Questions tagged [narrative]

A narrative is an account of events. This tag should be used for anything related to story-telling, including elements and principles or structure.

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Should I flesh out the start of my fictional story?

The plot I’m thinking of goes from very normal, with fleshed out characters, to surreal towards the end. I want to wrap it around to have strange foreshadowing at the very beginning of the book to ...
Flora's user avatar
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5 answers
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How to include multiple rare events in a story without it feeling contrived?

I'm working on a detailed plot outline for a fantasy story that revolves around three main characters, Liana, Celia, and Ander. Here's a brief overview: Celia suffers from a condition called "...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
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1 answer
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How to pad the pages in a murder mystery

I have arrived at a plot point that I would rather be later. If one were to say that a page is 250 words, then the murderer has scapegoated someone else at page 8. As far as I can recall, Agatha ...
murshad's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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What if the narrator forgets the names of the characters?

My writing project involves flashbacks and explanations that may already be hard to follow to the reader. But the most important point in it, is that in the end, no one remembers what ever happened. ...
akirq_'s user avatar
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How do I maintain interesting prose outside of the introduction/hook when I start getting into my anecdotes?

This is a personal narrative where I want to narrate my creative side. I start off strong with figurative language, descriptions, and metaphors. But as I get into my anecdote and what I learned from ...
eli's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
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Is a self-introduction of the main character speaking to the reader appropriate to start a novel?

I'm authoring a horror/corruption/murder novel. The book starts off with the Main Character telling the reader about who he is and his physical appearance (now in his 60s), how he got to be ...
abluepelican's user avatar
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What is the proper formatting of type and quote marks when the main character talks aloud to himself, to someone else, or has internal dialogue?

I am authoring a novel. The main character interacts with others in oral conversation and will also have internal dialogue with himself, during the same conversation. Or he will talk aloud to an ...
abluepelican's user avatar
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What is the name for a narrative structure where the story starts with an exposition or summary before recounting the plot in more detail?

I can't find the name for this online and I am an engineer, so don't socialise with people that would know. Consider the Aeneid, which begins: Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc'd by fate, And ...
AncientGiantPottedPlant's user avatar
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What is the difference between the 5-Act structure and the 6-Act structure of storytelling?

There is a YouTube channel called 6-Act Structure, which I will be citing as a reference, run by an Marshall Dotson who wrote The Story Structure Secret: Actions and Goals. The author argues in favor ...
Jude Zambarakji's user avatar
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2 answers
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I'm trying to find enough sensory description for my book

How do I describe when a person falls unconscious with enough sensory details?
Rex's user avatar
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When using false leads when foreshadowing something, how do you maintain narrative coherence?

When using false leads when foreshadowing something, how do you maintain narrative coherence? I want to make people believe that the lead character is the killer by giving false leads when ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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When does a story benefit from or is made better by not having a central theme?

On online forums, I often see the argument that not every story needs a theme. This is the flip side version of the question of when a story needs a theme. I felt that those arguing that some stories ...
Jude Zambarakji's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
3k views

Is 'infodumping' the important parts of a story via an in-universe lesson in school/documentary/the news/other educational medium bad storytelling?

I have done this twice at the beginning of 2 of my stories (IIRC.) The first was a lecture on the Dust Dragon, an extinct creature in this world. The second was a schoolteacher giving a lesson on the ...
Conan Highwoods's user avatar
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How can I have characters have very little to no communications with outside world without it sounding too contrived?

This will be like 1 of 3 posts about this story. I am writing (or plan to at least) a story about these folks that are shrunk and sent out to make 'first' contact with a civilization of cockroaches. ...
Conan Highwoods's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
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How to handle narrative perspective in a musical text

I am writing the text of a significant musical work that will be sung by a chorus. I will also be composing the music, but this question is specific to the lyrics that the chorus will sing. Note that ...
nuggethead's user avatar
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4 answers
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Is omniscient observer POV really dead?

I am in the midst of reworking my latest manuscript into a shape that someone might be inclined to publish. To help me along I hired a professional editor and writer, whose comments and suggestions, ...
Candon's user avatar
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Novel begins with a number of chapters concerning the father of the main character, but does not include the main character

Table of Contents: Prologue 24 Years Ago: Omissions of the Past A number of chapters of backstory (life) of father of main character, but son, who is the main character for rest of book is not in it, ...
Judith's user avatar
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13 votes
9 answers
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What counts as exposition dump and is it possible to do exposition dumps without affecting pacing?

One effective technique I was told to use is to integrate the exposition within the narrative, rather than presenting it as a separate block of information. This can be accomplished through various ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
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I want to write a short story without naming the places the characters visit

How can I write a short story without naming the places characters visit? Example: If the main character visits a restaurant then I want to show it to the the reader without naming the restaurant.
tony's user avatar
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How do you solve the issue of emotional detachment when using unreliable narration?

I've been told that unreliable narration can cause emotional detachment because the reader may not trust or empathize with the narrator's perspective, which can make it hard to connect with the ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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Types of stories across cultures?

After watching some of Dan Brown's masterclass on thriller storytelling, it paints a narrow view on what generally a good story is to be. It must have a singular sentence to describe the plot, and ...
Lance's user avatar
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When writing a story with a fragmented narrative, do you need story beats?

When writing a story with a fragmented narrative, do you need story beats? I was told that writing a story using fragmented narratives is like writing several short stories, so I was wondering if ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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3 votes
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Making the story's change in tone feel natural

I am writing an epic fantasy story for a videogame I will make in the future. In the first half, it has a lot of edgy and dark humor, but the tone feels arcadey when it comes to killing random npcs. ...
Crafter's user avatar
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How to write an event in a story with a memory gap (Repressed memory)?

Scenario: The protagonist goes to a party, gets drugged, and is assaulted. This event is not in the characters history. It happens during the course of the story. Perspective: First Person Genre: ...
TehKaoZ's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
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What determines the value or worthiness of an autobiography?

To make an otherwise long winded story short, I have an uncommon tale of survivorship. Context: From child runaway, to kidnapping victim, to an escape ten years, ten months, and 23 days later. For the ...
BouquetOfProses's user avatar
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1 answer
2k views

How can we use ChatGPT to write stories? [closed]

If I have an idea for the plot of the story, what is the best way that I can use ChatGPT to make it write stories for me? Edit. To everyone who has spent time answering with few assumptions (including ...
MouseNag's user avatar
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Is the environment in a video game part of the narrative?

Is the environment in a video game part of the narrative? The Elden Ring won the award for the best narrative in the Game Awards Show, and some people were outraged, because most of the storytelling ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
143 views

How do I balance a strong narrative and the option of multiple choices?

I am currently writing a story for an RPG I will make. For this RPG, it is supposed to be a sandbox and open-world game. It also gives the player multiple choices and pathways as they play, giving it ...
Crafter's user avatar
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15 votes
11 answers
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When your main character is a misogynist or a racist, how do you tell your readers that you don't subscribe to his racist views by merely showing?

When your main character is a misogynist or a racist, how do you tell your readers that you don't subscribe to his racist views by merely showing? The only way to kinda do this in my opinion is to ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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'This time' vs 'that time' in past tense narrative

I am writing a past-tense personal narrative and I'm having a hard time distinguishing which term would be best in this instance. Quote for context: My parents always told me not to lie because lying ...
L.J's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
148 views

How do you write alternative endings to a novel, comics or movies?

How do you write alternative endings to a novel, comics or movies? Video games do this, because they allow players to take decisions, but movies, comics and novels don't really allow for that, so ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
110 views

How do you introduce several metanarratives into a story, especially conflicting ones?

How do you introduce several metanarratives into a story, especially conflicting ones? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYdwAulpWqw I watched this video and then I was wondering how to add the two ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
151 views

How late can a deuteragonist be added into the story?

In the fantasy epic I am writing, there is a deuteragonist that eventually becomes best friends with the protagonist. Unfortunately, due to the length of the epic as a whole, she is introduced way ...
Crafter's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
142 views

Handling extremely long narratives

For a video game I will make in the future, I am for now trying to write out the entire story for it. However, it ended up being an extremely long fantasy epic. For all the events, story arcs, and ...
Crafter's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
107 views

Do dual narratives have to alternate every chapter?

I’m contemplating writing a dual narrative, because after much thought and research, I think it’s the most interesting/effective way to tell my story. All the dual narratives I’ve seen alternate ...
greylark's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
148 views

I'm so angry! How can I show that in an interesting way?

This is in a sense a part two to my question on English Stack Exchange about replacement for word "bullshit", which I decided would better fit on this site. A bit of background Optional ...
Reverent Lapwing's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
94 views

Is a constantly changing world bad?

I'm making a story about a guy who travels through many worlds. There's also a world that he stays in for a larger period than others, with changing hierarchy, powers, laws, and so on. I know that ...
Modane's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
144 views

How do I write a screenplay with three protagonists?

I'm an aspiring screenwriter. I'm in the process of writing my third script. But I'm stuck in a quandary. I don't how to effectively write a screenplay with three protagonists! The story revolves ...
mystery's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
258 views

How could I show good worldbuilding without ending up with info-dumps?

A horror story I am writing involves the protagonist in another world. It is like an isekai, but it is horror and the protagonist is trying to survive as long as possible. The main story surrounds the ...
Crafter's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
208 views

Is it wise to start a story with a character that never appears again?

I plan to write the prologue with a limited third person view of a man delivering a 5 year old girl to a secluded city. His reason for doing this, even though he's not related to her, is because he's ...
AmateurWriter's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
308 views

Should a flashback be written in first person or third when the narrator has lost his memory?

I'm writing a story where the main character wakes up on a boat with no memory, and throughout the story his past will be revealed, along with other characters in the story. It's written from the main ...
Ben's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Criteria for determining if a character did indeed act out of character

I remember watching a criticism of The Last of Us 2, and there was this guy who said that Tommy acted out of character and it was a bad thing. In the game, I think (spoiler alert) Tommy initially ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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How can you foreshadow a plot twist so that it makes sense, without spoiling it entirely?

How can you foreshadow a plot twist so that it makes sense, without spoiling it entirely? In my story, there's a commander talking down to a soldier and the soldier talk up to the general in private ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
135 views

Is it bad to end a story with a lot of loose points?

Is it bad to end a story with a lot of loose points? Are there some exceptions where some loose points are permitted as long as the main questions are answered? I heard it's bad, but I see a lot of ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
311 views

Can you help me understand what a "lyrical short story" is?

What are the minimum requirements for a lyrical short story to be a story? If it is plotless what separates the lyrical short story from random chatter?
Cool Guy's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
612 views

What is the minimum requirement for a song to be considered a story?

I can't figure out if my songs are stories since they don't contain a climax, multiple characters, or a resolution. For example is this song a story? It lacks conflict and climax and resolution but it ...
Cool Guy's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
203 views

Sudden diary entry within a 3rd person limited story

I'm writing a 3rd person limited multi-pov Sci-Fi. The thoughts of whatever POV is being followed at any point are sometimes shown in italicized writing. Suddenly, 42K words in, starting off chapter ...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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How to Role-Play an eldritch god?

I am currently trying to figure out how to write the actions of an eldritch god that I've created in a Role-Play setting that I have with a few friends, this setting is mainly based on the SCP ...
EldritchShapeshifter's user avatar
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2 answers
383 views

Plot that focuses on non-violent conflict in fantasy setting. Examples and how is it possible in storytelling?

I'm focused on creating a story where I can explore cultural differences and highlight interactions that showcase Emotional Intelligence. So many worlds center around violence as a main means of ...
Thomas F. Webber's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
80 views

Do I need an overall narrator for a collection of 1st person linked stories which may be a novel. If so, who would the narrator be?

I am writing a collection of short stories. Each short story is written in 1st person present tense from that particular protagonist’s POV, telling us his/her own story through their actions and ...
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