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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3answers
322 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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646 views

When does something become “torture porn”?

I've heard this term thrown around sometimes in a derisive way (obviously), and usually not just to refer to Saw movies. I don't remember who it was, but I remember someone saying how the movie "...
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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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1answer
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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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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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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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2answers
50 views

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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1answer
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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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415 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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52 views

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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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 ...
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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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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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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 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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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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Is it acceptable practice to use contractions in a fictional first person narrative for children?

I am writing a children's story in first person, present tense. Aside from the quotes from characters, all of the text is meant to represent the narrator's own thoughts, and either describes what they ...
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4answers
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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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7answers
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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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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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1answer
68 views

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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2answers
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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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1answer
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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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7answers
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Starting a book with a scene from the middle

So. I'm currently working on a novel. (It's my first ever.) I need all the help I can get. I had an idea where I start with a scene which is close to the climax, where the main character is to be ...
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The concept of “Exotic Culture” and the necessity of a new world

A personal point of view on the necessity of a new culture in fiction "A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away", "Pandora", "Dune", "Middle Earth". All quite ...
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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 ...
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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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105 views

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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1answer
54 views

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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2answers
186 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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5answers
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Is it true that men (in general) can't write female first-person?

I think I first saw that statement in an answer to this question. Men cannot, in general, write female first-person. I gave it a thought, and realized there was some truth in it; I've read first-...
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4answers
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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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1answer
64 views

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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4answers
226 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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2answers
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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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2answers
199 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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1answer
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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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1answer
54 views

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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3answers
169 views

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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4answers
470 views

How to portray a character slipping into insanity over time?

The deuteragonist of my trilogy, The Ragnarǫk Sequence is heavily implied to be Jeanne d'Arc (whose characterisation takes many cues from Artoria Pendragon) and serves as the protagonist's moral ...
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310 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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3answers
185 views

I find it tough to write my fictional stories in anything other than past tense, why is this?

I would like to venture out into present tense, but it is so hard for me to do. How can I work on this to be able to actually write a full book in the present tense?
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What makes a cliffhanger bad/good?

In the second (not yet written) book of my novel series, the ending is a cliffhanger. A very hopeless one. The very hopelessness of it is deliberate. Not only am I signing them up for the next ...
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1answer
122 views

What Drives a Broken man? [closed]

There is this story that I was working on, for an extended period of time. I have scrapped many ideas and drafts but I just could not seem to let go. The idea of this story, in my mind, is simply too ...
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1answer
49 views

How do I avoid using to many "I and My in first person narratives [duplicate]

To give you a little context below. "Yesterday, I was smiling, and tomorrow, I will try to hold my head up high. But today, tears welled up in my eyes, as my worst fear looked me in the eyes as my ...
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2answers
132 views

Describing a Smile [closed]

Im trying to show the fact that in a picture my character is smiling, but I don't want to say "we were smiling" this is the sentence im trying to fix: "We were both smiling foolishly, he looked so ...
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7answers
2k views

I keep rewriting the same section of my story. How do I move forward?

I have a story I want to write and I have the scenes in my head. Because of this, I keep judging and rewriting the first part because I'm never satisfied with it. How do I get over this perfectionism ...
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3answers
3k views

How to write montages in prose? (fantasy novel)

cue Team America song Okay, now that you know I like to have fun with my writing... I'd like to write a montage in prose fiction. It would be a sort of a wizard training sequence, or something to ...
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1answer
55 views

Using different times for different narrative purposes

I'm writing a biography. And I want it to be written in English, although I'm not a native speaker. Can I use different times to highlight different narratives, like this: Present - for describing ...
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2answers
137 views

Letting a (secondary) antagonist leave mid story - Should it be avoided?

I have a powerful antagonist perform important functions within my story. At the midpoint, he just leaves. Several Plot developments depend on this character. I tried replacing him with other ...

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