first. In my story (I haven't finished writing it yet so I can't really call it a book) …

Complications Before Problems... 
Question: I know what I am going to write. I have been theorizing about it, I know the characters; the plot, I have fleshed it out in an outline, I have …

Real-Life Non-Fiction Stories 
Question: I'm thinking about writing a book using real-life stories.... What kind of permission would I need from those who share their stories with …

Writing with Pen or Computer? 
Question: When you're first starting a story should you write it on the computer or on lined paper? Answer: Honestly, it doesn't really matter. …

Overused Plot Gimmicks 
Question: Can there be overused plots? Authors constantly write about somewhat the same things, mutation, aliens, "I'm in love with the supernatural", …

Stuck between two genres 
Question: I am writing a book, which is basically a fantasy and a teenage romance. I have set up the story two centuries ago, but due to the main character …

Chapter Lengths 
Questoin: What is the best length for chapters, specifically in Historical Fiction? Answer: Unless you're writing for children (in which case, shorter …

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Writers Block? 
Question: I have the story, the plot, the characters, they swim around in my head all day. Then I try & write them down & it is good. Then I reread …

Opening 
Question: I am trying to write an opening for my story. I have two very different versions going and cannot decide which one is better. One starts with …

Too Normal For A Good Opening? 
Question: Well, you see I am trying to write a book based on a classic set in the modern day and it starts with a normal school day, the aim of this …

Creating a world 
Question: My problem is that I am not sure how to introduce my world and it's various ways of life. I don't want to be too wordy or long but there are …

Chapters 
Question: I wanted to know: what is the best way to name your chapters? Are numbers too standard and is the word 'chapter' really useful? Or are words …

Subplots 
Question: How do you create entertaining subplots from your main storyline that go well with the main plot, but does not disturb it or overpower it? …

Trivial chracters 
Question: How much detail should be given to trivial characters without overwriting? Answer: You've pretty much answered your own question, as far …

Unlikeable Protagonists 
Question: Is it possible to write about a protagonist that people will not like, who dies in the end and about whom you should feel mixed emotions? …

Transitions 
Question: Okay, so I've been working on a novel for quite a while, and I have recently had to start over because the story is too choppy. I have a severe …

I'm working on an outline that is close to heart... 
Question: The little girl is dancer from a vampire/mafia family and I need feedback on my outline and I would like to meet experienced New York writers …

starting a story 
Question I have written all of my outlines and stuff for my fantasy novel, but I don't know how to begin it. Does anyone have any tips on writing the …

How do I find an illustrator for my novel cover? 
There are a few sites out there that make it fairly quick and painless to find an illustrator for your novel. Here are what I think are the two best: …

Titling a Novel 
Question: Thanks to your website, I've figured out a LOT about my plot and my characters that I wouldn't have otherwise. I have a plot solid enough that …

Help with 19th century warfare. 
Question: Hello, my name is Michael and I am planning on writing a novel set during the early 19th century; the story is from the viewpoint of two footsoldiers …

the first chapter 
Question: How do i get people hooked on the first chapter so they can keep reading??? Answer: Here are 7 general tips. (They have to be general, …

Low writing Self-Esteem 
Question: Hi, I'm 14 years old and I'm trying to write a story out that I'm planning on drawing out into a comic. But when I start, I feel anxious. I …

Inception at the Precipice 
Question: I absolutely found your sight a "God Send." I recently gave a PowerPoint presentation on a unique topic in Christianity that has of late …

First Chapter 
Question: I've written a first chapter for my story but I'm not satisfied with it. I want to rewrite it to see if I can get a better idea but I'm having …

The Craft of Writing Overview 
Question: What is the most basic and descriptive, but brief descriptions of the craft of writing? I feel like I'm always missing something because it …

Those pesky boring moments 
Question: How do you pass through those parts in your story when nothing particular is going on? For instance if your character is alone during a trip …

Skimming the Research 
Question: I've had an idea for a plot that's sort of a mystery, and heavily involves neurology. The main thing is that a string of victims in a small …

Characters but no plot 
Question: I've developed a handful of characters as well as a potential main protagonist for a very long time. I've studied a lot on what makes a good …

Series Fiction  
Question: I have this idea for a novel series. I don't know; do people usually decide how many books are going to be in a series before or after they …

Finding Plot Ideas 
Question: How do I find plot ideas? Answer: People ask this a lot. But honestly, finding ideas is the easiest part of writing. My first suggestion …

Controversial Settings  
Question: Is there any restriction in a Novel to say the exact place of where the story really happens? (E.G Middle East.) Does the writer need to get …

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From Fanfiction to Novels 
Question: i have written fanfiction stories that are as long as my arm but i want to expand how do i do that? Answer: The simple answer - which …

Dramatica Theory 
Question: What exactly is dramatica theory? Answer: Dramatica theory is a theory of story structure that was developed and published by Melanie …

Controlling the Reader's Interpretation 
Question: What is the correct name given to the guess that you make on what is happening in a story based on what the narrator tells you? Answer: …

Rushed Writing 
Question: How can you try to not make your writing seem rushed? Answer: Revise, revise, revise. Set your work aside for a time (a day, a …

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