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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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Do Science Fiction Stories Follow A Paticular Pattern? [on hold]

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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3answers
194 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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690 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
70 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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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
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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4answers
199 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 ...
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1answer
117 views

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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5answers
192 views

I kinda want to completely annihilate the hero - what would speak against it?

The hero in my story succeeds in destroying the villain, but not without paying a hefty prize. Not only will he die, he will stop existing and can't be brought back, at all. It's like he never existed ...
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5answers
258 views

How do you make two characters fall in love?

I'm writing a high school romance story. My story centers around two characters falling in love, but I can't find a way to make their romance seem real and believable. Here is the backstory: The main ...
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1answer
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Druid girl learns necromancy [closed]

I have an interesting plot ready, although there are a few missing blocks which I cannot develop. Story: A girl is a daughter of a druid. Druids are humans who live in the forest protecting animals ...
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4answers
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How do I fill time in my story?

I am writing a short story, and I have some gaps in time I have to fill. In my story, a girl wants to go to a party later in the day, but there are a few hours in between the events. What could I put ...
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2answers
79 views

How should I move the story forward with the support cast while hiding a plot twist regarding the MC from the reader?

I am finishing an arc of my novel, and right at the end some sudden development happens with MC, that is partially obscured from the reader. They can guess at what it is, but it is a sudden change to ...
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2answers
122 views

How to introduce a world previously unknown to the reader AND the protagonist?

I'm working on a novella where the protagonist finds himself in a new world in Chapter 4. How do I avoid infodump and maintain the reader's interest whole furthering plot and theme? The time period is ...
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6answers
3k views

Publication: What to do about a high wordcount debut novel?

I'm a strong believer in books/novels being as long as they need to be; if it turns out short, don't try to pad it out, and if it's long... unless there's chaff to cut out, it's long for a reason. ...
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8answers
2k views

How can I make an in-universe random event feel like it was really random instead of just RNJesus' will?

Some stories feature random events that bring about drastic change either to the characters or to the setting. A lottery draw, some gotcha that grants a special skill. Most of the times I find one ...
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7answers
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Can ‘Stupid’ Characters Make Plot Narratives Memorable?

Characters in movies ‘28 Days Later’, ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ made terrible impulsive choices that cost other characters their lives, but if it weren’t for any of those choices ...
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2answers
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Is telling one of three convergent plot-line before moving to the next an acceptable alternative to interleaving them?

This is related to a previous question of mine: Convergent, parallel plotlines okay?. It has been suggested that this is might be too closely related to that question, however whereas that question ...
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2answers
134 views

MC’s emotional underpinning and grounding come from elder sister - her death would change him. Should she die? [closed]

MC is an assassin who was raised with and by his sister after the death of their parents. They were adopted by an uncle, who did his best though he was overwhelmed by the task so the two kids raised ...
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3answers
172 views

Is an unresolved conflict a detriment to publishing a novel?

I'm starting to write my first book, and I've finished the outlining process. It's a fantasy novel that deals with the takedown of a monarchy, but I feel like I can't wrap up the whole story line in ...
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2answers
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Researching a hospital setting

I want to use a hospital (specifically, Walter Reed in Bethesda) as a setting. How best do authors research the daily routine? Is there someone I can reach out to such as a public relations person or ...
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1answer
97 views

What is the stereotypical structure of a crime narrative? [duplicate]

I have been wanting to start work on a short crime novel, but I am not sure how to structure the story- To elaborate, I have a number of scenes that i want to include but i am not sure how to make ...
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2answers
177 views

Making conflicts based on misunderstanding

So, the problem is that I can't make conflicts based on a misunderstanding that wouldn't resolve in five paragraphs. My chars are too smart for that, I'm too smart for that (and also have all the time ...
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2answers
193 views

How to defeat a strategic mastermind without throwing the idiotball? [duplicate]

My antagonist is a "strategic mastermind", similar to the one discussed in How to prevent seeming like a Marty Stu-ish villain is cheating? Proceeding from this kind of antagonist, my question is how ...
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5answers
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Executing a tonal shift

A novel's tone/atmosphere is typically established within the first few chapters of the book. So, let's say, we establish the story as a light-hearted, over-the-top fantasy deconstruction, with humor ...
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4answers
347 views

I have characters, no plot [duplicate]

I'm trying to write a story with characters that I already designed long ago and also have planned the world for them a bit, but I cannot come up with an interesting plot. What do you suggest I can do ...
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7answers
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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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1answer
131 views

Creative Non-Fiction - Writing without Plot, Story, Characters or Ending

I've just started reading Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby and it strikes me, when reading about his obsession with Arsenal that I too have an obsession - with words. I would like to write a creative non-...
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5answers
210 views

Plot development

Have great openings with (I humbly feel) unusual and unique situations. But after the first few pages to support the beginning, bam...no plot! It stalls and don’t know where to go with it. I’ve ...
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4answers
160 views

Writing a Novel Set In The Future

So, I have this idea of writing a novel set in the future. Not the far future but a few decades away from today. Could you please give me an advice for that. The reason that I am asking this is that I ...
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6answers
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How do you write a story about a team?

There just isn't information about this on the internet (at least that I could find), so I'm here. A few specific questions: how many team members should there be? Should they all be main characters, ...
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Ideas for a twist or plot point involving adopted character's parents [closed]

I'm writing a plot for a tabletop game, and one of my players is running a character who was taken from her home at a very young age. (it's her earliest memory) She was raised from that point on by an ...
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8answers
3k views

Characters that take on a life of their own

There are definite advantages to writing comprehensive character maps, but one downside that I've found is that when a character is fully fleshed out, she/he tries to take on a life of her/his own and ...
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3answers
107 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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1answer
79 views

How do I reveal multiple timelines to the reader?

I have multiple characters who do things... over and over again, in different timelines. But I have no idea how to reveal this to the reader. Any suggestions?
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2answers
156 views

Establishing trust with a Shapeshifter [closed]

Alright, I can't figure out how to write a scene. I have a character that has never revealed the fact that she can turn into animals, not even to her family. If the character is planning to tell her ...
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3answers
184 views

Basic fails to look out for when writing the drama: What can we learn from soap operas

So, we established that we can lose many more valuable things other than our life, and to make stakes out of them effectively, we have to make it nothing personal. One thing we haven't discussed is ...
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6answers
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What new plots are available to writers?

I read The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker (yes, it was so heavy that I had to cut into two books just to be able to carry it around) and I just can't believe that the number of plots we have ...
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8answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
93 views

Is there a name for a narrative that involves parallel exposition of the characters' backstories?

One of the hallmark features of the television show Lost was the way in which each character's backstory was rendered. The narrative started out in present day and depicted characters making certain ...
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4answers
185 views

Why is character lifetime proportional to character development so often?

Hollywood movies are a good example of this, but also many books feature the rule. When the plot revolves around life and death situations, the first to die are the characters with least development. ...
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3answers
135 views

Is it possible for “weakness” to be a “virtue” in context?

I'm working on a teen romance. The event is the high school play, the "Sound of Music," in which there are two main contestants for the role of Liesl. They are designated "A" and "B," because those ...
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2answers
72 views

Does the degree of immersion in the character alter the extremity of plot points used?

Star Wars IV: We never really get to know Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, and so when they're burned to a crisp, little pieces of human toast, it's horrific but yeah OK. Not as horrific as if we saw Obi Wan ...
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5answers
1k views

Do I have to show my characters making up after an argument, or can it be implied when we see them on good terms again?

Is it okay to have two characters who had an argument to patch things up offscreen, or do readers explicitly need to see how they made up? None of the two characters in question are the protagonist, ...
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5answers
838 views

Slow buildup vs sudden introduction

Let's say you're writing super hero fiction. The hero of your story is struggling against the villain, but suddenly awakens a power that allows him to best the bad guy! Problem: you're unsure of how ...
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4answers
2k views

How to write two seemingly different characters that are actually the same person?

I'm currently working on a book with two protagonists and switching the perspective between them. They have quite different plotlines, but actually they're the same person. English is not my first ...
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3answers
127 views

How can you make “evil vs evil” interesting? [closed]

Let's say you have two sides who are basically no better than the other. Both are criminals with no redeeming qualities, and both are at war. Think COBRA and HYDRA going to war. They both have plans ...
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2answers
300 views

How to deal with a rape scene: what can/should you do?

Preface: there are three main characters in the story, all three of them in their mid twenties. Two women and one man. For simplicity, lets call them Jane, Sally and John. Jane and Sally have been ...
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1answer
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What's the term used to describe a twist which is badly written because the twist is based on information not yet available to audience? [closed]

Context: In my question How did Olaf know?, I asked about a twist in the TV series A Series of Unfortunate Events, adapted from a book series of the same name. My understanding: Twists, whether good (...