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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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?
3 votes
4 answers
63 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 ...
1 vote
4 answers
180 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 ...
5 votes
4 answers
895 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 ...
13 votes
5 answers
29k views

How to avoid using "he/she/it" repetitively in action

I'm writing a zombie apocalypse genre book (yes, I know it's a heavily used and abused writing genre, but I'm writing it in my way, a way I believe is a good way). Anyway, I caught myself writing &...
1 vote
2 answers
90 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
116 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
127 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
43 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?
3 votes
1 answer
552 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
105 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 ...
15 votes
11 answers
1k views

How can I have a war with no "good" or "evil" side?

I'm conceptualising a story involving two heroes who go on an epic journey and return bitter rivals etc. etc. and form their own forces in a sort of civil war. My issue is that I want them to both be ...
0 votes
2 answers
188 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
123 views

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 ...
1 vote
4 answers
146 views

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 ...
8 votes
4 answers
4k views

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 ...
11 votes
6 answers
3k views

Can the prologue's POV be different from the POV of the main story?

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 narrator... and I have 2 ...
1 vote
4 answers
73 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
201 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 ...
29 votes
7 answers
3k views

Where can I find resources for bedtime story plots?

For past ten months, my wife and I have been telling bedtime stories of our own making to our older daughter (who recently turned 4). We do it on alternate evenings. The stories have a nearly-constant ...
1 vote
3 answers
170 views

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 ...
23 votes
8 answers
5k views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
80 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
133 views

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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
280 views

Doubt about a particular point of view on how to do character creation

Of course developing a character is quite an intimate process. But still, like a story, you can in fact have some tools that give you some sort of axiomatic path on "how-to". There is a TV ...
-1 votes
1 answer
117 views

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 ...
8 votes
4 answers
962 views

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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
7 votes
3 answers
867 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 "...
0 votes
2 answers
113 views

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) ...
0 votes
1 answer
73 views

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 ...
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. ...
1 vote
2 answers
139 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
68 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
225 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 ...
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 ...
0 votes
3 answers
59 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 ...
17 votes
12 answers
8k views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
155 views

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 (...
0 votes
2 answers
226 views

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 ...
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 ...
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?
2 votes
4 answers
150 views

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 ...
4 votes
5 answers
4k views

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 ...
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
74 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?
2 votes
2 answers
101 views

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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