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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16
votes
14answers
7k views

Is it okay to use “It was all just a virtual world / dream” for a plot twist?

I am currently writing a novel where I use "It was all just a dream" (IWAJAD) plot twist, just because the main character needs it to change his personality and train his power to save the ...
4
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2answers
22 views

What are some tips to keep on track of your plot

I am a new writer writing a fantasy series, and earlier today I found myself thinking “Yay! I’m almost done with the main plot of my first book!” Then I realized I was nowhere near done with the ...
4
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7answers
208 views

Can there be too many obstacles in a character’s path?

My current WIP involves a deliberate miscarriage of justice. I started out with three main characters: J - a young girl who is effected by both the crime committed and the injustice delivered D - a ...
13
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7answers
4k views

Should my main character make a ginormous mistake?

I'm rereading my draft, and there is a part in the book where when the main character is helping others escape prison, she accidentally reveals herself to the prison guards who chase her down and kill ...
6
votes
3answers
172 views

How much can you reuse ideas from other stories?

So there was a novel that had some cool ideas and I really liked, but also there were many parts that made me annoyed mostly due to the genre, plot holes and inconsistencies and how they were done or ...
0
votes
2answers
104 views

protagonist knows things which the reader doesn't know/story starts in the middle. How do I tell them?

when I say "reader", in the context of my particular scenario, I actually mean the "player" as this story is for a videogame. I start the game off with the player/main character (...
1
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2answers
57 views

Is using the layout of anothers published work in danger of plagiarisim if nothing else is the same?

I started writing a book that uses the ‘layout’ or ‘style’ of another very popular book. I started it as a joke, but then fell in love with the characters and the idea. There is nothing the same in my ...
13
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4answers
8k views

How can I write anonymously (based on true experiences)?

I want to use an experience I had which is pretty unbelievable but true. The majority of the story will be completely true. It's not over yet so I want to use an ending which is NOT true yet works ...
13
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15answers
9k views

Story that's too depressing?

(Warning, mention of sexual abuse!!) In the near future where humans have polluted and radiated the Earth so much that animals and plants have been going extinct at alarming rates and humans ...
3
votes
3answers
139 views

Is it okay not to write something you feel you don't want to write?

Okay, the title is dumb, but let me elaborate. When it comes to scenes in books or movies, show me a character's family, or part of their family getting killed and you've successfully immobilized me. ...
6
votes
4answers
230 views

How to plan your writing throughout the book?

What is important to keep in mind when planning a book? Is it important to create every character and it's abilities before you start to write the actual book? How hard is it to start writing if you ...
8
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14answers
26k views

How long can a prologue be, and what should you not do?

A while back I wrote a prologue about the beginning of time and space and all that. One thing I noticed later is that between the prologue and the story itself, the prologue ate out the chapters not ...
2
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2answers
78 views

What is the best way to structure my series?

I am working on an urban fantasy series. The series is currently divided into a number of episodic chapters that follow a "monster of the week" format. Each one is projected to be about 30-...
25
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19answers
6k views

How can I handle a powerful mentor character without killing them off?

I'm writing a book series that involves people with various superpowers. One of these characters and is more or less the mentor of the protagonists. This character is the leader of the "good guy&...
3
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3answers
219 views

How should I approach writing a trilogy?

I am thinking of writing a trilogy and was wondering how should I begin. Should I plan out to write three books or just see if the story develops into more than one book? Thanks!
0
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1answer
50 views

Will a copyeditor refine both dialogue and plot?

I am a big-picture kinda guy. I have ideas and I love details, but I hate to get stuck up in the microscopic level grunt work - managing accents, tones and environment details that are not so central ...
-2
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1answer
51 views

Need a driving circumstance to drive mc into new world [closed]

I’m struggling to find a driving circumstance for my character to want to enter train and get better in my fictional world. I have tried letting the antagonist try to kill him to drive him there but ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Making characters multidimensional and unique. What can I do?

I'm writing a sci-fi/fantasy story and I have quite a number of characters that I want to deploy in the story. However, these characters should each have their own agendas in life, their own internal ...
3
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4answers
1k views

What are the key elements of a humor story?

I've always loved humor stories, and relish the idea of making one. But the thing I cannot grasp is the key elements of one. Are the key elements the same as a normal story (Problem, Solution, etc.)? ...
10
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7answers
4k views

I love the world and characters I've created for my story, but I dislike the plot. How can I proceed?

I've spent several years periodically writing and developing a high fantasy story I mean to turn into a book, or even a series depending on how much material I write. However, lately, I've realized I ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

Should I save some plot for the sequel of my novel or make the first book (too) long but complete?

I wrote a sci-fi novel. It's around 120k words long with a neat 'ending' that wraps up the main plot. The story is not complete: Although the main goal has been accomplished, a lot of smaller issues ...
4
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6answers
218 views

Inhibitions when writing personal experiences

I write for myself and have no intention of publishing anything. However, I still become uncomfortable writing about events in my life because I think about how people who are involved or who know me ...
2
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7answers
4k views

Starting a book with a scene from the middle

So. I'm currently working on a novel. (It's my first ever.) I need all the help I can get. I had an idea where I start with a scene which is close to the climax, where the main character is to be ...
7
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5answers
249 views

Changing Genres in the Middle of a Story

Let's say the story was introduced as a romance, then somewhere in the middle it becomes a horror/thriller, would you immediately think it's bad? Would you feel like "This is not what I came here ...
12
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5answers
3k views

How to stick to your vision when you’re highly suggestible?

As a person, I'm a bit of a people-pleaser. I tend to bend over backward to avoid conflict and make people happy. I've reached the point in my writing process where I've started to send out drafts of ...
8
votes
4answers
471 views

What are the points to remember when the pet is the narrator and is narrating the story of its owner?

I'm working on a novel which is based on a true story. I first thought of writing from the heroine's POV, but later changed my mind and introduced a pet in the plot as the narrator of the story. Which ...
15
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10answers
8k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

How to introduce a previously hidden faction without creating plot holes?

I've been planing out a sequel series to my trilogy, which has a secret society called Nukui-Paub spearheaded by the sequel trilogy's primary antagonist Ma'dtuth, who draws inspiration from Vandal ...
3
votes
4answers
122 views

How to make a weak character fight in major battle [closed]

My character is about to fight someone that really strong but he believes that he is still weak. So how can i force him to fight. (For plus note: i make a fantasy story like magic and stuff)
0
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
119 views

TW: child abuse, Is it ethical for me to write a book centered on child abuse despite not experiencing it? [duplicate]

It's my first attempt at trying to write a long length story of my own and so far what I've come up is a story that is to be centered around child abuse (sexual abuse) (the psychological and emotional ...
28
votes
10answers
8k views

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 ...
7
votes
12answers
1k views

Anticlimactic ending as a surprise after climax?

Note: my story is for a video game, but that should hopefully be irrelevant to the question itself. Our heroes spent a long time fighting their way to the evil demon king. The hopes of all the people ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Is it acceptable to have a subplot run out of sync with the main plot by a few days?

Is it acceptable to have a subplot run out of sync in front of the main plot by a couple of days and hide that fact from the reader until near the end, where it then becomes synced with the main plot? ...
22
votes
12answers
8k 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 ...
23
votes
12answers
7k 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 ...
30
votes
12answers
9k views

An LGBT main character, but the book isn't about LGBT issues

So I'm in the very early stages of plot development on a new story. It focuses on a (nonbinary, hence the they/them pronouns) witch named Kem who recently discovered their powers and met some ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

What could the Antagonistic Force be in a Crime Mystery? [closed]

What could the Antagonistic Force be in a Crime Mystery/Police Procedural, where the culprit/murderer doesn't get revealed until nearer the end of the book? My instinct keeps saying that the murderer ...
-1
votes
1answer
102 views

Do I kill my main character? [closed]

One of the main themes of my book is death and sacrifice. There's a lot of necromancy, ghosts, etc. The main character has already been brought back to life once before without her consent, which was ...
7
votes
9answers
1k views

When do I successfully kill off an important secondary main character… in a series of five books?

TL;DR: How much time and development is necessary for a character I intend to kill off and replace with a second character so that both feel important to the narrative? I've looked over this a bit, ...
2
votes
3answers
163 views

Which plot should I use while outlining my plot beats?

I'm writing a crime/mystery fiction novel. The main plot involves a murder at the start, a case that my protagonist, a police detective, has to solve. He faces conflict and difficulties along the way,...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

How far into a speculative novel should one go before introducing the central conflict?

By speculative, I mean mostly science fiction, fantasy or intrigue. For example Neal Stephenson's Anathem, which is a 900-page book, goes well past the 200-page mark before the central conflict ...
4
votes
4answers
892 views

How to keep yourself from writing the same story?

I've been planning out the same story and revising it over and over since I was a child (that makes it 10 years now) and finally after so long I'm happy enough with it to consider finally writing the ...
0
votes
0answers
70 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Is it possible for a police officer to house a child in questioning? [closed]

For my story, I have a character who is a police officer. In this story, a child is a key to solving the identity of a crime lord after witnessing one of their crimes. The child is in questioning, but ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

How would I escape a paradox if vampire goes back in time to create the first one? [closed]

My story is set a few hundred thousand years after the first vampire was made. No new vampire knows how they started, only they were turned by a vampire. Those old vampires would get killed off (...
2
votes
3answers
113 views

How do I deliver a historical plot reveal?

Right before the climax of my scifi fantasy novel, there's a big reveal about who the bad guys really are and how they influenced the magic system -- throughout history. This reveal will be the much ...
6
votes
6answers
892 views

How do I make my plot more interesting?

This is gonna be long before I ask the question itself. Here is a quick overview of my plot: In the fictional world named Slavaz, there is a great danger appearing, and God Creator of Slavaz appears ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

How to correctly set up plot promises?

The premises are the following: 1) First person POV (but advice for third person works too) 2) Protagonist-driven plot 3) Some backstory that hasn't been explored yet (and which ties into the MC ...

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