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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233 views

How do readers/writers alike feel about too much narration in a story?

My question is pretty much summed up in the title. My story includes a lot of narration. Narrating events, narrating character's thoughts. There are several intervals in each chapter where the ...
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1answer
132 views

How to balance between dialogue & character building and action scenes?

I'm writing a novel which takes place in a carefully built (science-)fictional world. The protagonist is also a fictional creature. Obviously, the reader does not know about the world or the creature'...
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2answers
310 views

1st-person POV vs. 1st-person narration

I always thought there was a distinction between POV and narration. You can have 1st-person POV with either 1st-person narration or 3rd-person narration. So I think the discussions here (http://...
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1answer
143 views

What type of stuff should someone read to improve their email skills?

I've heard that writers should read the type of stuff they want to write. Usually that implies really good fiction and prose, but I want to write great emails to my colleagues and network. What types ...
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1answer
320 views

What is the origin of multiple 'plotlines' tabular diagram?

Where did the concept of multiple parallel plotlines (that may or may not interact and converge) originate? These days they're also known as throughlines, subplots, narrative/character arcs, series. ...
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5answers
407 views

Should I avoid “lecturing” my readers?

I just noticed I have the tendency of "lecturing" my readers now and then. Examples: I almost let everything out. But, funny, I didn't do it. I didn't want him to feel bad. Which made me wonder ...
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3answers
219 views

What is it called when the reader is the focal point?

Here is an example of what I mean in present-tense (though narrative time is irrelevant): You walk into the empty room, you should be worrying about what's about to happen but instead your mind is ...
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4answers
901 views

Point of view, narrative voice, and when to name a character in narration

Let's say you have a scene with Maria, written in third person from Maria's point of view. Then you have a scene with Akash, written in third person from Akash's point of view - and suppose they do ...
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3answers
513 views

In first person narrative, is it acceptable to end rhetorical questions with a period?

In first person narrative, would it be acceptable to use a period in place of a question mark when the narrator is asking a rhetorical question? example: My car broke down again. Why does this always ...
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7answers
4k views

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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3answers
481 views

Memoir on a coveted experience, has no conflict! What should i do?

I am writing about my experience at place X-- a place that is coveted by many people, a dream come true of sorts! Problem is: There is no conflict in my experience -- just a description of what a ...
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4answers
197 views

Help! My brain is writing several chapters at once!

So, I've been thinking about my story, and suddenly I got inspiration for the continuation of the chapter (I'm not even sure what chapter it should be). So, basically, I ended with progressing 3 ...
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7answers
634 views

Can non-interactive stories make an audience feel guilt, and if so, how?

Interactive stories can do this quite easily- give the audience a choice, reveal choice to be a bad one, everyone is very sad. Simple. But can a story the audience has no direct control over manage ...
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1answer
190 views

Pulling the reader out of the narrative: When it's too much?

Example (excerpt from a story I'm writing): To make things worse, my schoolmates started calling me “Hanging Pup” from then on (yes, news spread like a diseases at my university. The dumber ...
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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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3answers
209 views

How to find the balance between research and the obvious

I'm embarking on writing my first popular science book on a controversial subject. For sure the writing must be rational, coherent with a clear train of thought and littered with references to be ...
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3answers
274 views

Is it necessary to make clear “when” an event occur in a flashback?

Few examples: Saki first became aware of her sixth finger at the age of five. Her aunt had come to visit the house that afternoon, bringing Rika (Saki's favorite cousin). (...) ...
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3answers
186 views

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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3k views

Is there a term for a narrative where you are speaking to the reader?

I know that a first-person narrative is written from the point of view of the narrator, relaying events from their own point of view using the first person (i.e. I or we, etc). Is there a name/term ...
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3answers
234 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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2answers
158 views

Finding it difficult and stress provoking to write a long post

For the past few weeks, I have started to write about random things in an attempt to improve my language skills. I figured maybe writing on forums(all types) about my own problems would help me to ...
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2answers
120 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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3answers
305 views

Writing flashbacks in novels

You would have seen many movies where the flow of the story goes in such a way - The present life of the protagonist - talks with someone / sees something - reminds him something of a past experience ...
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Are the following passages examples of tense change? Are they allowed in fiction writing?

We reached the place a few minutes later, which turned out to be—a record store? The room was tiny but nice. Simple, and with the comfort and coziness of the countryside. Plus it had ...
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2answers
172 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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1k views

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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1answer
193 views

What's the name of this gesture? [closed]

Imagine yourself driving a car and and spotting someone on the sidewalk. You stop the car beside him and want him to get in the backseat. You say something like "Hey, get in." with a nod of ...
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2answers
100 views

How should a narrative parenthetical remark be placed in reference to a dialog quotation?

I’m wondering how to place a narrative parenthetical remark in dialog. I’m proofreading a book with a quote that doesn’t look right to me: He whispered, “I think she will have a child in Raspberry ...
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1answer
84 views

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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4answers
207 views

Writing a non-lucid dream

In a third-person novel I am writing, one of the characters has a very significant dream that I would like to transcribe. The problem is, I would like to focus on the character's reaction to the ...
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1answer
119 views

Writing in a character's voice. How deep should I go with immersion?

I am writing a story that has ten main characters, each chapter is a progression of the story but from the perspective of one of the ten. As you can imagine, this presents it's own unique challenges, ...
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1answer
169 views

Does this text flow smoothly (description of suicidal thoughts)?

So how did this animal suicide thing start? Ironically, it began with my own death wish. But why? I had perfect health, friends and family who cared about me, plus I had just been admitted into ...
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4answers
360 views

Am I using too much dialogue?

In some of my writing, nearly every paragraph is pure dialogue, with very little exposition or description. On one hand, I feel like it flows smoothly, with little distraction, but on the other, I'm ...
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2answers
154 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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4answers
445 views

Multiple POV novel - introducing rules of magic

I have an urban fantasy story that is told from multiple view points. I'm wondering on the best way to introduce the rules of magic within this piece of work? I have about 10 points of view total ...
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3answers
265 views

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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5answers
284 views

How to work in a piece of information that no MC knows, when writing in 3PLtd?

In my story, there is a group of four characters that are called upon a classic macguffin hunt. The characters know that the macguffin is important, but they do not know all the details as why it is ...
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3answers
118 views

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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5answers
439 views

Is the following sentence structure allowed in fiction?

I'm not very sure why, but the following sentence structure came out from my mind: Disclaimer: this is a first draft. The realization just came to her now. Or perhaps, she knew it all along; it ...
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3answers
228 views

How to give written advice in a way that is encouraging, not overbearing

How do we write something to inspire a person which corrects the mistakes they've made until now, but without making them feel like they're getting mocked from the recipient's perspective? I was ...
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2answers
96 views

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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4answers
168 views

Have a tough time figuring out third-person prose

I can write first-person great, but many stories can only be told third-person and i dont have much experience here. It always feels clunky, doesn't flow right. And get distracted by pronouns and what ...
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3answers
242 views

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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3answers
300 views

Is my method of Narration switching from objective to subjective too complicated?

I'm having trouble deciding if the manner I have decided to narrate my story is too complicated or not. I have a story set in a completely foreign and alien world (fiction story). I then uproot my ...
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2answers
286 views

Nonlinear novels

Let's say that you are writing a novel whose narrative is non-linear. That means that when Chapter One refers to the present time, e.g. the 2010s, Chapter Two, instead of telling what happened right ...
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2answers
250 views

Resources for improving storytelling

I mainly write fiction, but want to improve my storytelling techniques. I'm looking for some books or resources to improve this. I want study different story structures and storytelling techniques. I ...
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1answer
167 views

How do I describe this particular scene?

My character lives in a war torn country. I'm trying to start this short story with him waking up on his way to school (possibly the bus stop). On his way, he sees graffiti, vandalism (basically ...
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1answer
402 views

Should I use “could be” or “could have been” in past-tense narration?

Examples: Using "could": I looked at the flyer again, and then back at Mark. Very strange---meeting someone who didn't see me as a weirdo. But could it be true? Could there be a club dedicated ...
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3answers
2k views

First person narrative - pros and cons

I'm writing a novel where my original idea was to use first person narrative in most chapters, since the story focuses on the main character's thoughts/feelings/mental issues. I planned to use third ...
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4answers
296 views

Explanatory narrative in fiction

For a little homework, I have a good story, but its not a story that can be told by letting it unfold and writing the events that happened. What I want to do, is tell a story of events in the past ...