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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4answers
3k views

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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2answers
100 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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1answer
119 views

Is my work urban fantasy or paranormal romance?

I have been writing a story that for a long time I considered to be an urban fantasy, with supernatural elements in a recognizably modern setting. However, while I thought I was writing a rather ...
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2answers
127 views

How to make a romantic subplot without dragging it out?

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 after ...
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0answers
30 views

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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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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1answer
547 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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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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1answer
83 views

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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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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How do you write a story about a team?

There just isn't information about this on the internet (at least that I could find), so I'm here. A few specific questions: how many team members should there be? Should they all be main characters, ...
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2answers
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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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5answers
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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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3answers
126 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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10answers
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Any Technique to See if Your Idea is Original?

I usually get quite a lot of ideas for stories, but every time I want to develop them into a full fledged story, I get paranoid about how it might not be an original idea, and how it might be ...
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4answers
211 views

Denouement vs Resolution

What is the difference between a denouement and a resolution? Are they synonymous?
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11answers
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How can I have a war with no "good" or "evil" side?

I'm conceptualising a story involving two heroes who go on an epic journey and return bitter rivals etc. etc. and form their own forces in a sort of civil war. My issue is that I want them to both be ...
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3answers
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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2answers
67 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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2answers
183 views

Fault in writers logic and how avoid?

So yeah I have seen a situation where what the writer has put makes sense, but after thinking it through there are clear faults in the logic they used. Here's my example A small team is advancing ...
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3answers
155 views

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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2answers
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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5answers
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How do I make it so my story happens in an ambiguous time frame?

Nothing extreme, of course. No mentions of futuristic time-traveling gadgets or teleportation or the like. Or, conversely, nothing that smacks of medieval times or anything that immediately causes a ...
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0answers
62 views

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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4answers
82 views

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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2answers
81 views

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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3answers
303 views

Is it possible for "weakness" to be a "virtue" in context?

I'm working on a teen romance. The event is the high school play, the "Sound of Music," in which there are two main contestants for the role of Liesl. They are designated "A" and "B," because those ...
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1answer
89 views

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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0answers
61 views

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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3answers
143 views

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
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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2answers
525 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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2answers
105 views

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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5answers
171 views

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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3answers
129 views

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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5answers
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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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5answers
5k views

How to stay motivated while writing a story, after the initial burst of enthusiasm?

TL;DR: How do you approach to writing? What part of the work do you enjoy the most? And how do you keep the motivation up? I often ask myself if I really like to write. I mean, I have a lot of ideas ...
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1answer
114 views

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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4answers
296 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 ...
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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 ...
2
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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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4answers
116 views

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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7answers
3k views

Where can I find resources for bedtime story plots?

For past ten months, my wife and I have been telling bedtime stories of our own making to our older daughter (who recently turned 4). We do it on alternate evenings. The stories have a nearly-constant ...
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0answers
94 views

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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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
54 views

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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2answers
99 views

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
201 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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