Questions tagged [plot]

Plot typically refers to the events and their ordering in a work of narrative fiction. Use this tag for questions regarding plotting, outlining, and narrative arc.

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1answer
19 views

Turning a general story idea into a series of events

I don't tend to struggle coming up with ideas for story plots - the 'one sentence summary', as it were. As soon as it comes to breaking that into a series of events and chapters, though, I quickly get ...
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2answers
47 views

Is this a tacky ending?

Would you consider a worldwide vote on if the character succeeds to be a tacky ending to a story? The means for the vote to occur are in place, but is it a satisfactory climax to have the protagonist ...
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4answers
71 views

Vignette-esque story structure?

I'm writing a novel which essentially has the main character go from place to place and retrieve a single object from each person they encounter. My problem is that while I can think of possible ...
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2answers
271 views

How can I successfully change main character half-way through the story?

I write short stories in Chinese, and give a new page to my teacher to correct every few days. This is the story I'm thinking of writing: We have a male main character. His wife is devoted to him, ...
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2answers
134 views

When and how to reveal the details of a protagonist's traumatic backstory

I'm writing a screenplay. The main character has suffered a major tragedy, but we don't know that yet. This, of course, hugely affects the way he acts, due to this tragedy he is now a broken man, ...
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2answers
105 views

Is political correctness a challenge to clarity of communication and characterisation [closed]

The Ugly Sisters were ugly, everybody knows that, and in visual media they portrayed that way. I'm not going attempt to the original conflation of ugliness with evil. The sisters are no longer ugly. ...
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3answers
134 views

Does including a lot of tropes in a single idea pay off well?

The other day, I was working on a Supernatural Fiction genre and I was stuck in a dilemma. I had two choices, whether I could focus on one trope, that is, just the vampires and their conspiracies or I ...
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2answers
97 views

How to merge conflicting narratives?

I am setting up my story setting, a sci-fi story, and the people that I work with have created their own lore(s). Some of them conflict with one another. How might I combine these lore(s) into one, ...
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3answers
140 views

How to prevent secondary characters stealing protagonist role when using exposition via dialogue?

Due to the evolution of modern media I prefer to depend on exposition through dialogue. I try to avoid telling the reader anything. With simple plots this is easily achieved (often through the ...
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2answers
264 views

Can I have scenes that aren't directly related to the main plot but strengthen the relationship between two characters (which is a subplot)?

I have some scenes in my novel that have nothing to do with the main plot, it's just to show the character development and the development of the relationship between two characters. Is this okay ...
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1answer
124 views

How to start a story after the inciting incident?

My novel starts with the three heroes joining a cattle drive. When they talk among themselves, it's obvious that they have some kind of hidden agenda. We'll learn more about thier secret mission over ...
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3answers
232 views

Examples of dialog beats and bookism

I was wondering if there is a list of ideas on how to add beats to dialog. For example: "Listen to me!", John said excitedly. "We can sell all these coins now and get rich today." He got closer ...
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1answer
151 views

Can you discard the plot for a better character arc? [closed]

I think I failed to communicate my intentions in the previous question. I was always fascinated by JoJo's Bizzare Adventure, and to an extent Araki's writing style. The main power system (Stands) of ...
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3answers
186 views

Do scenes, sequels, and MRUs apply to mystery novels?

I'm in the process of writing a mystery novel/novella and it conforms to the traditional/classic mystery novel, emulating that of Agatha Christie or A.C. Doyle. I'm having doubts as to the proper way ...
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2answers
155 views

Non-sense question about plot structures

Suppose then you have an story in your mind. Then, to write down this finite series of events, you have to translate your imagination into the paper. This process isn't trivial, of course and plot are ...
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8answers
412 views

Dumping an entire world for dramatic effect?

About 1/3 of the way through my story the main antagonist "wins" and is able to completely remake the world of the story into his notion of an ideal world. The "new" world shares some elements with ...
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4answers
166 views

I have a name, and no plot [closed]

So I made a name for a character and his name is quite fancy so I have no idea what I should do with him. I named him, ready? Sir Nathaniel Charles III. Without asking for specific suggestions on "...
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4answers
202 views

Idea overflow in plotting?

I've been working on a paranormal/romance/mystery kind of novel for over 4 years now and still haven't finished it. It all started out as a fanfiction but I decided that it had too much potential (at ...
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4answers
251 views

How to subvert expectations and abort plotlines without alienating the reader?

Subverting expectations and suddenly aborting plotlines was a no-go zone for me for a while. The only time I could successfully abort a plotline was in a thought train. After watching How To Train ...
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2answers
191 views

Would publishing my story like a TV series be successful? [duplicate]

I'm considering writing my latest story in the style of a TV series. The plan is to write 13 episodes of 10-12,000 each. Episodes will be published weekly on Kindle over a three month period. If ...
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2answers
203 views

How can you redeem an awful character, who hits close to home?

There is a problem with a redemption arc: Anon is an incredibly powerful god with powers of mysterious origin. In the story, he starts out as bad but is supposed to be redeemed later. There is a ...
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3answers
2k views

I’m having a hard time deciding whether this is a redemption arc

So I have a character in a dystopian novel I’m working on by the name of Tyler. He’s inspired by Alex Høgh Andersen’s portrayal of Ivar the Boneless, and his death... is interesting. He’s, for the ...
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2answers
124 views

Letting a (secondary) antagonist leave mid story - Should it be avoided?

I have a powerful antagonist perform important functions within my story. At the midpoint, he just leaves. Several Plot developments depend on this character. I tried replacing him with other ...
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1answer
79 views

How can I make it so that my story isn't resolved so easily? [closed]

I'm writing a screenplay for a project in my film studies class and I'm close to resolving the conflict, but as I near the end, it feels like it's being resolved far too easily. In summary, the ...
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4answers
444 views

How many character flaws can the main character overcome?

My main character is realistically flawed with a few good points. I'm very satisfied with where she is at. As I begin to connect the internal and external conflicts however, it seems that there is a ...
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2answers
521 views

I feel like that misinformation feels too artificial as a plot-driving force in my story, how can it be more natural?

Misinformation is an important element of my story as is pretty much kicks the plot in motion: Gyvaris, a young dragon, steals a sheep from a large flock since he's really hungry and just couldn't ...
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4answers
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How to plausibly write a character with a hidden skill

TLDR How to keep a character's skillset hidden, when it will be key in the story later on? This must be done without magic and as subtly as humanly possible. I am working on a medieval fantasy story,...
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1answer
107 views

How would mushroom call mycellium home? [closed]

I'm wondering for some time.. How would mushrooms fruiting body call it own mycelium? Imagine you're that fruiting body and after releasing your spores you are about to die.
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1answer
114 views

Emotional arc types

Assuming this vocabulary: the narrative arc is the arc which makes the plot go forward, while the emotional arc is the arc which engage the character on a deeper, not always logical level. While ...
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4answers
1k views

How to write characters doing illogical things in a believable way?

As much as I would like it, both in Worldbuilding and Writing, not every action is logical or "right". There are two types of this: Imperfect information: The character(s) lack vital information, ...
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0answers
69 views

Alternatives to develop relationships without dialogue [closed]

I have to come up with an idea (this is an assignment) for a story between 1 or 2 characters without dialogue and with a length of 90 seconds, so I know it's totally possible, however, when it comes ...
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2answers
601 views

Doubt about the double action of the concept of plot in fiction writing [closed]

In the first discussion of the concept of "plot" given by [1] I, maybe, understood two different, but complementary, concepts of plot. Mckee gives us a definition of Plot as: To PLOT mean to ...
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2answers
484 views

How much sex can I write if I'm after mainstream success?

I have three variations of the same storyline and cannot decide which one I want to write: erotic story turning dark and dangerous A young adult man and woman fall in love. It is the woman's first ...
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4answers
244 views

Is it alright to add scenes that don’t move the plot forwards much but develop relationships/character?

For example, let’s say the main plot is that the characters are on a quest to go find something. Can an author spend three scenes in a row detailing what happens on their journey there, even if the ...
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2answers
122 views

Doubt about the difference between a “Beat” and a “Event”

My main source of research about storytelling/screenwriting/how-to-write-a-book manual is [1]. But, the definition of "beat" given by [1] maybe can causing me some confusion. In [1] we have a ...
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3answers
148 views

How should I handle amnesia-based plot threads? (interesting vs cliché)

I'm writing for an amnesiac protagonist, in spite of the fact that I feel amnesia in fiction is usually a bad cliché used to avoid some of the background work of creating a character's family, friends,...
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9answers
2k views

What should come first—characters or plot?

I'm starting a new fantasy story, and although I had a loose idea of plot, I began sculpting my characters before writing anything. Creating images of them in my head, developing their personalities, ...
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10answers
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 ...
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3answers
176 views

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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6answers
4k views

Is it uncompelling to continue the story with lower stakes?

A big piece of criticism I've seen directed at the last season of Game of Thrones was the fact that it is safe to say the former villain brought a lot more stakes to the table. Personally, I didn't ...
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8answers
3k views

Sci-fi change: Too much or Not enough

I am in the process of editing a short story. It is science fiction of the "if this goes on" kind: I take a social trend I see, and paint its event horizon - a troubling future. 1984 and Fahrenheit ...
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4answers
218 views

If you are beginner when it come to writing, should you be pantser? Or plotter? [closed]

I asked my friends this question, they say being a plotter is better for a beginner, then once you get good you transition to pantser. I ask here because I hope to get advice from professional (or at ...
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5answers
8k 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 ...
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1answer
80 views

Writing Longer Flashbacks

In my story my MC has suffered a severe injury and has no recollection of who he was before it occurred. He knows what happened and where he was when it occurred as he was told by the people who found ...
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8answers
7k views

Is an easily guessed plot twist a good plot twist?

In my post-apocalyptic novel, there are two "twists", but they're mostly tied up in each other. The first is that humans have developed different kinds of kineses, like hydrokinesis, telekinesis, and ...
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4answers
670 views

Storyboarding Approaches for the Non-Artistic

TLDR: Tips and Tricks for storyboarding a novel? For someone who can't draw well enough to do the "Draw and describe method" Hello, having read the "Storyboard a Novel?" as well as some sources ...
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13answers
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, ...
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3answers
306 views

When to finally reveal plot twist to characters?

In a post-apocalyptic novel I'm writing (which is the subject of many questions I've asked on Writing.SE), I recently cut out my entire Chapter 10-11. I was revealing the MC, Eris' finékinesis (death-...
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4answers
9k views

What's it called when the bad guy gets eaten?

Is there a specific name for the plot device in which the story's "Big Bad" has a cunning plan to use some monstrous being to further their diabolical machinations. This may be something summoned from ...
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3answers
244 views

How important is payoff?

I'm developing a story with the following basic plot: At the start, my main character's motivating question is "Where is my brother?" As the story progresses, other problems and motivations get in ...