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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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 ...
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3 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Learning Story-Telling

For a long time I put off writing a novel, having been preoccupied with the contemplation of how to accomplish prose rhythm, and having little knowledge of the elements of story-telling and of the ...
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What works fine in a movie but doesn't in a book?

As a writer I'm not only looking up to great books, but I take many inspirations from movies as well. I wonder though if there are any techniques that don't translate well between those mediums. Are ...
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2 answers
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Can my prologue be written in omniscient third person if the rest of my novel is written in third person limited POV?

I'm writing a novel in third person limited point of view. I want my prologue to feature an event that is referenced later in the novel, but my protagonist is not involved in the event. (e.x the ...
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23 votes
8 answers
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What can I do with a part that I feel is necessary to a story but it's an absolute drudgery?

I've just written such a paragraph: He turned around and started walking to the nearby store. He bought a bread and a yoghurt. Then he came back and gave the groceries to the homeless guy. There are ...
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What is my story structure?

I am starting to write a story and have made an outline of the major plot points. I am looking at the outline but am not sure which story structure it follows. My outline goes like this: Quick ...
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What is the best way to blend perspectives?

I am writing a story from the perspective of a man telling his audience what happened to him. During his monologue, somebody walks into the room in real-time and tells him something. What is the ...
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I have too much exposition in my stories. What to do?

I’ve posted several chapters of my in-progress trilogy on several writing critique websites, and while many of my fellow writers have praised my worldbuilding abilities, they have remarked that I ...
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2 votes
4 answers
240 views

Is it possible to write a serious story without any humour?

I'm planning out and (will hopefully be writing) a trilogy takes that takes itself pretty seriously and very dark while having a distinct absence of comedy. The reason is behind this choice that I ...
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9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it necessary to add "had" in past tense narration when it's clear we're talking about the past?

Example: Standing in front of the sliding glass door, he began to sweat. The last time he had stepped into a convenience store was a year ago. This is past tense narration. The bolded part is ...
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2 answers
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Starting character alive or dead?

I've been struggling with this one for a long time and it's really kept me from moving forward. My main character starts off as a queen consort, and the death of her husband and her stepson (co-kings) ...
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How to demonstrate that the main character of your story is narrating a story to other people in a scene?

Being new to writing narratives, I have a query in mind. In one particular scene, I want to show that my main character is narrating a story to the crowd. How can I accomplish this? I am unable to ...
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2 votes
3 answers
156 views

Can the villain be introduced too late?

An important aspect of my story is the dread of my villain. He is slowly built up throughout the story, with a bunch of characters here and there talking of the terror he inflicts upon the world. ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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How can I avoid spoiling the reveal in a fictional diary entry?

I'm currently writing a story in a fictional diary format. This is proving challenging in several ways, but right now, my focus lies on trying not to give away any "big news" at the start of ...
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Characters feelings; Using them for pacing/tension

I'm writing a novel and in the opening chapter, one of the main characters finds herself traveling by foot through a very severe sandstorm. I used the character's feelings of choking/suffocating to ...
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4 votes
3 answers
479 views

Switching Between First and Third Person

So I've started writing a book. It's set in present time, but is going to be interwoven with flashbacks to a few years ago to explain how the character(s) got to this scenario in present time. I was ...
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How to Structure a single-perspective Novel into Chapters?

Now my case is not novel-wide; I have to do this in one part of the novel, but I extended the question to a more generalised one, so that anybody else with the same question will find it useful just ...
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2 answers
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protagonist knows things which the reader doesn't know/story starts in the middle. How do I tell them?

when I say "reader", in the context of my particular scenario, I actually mean the "player" as this story is for a videogame. I start the game off with the player/main character (...
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3 votes
2 answers
222 views

Can a writer change the perspective of a story?

Is it a bad thing if someone writes a story in the third point of view, then he changes the whole story into the first point of view where the protagonist himself tells the story?
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5 votes
8 answers
2k views

Should a writer be a good reader?

Someone who wants to be a writer, has a good idea in his/her brain but is not much of a reader. Can that person be a good writer given that he/she has read a few novels but wants to write a great ...
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Can a novel chapter have a suspenseful flashforward opening?

Like in the TV serials, can we have the opening section of the novel relate the ending or some part in between of the chapter (as a flashforward) to add suspense and keep the reader guessing as to how ...
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11 votes
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How can I write complex and believable characters?

How do I write characters that are more grounded, complex and believable so that readers can resonate with them and makes my novel more compelling? How should I elaborate their dialogues and actions ...
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17 votes
4 answers
5k views

Can I have a non-living thing with its own perspective?

We typically have third person or first person narratives in literature. I have a requirement - to unveil the suspense, I want a non-living thing to share its perspective in the final chapter. Is this ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is it permissible to have a non-linear narrative in a three act structure?

Would I be breaking any rules, literary conventions or be doing something that is wrong or redundant as a narrative technique?
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1 vote
7 answers
377 views

When does a partially random event go from reasonably possible to contrived "deus ex machina"?

There will always be some amount of luck, some amount of chance and randomness in any story. This is how it is in real life as well, and although stories are not a representation of reality, they do ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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How to research and create an authentic setting for a story set in a foreign country? [duplicate]

As a writer, for authenticity and to avoid distracting errors, I need to portray my story setting correctly. For example, I live in the UK and need to know whether guests can tay overnight at ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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How do I put forward an optimistic conclusion from the narrative?

I am writing a self-help book. In one of the chapters, I have argued that academic success is dependent on IQ and IQ is hereditary (which I have proved citing various research studies), thus one's ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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I want the protagonist to win, but the antagonist is overpowered [duplicate]

I am writing a story about a normal teenager who is suddenly transported to this world that will soon be attacked by a powerful enemy overlord that rarely shows himself. I would like the protagonist ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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How to introduce a previously hidden faction without creating plot holes?

I've been planing out a sequel series to my trilogy, which has a secret society called Nukui-Paub spearheaded by the sequel trilogy's primary antagonist Ma'dtuth, who draws inspiration from Vandal ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How do I go about writing a biographical account of my father? [closed]

I want to write a book involving the life of my father. He's been a political activist during his youth and the events that he narrates are worthy to be recorded. But I am confused as to what it ...
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1 vote
2 answers
215 views

How to make a conflict seem more complex, despite the story itself being rather one-sided?

So, one of my story ideas involved werewolves. In the setting, they were a minority, much like most non-human races. Now, of these werewolves, turned (as in a human who became a werewolf) ones only ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is it possible for a police officer to house a child in questioning? [closed]

For my story, I have a character who is a police officer. In this story, a child is a key to solving the identity of a crime lord after witnessing one of their crimes. The child is in questioning, but ...
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3 votes
2 answers
116 views

Should you explain where the level of detail comes from in a first person story that is in past tense?

Sometimes I read a first person story in past tense and I'm amazed at how much the main character is able to remember in such detail about events that happen decades ago. I know some books uses tools ...
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5 votes
4 answers
266 views

How do I Build Stories Around Characters?

I have a lot of characters I’ve spent time creating and developing, but I cannot, for the life of me, develop an overarching plot. Anyone got any techniques or tips on this? I know the question is ...
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2 votes
2 answers
235 views

How to write in a clear narrative voice

I am writing a Narrated novel. Here is my 1st Person Narration followed by 3rd Person Account of Same Incident Grandmother was an old woman left to fend for herself. Ranjho's Mother walked ...
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Fault in writers logic and how avoid?

So yeah I have seen a situation where what the writer has put makes sense, but after thinking it through there are clear faults in the logic they used. Here's my example A small team is advancing ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How much of a Novel's Point of View should be from the Narrator

I am writing a Novel. How much of the story should be from the Narrator's Point of View. For instance, Narrator knows that person A was engaged to person B decades ago. But Narrator does not know ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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How much "throat-clearing," or introduction and exposition, is acceptable to introduce a narrator?

I am writing Historical Fiction Novel. A Reporter is interviewing a Centenarian who narrates the story. The Centenarian's hobby is closely related the novel. The throat-clearing also introduces two ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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If I write a story that incorporates a scientific theory, does the theory have to be cited?

For example, if I've written a character that is supposed to be smart and uses a scientific theory as the basis for doing something interesting; does that theory have to be cited in the story. I don't ...
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0 votes
3 answers
411 views

Is it bad for the narrative to lie?

What I want to know is if it is bad for the narrative to lie to the reader. I get that using it in first person can be a good use for misdirection and such, but it does that by making the character ...
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