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 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 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 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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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
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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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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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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
407 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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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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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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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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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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4answers
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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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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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3answers
155 views

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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2answers
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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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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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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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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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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 my opening chapter too short?

I've just started writing my first proper novel, I've written short stories and started to write before, but never really had the motivation, but now I have a new, interesting storyline to write about,...
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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
104 views

Has the idea for my story already been taken?

I want to write a story about a place called Kingdom Come, where you can come in but you cannot go (i.e. you are not allowed to leave). Has this idea already been taken? It really sounds like the sort ...
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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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6answers
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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
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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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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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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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How linear should I be in writing my story?

This my most serious writing endeavor ever. I've gotten much farther than I've dreamed of getting. So far, I've been chugging along writing everything in the order that I imagine it being written in ...
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2answers
91 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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2k views

Is killing a character to further the plot necessarily a bad thing?

I've heard quite a few complaints about character deaths being used to further the plot. They say it's boring and overdone and mention that there are plenty of other ways to get to the same point ...
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2answers
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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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How to deal with a rape scene: what can/should you do?

Preface: there are three main characters in the story, all three of them in their mid twenties. Two women and one man. For simplicity, lets call them Jane, Sally and John. Jane and Sally have been ...
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2answers
157 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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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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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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How to detach yourself from a character you're going to kill?

So, in a WW2-ish story featuring a co-ed military, I have a female soldier who is very kind and caring. I'm setting her up to be a mascot and somewhat of the postergirl. Trouble is, she dies further ...
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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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2answers
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How To Make A Subtle Plot Exciting To Read + Strong

I have been trying to write a good plot that's strong for my first novel. However, I have a feeling my plot isn't strong enough. As I began writing, I figured out that a lot of things were just ...
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4answers
102 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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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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Creating a story in which the hero(es) lose [closed]

So I am still in the primitive stages of creating my own world and story, if I even do it that is. I am still trying to get a feel for where I want to go with it. The biggest issue would be that, my ...

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