Questions tagged [structure]

For questions about the connections between and ordering of elements within a written work.

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7
votes
8answers
2k views

What are good ways to improve as a writer other than writing courses?

As a novice writer to improve my writing I have taken one online course. I want to ask, what are good ways to improve as a writer other than writing courses?
11
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5answers
5k views

Choosing between your Mother Tongue and another language

OK, I know I was warned, but what can I do? I had this question for a very long time. I have decided where to write (platform like computer or notepad), I am in the middle of deciding my way of ...
4
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1answer
65 views

How to organize distinct topics in personal letters to friends and family?

I often exchange long letters with family and close friends living far away every 1-2 months to stay connected and give updates on our lives. One characteristic of such a letter/long email is that ...
6
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3answers
201 views

Balancing setting, theme, and character arcs: how to deal with a setting that carries emotional weight but is left behind?

When writing a story, how do you find a good balance between the significance of different elements, such as plot, themes, and bold settings and characters, and the character arcs? In my case I have ...
9
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5answers
3k views

Is it okay for a chapter's POV to shift as it progresses?

I have this duo in my novel, they're always together in chapters. Usually the story alternates between them within their plot, though mostly leaning to one of the characters, as he's one of the MCs ...
1
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1answer
71 views

How can I efficiently write down my personal problems for further auto-analysis? [closed]

When I have some personal problems in relationships or there are worrying issues about life in general and I am really upset about the situation, in order to “solve it”, or efficiently think about it, ...
4
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3answers
137 views

From reactive to proactive; When should the protagonist change tack?

In my exploration of story structure, I have encountered some conflicting advice. In some instances, it has been suggested that the midpoint of a story represents the moment that the protagonist ...
3
votes
3answers
184 views

Character pivots, where to put them

Normally this sort of thing is easier than actually writing the piece for me but this time I can't get anywhere with the overall structure of the story: I want a character to win a great victory, at ...
8
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3answers
286 views

Any Tips On Writing Extended Recollection In A Novel

So, I've been working for about a month now on my latest novel but have come across some issues in regards to recollections of past events. I'll outline what I mean, because that's a bit general... ...
10
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5answers
1k views

Section of a book that explains things

I am writing a fantasy novel and there are many elements that will need explaining, such as precious items, cities, creatures, and certain terms. A glossary won't suffice and I'm stuck as to what ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Should I include an appendix for inessential, yet related worldbuilding to my story?

I'm of the opinion that a story should stand on its own; any worldbuilding that is necessary for the plot and story to function should be part of the story. However, at the same time, the world I ...
6
votes
2answers
112 views

Is starting In Media Res compatible with a Three-Act Structure?

I have a story in mind which I am confident will fit a three-act structure very well. However, I am uncertain about the exposition that I have been writing, as it feels a bit stifled, almost as though ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Issues with Scene/Sequel model

I'm using the Scene/Sequel model to go from an informal outline of my novel to a list of scenes. In summary, during a Scene the POV Character has a Goal, encounters some Conflict, and it ends in ...
7
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2answers
85 views

Poetry when unstructured?

Like most kids, I went through the All Poetry Must Rhyme phase. Then a little later in school, rhyme was less essential (especially in English, a less rhyme-compatible language than many other ...
-2
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1answer
155 views

Writing in second language [closed]

I am an Indonesian but mostly write in English. Most of my poems are written in English. What terms and rules should I notice? considering that my idea comes to mind in English not my native ...
7
votes
4answers
1k 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 video game. So the group of heroes manages to destroy him! ... but I don't want to ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

How important are good looking people in a novel/story?

I've read many books where the main protagonists are described as good looking people with Greek god looks, plenty of sex appeal, the perfect figure and all that. As a reader, how important would it ...
12
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8answers
993 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 ...
10
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3answers
211 views

Does a repository of analytical breakdowns of stories exist?

I'm a data scientist and for my next project I'm looking for a location where I can find stories broken down by structure. I.e. The basics of the seven point story structure, or wikipedia dramatic ...
12
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2answers
2k views

How far into a speculative novel should one go before introducing the central conflict?

By speculative, I mean mostly science fiction, fantasy or intrigue. For example Neal Stephenson's Anathem, which is a 900-page book, goes well past the 200-page mark before the central conflict ...
5
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2answers
164 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.
5
votes
1answer
622 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
40 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?
-1
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2answers
189 views

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, ...
5
votes
2answers
136 views

Having multiple epilogues

According to Wikipedia, An epilogue is the final chapter at the end of a story that often serves to reveal the fates of the characters. Some epilogues may feature scenes only tangentially related ...
8
votes
6answers
359 views

How much indirection is too much?

I'm writing a chapter with a lot of indirection, and I'm wondering if I'm doing too much of it. To be specific, it is the main character remembering an event from his youth when a merchant who stayed ...
1
vote
4answers
453 views

Is there something “wrong” with my writing? How do I improve it? [closed]

So I usually use stackexchange as a last resort, but I'm completely stumped. If this question is inappropriate here, I will gladly delete it. None of my teachers say that anything is wrong with my ...
135
votes
19answers
13k views

How do you write a Stack Exchange answer?

Over my years on StackExchange I've come to view answering SE questions as its own, highly specialized writing subgenre, with its own demands, and its own ideal format. By trial and error, and ...
20
votes
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? ...
3
votes
4answers
257 views

What is the most effective way to transition from one paragraph to the next?

I desire to know how to transition smoothly from one paragraph to another in the body text, but there are a number of ways to do it and I don't know which is best. For instance, I could place the ...
5
votes
6answers
24k views

Where to put counter-examples within a 5-paragraph essay?

I am tutoring some students in the very basics of writing a 5-paragraph essay to present an argument, in preparation for more advanced academic writing. I am instructing them to include: An ...
3
votes
1answer
250 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'...
15
votes
6answers
5k views

Do I really need to have a message in a novel to appeal to readers?

I am in the process of the writing a book. It is not my first attempt. My goals for the book are: Naturally, appeal to my target audience and with work and luck, sell well. Invoke the same emotions, ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

What is front/back matter?

I was browsing around for different writing tools and one of the sites mentioned tools for front and back matter in addition to tools for chapter planning. What is front / back matter?
3
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2answers
147 views

How should I approach writing a trilogy?

I am thinking of writing a trilogy and was wondering how should I begin. Should I plan out to write three books or just see if the story develops into more than one book? Thanks!
4
votes
5answers
184 views

How can I plan the chapters in my book?

I'm looking for methods of planning chapters for books. I always saw structures and scripting in the macro level, but never in the micro level.
2
votes
1answer
78 views

The concept of description and the structure of Mckee's view of story design

Consider the following text: Tania is in her living room, in the summer. She looks to the window and the street in front of her house, then she realized how dry and parched they are, this makes ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

Including letters and other documents in a memoir

Writing my memoirs. I would like an opinion on how best to include 4 pages of letters/fax/emails. How about a 20-page composition? as addendum/exhibit? Too long to include in manuscript? Thanks for ...
6
votes
6answers
879 views

Where do I write 'The End'?

Background Woohoo! I literally just finished right now my masterpiece trilogy that I have worked on for what seems like, ages... I'm a bit vexed as to where I should write 'the end'. The epilogue ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

Have I got the plot? [closed]

I am looking for verification on what is a plot for a short story. For example: A man wants to develop a new rose variety for his girlfriend as a way to propose, but he becomes obsessed with getting ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Chapters of a Book and Story Structure of McKee

Considering the "story structure" proposed by Robert McKee; like: A story is a large structure composed by acts which are composed by sequences which are composed by scenes, which are composed by (...
6
votes
3answers
123 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
734 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
83 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
64 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
votes
3answers
121 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
282 views

Sequels and avoiding sequelitis

Many of you have probably read a sequel to a book and have found it to be worse than the original book. I am writing a sequel and would like to know if there is any way to avoid this "sequelitis". ...
7
votes
3answers
214 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
101 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 ...
-1
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2answers
57 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 ...