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 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 &...
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16 votes
7 answers
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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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5 votes
3 answers
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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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11 votes
4 answers
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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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14 votes
2 answers
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Striking the balance between dialogue and narrative

I am participating in National Novel Writing Month this year. I have never in my life written so much of a single story. Although I am supposed to tell my inner editor to shut up this month, she is ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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2 votes
3 answers
317 views

Can a character with poor communication skills be used to create an excellent first-person narrative?

I am deciding between first and third person narration for a book (and am inclined to write in the first person). One of the limitations of the protagonist is that he is not a great communicator, and ...
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8 votes
2 answers
586 views

Is it a bad idea to vary the voice of the narrator in third person (limited omniscient)?

I did some thorough searching for duplicates of this question, but I don't think they really cover the same spirit of the issue I'm having. (here are some examples of similar but different questions) ...
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6 votes
5 answers
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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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7 votes
7 answers
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Symbolism of 18 Journeyers

In my story, 12 year old Ruth has visions from another place and time which lead her to gather a group of kids for a quest. She is told there will be 18 kids, but she can only find 17 with the ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Doubt about the concept of "true (or complex) character"

Following the answer of @Cyn and my comment (on Doubt about a particular point of view on how to do character creation ): I would like to know more about how to "know" more about a true alived ...
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The seven story archetypes. Are they truly all of them?

The seven archetypes are as follows: Overcoming the Monster. Rags to Riches. The Quest. Voyage and Return. Comedy. Tragedy. Rebirth. But surely, there are more? For example, riches to rags? That is ...
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10 votes
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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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2 votes
3 answers
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Third person multiple pov in a crime mystery

Fellow writers, I am plotting a crime mystery novel. I have the story and gist in place. It should have the "whodunit" element. I want to use Third person multiple pov narrative(more than 6+ povs). I'...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Avoiding episodic writing

I'm working on a novel that will have at least three distinct sections in three distinct locations (the two main characters start in the first location, travel through the second location, and one ...
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5 votes
4 answers
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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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3 answers
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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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17 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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11 votes
4 answers
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What are the components of a legend (in the sense of a tale, not a figure legend)?

I'm compiling in-world legends for my built world, and would like them to feel like established legends from our own human experience. What should I keep in mind while writing these legends? What ...
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9 votes
6 answers
494 views

How much indirection is too much?

I'm writing a chapter with a lot of indirection, and I'm wondering if I'm doing too much of it. To be specific, it is the main character remembering an event from his youth when a merchant who stayed ...
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7 votes
8 answers
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How do I include a powerful theme in my story without making it blatantly obvious? [duplicate]

I want to have an underlying message in my writing but I really don't want it to come across as annoying or too preachy. Thanks!
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1 vote
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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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