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 arcs. Be aware that questions asking users to come up with plot details for you are off-topic.

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77 views

Can you ignore the 7 main beats of the story, what are some alternatives?

Number One. The Back Story haunts the central character. Number Two. The Catalyst gets the character moving. It’s part of the story’s setup. Number Three. The Big Event changes the character’s life. ...
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How do I know if my plotline is boring?

This is a question that often comes to my mind while writing. I can't know whether I should respect the sequence of events chronologically as they happened or try to include backstories/flashbacks. ...
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Revealing the Traitor

In my three book, fantasy series, I have a character who is a traitor to the group of protagonists. The reader knows from the beginner that there is a spy somewhere because the anagonists discuss the ...
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Can you help me understand what a "lyrical short story" is?

What are the minimum requirements for a lyrical short story to be a story? If it is plotless what separates the lyrical short story from random chatter?
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1answer
548 views

What is the minimum requirement for a song to be considered a story?

I can't figure out if my songs are stories since they don't contain a climax, multiple characters, or a resolution. For example is this song a story? It lacks conflict and climax and resolution but it ...
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5answers
89 views

How to keep a detective looking for the reason for a suicide [closed]

Something I'm working on in my mind- a detective is called in to investigate what turns out to be a man having taken his own life. Once it's confirmed to be a suicide, it stands to reason the ...
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5answers
139 views

I want to write a magical story about witches and wizards but not make it like harry potter [closed]

I want the premise to be that throughout the 20th century, witches and wizards have faced a steep decline in numbers and due to the Cold War, secrecy has become more important, but with the fast ...
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2answers
549 views

Is it outlawed to start Chapter one with the villain and only mention the protagonist?

Chapter 1 takes place in 1953. A girl is kidnapped. She manages to write a note to her friend (they both go to school together but the boy has moved). The letter is destroyed. Her friend is the ...
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105 views

Bursts of plot development versus slow rising action

From most of the stories I've read, the plot development tends to follow a smooth curve. This has obvious advantages given the reader can start to use his/her imagination more, anticipating/worrying ...
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How many plotlines are too many?

I've written a few not-very-good books in the fantasy realm. One struggle I've had is juggling multiple plotlines. For the first book I wrote I wanted to write a twisty, intricate story with a lot ...
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Is it a good idea to make the actions of my antagonist reasonable?

I'm a good way through writing my fantasy story, and up until now, my antagonist has been portrayed as being a megalomaniac, and my protagonist (and myself) have believed this to be true. However, I ...
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How do I give characters logical reasons to be with each other?

It's an annoying problem with writing - I've got a bunch of characters that I've written, how do I keep them together for the adventure I want them to go on? In some stories, this can be quite ...
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Ways to construct a temporary medieval road block? [closed]

I understand bandit attacks are themselves cliche, but ignoring that for now: Situation: A guy is transporting a shipment of ice from atop a mountain, needs to get to the foothills asap. Cue cliche ...
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Denouement vs Resolution

What is the difference between a denouement and a resolution? Are they synonymous?
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How to avoid using "she" repetitively in action?

I really like to write but I have a problem. I am starting to write about and I want to make it mostly in 3rd person, but I don't know if I can do that and not repeat the prounon she or he a lot. I ...
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172 views

Which factors do we need to count to evaluate the standards of short story?

I like writing suspense-based short stories similar to this one on Wattpad, but I don’t know how to assess if my writing is good or meets the expectations of the suspense genre, or if my stories ...
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Should I reveal real location of events in my book?

I wrote a non-released-yet adventure/sf book, in which events take place in a real city I know (actually, this is where I grew up). Most of the places I mentioned there are real, except only for those,...
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How to avoid making the romance in your novel predictable? [duplicate]

I'm currently writing a YA novel, and one of my sublots is a romance between the protagonist (A) and another supporting character (B). I introduce the two to each other early on, and they start out as ...
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Introducing suspense devices when protagonist is nearly omnipotent

Perhaps the most formulaic plot framework has the protagonist as an underdog where he/she must overcome incredible odds. Simply to illustrate, consider: LotR (they are but mere hobbits). While the ...
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1answer
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How do you write a geopolitical plot if your novel is short?

How do you write a geopolitical plot if your novel is short? Geopolitical plots tend to be complex, so I am wondering if there are ways to fit the plot into a short novel or make change the formatting ...
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How to make the main character and a vital person to story meet?

So for my story the main character has to meet a friend who will help them survive. However my problem is the main character is distrusting and the friend is very cautious and a bit selfish. Sort of ...
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2answers
109 views

How can I balance a male character saving his love interest without making the female seem incompetent (and vice versa)?

Stories for many, many years made frequent use of the damsel in distress trope, where female characters are depicted as needing men to save them in big, dramatic displays. People eventually realized ...
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1answer
104 views

How do you combine a thick but secondary plot with a light but primary plot?

The primary plot of a story is a rather light mystery involving two characters in pursuit of a lost treasure of sorts, forced to solve a legendary riddle, following archaeological clues and occasional ...
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1answer
201 views

Software to track multiple protagonists, bios, and timelines

This will probably be hard to explain so I'll list off what I'm looking for. Software that allows me to have more than one main protagonist. My story has five main characters and the POV switches ...
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What are the possible driving factors of betrayal scenes?

I've been having a hard time thinking about a good way to create a betrayal scene without forcing it. Even if I somehow wrote the scene, I just can't feel the emotions behind the betrayal; the sadness,...
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How do you keep track of character timelines?

I would love to hear, in-depth, your system for keeping track of character arcs happening simultaneously in a novel. Particularly for characters' emotional highs and lows which don't sync up. I am ...
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Can you have several sequential plots inside a novel and how much is too much?

A plot is composed of the following: Exposition Inciting Incident Rising Action or Progressive Complications Dilemma Climax Denouement Can you have a novel where a plot ends with the heroes finishing ...
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1answer
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Is it possible to use an intentional plot hole as a literary device?

Is it possible to use an intentional plot hole as a literary device? If not as a literary device, can you use a plot hole intentionally for other reasons? I am wondering if there are authors who use ...
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Is it ok to hide main motive of the character throughout the book?

Is it ok to hide main motive of the character throughout the book? In my story, the main character never tells why he's doing what he's doing and the reader are fooled into believing he's doing it for ...
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4answers
135 views

How can I keep a spy character portrayed as competent and yet have interactions between protagonist and antagonist?

I have a character that is a spy, and part of their job is sneaking around and getting into places without being noticed. However, in order to have conflict in the plot, have characters interacting to ...
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2answers
414 views

Expanding ideas into novels

A lot of tiny ideas come to my mind but I don't know how to work on them and expand them into "valuable, satisfying, and worth of reading novels", and as a result, I lose motivation and give ...
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Deciding potential scenes and keeping the tension in my short story

To give some background, my short story is written from the perspective of person K. His school friend A (they are both in their mid-twenties now) invites him to stay in Vegas for a short time, and K ...
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4answers
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How do you continue developing characters in an urban fantasy/portal fantasy after the initial arc of adapting to the supernatural wears off?

This question is very similar to this one, but I felt it was distinct enough that it was worth asking as a separate question. In a lot of fantasy and science-fiction stories that are nominally set in ...
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3answers
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How do you write character development in later entries of a series after relationships become established?

When starting a series there is initially a lot of fertile ground for storytelling because the characters don't know each other very well and are still establishing an equilibrium. As a result, there ...
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2answers
119 views

How would authorities handle a disappearance caused by paranormal means?

A story of mine starts with a character disappearing in his radio studio while on air. Nobody else was in the building with him. A pair of sunglasses that he always kept in his shirt pocket was the ...
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1answer
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This my approach to make a superhuman combat sport more fair? [closed]

This isn't really a world-building question. Since I im asking for y'all thoughts on my writing and writing a general. In the past, I said it would be hard to add an MMA/Boxing weight class type of ...
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Plotting Multiple Story Lines

Let's say you have multiple lines of events going on at once in a story. Call this a multithreaded plot. Is this common in stories? How would you represent this on paper before drafting?
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4answers
202 views

How to come up with scene ideas?

I'm currently outlining my novel, and I'm having trouble coming up with scenes/situations to put my characters in. I've tried scene prompts but they don't work for me. Sometimes I will think of a ...
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1answer
152 views

How do you avoid "rushing to the good stuff" with poor pacing as an inexperienced writer?

I was recently watching a writing review talking about the pacing in the recent Invincible adaptation. One thing that the author of this video pointed out is that when authors are very inexperienced ...
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1answer
46 views

What are some ways to do recurring dreams effectively/better?

I am using a series of recurring dreams to illustrate a character's mental state and to also throw in a change of pace in amongst the regular non-dream action. The dream format really allows me to do ...
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3answers
163 views

What works fine in a movie but doesn't in a book?

As a writer I'm not only looking up to great books, but I take many inspirations from movies as well. I wonder though if there are any techniques that don't translate well between those mediums. Are ...
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1answer
85 views

How can I compensate for lack of decision-making due to a non-sentient protagonist?

I intend to write an adventure novel where the protagonist is a (divine) plant. Though it cannot move or speak, it's necessary for the plant to be the main protagonist (there will not be any subplots)....
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4answers
162 views

How should I input a "while something happened" text?

I am trying to create a children's story that explains how a dog is lost and can't find its way back home. After around 6 pages, the dog is found and rescued. I want to insert a "flashback" ...
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127 views

Turning ideas into hero's journey story [closed]

I want some advice on how to come up with a good story idea I have to create a story that has the 12-stage hero's journey structure, with a Byronic hero. Right now I can't seem to think of any good ...
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4answers
142 views

How to add subtle hints for plot twist in your story?

In a murder mystery novel or stories alike, how do you give out hints and foreshadow key details without being obvious that those details are important yet if the readers read through it again after ...
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2answers
142 views

Is there any "right way" to outline a novel?

I've never had a solid template for outlining my novels. I don't even know if I'm doing it right, if there's a right way to do it. For my characters, I have a list of questions that I fill out. For my ...
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1answer
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Is it possible to create a compelling and satisfying ending when the protagonist only has one main villain?

So the outline I have for my story is that the hero has amnesia due to the plot of the villain to kill him but he doesn't know that but eventually does since the villain figured out he was still alive ...
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1answer
84 views

Currently writing but to realize my beginning was already overused

I am halfway finished with my book and I did some little research to realize I overused one of the most common beginnings: The main character dying in the first chapter. Is it fine to keep it like ...
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2answers
138 views

Halfway done with outline with no climax

I'm currently outlining a YA dystopian/science fiction novel, with two alternating POV's, but I realized I don't really have a solid climax--which I've always known as a turning point for the ...
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6answers
1k views

Regarding the writing of non-canon works in your own universe

Basically what the title asks: is it possible to write non-canon works in a fictional universe you've created? In my example, I've created a fictional universe set on a non-Earth planet, however I ...

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