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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39
votes
11answers
8k views

How do I construct a plot out of my many setting/character details?

In my creative writing, I typically am inspired by short interactions between things: An overheard conversation. A person's jealousy of a friend's talent. A humorous misinterpretation... I tend to ...
12
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5answers
2k views

What to do if I end up confused by my own plot because of 'trying to be original' or 'trying to make the story more deep'?

Sometimes, I find myself in the dilemma that I come out with a plot that tells exactly what I want to say. But then, I try to modify it in order to make it more original (at least, less similar than ...
19
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6answers
4k views

Should I write my story if I haven't established a plot?

I'm in the process of start writing my story and I'm not sure if I should do it if I'm not done with the main plot of the story. Also I don't know since what part should I start writing off, The start,...
12
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4answers
5k views

Are there tools that can aid an author in writing a branching storyline?

I would like to know whether there are any tools that would help an author write a branching storyline. Usecases may for example be: campaigns for Pen and Paper games visual novels Choose Your Own ...
6
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
19
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8answers
1k views

Is it so bad to end up with a “done before” plot?

I'm not delusional about the nature of the science fiction novel I'm (very) slowly working on. A brief run down might be as follows: Set 10's of millennia in Human's future but in a neighbouring ...
8
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6answers
4k views

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, ...
26
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10answers
12k views

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 ...
21
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12answers
8k views

Creating a story in which the hero(es) lose

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 ...
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 ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Resource for generic plot hooks?

I'm in a long and painful recovery from many years of writer's block. Coming up with even quite simple story ideas costs me unreasonable amount of effort. Sometimes inspiration is generous and I'm ...
16
votes
8answers
3k views

Software to draw plot structure charts

When I plot my own novels or analyze other works to understand their structure, I like to visualize the dynamic of the storyline(s) in a diagram. Usually I draw this by hand. A first version of such ...
26
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22answers
16k views

Can a book be written without an antagonist?

I have had this thought running through my head and wondered what your thoughts were on it. Can a book, a story I should say, be written without an antagonist or antagonistic theme? I have an idea ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

How to write good erotic scene?

I am thinking of adding a sub-plot to my story where we have say, Adam and Eve. They do not quite like each other but one thing leads to another and they have sex. After that, Adam wonders if he ...
8
votes
2answers
683 views

How/When to include twists when developing plot.

Disclaimer: This is a new question, not an extension of my other questions concerning twists. When I develop fiction, I start with a premise and a theme. I have a general idea of where I'm headed, ...
9
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
9
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5answers
1k views

How can I create an inter-connected plot across a series?

I am an aspiring author, and I have recently just begun developing my first novel. It is a series, but I have engineered the first novel to be a standalone in case the series falls through. When I ...
8
votes
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 ...
7
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5answers
465 views

How to construct a beat to make an effective treatment for the purposes of revision & group revisions of a Novel?

Why this Question is Being asked In a previous question it was suggested that I write a treatment to assist with revising & cutting. A treatment is essentially a multi-page, spoilerific summary ...
7
votes
4answers
901 views

Should foreshadowing be close to the main event?

This question is a followup to my earlier question. Continuing the dialog with my one critic, I wrote back that I believed that certain "foreshadowing" was necessary. Then I added something like, "...
5
votes
6answers
536 views

How can I get in the Habit of Writing with Twists?

I've always felt that my writing is very sequential. It's a chain of events. This happens, then this happens, then this happens, and so on. Not to say that the events are boring, but I just always ...
4
votes
8answers
4k views

Is it OK to invent as I write, or should I plan the entire story first?

I have read Harry Potter and am a big fan of J.K. Rowling's writing and I had always had this urge to blog and to write. So, I started a blog - 2200 Common Era. I've the basic idea of writing a ...
51
votes
15answers
28k views

Killing the protagonist - should it be done?

I am an aspiring author, but I have written several short 'test novels.' With each of those, it became increasingly clear how you have to develop the main character, the protagonist. After all, the ...
25
votes
15answers
4k views

How to derive a storyline from a beginning?

I have an idea for the beginning of a story. I have the setting, the protagonist, and the events that set the story in motion, including the inciting incident and the first plot point. I have, in ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

How to invest readers in a story that (initially) has no clear direction?

The main character of my novel (third person limited) is an outlaw, on the run from government agents and living from day to day trying to survive. In the first quarter of the story, she doesn't ...
21
votes
8answers
3k views

My cool character is doing nothing for the plot. How do I deal with him?

So I have this great character( not the main protagonist), who is funny and intelligent. Each scene I write for him is a delight. But the problem is, he is doing nothing for the plot. I have tried to ...
16
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7answers
3k views

Writing a Satisfying Ending

It strikes me that the last chapter (or so) of any story needs to make the reader feel that reading the book has been a worthwhile experience. An exceptional ending might leave a reader with such a ...
15
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7answers
17k views

How to start a book off?

I have been working on my book (on and off...) for about 6 months. I have a good bit planned out with the plot, story line, and characters. I even have a small idea on how to start the story but ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

I am overplotting my story - how can I figure out what is necessary and cut out what isn't?

I have recently discovered that the plot and cast of characters of my novel is so unbelievably complex that I am the only one who can actually understand it. I have too many characters, with too many ...
7
votes
2answers
193 views

Any helpful tips on how to, better use description in my writing?

I feel as if, the novel I am writing will have a great plot and I have some creative ideas on where to go with it. My only concern is my ability to develop description through out my story. Any tips ...
5
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6answers
1k views

How To Develop A Character For A Character-Driven Story?

What is essential for a character-driven story - except, obviously, appearance?
11
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4answers
5k views

On copyright laws and plots

I was pondering a lot on the issue with copyrights on plots. Is having an identical plot infringing someone else's copyrighted work? I am fully aware that the character names are copyrighted and ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Should I start writing even if I'm not sure how the story will end?

I'm writing (planning to write) a fantasy novel. I'm done with the worldbuilding, rules of magic, main characters (even though I think I will add some more in the future) and their initial plots and ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Are subplots necessary for a successful story?

I'm particularly interested in this in the context of a new novelist. Are subplots necessary for a successful, good story? Do most novels have them? I'm not sure I fully understand how to write a ...
4
votes
10answers
1k views

Genre conventions: Which end do readers expect?

I need help with the concept of my story: My protagonists live in a mild dystopia. Think of your own country today ;-) They have the opportunity to kill about 20 persons, which will cause a ...
26
votes
9answers
6k views

Plot twist where the antagonist wins

I’m putting together this story and its formative stages are almost complete. However, I am genuinely interested as to how the ending would appear to the reader. My protagonist is a skilled ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the basic elements of a crime investigation story?

I've been delving a lot into the the crime investigation genre, and at first I thought "Simple, just start of with Who, What, Where, When, Why and How and you've got yourself a story!" but I quickly ...
4
votes
2answers
225 views

How to fill novel if you have just some moments prepared?

I read some of my old novels and realized that I often filled them with unnecessary info and pseudojokes so I could quickly rejoin my favourite moments in the planned plot. I found those moments more ...
4
votes
1answer
580 views

Dealing with lackluster plot failure

So, I wrote the beginning of something about novel-sized. I drafted totally sweet, lovable protagonists in an interesting, original relationship, I placed them in a solid world, I painted the ...
3
votes
3answers
615 views

Writing Action In A fictional Journal

I have written a story in the form of a journal. It's about a man who is going through a separation/divorce, living alone in an unfurnished apartment; now lonely and longing for companionship. ...
3
votes
9answers
11k views

How to assure your plot isn't a carbon copy of another story?

In what case is it justifiable for your own story to differentiate its plot from another, similar plot? For instance, I'm writing a story with a serial killer who whose motive sounds akin to the ...
3
votes
2answers
773 views

How to determine whether or not a plot twist is needed?

I should start by saying that this question is not this question, How to decide if a plot twist worth doing despite how similar they sound. And, the answer I'm looking for was not at this question ...
2
votes
2answers
824 views

How does External Conflict set up the Climax?

Note: As with any aspect of writing, I'm sure there are those who disagree with it. If you disagree with the conclusions I've come to below, I would like to hear your thoughts. However, I would ask ...
2
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5answers
6k views

Should I worry that my storyline is very similar to another? [duplicate]

I've written a story about anthropomorphic animals in a noirish setting solving murders. I came up with the concept and wrote the first draft about a year ago and am planning on releasing it soon. ...
5
votes
3answers
390 views

Are there times when delayed character development is acceptable in fiction?

In my screenplay, I have my female protagonist wear Prada, and perhaps drop other hints of her character, but not act like Miranda Priestly for the first two acts, until she gets a promotion at the ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

I'm scared that my story is plagiarizing another story

I am working on my debut story. In my freetime, I write another story that will be the start of a series. The series consists of Steampunk fairytale retellings. Lately, I have been worrying that it ...
5
votes
1answer
527 views

How to decide if a plot twist worth doing?

There's a major piece of information in my story, which I could either make tell right away - or else keep it a secret, and use it as a plot twist later. I'm having a hard time choosing which way to ...
5
votes
3answers
835 views

Is including a large number of twists a bad thing?

I've been doing some research into twists, and after not knowing how to create one, I'm starting to get a handle on them. Unfortunately, now I'm at the other end of the spectrum, and wondering if I ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Writing Longer Flashbacks

In my story my MC has suffered a severe injury and has no recollection of who he was before it occurred. He knows what happened and where he was when it occurred as he was told by the people who found ...
0
votes
3answers
154 views

If I write a story that incorporates a scientific theory, does the theory have to be cited?

For example, if I've written a character that is supposed to be smart and uses a scientific theory as the basis for doing something interesting; does that theory have to be cited in the story. I don't ...