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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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How to deal with Infalliable Narrator issue?

So, what I'm writing is a novel where I'm the narrator who describes life events of my another self. The whole story revolves around this character. This page contains the following passage in the ...
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How do you decide the voice of your narrative?

Any guidelines to consider while deciding the voice of your narrative, i.e whether it should be a first-person account, or should the story be narrated by the voice of an omnipresent storyteller? ...
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Can the prologue's POV be different from the POV of main story?

Let me explain my question: I want to write the prologue of the story with the narrator in first person with the point of view of the protagonist. But the story is already written in a third person ...
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What do we mean by “Inevitable Narratives”? [closed]

The inspiration to ask & answer this question came from a comment made by Matthew Dave on this reply: https://writing.stackexchange.com/a/38648/16555 I've also been asked that before, by a ...
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Can I state a fact in a first person story?

If I have a sentence such as this: Footsteps were heard coming down the alley. Can I use that in a first-person story? I don't think it's technically third-person, but it sort of feels like it's ...
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What are some examples of an inciting incident that would force a character to go on a quest or adventure?

I've noticed that my novel is missing a really strong inciting incident and I can't think of anything strong enough to suffice. The only inciting incidents I'm familiar with seeing in nearly every ...
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Third Person POV: What level of telling is acceptable for character motivation?

The novel I'm writing is third-person limited POV in style. This means that the narration's coverage is limited to what the POV character can observe, think, feel, while others' thoughts, feelings, ...
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Alternatives to starting a sentence with well [closed]

I'm new to narrative writing and especially have trouble with dialogue. I too often am using the word well to start a character's sentence after receiving some information to then ask a question about ...
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Writing a Satisfying Ending

It strikes me that the last chapter (or so) of any story needs to make the reader feel that reading the book has been a worthwhile experience. An exceptional ending might leave a reader with such a ...
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5answers
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Creating a logical framework for the concept of “decisional causality”

I'm working on a science fiction universe in which time travel exists, in a very limited form, but it's useless, at least it's the intention that it be useless. To that end time travel, on the rare ...
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182 views

How to organically and believably introduce the tools and skills necessary to survive after an apocalypse?

So I'm writing an urban fantasy story about the modern day after a mysterious unknown entity suddenly imbues humans with the ability to use magic powers. While the story initially starts out as a more ...
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In a “Gatsby” type story, how does a narrator relate what he doesn't get to see?

"The Great Gatsby" was told from the point of view of Gatsby's neighbor, Nick Carraway by name, with Nick using the first person. Nick gets to see a lot, but not all of Gatsby's dealings. A case in ...
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How to get readers to care about a dead character?

My story happens as a result of one of the main characters getting murdered. I'm wondering how to get readers to care about someone who's not even in the story (as far as the readers know anyway) or ...
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3answers
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Can I change tenses in my first person YA novel?

I'm half way through a YA science fiction novel that is told in 1st person, past tense. Currently there are two chapters in different tenses. One is 2nd person, present tense - the p.o.v. of an AI. ...
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4answers
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How can I hide a second narrative within my story? (using time travel)

I've been planning a story that follows two characters. At the end, one character (let's call him Joe) goes back in time and appears at the start of the book. I intend to explore themes of ...
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1answer
72 views

How to balance between dialogue & character building and action scenes?

I'm writing a novel which takes place in a carefully built (science-)fictional world. The protagonist is also a fictional creature. Obviously, the reader does not know about the world or the creature'...
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How can I convey an absolute truth from the author to the reader without a mentor character?

There are sometimes moments in works of fiction where the author needs to convey something to the reader without ambiguity. Let's say the situations around the characters get so weird that the author ...
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Does the degree of immersion in the character alter the extremity of plot points used?

Star Wars IV: We never really get to know Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, and so when they're burned to a crisp, little pieces of human toast, it's horrific but yeah OK. Not as horrific as if we saw Obi Wan ...
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A novel in which the only dialogue is internal? [closed]

I am mulling the idea of writing a novel in which the only dialogue is internal. Has anyone yet published such a novel? I define "dialogue" here as any kind of speech addressed by a fictional person ...
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1answer
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What would be an effective way to narrate this story? [closed]

I don't want the story being told from the point of view of the protagonist. Could a third person (limited omniscient) be effective in telling this story? Giving points of view from other character'...
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4answers
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What's a shorter way of saying, “If you had asked me, I would have said, 'I suppose'”?

I have this sentence: Rebecca lived in the building and was one of my wife's closest friends. One of mine too, I supposed. With "I supposed", I'm trying to convey that if you had asked the ...
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Should the narrator use pseudonyms in writing?

I have characters who have to use false names. Should the narrator use their real name or false name? For example, if person A was being called Adam when their real name was Archie, person B would ...
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In first person narrative, is it acceptable to end rhetorical questions with a period?

In first person narrative, would it be acceptable to use a period in place of a question mark when the narrator is asking a rhetorical question? example: My car broke down again. Why does this always ...
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1answer
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Is there a term that describes a written work that includes narrative in addition to scientific and historical information? [closed]

I can think of a few books, such as The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion, and I Can Hear You Whisper by Lydia Jones. In both these novels, the author was narrating a true experience, but at ...
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1answer
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What's the name of this gesture? [closed]

Imagine yourself driving a car and and spotting someone on the sidewalk. You stop the car beside him and want him to get in the backseat. You say something like "Hey, get in." with a nod of head that ...
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2answers
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How do readers/writers alike feel about too much narration in a story?

My question is pretty much summed up in the title. My story includes a lot of narration. Narrating events, narrating character's thoughts. There are several intervals in each chapter where the ...
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1answer
93 views

What type of stuff should someone read to improve their email skills?

I've heard that writers should read the type of stuff they want to write. Usually that implies really good fiction and prose, but I want to write great emails to my colleagues and network. What types ...
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1answer
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Tech-limited metaphors?

In my native language, we sometimes use the expression "to be shot by (Someone)'s eyes", meaning that Someone is staring at you very intently and in an examining, measuring manner, most often trying ...
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1answer
102 views

Will this form of “third person limited” confuse readers?

I've been writing a novel that pushes the bounds on a conventional POV. It's essentially third person limited, but I sometimes leave the perspective of the main protagonist to cover an event that has ...
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3answers
337 views

Memoir on a coveted experience, has no conflict! What should i do?

I am writing about my experience at place X-- a place that is coveted by many people, a dream come true of sorts! Problem is: There is no conflict in my experience -- just a description of what a ...
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4answers
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Help! My brain is writing several chapters at once!

So, I've been thinking about my story, and suddenly I got inspiration for the continuation of the chapter (I'm not even sure what chapter it should be). So, basically, I ended with progressing 3 ...
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4answers
293 views

Point of view, narrative voice, and when to name a character in narration

Let's say you have a scene with Maria, written in third person from Maria's point of view. Then you have a scene with Akash, written in third person from Akash's point of view - and suppose they do ...
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What is it called when the reader is the focal point?

Here is an example of what I mean in present-tense (though narrative time is irrelevant): You walk into the empty room, you should be worrying about what's about to happen but instead your mind is ...
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1answer
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How do I describe this particular scene?

My character lives in a war torn country. I'm trying to start this short story with him waking up on his way to school (possibly the bus stop). On his way, he sees graffiti, vandalism (basically ...
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3answers
337 views

How do I blur the line between dream and reality?

I intend to write a science fantasy where dream world plays as important role as reality. The dream world stated has quite a distinct feel from the real world, and it is integral to the plot. The ...
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4answers
435 views

How does the narrator address a character who has changed her name, but only some people call her this new name?

I know this is similar to How to Handle a Character When She Is Lying About Her Name but the situation is slightly different in where my problem lies. I have a character who is introduced as Tabatha ...
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234 views

How to work in a piece of information that no MC knows, when writing in 3PLtd?

In my story, there is a group of four characters that are called upon a classic macguffin hunt. The characters know that the macguffin is important, but they do not know all the details as why it is ...
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2answers
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How do I avoid rambling in first person narratives?

When writing in first person narrative, there are points when the narrator expresses their opinion on a situation, the emotions they're feeling and so on. I've read books where there are several ...
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1answer
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Dropping tie-ins for future stories?

During my writing I discovered some interesting (sub)adventures that my protagonists go through while reaching their end-destination. However, these stories are totally irrelevant to the current plot ...
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First person narrative - pros and cons

I'm writing a novel where my original idea was to use first person narrative in most chapters, since the story focuses on the main character's thoughts/feelings/mental issues. I planned to use third ...
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How can I get reader profiles? [closed]

How can I get a reader profile for a publishing category i.e. criminal justice, social justice?
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1answer
395 views

1st person story with no dialogue? [duplicate]

Is it possible to write a good story without any dialogue? I'm working on a short story, and trying to keep it within 2000 words, but preferably 1000-1500 words. I'm trying to write it as if the ...
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0answers
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Help with editing my narrative story. [closed]

I know that this website isnt meant for editing, but my story is a little personal and I was hoping to remain anonymous. This is just a rough draft that might be a little hard to read. The goal is to ...
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1answer
115 views

How to add a new word to the dictionary

Background Okay, so I've decided now is my personal time to shine! I have thought of a great new word, and want to add it to the dictionary. Theoretically, if enough people read my book and see this ...
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2answers
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How should a narrative parenthetical remark be placed in reference to a dialog quotation?

I’m wondering how to place a narrative parenthetical remark in dialog. I’m proofreading a book with a quote that doesn’t look right to me: He whispered, “I think she will have a child in Raspberry ...
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4answers
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Have a tough time figuring out third-person prose

I can write first-person great, but many stories can only be told third-person and i dont have much experience here. It always feels clunky, doesn't flow right. And get distracted by pronouns and what ...
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1answer
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Help with extended metaphor in college essay [closed]

I'm trying to write a college essay using an extended metaphor comparing my desire to pursue education in the future with the creation of a yoyo. This is probably a bit confusing, so I'll try to ...
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Should I use contractions in my narrative?

Should I use contractions in my narrative, or only use them in dialogue? I have noticed that in some books, like The Passage by Justin Crownin, contractions are used in the prose. In others, like The ...
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4answers
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Folktale within a folktale [closed]

I am looking for any type of oral literature (folktale, poem whatever), that would include an inserted story, however minor, that is in its content foreign to the primary poem, folktale... Let me ...
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2answers
46 views

Readability for narrative type with respect to time

I am planning a series of fantasy novels which will be told in linear time with relatively small time jumps. One novel in the collection, however must span several generations while keeping the same ...