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Questions tagged [storyline]

This tag should be used for questions relating to the sequence of events of a novel, also known as its plot, though the timeline could change if your writing involves timetravel. Contrast this with the tag [branching-narrative], which should be used for questions that deal with multiple possible ...

6
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8answers
223 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
160 views

How to sort out a confusing storyline?

I started writing my novel and finished the first draft. I sent it to my dad who gave me some pointers so I started a new document to 'flesh it out' But that document has run away with me, and now I ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Which should come first, building my story or building my world?

I’ve always been writing, but never wanted to write something in a world I create. I already know what direction I’ll be taking my fleshed-out characters, but I’m still wondering whether or not I ...
8
votes
3answers
707 views

What are some examples of an inciting incident that would force a character to go on a quest or adventure?

I've noticed that my novel is missing a really strong inciting incident and I can't think of anything strong enough to suffice. The only inciting incidents I'm familiar with seeing in nearly every ...
4
votes
5answers
151 views

How do I finish my stories although I have both ideas and titles for them?

Almost every day I come up with new titles and rough ideas for new books to write. I e-mail them to myself, happy and longing to write them down. I have published two books, and I know I can write. ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Druid girl learns necromancy [closed]

I have an interesting plot ready, although there are a few missing blocks which I cannot develop. Story: A girl is a daughter of a druid. Druids are humans who live in the forest protecting animals ...
5
votes
3answers
208 views

Is there a story structure for a non-traditional hero (an extreme introvert)?

I'm trying to write a story of transformation, in which an extremely introverted and non-confrontational person goes through a traumatic experience, and in the finale takes a stand in defense of ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
179 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 ...
58
votes
9answers
14k views

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 ...
21
votes
7answers
3k views

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 ...
-4
votes
2answers
107 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
120 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
104 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
65 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
813 views

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?
14
votes
2answers
473 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
107 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
419 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, "...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

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, ...
28
votes
11answers
5k views

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, ...
4
votes
2answers
68 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
42
votes
13answers
11k views

How unadvisable is it to flip the protagonist into a villain?

Essentially, I have a protagonist who I set up as a 'main' good guy in one of my series. However, in my final series, I intend to make him turn to the dark side and oppose my other protagonists (from ...
6
votes
4answers
793 views

Prepare for more after the “ending”?

In my story, there's this big bad, who needs to be destroyed. That is the main goal for about the last third of the videogame. So the group of heroes manages to destroy him! ... but I don't want to ...
4
votes
4answers
75 views

Presenting unrelated or vaguely-related stories in a setting in backwards chronological order by epoch?

I'm thinking of a science-fiction or science-fantasy setting wherein modern humanity colonizes a new homeworld in a classical star system, bombs themselves back to a Neolithic technology level, and ...
2
votes
4answers
291 views

Still struggling with character desire, positive vs. negative, hooking readers

Apologies for the difficulties I've been having, and leaning for help here. Every step seems to be its own stumbling block. Question: All else being equal, is a positive desire/goal/motivation (of ...
23
votes
15answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
536 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Smuggling my character out of the country [closed]

In the story I'm writing, I'm planning on smuggling my character out of her country using an orchestra. My question is would a woman, about 5'2" be able to fit into a double bass' hard case? The ...
2
votes
3answers
100 views

Writing flashbacks in novels

You would have seen many movies where the flow of the story goes in such a way - The present life of the protagonist - talks with someone / sees something - reminds him something of a past experience ...
10
votes
7answers
632 views

Should mystery stories have resolutions?

I'm working on the finishing touches of a story that has as part of the plot a possibly-supernatural mystery. I'm feeling rather nervous about the whole thing though because said mystery isn't the ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

How to create this scenario [closed]

The novel I am writing hinges on an orphan boy, who is not evil, but merely frustrated and angry with the world and how it is treating him. I need him to do something or cause something to happen that ...
6
votes
3answers
236 views

How do I mislead readers about a character in a story?

I am writing a story about a war, and there is this particular character whom they are a traitor to their own side. The traitor's identity is to be unknown until the Resolution part of the story in ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Why would my character turn off his phone? [closed]

I have a scene where my MC discovers the hidden mobile phone of one of his multiple personalities. He manages to unlock it accidentally purely by muscle memory, but he won't be able to do so again - ...
7
votes
5answers
561 views

Plot and characters conflict too much

My question is if you run into characterization vs. plot conflicts, or unlikeable characters, do you do major changes to your characters to fit the plot or do you make major changes to your plot to ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Writing an autobiographical science fiction [closed]

I would like to write an absurd fictional biography/memoir How do I go about it? What does Autobiographical Science fiction inspire you?
19
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I make it so my story happens in an ambiguous time frame?

Nothing extreme, of course. No mentions of futuristic time-traveling gadgets or teleportation or the like. Or, conversely, nothing that smacks of medieval times or anything that immediately causes a ...
3
votes
3answers
111 views

Building character trust

My main characters finally met. Officially... They still don't know who the others are, and are from different cultural backgrounds, too different for the others to seem normal. Although they are ...
2
votes
4answers
180 views

Help! My brain is writing several chapters at once!

So, I've been thinking about my story, and suddenly I got inspiration for the continuation of the chapter (I'm not even sure what chapter it should be). So, basically, I ended with progressing 3 ...
18
votes
8answers
5k views

Should I be concerned with my fiction writing containing accidental prophecies of real world events?

I'm writing a book (only a hobby, but I hope I can publish it one day). I've started writing a while ago and setting was somewhat of a near-future of an alternative reality. In my book, political ...
4
votes
7answers
750 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
161 views

What is the term for a show or movie that has no actual story? [closed]

When i see so many generic trash shows like "The Mist" i cant help to wonder, what is the story exactly? Why do they show so much unnecessary info, like history and stories from minor characters that ...
5
votes
5answers
166 views

How do I cover many years with little activity without it feeling rushed?

In a story that I am writing, due to some time travel issues, the protagonists will have to wait a number of years before the next stage of the story happens. Things that happen between then and now ...
4
votes
2answers
401 views

How does the 3 act structure fit in a Non Linear story?

I see that the 3 Act structure can be applied over almost any story, from Hamlet to Mulholland Drive, from The Matrix to Rocky. Story structures like 3 Acts, or 4-5 Acts, always feature a Character ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Is Ice/Fire opposition too stereotypical?

I'm writing a story where a secondary story-line (it's about a companion of the main character) is basically about a fire mage and an ice mage. It fits well in the story and the fire/ice elements aren'...
5
votes
3answers
154 views

A subplot becoming another novel

I'm writing a novel where I imagined two or three subplots (or storylines). Now I found that one of the subplots has evolved and grown so big that It can be an independant plot itself and could (or ...
4
votes
2answers
171 views

Is it okay to never explicitly state where your story takes place?

Suppose my story takes place in a town called Williams. It's never stated, though, whether Williams is a town in the USA, or in England, or wherever. It's just mentioned that it's a fictional place. ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Dropping tie-ins for future stories?

During my writing I discovered some interesting (sub)adventures that my protagonists go through while reaching their end-destination. However, these stories are totally irrelevant to the current plot ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

Starting writing + Resolving a conflict in my timeline [closed]

First of all, I'd like to say that I am as novice a writer as they come. My english is bad, and I've never ever written a fictional story beforehand. However, it's now been years since my mind first ...