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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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A poker game description that does not feel gimmicky

I'm writing a scene in which four characters play a high-stakes poker game. So far my narrator has been an omniscient third person, who just does not wish to enter into the characters' heads. I ...
9
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5answers
934 views

Does detail obscure or enhance action?

I have two versions of a pivotal scene in my novel (both already written). My SP is a rather impulsive young woman who is learning to be a bit less of a hothead. She saves the MC by literally taking ...
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3answers
98 views

Relationship Problems

In my plot, there are these 2 characters who were originally close to each other. However, they had an argument and broke up. In the end of the book, though, they get back together again. What I need ...
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2answers
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If the narrator of the story is a pet, can I still add some philosophical stuff into its narration?

So, the story is about the heroine of the book, but the whole thing is narrated by her pet. Initially the plot is light and easy, but later into the story, it gets a little serious. There's stuff ...
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3answers
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What are the points to remember when the pet is the narrator and is narrating the story of its owner?

I'm working on a novel which is based on a true story. I first thought of writing from the heroine's POV, but later changed my mind and introduced a pet in the plot as the narrator of the story. Which ...
2
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1answer
51 views

Switching tense and point of view between the chapters [duplicate]

I'm writing a story told mostly in first person point of view in present tense where the narrator alternates between two characters from chapter to chapter. I have gotten some critics about this ...
16
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6answers
3k views

Making him into a bully (how to show mild violence)

Joe is the worst. Nobody likes him, not even the so-called friends he teams up with at school, filling other students with terror. He's sarcastic, nasty, and a bit of a racist, and especially anti-...
4
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5answers
456 views

Using time travel without creating plot holes [closed]

There are different types of time travel (they have different rules and constraints) throughout literature, so I was wondering if you could list some of them here, and which ones are best for driving ...
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1answer
87 views

Continuing a short story [closed]

I got an assignment from my teacher that tells me to continue a story that he started. The limit is 1 page. The scenario is that Rose (the main character) is looking for a missing painting, inside ...
9
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4answers
195 views

Tips and tricks to describe more

I'm careful with the phrasing of this question as it is dangerously close to be opinion based. Everyone has their preference regarding the amount of description they expect to find in a work of ...
6
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10answers
279 views

How to end a story without reaching a new status quo?

A popular writing theory states that any story worth telling describes the movement from one status quo to another, and that major uncertainties in the inception and conclusion should be avoided. How ...
9
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5answers
481 views

Narrative arc in erotica?

Usually a story will have a narrative arc of increasing suspense: obstacles become more and more difficult to overcome, setbacks more painful, complications more confusing, the stakes are raised ...
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1answer
90 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
75 views

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? ...
0
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2answers
119 views

Difference between a descriptive essay and a narrative essay?

Okay, so here's my problem: I am trying to write an essay from a prompt that uses the word "describe", but what I'm being asked to describe is not a single person or object, rather it's more broadly a ...
11
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5answers
2k views

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 ...
0
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1answer
133 views

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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3answers
105 views

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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3answers
1k views

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 ...
11
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6answers
592 views

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, ...
3
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2answers
144 views

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 ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

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 ...
3
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5answers
183 views

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 ...
8
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3answers
250 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 ...
6
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5answers
251 views

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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8answers
4k views

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 ...
5
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3answers
107 views

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. ...
13
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4answers
371 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
102 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'...
17
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5answers
2k views

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 ...
4
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2answers
84 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
127 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
102 views

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 ...
6
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5answers
615 views

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 ...
3
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3answers
344 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
80 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
134 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
112 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
116 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 ...
4
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1answer
93 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
131 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 ...
2
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3answers
400 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 ...
2
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4answers
192 views

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 ...
2
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4answers
494 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 ...
3
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3answers
194 views

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
100 views

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
491 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 ...
5
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4answers
834 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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5answers
259 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 ...