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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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3answers
108 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
votes
2answers
99 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, ...
7
votes
6answers
659 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
120 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
101 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 ...
5
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3answers
176 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
87 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
votes
0answers
42 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 ...
2
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4answers
123 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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
838 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 ...
4
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4answers
181 views

Films where the antagonist appears relatively late

Usually the antagonist is introduced as early as possible. However, are there films where the antagonist appears rather late? The earlier parts of the film should center on the mystery of this ...
34
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17answers
7k views

How can I avoid a predictable plot?

When writing a novel, authors generally don't want the reader to know how things will end. This is especially true of mystery novels, but obviously applies to any creative story. (A few stories show ...
14
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4answers
8k views

Does this scene fail the Bechdel test?

My novel has approximately a dozen women in it, but they don’t tend to talk to each other. Most of them are separated geographically or philosophically and sitting down for a chat does not seem ...
-3
votes
3answers
213 views

How to resolve a conflict between a girl that left you vs. a girl who abandoned you? [closed]

Ok, so in an upcoming project of mine, I have an MC in a romance with two women. The first girl left him for no apparent reason, and another one told him she was visiting family, and never really came ...
21
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11answers
7k views

How can I make a character who isn't a jerk seem like one?

I have an MC who, because of certain circumstances, everyone sees him as harsh and cruel at first. As they get to know him through the first few chapters, they eventually see he's nicer than they ...
1
vote
3answers
106 views

What kind of writing style works for a game?

Background: I'm creating a story for a video game--it's set in a cyberpunk, futuristic setting, and it has many flows, one of its flows is that the story is so complicated and novelized, that it ...
5
votes
7answers
314 views

How best to prevent a protective response from overshadowing a heroic act?

My main character is injured, having been shot earlier. This injury renders him much slower to respond and reduces his agility. Because of this, two of his colleagues are with him to protect him. ...
22
votes
11answers
6k views

Need advice about changing character's gender

I had this idea for a story/novel that I was very excited about, but also very worried about. The idea had a plot where the character development plot and themes all grow and go together, something I ...
8
votes
2answers
164 views

When should the protagonist have a self-revelation?

So far, I've been learning rules and guidelines for plotting a good story from John Truby's excellent "The Anatomy of Story". Truby structures plot using 22 steps (a summary here). Among them, the ...
21
votes
6answers
3k views

How long should I mention an injured character’s pain?

My main character gets shot and survives. One thing that bothers me is a character who is injured and keeps going like the energizer bunny. I try to set up for a rapid recovery, mentioning training ...
2
votes
2answers
295 views

How to create an open frame story?

For a computer game, I'd like to create a frame story. Much like in X-Files, it should provide a setting for the individual levels/quests/substories while leaving lots of room for the individual parts....
5
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4answers
167 views

How does one discovery-write court intrigue?

Intrigue (any kind, really, but royal courts were particularly known for it) is a series of setups that lead to a pay-off. For example, a handkerchief moved from one room to another, a word whispered, ...
0
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3answers
121 views

Do Science Fiction Stories Follow A Particular Pattern? [closed]

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
251 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
731 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 ...
0
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2answers
78 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 ...
8
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4answers
235 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
50 views

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 ...
56
votes
4answers
10k views

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 ...
-1
votes
4answers
207 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 ...
0
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1answer
125 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 ...
6
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5answers
278 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 ...
5
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5answers
351 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

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 ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

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 ...
2
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2answers
87 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
126 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 ...
12
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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. ...
16
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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 ...
13
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7answers
3k views

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 ...
2
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2answers
162 views

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 ...
0
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2answers
177 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
192 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
80 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
114 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
189 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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votes
2answers
208 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
146 views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
613 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 ...