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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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Have I got the plot? [closed]

I am looking for verification on what is a plot for a short story. For example: A man wants to develop a new rose variety for his girlfriend as a way to propose, but he becomes obsessed with getting ...
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4answers
2k views

Crossing the line between justified force and brutality

A beta reader of sorts (cousin) mentioned he thought my MC2 rather brutal in her capture of MC1 - though justified. I have her dupe him into surrendering (believing himself outnumbered and outgunned)...
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3answers
140 views

What are the points to remember when the pet is the narrator and is narrating the story of its owner?

I'm working on a novel which is based on a true story. I first thought of writing from the heroine's POV, but later changed my mind and introduced a pet in the plot as the narrator of the story. Which ...
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4answers
170 views

How to balance the agendas of co protagonists that periodically conflict?

While not mutually exclusive, the goals of my co protagonists do conflict and I need to keep them balanced. MC1 works for the CIA and is being burned. He needs help from someone so he can find out if ...
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4answers
117 views

Creating or identifying secondary protagonists

First of all, this is my first time writing more than a short story, and I am quite new to writing in general, so pretty novice. I am currently in the process of outlining the story for a novel I am ...
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3answers
153 views

Can a main character leave the story early?

I'm considering to have my Main Character die before "finishing" his arc, but have other characters carry on the plot to its conclusion, let's say to fulfill his visions. In a way, the MC finishes ...
7
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4answers
157 views

How can my story describe a world and a society without relying on individual characters?

I'm working on a story which is focused on the conditions of its world and its society and I want to tell the story of its people as a collective, the problems they create and have together and the ...
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3answers
86 views

How can one learn about the laws of hospitality in Latin America? [closed]

I have a situation where my MC - who has a dangerous reputation - was captured by an agent of Bolivian security. She takes him to her father in-law, who starts to torture him. He learns that much of ...
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4answers
2k views

Would it be believable to defy demographics in a story?

My story is set in the US. Would it be believable to the reader if I deviated from the norm that is also supported by demographic data? How many of the following deviations can I get away with? A ...
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9answers
201 views

How can I make a non-linear timeline less confusing?

My story is broken into 8 sections. Sections 1 and 2 take place simultaneously, in two different worlds. The other 6 continue in a linear fashion (switching back & forth between the two worlds as ...
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3answers
1k views

How to use deus ex machina safely?

One of my main character's traits is that she has some superstitious beliefs. That trait is not essential to the MC, but everyone in the era of my story is. I'm contemplating a plot point near the end ...
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3answers
111 views

Picking a good story goal for a morally neutral character

A blogger with the name of Glen C. Strathy said the following: The first and most important element of any plot is the Story Goal or Problem. This is the organizing idea around which the entire ...
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13answers
11k views

How do I hide Chekhov's Gun?

If there is a gun on the mantelpiece in the Act 1, then in Act 2, that gun must be fired. Background I'm a big believer in Chekhov's Gun. I try not to do anything or introduce any new plot point ...
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3answers
185 views

How many stages would it take for a character to be convinced of x? [closed]

My MC - who has a dangerous reputation - is captured by a member of Bolivian Security, who decides to take him to her father in-law (who also has a dangerous reputation)to be questioned instead of ...
0
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2answers
111 views

Should a prequel strive for symmetry with the original work?

After I lost a large segment of my novel, I started writing a prequel to it. I began it differently from the original, planning on this story being one of five shorter stories published as one volume....
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3answers
73 views

What would you expect from travel story? [closed]

I want to write travel story novel. My plan is to have 4 characters (2 guys and 2 girls), which decided to visit 4 European cities (probably I will choose Frankfurt - Germany, Reykjavík - Iceland, ...
3
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1answer
65 views

Question about the basic elements of Mckee's view of writting

Well, in the first pages of chapter 2 from [MCKEE.R. Story. itbooks. New York, 1997.] Mckee present to us some basic elements of which a story should be costituted of. Of course that this is him view ...
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13answers
4k views

Too soon for a plot twist?

In my story, I will have a hero begin a journey. It will be the underdog story as well as good-vs-evil story. Think Frodo vs Sauron for massive oversimplification. Except in my story the hero becomes ...
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3answers
93 views

How do I introduce this character?

I am writing a story these days and I want to introduce a character who is similar to a king. This character is introduced with heavy announcements by his minions who scream out words of admiration ...
4
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5answers
456 views

Using time travel without creating plot holes [closed]

There are different types of time travel (they have different rules and constraints) throughout literature, so I was wondering if you could list some of them here, and which ones are best for driving ...
1
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2answers
113 views

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 ...
3
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4answers
122 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
157 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
218 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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8answers
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
75 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 ...
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3answers
221 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
8k 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 ...
7
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4answers
806 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 ...
20
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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
391 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
188 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
192 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
637 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
247 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 ...
7
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5answers
174 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 ...
4
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1answer
240 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
186 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
151 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, ...
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8answers
764 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
157 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
141 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
215 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 ...
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1answer
100 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
191 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
868 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 ...