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Fiction Writing

Fictitious novels are works of imagination that are not true. This category contains all questions regarding the techniques of fictional writing.

1,068 Questions
Fiction Writing
Haunted Houses

What is a Good Title For a Haunted House Book?

Kind of depends on the story, like think about where it takes place(i.e. country and if foreign translate haunted house into another language or something) like what is the general plot?

You're going about it backwards -- the title comes last! Finish the book, then your title will come to you. Titles come from what you write, not the other way around.

Fiction Writing
Fan Fiction

What is the opposite of slash fiction?

The opposite of slash, which is homosexual, would by het, or heterosexual fiction.

Television and Film Script Writing
Fiction Writing
Movies

Why don't fictional characters say "goodbye" when they hang up a phone?

Apparently in the film industry, goodbyes are considered inefficient.

According to screenwriter Josh Olson, "It's possible that some filmmakers think it slows down the action if characters say things like, hello, goodbye and 'Sorry, I have to commandeer your car for the sake of homeland security.'"

Many filmmakers believe that although it’s natural to end a real-life call with “goodbye,” in a movie, it’s awkward and a waste of precious screen time.

Fiction Writing
Fantasy Books
Celebrities
Ask Me Anything

Answers with Phyllis Cast?

You and your daughter, Kristin, have teamed up to write the House of Night series. What's that experience like?

It has been a wonderful experience teaming up with my daughter for the House of Night. I do all of the writing, and Kristin serves as my front line teen voice editor. It was awesome knowing that Kristin had my back, which allowed me to focus on the story.

Have you two grown closer because of it?

Kristin and I have always been close, so that hasn't changed. I have learned to appreciate her skills as an editor. I am very proud of her!

Kristin started as your sounding board even before the House of Night series. How has her participation in the writing process changed and grown over the course of the series?

At first I relied heavily on Kristin to be sure that I didn't make Z and/or the Nerd Herd sound, as Kristin once put it, "like a disgruntled 40-something year old school teacher". But after the first few books the characters were so firmly set that Kristin had very little dialogue editing to do. It was then that she and I began discussing the overreaching story arch for the entire series. Most of the time Kristin was my sounding board, and by discussing plot points with her I worked my way through potential problems. Sometimes she had a very strong voice in what I was considering. Example: Grandma Redbird was almost a casualty. Kristin was very vocal about that! "Nooooooo! Don't kill Grandma!" And I didn't!

Do you and Kristin ever disagree on the way a story should progress, the way a character should be portrayed, or the way a sentence should be punctuated? How do you resolve issues like that?

As I did all of the writing we really didn't have these kinds of disagreements. During the editing process Kristin would leave me comments about the manuscripts, but it was ultimately my decision about whether I would follow her advice or not. Mostly that advice was about cutting descriptions that were too wordy, and I usually followed it.

Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened Species
Fiction Writing

How do you write a tiger growl?

Rawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Too long!!! Just write that the tiger growled -- people know what it means.

Creative Writing
Fiction Writing

Can someone help me think of a good scary story title about a girl trapped in the ground and she tries to get out and she's dreaming the whole thing but she really is in a coffin and eventually dies?

Only you can come up with a good name! Titles come from the story, not from some anonymous person on the internet! Titles are not as important as some writers think - your title might change many times between your first write and your final draft!

Think about your story - what is going on and who are the people involved? What is something special about the story that might make a good title? Don't sweat it - just write something down and get on with the story!

Check out the Related Questions for help with your book, too!

Well how bout:

The Dreamer in the Coffin?

Creative Writing
Fiction Writing

What is a good title for a bully story?

Only you can come up with a good name! Book Titles come from the story, not from some anonymous person on the internet!

Think about your story - what is going on and who are the people involved? Bullies are mean and cowardly - think of a title that reflects that; or you could have a title about being scared or being bullied.

Check out the Related Questions for help with your book, too!

Short Stories
Fiction Writing

How does the interplay of the elements of a short story create a meaningful whole?

The most effective way to answer this question is to consider the composition of short stories. Short stories tend to be told in a narrative format, dealing with only a few characters. The relationship between these characters and these characters' emotions tend to be the focus of a short story, as opposed to longer pieces, which tend to be more focused on plot. It is the interplay between the characters, the mood, and the purpose of the story that create a meaningful whole.

The parts of any story are necessary to create a meaningful whole! You can't have a good story without a little exposition or explanation, some tension, a climax, and a good wrap-up or resolution.

Fiction Writing

What is a good happiness title?

Only you can come up with a good name! Titles come from the story, not from some anonymous person on the internet! Titles are not as important as some writers think - your title might change many times between your first write and your final draft!

Think about your story - what is going on and who are the people involved? What is something special about the story that might make a good title? Don't sweat it - just write something down and get on with the story!

Check out the Related Questions for help with your book, too!

Literary Terminology
Fiction Writing

What are the fiction genres?

The usual categories of fiction (called genres) include the following:

  • Adventure - stories where there is an element of danger and risk. This category often overlaps the others, so that you have a fantasy novel with lots of adventure, or an adventure story with a mystery.
  • Comic or Graphic Novel - a fairly new category which includes the art as well as the story writing
  • Drama - the original term 'drama' meant stage drama, and was divided into comedy and tragedy - now we use the term to refer to any sort of fiction that ... well, that doesn't fit into any of the other categories on this page!
  • Erotic or Pornography - stories about sex
  • Espionage or Spy Thriller - stories about spies and international intrigue
  • Fanfiction - stories about another author's characters, such as Harry Potter fanfiction or Star Trek fanfiction. This sort of fiction cannot be sold!
  • Fantasy - stories that contain elements of what was once called 'fairy tales.' Fantasy stories deal with magic or supernatural abilities, magical or supernatural beings, or simply 'what if' situations such as alternate universes. Fantasy can be further divided into alternate universe, bangsian, celtic, comic, contemporary, dark, folktale, heroic, high, historical, juvenile, medieval, myth, prehistoric, romantic, steampunk, superhero, sword and sorcery, urban, and wuxia
  • Gothic - originally, this was just another way of saying 'horror,' but now the term is used to mean a story that combines romance and horror
  • Historical Fiction - stories set in the past and describing the events and characters' lives. This category often overlaps the others, so that you have historical fantasy or historical romance.
  • Horror - stories dealing with things that frighten us. Horror can be further divided into body-related (disease, mutation, mutilation, etc), holocaust, ghost stories, natural disaster, psychological thriller, and supernatural
  • Humor or Comedy - stories that make us laugh. Comedy can be further divided into burlesque, comedy of manners, farce, parody, satire, and sentimental
  • Medical - stories about the field of medicine and the people who work in it
  • Mystery - stories that contain a crime, puzzle, or confusing situation. Mystery can be further divided into cozy, detective (amateur, hardboiled, private investigator), medical, police procedural, supernatural, and whodunit
  • Poetry - rhythmic writing that deals with emotion. Poems do not have to rhyme, but they must be concise and emotional. Poetry can be broadly divided into epic, dramatic, lyric, narrative, and satirical. Specific poetry forms include acrostic, canzone, carmina figurata, cinquain, concrete, elegy, fixed verse, free verse, ghazal, haiku, jintishi, minnesang, murabba, ode, pantoum, quatrain, rondeau, ruba'i, sestina, sijo, song, sonnet, stev, tanka, and villanelle
  • Political - stories about the world of politics and the people who work in it
  • Realistic Fiction is a genre that tells made-up stories about things that could really happen about people who could really be real.
  • Romance - stories about love. Romance can be broadly divided into catogory (series) and stand-alone (single title). Romance subgenres include contemporary, erotic, historical, inspirational, multi-cultural, paranormal, romantic suspense, romantic science fiction, and time travel
  • Science-Fiction - 'what if' stories that are based on actual scientific fact. Science fiction must have some sort of logical science inherent to the story, or some sort of logical basis for what is going on. Science fiction can be broadly divided into hard (the science is the most important part of the story), soft (the characters are the most important part of the story) or social (the culture is the most important part of the story). Science fiction subgenres include alternate history, apocalyptic, biopunk, cyberpunk, dying planet, gothic, military, pulp, steampunk, time travel, space colonization, space opera, and urban
  • Short Story - actually, this is not a genre but a length. A work of fiction is called a short story if it has less than 7500 words in it - short stories can be written in any genre.
  • Stream of Consciousness - also called free-writing - unedited and spontaneous ramblings on any topic
  • Tragedy - stories that make us cry
  • War Fiction - stories about war and the military
  • Western Fiction - stories about the American Old West. Westerns are usually adventure fiction that is specifically set in this period of US history, usually (but not always) dealing with the western states and Mexico.
Fiction Writing

How do you write post apocalyptic fiction?

Post-apocalyptic fiction is just a fancy term for a story that takes place after some major world-ending catastrophe has occurred. So write a story set in such a place.

Click on the Related Question to see how to write a good story.

Drama and Acting
Creative Writing
Fiction Writing
Script Writing

What are some ideas for a monolog?

It depends on what kind of monologue you are going for. You first need to decide if you want to do something comedic, classical or dramatic. You can also try making something up on the spot with some of these ideas:

  • A news reporter who is first on the scene at a fire
  • A teacher addressing his/her class on the first day of school
  • An actor giving a speech at the award show
  • A professional wrestler winning the championships
  • A trip to the dentist

For actual monologues that have been used before, please refer to the related link.

Fiction Writing

What should I name my Fantasy and Romance book?

Only you can come up with a good name! Titles come from the story, not from some anonymous person on the internet! Titles are not as important as some writers think - your title might change many times between your first write and your final draft!

Think about your story - what is going on and who are the people involved? What is something special about the story that might make a good title? Don't sweat it - just write something down and get on with the story!

Check out the Related Questions for help with your book, too!

Drama and Acting
Fiction Writing

What are the 6 elements of revenge tragedy?

While I'm not sure there are 6 definitive elements that make a revenge tragedy, there are some common characteristics that most have in common. According to Fredson Bowers (who was the first to really identify the genre) the key identifiers are

- Revenge has to be the focus of the plot. The main action of the play.

- The appearance of a ghost, usually to initiate or urge on the revenge.

- Bloody and violent acts

- The portrayal of madness (either real or faked).

- The revenger's hesitation (whether impeded by external forces or self-imposed).

- Long soliloquies giving insight into the characters mentality and moral uncertainty

- The revenger usually dies (or is sentenced to death) shortly after achieving their goal.

- The use of a play within the play as a means of exposing or killing the revenger's target

If I had to pick six most widely used elements I would go with the first six.

Drama and Acting
Fiction Writing

What is a good name for a drama school story?

Only you can come up with a good name! Titles come from the story, not from some anonymous person on the Internet! You're getting this backwards I'm afraid - you need to write the story first and think of the title last. However, some authors do better starting from a title and then creating a plot from there. Not everyone is the same.

Titles are also not as important as some writers think - your title might change many times between your first write and your final draft!

Think about your story - what is going on and who are the people involved? What is something special about the story that might make a good title? Don't sweat it - just write something down and get on with the story!

Check out the Related Questions for help with your book, too!

Fiction Writing

What is a good name for a town in a fantasy book?

Here is a link to show you how authors come up with place names.

Creative Writing
Fiction Writing

What is a good name for my story or book?

The title should intrigue people into cracking open the cover of a book; it should create curiosity.
That said - titles are not as important as people think they are! The title will change many times before you are satisfied, and often the publisher will change the title before publication - that has happened to several of my stories.

Only you know what is the best title for your writing! WikiAnswers has no idea what you have written or what sort of story/poem/essay it might be! The title should come last - after you've finished your piece. Then use the story itself to come up with the title.

Book Reports
Creative Writing
Fiction Writing

How do you write a good story or book?

"Don't listen to any advice, that's what I'd say. Write only what you want to write. Please yourself. YOU are the genius, they're not. Especially don't listen to people (such as publishers) who think that you need to write what readers say they want. Readers don't always know what they want. I don't know what I want to read until I go into a bookshop and look around at the books other people have written, and the books I enjoy reading most are books I would never in a million years have thought of myself. So the only thing you need to do is forget about pleasing other people, and aim to please yourself alone." ~Phillip Pullman

You have to decide where your imagination wants to take you with your writing. If you want to write non fiction then pick a subject you know about (or at least research it). I went to a writing college and it helped a lot and was fun. I met all sorts of interesting people and we exchanged ideas. You don't have to go to school in order to write a good story, though. Most writers don't take writing classes at all.

In order to make a story interesting, you have to have two things:

Good Detail - do your research and be able to describe the scenes, people, dialogue, and actions effectively. This also means correctly, because if you are sloppy with your research and get facts wrong, your readers will not buy your next book. Emotion - good writing is emotional writing. You have to be able to write about emotions so that the reader feels them along with your characters. Invent characters who are believable and likable, not superheroes who have no faults and are stunningly beautiful and genius-level intelligent!

More from our Wiki Contributors:

Jean Ure came to visit my school and she advised writing about things that happen everyday. She kept a diary over the years and has looked back through it to give her ideas. Writers are observant. If you pay attention to the world around you, you will find many ideas for stories, as well as examples of conversation and behavior for your characters. The actual writing process is basically what you've learned in your grammar classes at school. Use correct spelling and punctuation, too, and not "netspeak" - editors won't pay attention to anything that you have written carelessly and improperly.

One good way to get started is to imagine that you're talking. Just pretend you're telling a story to one of your friends, and instead of speaking, write. To write a good story think about what you want it to be about. Then try to stay on topic. Don't constantly change the subject.

Well, for starters, the story has to be 'you'. If the story is not 'you', you didn't write it.

Making it as real to the style as possible, Biographies should never be unauthorized, and stories about flying witches should never have 'How to bake cakes' on the the front cover. Also make it appeal to the masses if you want it to be successful. "One day a boy went to the park and met a dog" should never be read by a 30 year old.

How to write an excellent, exciting, tense story. To write an excellent, exciting, tense, story you should try and use your imagination. If people say you are a rubbish writer don't let it knock your confidence, everyone has an imagination and you just have to find it. To make an exciting story put interesting adjectives in. To make a tense story you slowly tell the story, letting little hints and clues out, this will make the reader want to continue reading the story. Plus, if you get a good paragraph together (this could be a starting paragraph) build your ideas from there. If you have a good idea write it down quickly on a piece of paper before you forget it.

For fiction people say to write about what you know, when you're first starting out. Instead write about what you don't know. Explore the subject and everything that branches off from it, research what you might need to know as you go along, but you don't always need to know what you're writing about. Sometimes it's best to let yourself just make things up as you go along, it makes the story yours, and it makes writing it and reading it exciting.

Fiction is a story that is not true. In order to write a good fictional story, find out what genre you would like to write about. (Mystery, Science-Fiction, etc) Next, figure out what you want to write about, in that genre. (Science Fiction-- what should I write about in this genre?) This step is the hardest. Once you have figured out what you want to write about-write! Make a rough draft. Next, revise, revise, revise! (You guessed it, revise again!) Until you have a clean, fluent, and exciting story!

Terry McMillan's Advice to Aspiring Writers Write as if no one is ever going to read it. Try not to read, revise or rewrite what you've written until you've had a chance to let it simmer. Don't believe your family, friends or lovers when they tell you: "It's great!" What else are they going to say? Try not to think of an idea for a good story. In fact, leave your brain out of it. Write about what frightens you. What you find perplexing. Disturbing. What breaks your heart. And what you wish you could change. Write as if you're telling a story to an old friend you haven't seen in years. It's one way to find your own voice. Read work by writers that you respect and admire. Just don't try to imitate them. You want your reader to see what's on the page, not read the words, so paint a moving picture. Don't compare what you're writing to published authors. They were once in your shoes. Remember that a story is about someone who wants something and someone is preventing them from getting it. Whatever that might be. All of us have flaws. Pass some of yours on to your characters! You want your reader to care about your characters, worry about them and hope they can get out of whatever mess you put them in. You have to have conflict in your story. Even fairy tales and cartoons have them. Even if your early work gets rejected, don't beat yourself up. It doesn't mean your work isn't good. It may not be ready yet. If you feel the same after you finish writing something as you did when you started, you've wasted your time. Fiction is a way of making a lie believable. Write the kind of story you'd like to read. Read everything you write aloud. Pets make great listeners. They don't judge. Don't forget that a story should be life affirming. There's enough negativity in the world as it is. Tell the story from your character's point of view instead of yours.

Fiction Writing
Writing: Characters and Dialogue

What are some dark girl names for my story?

You need to invent your own names - writers who copy ideas from other people end up in trouble for plagiarism! If you copy someone's names or ideas, then when you publish your story, they could claim you stole those from them and sue you for part of your money. Click on the LINKS for ideas on naming your characters.

ok well here are a few,

-scarlet

-dusk

-shadow

all i got sorry (scarlet is my fave!!)

Fiction Writing

What are some good not-used story titles?

There is no list of "not-used" story titles. Titles come from what you have written, not from some list somewhere. You have to invent the title based on what your story is about. Try this link to learn more.

Fiction Writing

What is a good title for a book about baseball?

Only you can come up with a good name! Titles come from the story, not from some anonymous person on the internet! Titles are not as important as some writers think - your title might change many times between your first write and your final draft!

Think about your story - what is going on and who are the people involved? What is something special about the story that might make a good title? Don't sweat it - just write something down and get on with the story!

Check out the Related Questions for help with your book, too!

Christmas
Fiction Writing

What is a good name for a winter story?

Only you can come up with a good name! Titles come from the story, not from some anonymous person on the internet! Titles are not as important as some writers think, also - your title might change many times between your first write and your final draft!

Think about your story - what is going on and who are the people involved?

Check out the Related Questions for help with your book, too!

Creative Writing
Fiction Writing

What are some good horror title ideas?

Only you can come up with a good name! Titles come from the story, not from some anonymous person on the internet! You're getting this backwards I'm afraid -- you need to write the story first and think of the title last. However, some people work better starting from a title and then writing a plot from there.

Titles are also not as important as some writers think - your title might change many times between your first write and your final draft!

Think about your story - what is going on and who are the people involved? What is something special about the story that might make a good title? Don't sweat it - just write something down and get on with the story!

Books and Literature
Essays
Fiction Writing

What is the longest book ever written?

THE LONGEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN

The longest book ever written is called "Yongle Dadian". An enclyclopedia with 11,095 volumes and 22,877 chapters.

Creative Writing
Horror
Fiction Writing

What are some tips on writing a good horror story?

*WikiAnswers cannot give you ideas - writers must come up with their own ideas in order to be writers - click the Related Questions to learn how to find good ideas*

Horror means scaring your readers! Scaring does not mean blood and guts for the sake of showing blood and guts - it means making the reader believe that something horrible could happen to them! It means making them afraid to sleep with the lights off!

Here are some tips for writing a good horror story:

  • Plan the plot in detail - you need to know exactly what is going to happen, so that you can have all your characters in exactly the right places for the horrible things to happen.
  • Choose things that are scary to you - you're not going to be able to put fear into your story if you write about cute, fluffy, happy things! If you find roaches "icky," then write a story about roaches! If you feel the emotion, then the reader will feel it.
  • Make your characters believable - describe the characters so that the reader can imagine them and identify with them. You should know how they look, how they act, how they talk, and what they want.
  • Make the situation believable - don't just randomly toss characters into a horrible setting; give them a good reason for being where they are!
  • Read the Old Masters - to write really good horror, you should have read enough classic horror by authors such as Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King to give you a good idea how the story is done.
Here are some tips on what NOT to do from William Meikle (see Link below)!

Ten Horror Cliches to Avoid

  • The woman alone in the basement.
  • The Mom who isn't Mom any more.
  • The experiment gone wrong.
  • The mob of angry villagers.
  • The priest who's lost his faith.
  • Running through the woods in the dark.
  • Playing with dark forces.
  • "Let's split up and search!"
  • The monster/whatever isn't really dead
  • The love of a good woman
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