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 find different meanings behind metaphors used in speech writing?

I'm looking for ways to discover what others might think when they hear or see a metaphor used in a speech. I tend to think a certain way. I have certain prejudices. I think we all do. If I use a ...
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How to write that a character waits a certain amount of time? [duplicate]

Let's say the character of the story has to wait a day and you need to write in the story in a smooth manner that they waited the day for the thing they were expecting?
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Is writing literary devices in a narrative essay (reflective) always good?

In narrative essays, writing literary devices almost always makes the reader feel more of what is in the story. However, sometimes I like writing reflective narratives, where thoughts of the character ...
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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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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 ...
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What truly makes dark and morose storytelling effective?

This is a fairly simple, straightforward question that I hope I can get an answer to. Where is the line of separation between an effectively dark storytelling and trying too hard to be edgy with ...
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1answer
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What effects do the different types of flashbacks produce?

Different types of "Flashbacks" In this question, the OP asks what the different types of flashbacks are, which of them is used the most and which is the most effective. He doesn't really ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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-...
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Ways to develop characters in a fast paced video game

The Goal: I am currently working on a video game project and I need some help with character development techniques. It is a character driven ensemble cast jRPG/cRPG. Therefore I want the characters ...
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5answers
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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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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) ...
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1answer
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What do you call a hidden story inside a story?

People think that in the novel The Wizard of Oz there's a hidden story that alludes to what happened in the U.S. political scene in the 1890s. How do you refer to a hidden story? Do you call it an '...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How do I know if I should be a writer?

I have been writing on and off, without really paying attention to it, almost impulsively, since I was sixteen. It's been mostly therapeutic, for me. I found recently that putting dreams to paper ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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Phrasing to balance immense speed with boredom

Through much of my novel the protagonist spends considerable time cruising over various landscapes at speeds exceeding 500 km/h. To you or me this is significant but to the character, it's "just a job....
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How much should you “guide” your audience with questions?

When you have your audience go through your work, whether it's written fiction, a movie, a video game or whatever, you want them to ask themselves certain questions, which you want to answer as they ...
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How do you know if your story concepts contradict each other? [closed]

This country has a long line of female rulers going back since its inception. Due to a divine connection with the goddess, only queens can inherit the throne, and rules as both leader of the nation ...
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What kind of writing style works for a game?

Background: I'm creating a story for a video game--it's set in a cyberpunk, futuristic setting, and it has many flows, one of its flows is that the story is so complicated and novelized, that it ...
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Do Science Fiction Stories Follow A Particular Pattern? [closed]

I recently started writing a book expanding myself from my typical fantasy genre into SciFi. I have taken a start however I have reached an impasse and can not really decide how I should structure my ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Are there narrative structures other than Kishōtenketsu and the three act structure and its derivatives?

Derivatives of the three act structure include the Hero's journey, Dan Harmon's story circle, and the five act structure.
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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, ...
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Is it true that “Any story can be great in the hands of the right storyteller”?

Presumably, like all trite sayings, it's a bit of an exaggeration since a story has to be at least interesting. (I mean, it would take amazing talent to write simply about someone sleeping and make it ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Plotting a Compelling Story [closed]

How should I approach plotting a compelling story, i.e. one aimed at changing the way people think and behave (rather than just being "art for art's sake")? I want to write a novel or collection of ...
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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, ...
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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 "Logan"...