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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8
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12answers
4k views

Can't write, can plan

I can plan all sorts of specific aspects in a novel such as characters, locations, and the plot in general, but I struggle to actually write it the way it is in my head. How do I learn to write rather ...
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3answers
264 views

Avoiding episodic writing

I'm working on a novel that will have at least three distinct sections in three distinct locations (the two main characters start in the first location, travel through the second location, and one ...
6
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3answers
293 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 ...
4
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2answers
191 views

What are some techniques for deciding which of two or more plot directions to go with?

I have always wanted to write a book but have never actually taken the time to do so. There are many things that hold me back but one of them is that I often come up with story lines in my mind. As I ...
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4answers
644 views

Balancing character levity in a serious narrative

I am looking for examples of authors who manage to have sarcastic/funny characters exist in a very serious, end of the world type of scenario. The issue I am trying to resolve is when I write ...
4
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7answers
3k views

What are the acts of a story?

I'm interested in the elements of how a good story is compiled. When in high school, I was exposed to Shakespeare plays where the stories were divided into different acts. While I was reading ...
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3answers
1k views

Is this an example of an unreliable narrator?

I've been writing a mystery story recently, but I've run into a problem concerning the major plot twist, and was hoping for some guidance from more experienced writers. Here's the scenario: Person A ...
2
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3answers
586 views

How much character description is considered necessary in a "plot driven" story?"

Some stories begin with a rather full description of say, the main character. Here is a clip from Hello Dolly that describes in (for me) excruciating detail not only about what she does (matchmaking) ...
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2answers
622 views

How much sex can I write if I'm after mainstream success?

I have three variations of the same storyline and cannot decide which one I want to write: erotic story turning dark and dangerous A young adult man and woman fall in love. It is the woman's first ...
15
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2answers
9k views

When we start a book from the climax (from the middle of the chapter), what is it called?

Let's say that we have a plot that goes from A-Z and M is the middle (climax) part of it. There is this style of writing in which we start from M, then again back to A-Z. At the start of a book is ...
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4answers
5k 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 ...
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3answers
2k views

How to use deus ex machina safely?

One of my main character's traits is that she has some superstitious beliefs. That trait is not essential to the MC, but everyone in the era of my story is. I'm contemplating a plot point near the end ...
11
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9answers
433 views

How can I make a non-linear timeline less confusing?

My story is broken into 8 sections. Sections 1 and 2 take place simultaneously, in two different worlds. The other 6 continue in a linear fashion (switching back & forth between the two worlds as ...
11
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8answers
1k views

How do you escalate a story's plot after killing the Big Bad?

Everyone remembers the Death Star and how it was supposed to be the most potent superweapon in the Star Wars-verse. Then in the Expanded Universe, they needed to add tension to the series since the ...
11
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4answers
1k views

What are the components of a legend (in the sense of a tale, not a figure legend)?

I'm compiling in-world legends for my built world, and would like them to feel like established legends from our own human experience. What should I keep in mind while writing these legends? What ...
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5answers
658 views

Using a world created by someone else for your own fiction

What is the procedure if you want to set a story in a world created by someone else?If, after reading someone else's novel I came up with some neat plot that would fit into that novel's world, but ...
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8answers
954 views

Will my readers find it hard to care/identify with a character who seems to lack human emotions?

I'm writing my first novel. One of the main characters was born without a soul. This is her description, which also reflects her personality: She had long black hair, crimson red lips, and a skin ...
7
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5answers
478 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 ...
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6answers
1k views

The Protagonist and the 'Mid Point' of a Screenplay

I'm currently working through the preparation process before I start to write my first feature length screenplay, helped in no small part by Syd Field's books. I've got the three act structure ...
6
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3answers
453 views

When to finally reveal plot twist to characters?

In a post-apocalyptic novel I'm writing (which is the subject of many questions I've asked on Writing.SE), I recently cut out my entire Chapter 10-11. I was revealing the MC, Eris' finékinesis (death-...
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4answers
671 views

How to turn a single narrative into a branching one?

I'm currently writing a story which started out as a short story but kept growing, until I discovered it would work well as a visual novel. I have all of the possible endings in mind, but for now I'm ...
4
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4answers
248 views

Short Story Outline Issues

I am writing a short story that has very little action that focuses mainly on the main character's development. I have tried outlining some of the major interactions with characters, the important ...
4
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4answers
564 views

What if neither the protagonist nor antagonist wins?

This may seem like an awkward scenario for a story's ending. My plot revolves around a constant struggle of the protagonist against the antagonist's forces, and eventually the antagonist himself. I've ...
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2answers
435 views

How can I structure a novel to contain short stories?

I'm planning a novel where the protagonist is an author and regularly writes short stories and shares them with other characters. I see this as a great opportunity to break out of the narrative and ...
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2answers
304 views

Hiding information

I have often noticed this in many books and movies (mostly mysteries) that information is kept hidden from the reader. Like the character goes to some place and returns but what happens in between ...
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1answer
486 views

Is BDSM becoming mainstream?

Seems that in the last decade there is more and more stories with a BDSM arc. For instance: The Fifty Shades series The Sword of Truth series The Black Dagger Brotherhood series I remember when I ...
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1answer
1k views

How to think of a plot in 5 minutes

I have an English high school exam in five days in which I will be given 2-3 prompts e.g. A story which includes the sentence, "I could not not believe when my neighbour walked right past me" or a ...
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3answers
236 views

At what point disappointment and frustration within the story makes the reader abandon it?

Does Game of Thrones get any unpleasant when a whole bunch of characters die every season, for example? Leaving hooking elements aside, at what point does exploration of uncomfortable aspects from ...
2
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1answer
111 views

Novelizing non-fiction, is it worth it?

There are a few lifestyle subjects where I feel I need to write non-fiction books. The problem is that in these fields, most of what is published is 101 intro manuals, while my takes to the field ...
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4answers
1k views

How about a story as a series of anecdotes?

I have a concept for a story I'd like to do where my purpose for writing the story is simply to explore a hypothetical society by means of anecdotes about the members of the society. But this sounds ...
2
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3answers
144 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 ...
2
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1answer
169 views

Splicing/Mixing Scenes

Remember the end of the Godfather, where they spliced all the different assassinations with the christening? Or any film with good cutting, where they swap between different characters and what they'...
2
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2answers
703 views

How do I maintain flow and interest when handling numerous plot threads?

I want to learn how to maintain the flow of a novel's plot - there are so many characters and events to organize. What I find most difficult is the way a writer needs to shift from one phase of the ...
2
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2answers
273 views

Making a prolonged training montage work

Training montages and arcs are typically viewed as backstory, something that ends in the prologue, or shows up in flashbacks. They show us a piece of information about the world or a character. This ...
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4answers
428 views

Grammar for describing novel plots?

Many writers find that mastering a genre of writing, such as the novel, requires that at some point they break down other writers' pieces of work in the genre in order to study their structure: to ...
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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 ...
0
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2answers
85 views

Which opening for my book is better? [closed]

I am currently writing a fictional book. I have no idea how to introduce the new country and the history. I already have three ideas on how to start the book, but I don't know which one to use and ...
0
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3answers
119 views

How do I introduce this character?

I am writing a story these days and I want to introduce a character who is similar to a king. This character is introduced with heavy announcements by his minions who scream out words of admiration ...
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8answers
441 views

Dumping an entire world for dramatic effect?

About 1/3 of the way through my story the main antagonist "wins" and is able to completely remake the world of the story into his notion of an ideal world. The "new" world shares some elements with ...

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