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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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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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
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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
404 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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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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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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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123 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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117 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
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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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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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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
127 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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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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6answers
228 views

Does This Geopolitical Power Balance in my Setting Make it Look Like I am Promoting Colonialism?

Background The book series I'm working on can basically be summed up as a science-fantasy series that starts out leaning much more on the fantasy end of the spectrum but moves more and more towards ...
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1answer
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The “dead all along” trope

I'd like advice. I'm aware that many find the "dead all along" trope to be cliche. In searching for advice, most revolves around a protagonists interactions as, or with, a ghost, which doesn'...
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2answers
124 views

Is it okay to write short adjacent story of a second lead in the main story?

I am writing a story of a slice of life of a teenager girl who seeks her forgotten past and run away from her forced marriage to follow her dreams. I want to add another story of her cousin and her ...
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2answers
90 views

How much is too much for one day in the life of the main character?

Have you ever been reading a book and thought, "dang that must've been a long day?" I'm writing a YA fiction novel and in my plotting/planning/drafting/whatever you want to call it, I ...
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83 views

Visual collaborative platform to plan a book

I have searched and found some tools for writing, but I need a platform to be able to plan a book - can anyone point me in the right direction? This is for a group of people who want to plan and ...
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2answers
156 views

Help! I have a strong concept, but a million decisions to make! How do I finish my first draft?

During the lockdown, I wrote 60,000 words of my children's fiction book. It wasn't a consistent process and as such, it has many inconsistencies and obsolete scenes. At the moment, the draft looks ...
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2answers
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Dreams as inspiration

I am not an author. Occasionally I have an idea for a story but I've never been inspired to invent and connect ideas to make a convincing tale. Recently; however, possibly because of some medication I ...
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4answers
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How exhaustive can I make an exposition?

Typically an exposition is a few sentences or paragraphs to clue the reader into the time and place, and maybe set a bit of the mood for the core of the story. However, I would like to dedicate 100 or ...
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My friend says that the story of my novel sounds too similar to Harry Potter

I always wanted to write a book and finally after so many years I started writing one. But when I told my friend about the Idea of my story...he said that it sounds too similar to Harry Potter. I don'...
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1answer
53 views

How to make a romantic subplot without dragging it out?

So, I have my MC and her love interest. One is a prince who is a fugitive of his kingdom, the other a street urchin who has a scarred past. Despite this, the MC falls in love with the love interest ...
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How To Start Writing [closed]

I'm new here and have been writing for around two years. I'm still fairly young, and I developed a love of writing around 6th grade. I've gone through many trials and errors, and I have a story I'm ...
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Same plot but different story, is it plagiarizing?

I'm writing a novel and is planning to publish it but then, I found out that someone else has already written a novel similar to mine. Both of our novel has similar plot but different story and ...
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3answers
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Tips on adding plot misdirection

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. My story is unpredictable, but there is absolutely no plot misdirection whatsoever. I have tried writing plot misdirections in my story a few times, but I ...
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5answers
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When is there too much of a plot misdirection?

I'm sure that somebody is going to point me to this question, but my case is different. So I and my best friend are currently writing a science fiction novel that has many plot twists and "...
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4answers
101 views

How to make my MC scared or angry enough to set off her magic powers?

This may seem a bit confusing but basically, my character has these magic powers that come out when she’s angry or scared. She can do quite a few things such as explosions (more like invisible blasts),...
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2answers
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How can I add more characters into my story?

I'm writing this YA Fantasy novel and I've already summarized the whole story and ending, but I really want to add more characters to it. I Have two main characters dealing with two main events in the ...
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How to write a character that doesn’t talk much?

Any tips on how to write a likable character that doesn’t talk much? He eventually starts talking more, but that’s later in the story... How can I make the character's development more natural? (He is ...
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Audition Scene: Writing a Book with a audition scene for a child

I want to write an audition scene in my book. The character is eight, turning nine in a few months, and she will be auditioning for the main character role in a child fantasy show. I've never been to ...
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2answers
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My Fantasy Series POV

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. In my series I have six main characters. If you have read my most previous question, I explained that I have six main characters and want each book to put ...
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8answers
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I accidentally added a character, and then forgot to write them in for the rest of the series

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. When I was looking over my manuscript, I realized that in chapter seven I’d added a character named Autumn. She’s a tiny fairy who rides around on the MCs ...
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Aside from military, how do I write strategy in seemingly ordinary settings (something going on beneath the surface)?

The question says it all, but the only results I'm getting are battlefield scenarios that wouldn't translate well into the themes of my own story--which is more about escape, scheming, tactics, ...
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How can I make the story less predictable?

I'm working on my first novel. As I was going through the initial chapters, I felt that the story is quite simple and predictable (in the initial chapters) and picks up after 14 chapters are over. The ...
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2answers
53 views

Characters feelings; Using them for pacing/tension

I'm writing a novel and in the opening chapter, one of the main characters finds herself traveling by foot through a very severe sandstorm. I used the character's feelings of choking/suffocating to ...
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963 views

Giving journeys a sense of scale

Journeying is a central part of my novel. However, it gets really boring really quickly to describe them walking through the same landscape for a few weeks. I want to skip to the parts that are ...

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