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Questions tagged [structure]

How to put together elements of a story or sentence.

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37 views

The three acts and their relative length

Let's take for granted that the 3 acts structure is relevant and exists. This, of course, is an assumption. How the three acts relate with the length of the novel? In a standard book - let's say 50k ...
4
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1answer
64 views

Turning away from the 3-act structure - what guides my pacing now?

Not all stories follow a 3-act structure. As an example, Les Misérables is rather episodic in its nature: first there's the story of Bishop Myriel and how he meets Jean Valjean, then there's Fantine's ...
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3answers
73 views

Introducing a character in the third act?

I'm well into the third act of my novel and I'm introducing a new character that will play a part in the ending and an even bigger part in the roughly sketched sequel I have in mind. Now, I'm pretty ...
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3answers
138 views

Can a main character leave the story early?

I'm considering to have my Main Character die before "finishing" his arc, but have other characters carry on the plot to its conclusion, let's say to fulfill his visions. In a way, the MC finishes ...
6
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3answers
102 views

Is there a place for an epilogue in a standalone novel?

By definition, an epilogue is an additional chapter after the end of a book. Also, it literally means "additional word". I can imagine a need for an epilogue in a series of novels when there is a ...
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2answers
53 views

What is the structure of a paranormal horror story?

Building on the definition of a Paranormal Story (as opposed to Dark Fantasy) described in the answers here: What are most common tropes of a paranormal book and dark fantasy book?. A paranormal ...
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2answers
51 views

How to make writing humorous? [closed]

I think my writing tends to be too serious/intense or whatever, so I'm wondering how writers create humorous writing. I'm interested in writing some humorous short stories in particular. What ...
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4answers
116 views

Is it necessary to take writing classes and learn formal fiction structure?

This is an offshoot from a comment exchange on an unrelated question. What to submit when asked for "sample chapters"? I know a large percentage of traditionally published fiction authors, ...
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2answers
106 views

Should a prequel strive for symmetry with the original work?

After I lost a large segment of my novel, I started writing a prequel to it. I began it differently from the original, planning on this story being one of five shorter stories published as one volume....
3
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1answer
58 views

Question about the basic elements of Mckee's view of writting

Well, in the first pages of chapter 2 from [MCKEE.R. Story. itbooks. New York, 1997.] Mckee present to us some basic elements of which a story should be costituted of. Of course that this is him view ...
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1answer
78 views

What is personification? [closed]

My friends talk about a few phrases in a book we read recently, as personification. I don't understand what it is. What is personification?
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3answers
88 views

Is it okay for the final chapter to be a lot longer than all the other chapters?

In one of my novels (it's a middle grade fantasy novel) the chapters average around 2,000 words. But the final climactic chapter is currently almost 7,000 words. I am considering splitting it into two ...
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2answers
66 views

How do I write different factions with ideologies, philosophies, and symbolism?

This may sound like a complex question, so let me explain what I mean. I'm inspired by Harry Potter, Avatar The Last Airbender, Homestuck (it exists), and all of those things have different houses / ...
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2answers
142 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 ...
6
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3answers
106 views

How can I start in media res and provide enough back-story to hook people, all in the first chapter?

My story (novella?) starts in media res, in the middle of the conflict that will set the rest of the story in motion. Currently I am "scene-cutting" between that event and some earlier events that ...
2
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1answer
110 views

College Essay - Thesis and Topic - Hard to differentiate

I have a hook. But my thesis seems to be more like a restated topic rather than a piece that encapsulates my topic with a claim. Any tips on how to fix this? I don't want a weak topic, but I also don'...
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2answers
49 views

What are some of the most common structures for lyrics?

More specifically, what are the repeating parts usually in popular songs, and where do we put them normally? I want to write the lyrics for a popular song, but I am not sure how to structure them. ...
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7answers
349 views

How do I write a MODERN combat/violence scene without being dry?

Warning: I have ADHD and this might be a little ramble-y, sorry. I'm completely stumped. I'm trying to get into writing fiction but I feel that I've hit a roadblock. My story is told from the first ...
2
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3answers
82 views

Scene & Sequel in exposition or world building

I have been trying to practice the scene and sequel structure, including the use of MRUs and I find it alternately natural and frustrating. I understand that the goal of this structure is to keep the ...
2
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5answers
123 views

How can I make a talky, idea-based concept enjoyable [closed]

I'm writing a psychological novel about different characters finding the meaning of their lives. But the ending reveals it was all part of an experiment (properly foreshadowed). Someone was trying to ...
34
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8answers
7k views

How do I stop using 'the' to start sentences so much?

Something that always bothers me in my writing is how often I start sentences with the word "the". A terrible nonsensical example: The dog ran through the rain-swept streets, chasing a ball he ...
2
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2answers
88 views

Advice on how to beat word repetition in dialogue [duplicate]

Long story short: I default to simple words like "Said" in dialogue much too often. I'm hesitant to abuse the thesaurus due to advice I've been given, as well. Slightly longer version: When I'm ...
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2answers
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Protagonist Goal and achieving it [closed]

My MC is a famous singer/songwriter who is bad at writing lyrics. Her goal is to write commercially successful, deep, serious songs. How do I design the character arc in relation to this goal? Also, ...
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1answer
35 views

The relationship between the MC's Goal and the climax [closed]

Should the climax come after the MC achieves their goal at a high cost?
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6answers
862 views

Little disjointed scenes

My MC is going through boot camp. Physically and mentally, he goes from high-school boy to soldier prepared for combat. Along the way there's struggles, there's new friendships formed, there's the ...
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3answers
194 views

Is the sentence “Love not self - love no one” easily understandable to an English reader?

This question is not about syntactical correctness. I do not care about that. The only thing I care about is to be understood properly. That's why I'm asking it here and not ELL. The meaning of ...
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5answers
164 views

Is there a balance between a page-turning read and an exhausting 'too much' reading experience?

I have learned over the past fifteen months of writing fiction that every scene needs to have tension and advance the plot. This is good. But, I find that as I read my novel (again and again) to ...
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2answers
44 views

Categorizing paragraphs in a stack exchange answer

I stumbled across the question on Writing Beta about "How do you write a stack exchange answer?". The best answer says use headings. What would the headings be for? The main idea/topic of each ...
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5answers
402 views

How do you fill pages with fluff?

I'm writing a book and I'm finished but it is way too short. It's not choppy but it's missing pieces. The difficult part is my writing style revolves around a confusing and mysterious character. I ...
3
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2answers
137 views

Will it push away a reader if I start my book with the frame story?

So, I'm writing a novel where MC believes he is influenced in some way by an entity he calls Common Sense. He suspects (yet that is weaker than belief) that he is Common Sense's hand in this world, ...
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1answer
48 views

How to structure a book with small unrelated sections like a book of short stories or historical events?

Sorry for not being very clear with my question, I am very new to writing and the book I am working on, has to do with unrelated sections for different times in history. I am concerned about how will ...
11
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6answers
4k views

How to Write a Colossal Cast of Characters

I'm planning a book series called The Weasel Sagas. Things have been going great up until now, where I've realized I've hit a bit of a problem: I've come up with backstories for so many different ...
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8answers
755 views

The problem with beginning

I don't mean "sitting down to write", I mean the literal beginning. The story itself starts with my protagonist running. I need to get him to run, then I'll have the rest of it sorted. But won't ...
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8answers
6k views

How should a big universe be introduced without being boring?

If I have a big universe that I need to set up, with lots of characters, lots of locations, magic rules, technology, government rules, is it okay to introduce and explain all of this at the beginning? ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Do I need to provide in-text citations in a news article for school?

So, for my Senior English Class, I need to write a news article about technology. However, I'm unsure as to whether or not I need in-text citations for said paper. Do I need in-text citations for a "...
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3answers
121 views

How should I handle writing a story where different portions of the narrative are told from the point of view of several different narrators?

My story is told from the perspective of different satellites that are creating a narrative. There are over ten of these narrators. I'm wondering if this might appear confusing for readers if the ...
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5answers
5k views

People like my book, starting halfway through

This is kind of an alternate take on my other recent question, as well as the inverse problem to this question. I've been told by more than one beta reader that there's a specific chapter where they ...
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3answers
374 views

Split up the section or flow straight through

Is it a good idea to “split” the action/setting to show actions of other characters elsewhere, or make it flow straight through? Example: My protagonist gets kidnapped. There’s a scene where she is ...
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7answers
5k views

Promoting controversial opinions in a work of fiction

I'm writing a first person novel and main character has highly controversial views, many of which the majority of people would probably consider immoral. Would a character with controversial attitudes ...
4
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3answers
134 views

Does a page-turner have to be continually high-octane?

I've experimented with both critique partners and people I know (be they friends, family or colleagues) as unrewarded beta readers. The latter are very slow, sometimes reading slower than I wrote a ...
4
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3answers
190 views

How to write dialogueless flashbacks?

In my trilogy, the protagonist and deuteragonist share a mental link, allowing them to communicate with each other telepathically. A side effect of this telepathy is that they enable the duo to ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
125 views

Can i have two low points in a story?

It's a TV episode. the heroes reach a low point where they think they're defeated, one of the characters has an idea to make things work, they follow him and it eventually leads to a combat scene, ...
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5answers
366 views

Ordinary writing or Prose: how to make it immersive?

As a beginner, I have a frequent problem when writing: I know what I want to write, but I fail to put it in good sentences that reflect my thoughts. Often, this appears in dialogues when I try to ...
5
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2answers
129 views

Are there narrative structures other than Kishōtenketsu and the three act structure and its derivatives?

Derivatives of the three act structure include the Hero's journey, Dan Harmon's story circle, and the five act structure.
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2answers
90 views

Is it permissible to use subconclusions for argumentative paragraphs if they contain multiple arguments in support of the main point?

Argumentative paragraphs often contain a topic sentence that states the main point, and the main point tends to be supported by multiple arguments that are introduced throughout the paragraph as First,...
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5answers
2k views

Eliminating the Dash in Prose Writing

I have been accused — shock, horror — of using the dash (the one that indicates a three-quarters pause) too much in my fiction. Thing is — I quite like the effect (the space inserted in sentences by ...
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6answers
2k views

Mentioning quickly repeated events in first person?

When writing in first person, is it better to mention as little repetition of events as possible? Or can it improve writing in some cases to have a character duplicate previous events and have them ...
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3answers
188 views

Will the ending spoilt it if I keep my plot twists till the last chapters?

I have set up the plot of a general fiction; with 3 important twists that follow one by one at the end - I figured that it was better than making it a thriller (where there are minor twists that are ...
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7answers
2k 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 ...