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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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What are some ways to implement multiple endings in a novel?

I am thinking of implementing multiple ending to one of my novels and it would be done the following way: There's a scene where the main character is about to do something, but I leave it to the ...
2
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4answers
98 views

How to make a grieving father less vengeful and see reason?

I have a character who, maddened by the suicide of his son, chooses to destroy the company the young man worked for, holding them responsible. He is a successful businessman who told his two children ...
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2answers
96 views

How to fill novel if you have just some moments prepared?

I read some of my old novels and realized that I often filled them with unnecessary info and pseudojokes so I could quickly rejoin my favourite moments in the planned plot. I found those moments more ...
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5answers
5k views

How soon is too soon for a redemption arc?

My character, Day, is the son of a dictator and the director of state-sanctioned and sponsored torture of mutated humans, one of whom is my MC. He killed his own sister to prove to his father that he ...
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4answers
202 views

Is bigotry always necessary in a story?

I asked a question here on how to avoid political issues when I have a witch MC named Kem who is nonbinary, and a few people suggested that instead of including any kind of transphobia towards Kem, I ...
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9answers
4k views

Dead children in pre-modern setting

The reality of pre-Industrial Revolution times was that about half the children born died before age 5. It would be a mistake to think that parents cared less - we have multiple written records ...
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1answer
73 views

Reference of plots [closed]

I'm looking for a pair of reference books that covers plots of English literature. I imagine if you have seen them or used them you'll know what I'm talking about. I don't remember the title or the ...
7
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3answers
164 views

How to get my characters' emotions out of the way so I can get on with the plot?

Setup: 18 kids (ages 2-14) from 1995 America time travel to Ancient Egypt just before the Exodus. The MC knew this would happen (or thought she knew) and told people, but no one believed her. Now ...
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11answers
7k views

Keeping my politics out of my writing

So I'm in the very early stages of plot development on a new story. It focuses on a (nonbinary, hence the they/them pronouns) witch named Kem who recently discovered their powers and met some ...
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4answers
702 views

How do you prevent whiplash when transitioning between comedy and tragedy?

I constantly see reviews of people criticizing how it feels like "whiplash" when going from something like a death scene to someone cracking a joke, and I agree, but I don't know why I agree. I just ...
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14answers
8k views

Story that's too depressing?

(Warning, mention of sexual abuse!!) In the near future where humans have polluted and radiated the Earth so much that animals and plants have been going extinct at alarming rates and humans ...
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12answers
3k views

How to explain the main plot with science based concepts, without the non-sci-fi fans getting bored?

Let me explain: I'm writing a game where the Earth gets a massive biological attack from an alien race in the close future, and only a small part of the planet's life survived (few dozens of humans ...
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6answers
248 views

Do authors often base their characters off of themselves?

(I previously asked a related question about projecting myself onto my characters.) I've read just few books where authors use their own life experience as the basis for the characters and plot (most ...
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3answers
177 views

Character is onscreen for three seconds

I have a character Joe who leads the task force hunting my MC. His reputation is known to the MC and he is well aware of how effective he is. Joe is also a good friend of another character, Fred, and ...
5
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3answers
182 views

Character growth when the entire story is actively working to prevent it?

My MC is a woman who is shy, introverted, has a strong sense of right and wrong but also a doormat personality - basically, even if she sees a wrong done she would rather stay unhappy than speak up ...
8
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5answers
540 views

Conflict and antagonist in a certain subtype of erotic novels

In his answer to my previous question, @Standback distinguishes two types of erotic storyline: stories in which the stakes are romantic or sexual stories in which the stakes are neither romantic nor ...
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5answers
235 views

How best to have a conversation a character does not overhear?

I have a scenario where my main character, who has considerable training and situational awareness has been captured. He has faith that his people will rescue him when the time is right. He learns ...
6
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5answers
159 views

Is there a balance between a page-turning read and an exhausting 'too much' reading experience?

I have learned over the past fifteen months of writing fiction that every scene needs to have tension and advance the plot. This is good. But, I find that as I read my novel (again and again) to ...
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1answer
214 views

Is there a test for cliches in plot?

I know there are already questions about cliched phrases, but are there resources to help identify plot and characters that are cliches? I found some (like this), but they weren't very helpful for ...
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4answers
181 views

If two characters are blood relations will it seem coincidental?

I have a character who is a seasoned CIA agent and is part of the task force that is bringing in my MC. I have another character, a semi retired assassin who was one of my MC’s instructors. I want ...
3
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2answers
121 views

Will it push away a reader if I start my book with the frame story?

So, I'm writing a novel where MC believes he is influenced in some way by an entity he calls Common Sense. He suspects (yet that is weaker than belief) that he is Common Sense's hand in this world, ...
9
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8answers
749 views

The problem with beginning

I don't mean "sitting down to write", I mean the literal beginning. The story itself starts with my protagonist running. I need to get him to run, then I'll have the rest of it sorted. But won't ...
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5answers
134 views

How to balance a character‘s duty versus his conscience

I have a character, a secondary antagonist who is following his sense of duty and pursuing a former asset. Said asset is injured, tired and cornered, seriously considering making a stand and going ...
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3answers
121 views

Why would someone in an apocalypse travel with a person who is totally dependent on them? [closed]

So, a story idea I've had for a long time is set in an apocalypse (cause not explained), and the two main characters are vastly different. Tyler is 20 years old, he watched his parents killed in ...
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3answers
210 views

How best to avoid the appearance of Deus Ex Machina with established character?

My characters are in a difficult situation that can be somewhat relieved by a colleague. MC is wounded, leading secondary protagonist to take a bullet for him. She is gravely injured, MC takes SP ...
1
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1answer
94 views

Is it reasonable to have weary character climb rope to safety? [closed]

My MC, injured (having been shot earlier) is extremely tired after carrying his partner, who took a bullet for him, towards safety. She suspects that the ex-fil location they are heading towards ...
2
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0answers
48 views

Where can I post my rough drafts for peer evaluations? [duplicate]

I apologize if I am not in the right community but I figured this would be the best place to ask. I am looking for a place or a group where I can have my story read by others, so they can offer me ...
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4answers
166 views

How can a main character in a visual novel attract people of different personalities besides having a single trait each of them is attracted to?

Ok, so I currently have a visual novel (For those who do not know, it's a video game that's almost all story. The character may have a few choices in the matter, but most of it is about watching the ...
13
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8answers
7k views

Choosing between two people in a romance?

So, my dilemma is as follows. I have a romance project with the MC trying to choose between two women who he cares for very much. Each has broken his heart, but are willing to make amends and provided ...
8
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4answers
851 views

Is writing solely about writing a plot?

I often hear that a writer should not write something that is not tightly linked to the plot. "If you can narrate it without it, drop it from your story" - that's what I see. However, is it really ...
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4answers
248 views

Films where the antagonist appears relatively late [closed]

Usually the antagonist is introduced as early as possible. However, are there films where the antagonist appears rather late? The earlier parts of the film should center on the mystery of this ...
34
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17answers
7k views

How can I avoid a predictable plot?

When writing a novel, authors generally don't want the reader to know how things will end. This is especially true of mystery novels, but obviously applies to any creative story. (A few stories show ...
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4answers
8k views

Does this scene fail the Bechdel test?

My novel has approximately a dozen women in it, but they don’t tend to talk to each other. Most of them are separated geographically or philosophically and sitting down for a chat does not seem ...
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3answers
228 views

How to resolve a conflict between a girl that left you vs. a girl who abandoned you? [closed]

Ok, so in an upcoming project of mine, I have an MC in a romance with two women. The first girl left him for no apparent reason, and another one told him she was visiting family, and never really came ...
21
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11answers
7k views

How can I make a character who isn't a jerk seem like one?

I have an MC who, because of certain circumstances, everyone sees him as harsh and cruel at first. As they get to know him through the first few chapters, they eventually see he's nicer than they ...
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3answers
111 views

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 ...
5
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7answers
327 views

How best to prevent a protective response from overshadowing a heroic act?

My main character is injured, having been shot earlier. This injury renders him much slower to respond and reduces his agility. Because of this, two of his colleagues are with him to protect him. ...
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11answers
6k views

Need advice about changing character's gender

I had this idea for a story/novel that I was very excited about, but also very worried about. The idea had a plot where the character development plot and themes all grow and go together, something I ...
8
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2answers
180 views

When should the protagonist have a self-revelation?

So far, I've been learning rules and guidelines for plotting a good story from John Truby's excellent "The Anatomy of Story". Truby structures plot using 22 steps (a summary here). Among them, the ...
21
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6answers
3k views

How long should I mention an injured character’s pain?

My main character gets shot and survives. One thing that bothers me is a character who is injured and keeps going like the energizer bunny. I try to set up for a rapid recovery, mentioning training ...
2
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2answers
307 views

How to create an open frame story?

For a computer game, I'd like to create a frame story. Much like in X-Files, it should provide a setting for the individual levels/quests/substories while leaving lots of room for the individual parts....
5
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4answers
210 views

How does one discovery-write court intrigue?

Intrigue (any kind, really, but royal courts were particularly known for it) is a series of setups that lead to a pay-off. For example, a handkerchief moved from one room to another, a word whispered, ...
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3answers
127 views

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 ...
4
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3answers
303 views

Does a story require a villain to succeed?

So far in my WIP, which is a “journey” story, the main characters have been struggling against the environment and the fact that they’re displaced and trying to return home. I’ve arrived at a point ...
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6answers
909 views

It seems safer to make everyone white then to be accused of 'racism' if I I make any of my pre-written cultures a different race

I'm writing fantasy stories in different worlds which do not share any history with our own. I was thinking I wanted to move away from the classic 'all white cast' scenario in most games, by picking ...
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2answers
79 views

Ways to make money off trash? [closed]

Besides becoming a garbageman, selling dumpster finds and curb furniture on eBay/Craigslist, or selling metal to scrapyards, what are some ways to make under-the-table money off of trash? Legally and ...
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4answers
276 views

Subplots better than the main plot

The main plot follows the MC while travelling through the world trying to rescue his family. While doing this however, he must overcome a lot of difficulties. These are subplots focused on other ...
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1answer
59 views

Why an ancient vampire sleeping for centuries under some castle in Europe would come to Brazil? [closed]

A vampire has been sleeping under a castle in Austria for centuries. But now the castle became a tourist attraction. It's really annoying. And the taste of the blood of the people on the region didn't ...
56
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4answers
10k views

What kind of protagonist or writing style is Jack Sparrow?

I want to ask about a certain style on how to present a character. I know Jack Sparrow is from a movie (and I've only watched the movies too) but I want to integrate in my writing how he was presented ...
2
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6answers
309 views

How far apart can the dots be?

I've written enough to know the kind of writer I am, my voice, my style. I am often accused of making the reader work too hard to put the plot points together. In my latest story: a man experiencing ...