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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
32 votes
10 answers
8k views

Is there such a thing as too inconvenient?

I find myself often being irritated at elements in situations that help characters succeed, elements which are also highly unlikely or even illogical. But often, if not more, I find myself angered by ...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
  • 4,043
30 votes
6 answers
15k views

Dead parents: something to avoid?

A lot of people die in my story, some of them are parents. One of the main characters for example lost his father (and one brother) in a car crash when he was young, which he was a part of. He became ...
user avatar
29 votes
13 answers
7k views

How to tell readers that I know my story is factually incorrect?

Sometimes, it so happens that I do some research for a story and find that a major plot point could never work in real life. At this stage, I can either continue with my impossible (for a non-fantasy, ...
tryin's user avatar
  • 2,468
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 ...
Boris Bukh's user avatar
26 votes
7 answers
6k views

How can I make "acts of patience" exciting?

This answer to the question Averting Real Women Don’t Wear Dresses introduces a distinction between acts of patience and acts of daring. [...] when it comes to telling a story [...] acts of daring ...
sesquipedalias's user avatar
24 votes
12 answers
6k views

Problems Blending Sci-fi & Traditional Fantasy?

I have been cautioned against blending: Traditional fantasy elements Such as magic systems and exotic, less plausible creatures (on a scientific level - magic tends to explain away these beasts) ...
DVNO's user avatar
  • 341
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 ...
Rico's user avatar
  • 609
22 votes
8 answers
5k 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 ...
Touchebag's user avatar
  • 321
19 votes
5 answers
9k views

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 ...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
  • 4,043
19 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 ...
undocumented sophistication's user avatar
17 votes
12 answers
9k 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 ...
NofP's user avatar
  • 10.6k
17 votes
6 answers
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-...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k
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 ...
Andrey's user avatar
  • 3,739
16 votes
7 answers
4k 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 ...
robertcday's user avatar
  • 7,743
16 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is omniscient observer POV really dead?

I am in the midst of reworking my latest manuscript into a shape that someone might be inclined to publish. To help me along I hired a professional editor and writer, whose comments and suggestions, ...
Candon's user avatar
  • 160
16 votes
6 answers
2k views

How important is it for multiple POVs to run chronologically?

The way I am currently designing a story with three distinct POVs. An issue I am running into, however, is that one of these has much more to do in the first third than the other two while having less ...
Weckar E.'s user avatar
  • 1,853
16 votes
5 answers
675 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 ...
Aric's user avatar
  • 399
15 votes
11 answers
9k views

When your main character is a misogynist or a racist, how do you tell your readers that you don't subscribe to his racist views by merely showing?

When your main character is a misogynist or a racist, how do you tell your readers that you don't subscribe to his racist views by merely showing? The only way to kinda do this in my opinion is to ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.8k
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 ...
Aric's user avatar
  • 399
14 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is it bad writing or bad story telling if first person narrative contains more information than the narrator knows?

Here are a few examples of the narrator knowing more than he should. (A) In a humourous short story about Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, Bertie is talking about a situation involving two strangers and ...
Prem's user avatar
  • 243
14 votes
5 answers
37k 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 &...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
  • 4,043
14 votes
5 answers
4k views

How to create a memorable line?

I recently re-watched the Overwatch animated short "Honor and Glory". You can tell the writers were proud of the line "Live with Honor, Die with Glory", as the characters say it a fair few times for ...
user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
Kit Z. Fox's user avatar
  • 1,995
13 votes
9 answers
3k views

What counts as exposition dump and is it possible to do exposition dumps without affecting pacing?

One effective technique I was told to use is to integrate the exposition within the narrative, rather than presenting it as a separate block of information. This can be accomplished through various ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.8k
13 votes
3 answers
4k views

What liberties can I take with the monarchies in my own world?

Could a writer make up his own rules, for a monarchy he created, in a world of his own making? My question is whether I can completely disregard the rules and regulations of real-life monarchies, ...
Jack Rabbit's user avatar
  • 1,307
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

Static Scenes that still Move the Story Forward

I've just read a tutorial about scenic techniques in novel-writing that recommends that a story should have a rhythm of static scenes and dramatic scenes. Here's an excerpt: Dramatic scenes are ...
robertcday's user avatar
  • 7,743
13 votes
4 answers
350 views

Getting an editor after the second draft

Losely related with my latest question: Should one invest in a professional editor before querying? I've finished - not without sweat - my second draft. While I'm satisfied with the overall result, I ...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 15.9k
13 votes
6 answers
2k views

How to write a convincing religious myth?

In my story the protagonist hears, in a temple ceremony, the reading of a religious/mythological text. Now in the actual story, I don't need the text itself (the role of the text in context, and the ...
celtschk's user avatar
  • 4,017
12 votes
9 answers
2k views

How do you show, through your narration, a hard and uncaring world?

As I've already mentioned, I'm working on a sci-fi novel. One of the main feelings that I wanted to represent when I started is the sense of a vast, empty, artificial world, mostly cold and uncaring ...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 15.9k
12 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 ...
Ishan2077's user avatar
  • 486
12 votes
7 answers
3k 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 ...
Leila Husein's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
2k views

Is it advisable to add a location heads-up when a scene changes in a novel?

In my novel, I have a scene at home which changes to scene at the office which is completely different. I have written it in a way that in a line or two the reader will understand the scene is changed ...
The White Cloud's user avatar
11 votes
6 answers
988 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, ...
Matthew Dave's user avatar
  • 9,134
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

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 ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
10 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 ...
V LeFox's user avatar
  • 109
10 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is it okay for a chapter's POV to shift as it progresses?

I have this duo in my novel, they're always together in chapters. Usually the story alternates between them within their plot, though mostly leaning to one of the characters, as he's one of the MCs ...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
  • 4,043
9 votes
10 answers
3k views

How do I keep a villain's menace after they've suffered so many defeats?

I've noticed in many long-running stories that it's common to have a villain who's a genuine menace to the heroes become impossible to take seriously after they've gotten defeated or died so many ...
Nuada Airgetlám's user avatar
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 ...
wyc's user avatar
  • 12.4k
9 votes
6 answers
544 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 ...
celtschk's user avatar
  • 4,017
9 votes
5 answers
993 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 ...
Rasdashan's user avatar
  • 12.3k
9 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
Nsim's user avatar
  • 353
9 votes
6 answers
2k 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 ...
user39269's user avatar
  • 278
8 votes
5 answers
8k views

How to slow down the pace of the story?

How do I slow down the pace of my story? And please refrain from answering with "add more descriptions," because I'm already aware of that technique :). I'd like to see if there are even more ways to ...
Klara Raškaj's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
3k views

Is 'infodumping' the important parts of a story via an in-universe lesson in school/documentary/the news/other educational medium bad storytelling?

I have done this twice at the beginning of 2 of my stories (IIRC.) The first was a lecture on the Dust Dragon, an extinct creature in this world. The second was a schoolteacher giving a lesson on the ...
Conan Highwoods's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
5k 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 ...
Featherball's user avatar
  • 4,429
8 votes
5 answers
3k views

How to write a good MacGuffin?

I backed myself into a corner and have to create a [TV TROPES WARNING] MacGuffin for a story. How can I create a good MacGuffin? How to make it interesting for the reader ? I don't know where to ...
RedRenard's user avatar
  • 313
8 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
Nuada Airgetlám's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to make a fiction more visualizable by readers?

I was reading through Agatha Christie's novels and I found that she literally made me visualize everything in the plot. How does she do that?
Riotheavn 's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
761 views

Storyteller/creator vs writer

Since I've begun to attempt this thing called writing, proper writing not coming up with tales and bits to amuse little kids, I've had this doubt. What are the differences, if any real ones, between ...
shieldedtulip's user avatar

1
2 3 4 5 6