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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How can I justify a choice that seems too binary?

My universe is a fantastical universe, and the area is a Viking area. My three characters are : S, a character who was born female but raised to think they are a man to protect them from their father ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Should the prologue count towards the story beats?

Should the prologue count towards the story beats? These are the story beats of my story: opening image, introduction, statement of theme, catalyst, debate, b-story, new characters, midpoint, low ...
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Writing a story that's a reference or tribute to two stories, is that fairly common or rare? Are there examples?

I write stories, not movies, but often movies will inspire my writting. I came across a website that discussed the Big Lebowski and how it's a kind of play on movies like the Big Sleep, even the ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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How can you put a lot of time-skips as soon as possible in a story?

How can you put a lot of time-skips as soon as possible in a story? Because of certain restrictions, I am forced to put a lot of time-skips at the beginning of a story, but how do you do that ...
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23 votes
12 answers
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In a series, do the stakes have to be higher than in the book before?

Imagine you have a series of books: Book 1 through Book 6. Do the stakes in book 2 have to be bigger than the stakes in book 1? The same question applies with each book in relation to the one before ...
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12 votes
6 answers
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What type of protagonists get happy endings?

Obviously, the decision on how to write the ending is driven by the overall plot. That said, there seems to be a pattern on which protagonists get happy endings*. I'm not able to put my finger on it,...
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2 votes
4 answers
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Is it ever possible (or a good idea) to write a story where the "lie" a character believes about the world is true?

One big aspect authors are often advised in storytelling is to think of the "lie" or "wound" (or the "ghost") that drives their character. Specifically, this is often ...
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How to make zombies be the primary antagonist and humans secondary

In my outbreak story, the main focus is the zombie survival in the quarantined state. These zombies cannot take out the government, but rather weaken them greatly. In my story, there are bad humans ...
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1 answer
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What do I need to keep in mind when writing a "pilot" episode for a series?

I've been working on a series. However, the series is very long and incomplete, so it's difficult to get feedback on it from others. So I’ve been considering writing a “pilot” episode. A short story ...
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8 votes
6 answers
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Is it odd to have a bunch of characters with unique personalities and gimmicks in one place?

I'm writing a fighting/combat type of story like Bloodsport. In Pro Wrestling companies like the WWE and TNA and also fighting games like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Tekken it's very common for ...
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How do I get my characters to reconvene after having been separated?

Right now in the story, I have 5 characters. Three (Group A) got in a fight, one (Group B) got on a train, and one (Group C) who also got in a fight. Group A is in a data-center, Group B is in the ...
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How to make a "perfect op" character not so op

As a challenge by a friend. I was dared to make a super "special snowflake syndrome" character likable despite the cliches. This is what I came up with. In a dnd-like world, supernaturals ...
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2 answers
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Does the plot always have to be in proportion to a normal novel?

I am presently writing a novel, but it is going to be incredibly large (over 200,000 words when complete). I am aware that I will need to cut a lot of sections, but I'll be worrying about that later. ...
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7 votes
4 answers
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When do you reveal a backstory of a character?

Many characters have a backstory and it is usually sad. However I do wonder, when is it that you have to reveal a character's backstory. I've watched some videos of writers explaining how to reveal a ...
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How to write Man vs. Self conflict?

CONTEXT: The action of my story takes place in a typical dystopian world, where society is harshly indoctrinated and restricted. The main character, who needs to raise money for his family, joins the &...
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4 votes
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What are ways to get plot ideas or plot in general?

I keep scrapping the plots I have, as I deemed them to be uninteresting or complicated. At first I just have some characters for fun, then I learned the importance of characters in a plot. I only have ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Are filler chapters/episodes unnecessary?

I was considering the use of filler chapters in my story, to flesh out the character's problems and daily life. These don't necessary progress the plot, but they do help the characters' relationships ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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How do I deal with "false filler" scenes necessary to move the plot along?

I wanted to ask this question after seeing this question. The two question are similar but kind of touch on somewhat different topics. Specifically, I am wondering what one should do about "fake&...
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10 votes
4 answers
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Can a character death sometimes be unnecessary?

Is there a time where a character's death in a story would be unnecessary? Not the main character, but someone really important to the protagonist like a caretaker/parent to advance the plot? Deaths ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What are some guidelines on writing the filler scenes after you lay out the plot using a beat sheet?

After writing the beat sheet, you end up realizing you need to put a lot of filler scenes and make your characters make some small talk and say things like "How is it going?", "How are ...
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Can supporting characters remain effective during long periods off screen?

My protagonist develops relationships early and gets kidnapped In my literary fiction story spanning about a decade, new relationships develop, they join with the street gang. Old relationships fade. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How to write a character that lost his passion , his purpose that he had for his goal after he achives it and how to revive his passion?

So that character is like any typical sports anime character who loved to play cricket a lot and fortunately was gifted and lucky enough to become a big name in world of cricket but with time during ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Cleaning up a crime scene and its evidence

If a crime scene is cleaned up well, what possible evidence would still be found if they managed somehow to clean up the blood, discard the murder weapon, and hide the body? Is it possible for a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Are there different types of plot revelation?

In the movie Sixth Sense, the revelation was that the child knew all along that his counselor was a ghost. The same director-writer use this literary device again in the finale of the movie ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How do I make and decide whether a story should be a sequel or prequel?

I have lots of inspirations that I can make into stories, but I face this one question a lot: Should it be a prequel or sequel? Here's the thing: I'm an amateur writer, but I do have lots of potential ...
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Show don't tell in the paragraph

How do I make this paragraph from telling to show? How could I describe a memory of him trying to make a friend even though he is disliked by others on his planet? Here is the paragraph for these two ...
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How can you foreshadow a plot twist so that it makes sense, without spoiling it entirely?

How can you foreshadow a plot twist so that it makes sense, without spoiling it entirely? In my story, there's a commander talking down to a soldier and the soldier talk up to the general in private ...
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5 votes
4 answers
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When do you have to kill a character?

We all know that a character dying is very common in the world of fiction. I'm struggling to find reasons to kill a character. One reason I know of is killing a character, when their whole potential ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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How am I supposed to use bad luck as a disadvantage?

So when I was thinking of a character, I tried my best to not make them a Mary Sue. We all know Mary Sue is the number one horrible character. As such I came up with ideas of characters that I can ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
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What are some essential elements to a story beat?

https://screenwritingbae.tumblr.com/post/133954599046/an-outline-of-whiplash-2014-please-share I see set-up and inciting incident, but then there's call to adventure, which seems like something random ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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What Test of Intelligence can an Emperor use to decide his successor among his three daughter heirs? [closed]

So, I'm writing a piece of fiction where there is a King with three daughters. In order to decide who becomes the next Queen, he sets three trials. Trials of Heart, Mind and Might. I'm done with the ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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What are things you can do to insure your plot doesn't have hole while you're writing after you wrote the plot?

What are things you can do to insure your plot doesn't have hole while you're writing after you wrote the plot? Is there some kind of trick or tip to insure that after the plot is written, the subplot ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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How long should a timeskip be?

Can a time skip be longer than the main story? let's say this is basically how the story goes: C A B D E F AB is 300 pages C is 10 pages DE is 100 pages F is 20 pages Does this make sense? What are ...
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2 votes
3 answers
132 views

How do you catch people by surprise when crafting a political intrigue?

How do you catch people by surprise when crafting a political intrigue? Whenever I put some politics in my story, people know exactly what's gonna happen, so I have trouble coming up with some kind of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Are there archetypes for political intrigues?

The 7 story archetypes are: Overcoming the Monster Rags to Riches The Quest Voyage and Return Comedy Tragedy Rebirth Are there archetypes for political intrigues? If not what are the building blocks ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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What do you need to understand in order to be able to craft complex political intrigues with ease? [closed]

What do you need to understand in order to be able to craft complex political intrigues with ease? I feel there are some missing pieces that prevent me from being productive in this area. I can't ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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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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8 votes
4 answers
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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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1 vote
2 answers
152 views

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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3 votes
1 answer
552 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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1 vote
5 answers
104 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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1 vote
5 answers
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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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4 votes
2 answers
577 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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0 votes
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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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4 votes
3 answers
163 views

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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14 votes
5 answers
5k views

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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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

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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0 votes
2 answers
75 views

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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2 votes
4 answers
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Denouement vs Resolution

What is the difference between a denouement and a resolution? Are they synonymous?
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