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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1answer
136 views

What is the stereotypical structure of a crime narrative? [duplicate]

I have been wanting to start work on a short crime novel, but I am not sure how to structure the story- To elaborate, I have a number of scenes that i want to include but i am not sure how to make ...
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2answers
393 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
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How to defeat a strategic mastermind without throwing the idiotball? [duplicate]

My antagonist is a "strategic mastermind", similar to the one discussed in How to prevent seeming like a Marty Stu-ish villain is cheating? Proceeding from this kind of antagonist, my question is how ...
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5answers
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Executing a tonal shift

A novel's tone/atmosphere is typically established within the first few chapters of the book. So, let's say, we establish the story as a light-hearted, over-the-top fantasy deconstruction, with humor ...
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1answer
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Is there a format to write a good treasure hunt story?

I'm writing a story for an Indian movie that revolves around a bunch of estranged siblings, who come to live in their father's abandoned house a year after his death. They do so because they receive ...
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4answers
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Innovative Ways to Provide Background Information

Think action movie. Think two heavily-armed men - one chasing the other over rooftops, down through buildings and into the mean streets of a crowded city. Think big guns, explosions and other loud ...
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2answers
245 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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9answers
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How to write a story without conflict, like “My Neighbour Totoro”?

We are used to stories being about conflict. There can be an antagonist, or a hostile environment, or even an internal problem (like depression), but conflict is there. The story arc involves dealing ...
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I have characters, no plot [duplicate]

I'm trying to write a story with characters that I already designed long ago and also have planned the world for them a bit, but I cannot come up with an interesting plot. What do you suggest I can do ...
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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 ...
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1answer
272 views

Creative Non-Fiction - Writing without Plot, Story, Characters, or Ending

I've just started reading Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby and it strikes me, when reading about his obsession with Arsenal that I too have an obsession - with words. I would like to write a creative non-...
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5answers
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How to go from an opening idea to a complete plot?

I have great openings with (I humbly feel) unusual and unique situations. But after the first few pages to support the beginning, bam...no plot! It stalls and don’t know where to go with it. I’ve ...
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4answers
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Writing a Novel Set In The Future

So, I have this idea of writing a novel set in the future. Not the far future but a few decades away from today. Could you please give me an advice for that. The reason that I am asking this is that I ...
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Can you have too many story arcs running at the same time?

I've written about 15k words of my story now and the plot is developing nicely. Perhaps a bit too nicely. I have about a dozen of named characters which all have something interesting to do in the ...
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2answers
219 views

What would be the best way to make a vampire story with a bit of romance without it being crappy? [closed]

So I'm trying to write a story about a vampire couple who are on a quest, to become human again, it is set in a medieval style era. It is somewhat of a romance but I don't want it to be too cliche or ...
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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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Ideas for a twist or plot point involving adopted character's parents [closed]

I'm writing a plot for a tabletop game, and one of my players is running a character who was taken from her home at a very young age. (it's her earliest memory) She was raised from that point on by an ...
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3answers
146 views

Positive Transformation in the Arc of a Story

I'm writing a novel about an obsessive character who is bothering the people around him but just will not or cannot accept that a change must come. When is the most effective time (or if not - the ...
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8answers
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Characters that take on a life of their own

There are definite advantages to writing comprehensive character maps, but one downside that I've found is that when a character is fully fleshed out, she/he tries to take on a life of her/his own and ...
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3answers
266 views

Plotting a Compelling Story [closed]

How should I approach plotting a compelling story, i.e. one aimed at changing the way people think and behave (rather than just being "art for art's sake")? I want to write a novel or collection of ...
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1answer
81 views

What is the base on which movies writers integrate typical characters into a plot?

After reading the book Of Mice and Men from John Steinbeck, I realised that I saw this typical combination of a small bright guy with a big strong not so bright guy in many movies... Ex: The daltons ...
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1answer
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How do I reveal multiple timelines to the reader?

I have multiple characters who do things... over and over again, in different timelines. But I have no idea how to reveal this to the reader. Any suggestions?
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2answers
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Establishing trust with a Shapeshifter [closed]

Alright, I can't figure out how to write a scene. I have a character that has never revealed the fact that she can turn into animals, not even to her family. If the character is planning to tell her ...
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3answers
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Basic fails to look out for when writing the drama: What can we learn from soap operas

So, we established that we can lose many more valuable things other than our life, and to make stakes out of them effectively, we have to make it nothing personal. One thing we haven't discussed is ...
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What new plots are available to writers?

I read The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker (yes, it was so heavy that I had to cut into two books just to be able to carry it around) and I just can't believe that the number of plots we have ...
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8answers
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How to get readers to care about a dead character?

My story happens as a result of one of the main characters getting murdered. I'm wondering how to get readers to care about someone who's not even in the story (as far as the readers know anyway) or ...
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2answers
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Is there a name for a narrative that involves parallel exposition of the characters' backstories?

One of the hallmark features of the television show Lost was the way in which each character's backstory was rendered. The narrative started out in present day and depicted characters making certain ...
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How Can You Use “In Medias Res” To Beautify Your Amazing Masterpiece? [closed]

How do you write out the second build up without killing the essence of the masterpiece? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Medias Res?
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7answers
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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 ...
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6answers
515 views

Why is character lifetime proportional to character development so often?

Hollywood movies are a good example of this, but also many books feature the rule. When the plot revolves around life and death situations, the first to die are the characters with least development. ...
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2answers
541 views

What are methods to refer to something that happened but did not make it onto the page?

As writers we're supposed to know more about our stories than the words that make it onto the page. Can a character refer to something that happened, but happened off-page? As the writer, I know that ...
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7answers
136 views

Foregone conclusion of novel's first part

I'm writing a war sci-fi novel. At the start of the novel, my MC really wants to get into a particular unit, let's call it Space-Marines. His struggle through the training serves to showcase his high ...
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4answers
899 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, "...
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3answers
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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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2answers
97 views

Does the degree of immersion in the character alter the extremity of plot points used?

Star Wars IV: We never really get to know Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, and so when they're burned to a crisp, little pieces of human toast, it's horrific but yeah OK. Not as horrific as if we saw Obi Wan ...
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Do I have to show my characters making up after an argument, or can it be implied when we see them on good terms again?

Is it okay to have two characters who had an argument to patch things up offscreen, or do readers explicitly need to see how they made up? None of the two characters in question are the protagonist, ...
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5answers
884 views

Slow buildup vs sudden introduction

Let's say you're writing super hero fiction. The hero of your story is struggling against the villain, but suddenly awakens a power that allows him to best the bad guy! Problem: you're unsure of how ...
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4answers
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How to write two seemingly different characters that are actually the same person?

I'm currently working on a book with two protagonists and switching the perspective between them. They have quite different plotlines, but actually they're the same person. English is not my first ...
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3answers
175 views

How can you make “evil vs evil” interesting? [closed]

Let's say you have two sides who are basically no better than the other. Both are criminals with no redeeming qualities, and both are at war. Think COBRA and HYDRA going to war. They both have plans ...
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11answers
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How to manage getting depressed by what my main character goes through?

I'm writing a war (sci-fi) novel. The MC dies in the end. It's not as thoroughly depressing as "All Quiet on the Western Front", but Remarque's work is definitely one source of inspiration. Now, ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
278 views

What's the term used to describe a twist which is badly written because the twist is based on information not yet available to audience? [closed]

Context: In my question How did Olaf know?, I asked about a twist in the TV series A Series of Unfortunate Events, adapted from a book series of the same name. My understanding: Twists, whether good (...
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2answers
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Is blending a largely illustrated book like James Gurney's “Dinotopia” and a dramatic and more serious plot a bad idea?

So, I don't know if any of you have heard of Dinotopia by James Gurney, but it's written in a format with large pages, and lots of illustrations: While it is not exclusively a children's book, and ...
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3answers
318 views

Is it okay to switch protagonists between books, if the main protagonist is a hidden “actor”?

On my research I stumbled upon this question and it matches somehow with my question, that lingers in my head for a long time. In the mentioned question I read the common thinking is: Switching ...
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6answers
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Can I make a character make a philosophic observation or say their opinion, even if it's unnecessary for the plot/story?

I have a character in my story who has the habit of making philosophic observations about life and the functioning of things, or his opinion/vision about something. Although most of his observations ...
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8answers
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How do you assess the value of an individual scene?

Authors need to understand which scenes in their stories to cut in order to help the reader enjoy the story best. Knowing what works for the reader and what does not is a key skill for authors. ...
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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 ...
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2answers
93 views

What are the best methods to keep your ideas in order?

Usually my ideas come very suddenly and I don't have paper or pencil by hand so I forget them; also, I do not know how to order these ideas in physics since they are for a novel in process, there are ...
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7answers
2k views

How to best pace information reveals to the reader

Some of my beta comments fall under the category of 'I the reader am frustrated by what I do not know' - and I've gotten this comment in my real life group too. The reader wants information as soon ...

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