Skip to main content

Questions tagged [structure]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
147 votes
20 answers
15k 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 ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
14 votes
5 answers
20k views

How to avoid repetitive sentence structure?

I've realized that I always start sentences with (name of character), he, she, it, they, her, his, the, after (a moment/that), and then. I wonder if there's any useful exercise or tip to reduce this? ...
wyc's user avatar
  • 12.4k
14 votes
6 answers
1k 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 ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
3k views

Flash-forward as Prologue and then Flashbacks too complicated?

Chronologically, the story begins with the protagonist as a child and description of her world, which is important to the plot. Since I thought "girl abandoned by parents meets a man who explains how ...
E.Milla's user avatar
  • 431
34 votes
5 answers
5k views

How much can a reader remember?

I've been writing some fantasy. Now, inevitably because its a big piece of fantasy, its all very involved with the world, culture, story and general bits. Personally, I'm really enjoying writing it. ...
Featherball's user avatar
  • 4,429
17 votes
10 answers
3k views

Is there a method to estimating the length of a work before writing it?

I am writing my first novel, which I think likely will end up being several volumes. Although I have a lot of experience in poetry and short stories, this is a very different challenge! My question ...
DoctorWhom's user avatar
15 votes
7 answers
6k 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 ...
rus9384's user avatar
  • 413
15 votes
4 answers
2k views

How do I avoid a “mid-story info dump?”

I am revising the manuscript for a novel. About a third into the story, a major turning point occurs when the main character (through whom the reader follows the story) realizes that things are not at ...
Cliff Hangerson Page's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Put text between section and subsection headings?

Are there rules about whether or not to put text between section and subsection headings (in scholarly works)? 1 section heading text / no text here? 1.1 subsection heading more text ...
type's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
2 answers
269 views

How applicable are screenwriting ideas to novels?

My current goal is to write a novel (I'm already close to the 35K word mark). However, most of the books I've read about story structure are actually about screenwriting. While stories are stories no ...
ggambetta's user avatar
  • 1,697
5 votes
1 answer
4k views

simultaneous dialogues in novels and short fiction

Suppose that several individuals are speaking. There are two conversations occurring at once in the same place. Both are heard simultaneously by each person that is present. Each person participates ...
Gottfried William's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
354 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 ...
Busspotter Penguin's user avatar
39 votes
8 answers
33k 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 ...
linksassin's user avatar
  • 4,152
33 votes
4 answers
17k views

Dashes vs. Commas vs. parentheses?

Occasionally I write sentences containing subparts with extra information. I never know how to block off this information from the rest of the sentence. Three ways I have seen are dashes, commas, and ...
Wolf's Dilemma's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
4k views

Would it be wise to make the turning point of a story coincidental?

I've written a fictional story and the way my characters are coming together and forming a bond seems way too coincidental to me. A lady lives on the first floor while her tenant, a guy, lives on ...
Nikki's user avatar
  • 455
17 votes
4 answers
49k views

Where should I put my tl;dr?

By definition TL;DR, short for "too long; didn't read", is Internet slang to say that some text being replied to has been ignored because of its length. In slang it can also stand for "...
Vylix's user avatar
  • 763
15 votes
2 answers
10k 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 ...
Mugen's user avatar
  • 315
15 votes
7 answers
4k views

How to avoid the 'magic explanation' info dump in Fantasy novels

In the second book of his Inheritence Cycle, Christopher Paolini makes the grievous error of landing his main character in the middle of a serene woodland where he must sit and talk with an old elf ...
Thomas Reinstate Monica Myron's user avatar
13 votes
12 answers
23k views

Example of a fictional story without any characters (the story being 1000+ words)

Guessing that there is no such example, but if there is, I'm very interested in knowing about it. Just as a short example, just to make it clear it's possible; the example is not intended to be a ...
blunders's user avatar
  • 337
12 votes
8 answers
2k 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 ...
Wendigo King's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

Preventing genre-savvy second-guessing in murder mysteries

In a murder mystery, most of the story is generally focused on figuring out who the murderer is; in "Fair-Play" mysteries, it's assumed the murderer is a significant character in the book, and the fun ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 28.3k
11 votes
5 answers
9k 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 ...
rptwsthi's user avatar
  • 257
9 votes
6 answers
546 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 ...
celtschk's user avatar
  • 4,017
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can a visual novel with branching plotlines be translated into one single book?

For the uninitiated; Visual Novels (abbreviated as VN) are in layman terms a type of game with it's story presented in plain-text accompanied with illustrations of characters and environments, music, ...
Sir Mice's user avatar
  • 196
8 votes
3 answers
616 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... ...
B. Guilford's user avatar
8 votes
9 answers
1k views

How do I handle a backstory big enough to be a story of its own?

I have an idea I'm working on, where there's a huge backstory that I'm not sure how to deal with. In my particular case, the backstory and main story are these: The backstory begins as stereotypical ...
Kyle Li's user avatar
  • 1,688
7 votes
5 answers
3k views

Do episodes of the show House follow a constant structural pattern?

I've seen a few episodes of House M.D., and I wonder, are the episodes written according to a fixed structural pattern? If so, what are the details, and why does such a structure make the show ...
blueberryfields's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
30k views

How can I make my roleplay sentences more interesting, and less lengthy?

For the past four months, I've been writing back and forth with a friend of mine in a form of roleplay. Depending on what's happening, our replies range from a few sentences (usually with dialogue) to ...
Echo's user avatar
  • 73
6 votes
1 answer
324 views

What are the stages of The Guardian's Journey?

In constructing a story, I plan on following the following patterns: The Hero's Journey: The Hero's Journey The Villain's Quest: The Villain's Quest My question is, what would be the structure of "...
Mindblade16's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
252 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, ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k
6 votes
2 answers
436 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 ...
Arkenstein XII's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
13k views

Parts, books, volumes, etc

Is there any standard (or at least common) hierarchical arrangement for major divisions of a fiction book? For instance, I occasionally see some large novels divided into "parts", and sometimes I see ...
brianmearns's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
400 views

What format/platform/structure is good for writing for a video game?

I know this may not be the best place to ask this, since it's for a game, but the game is very story driven, so I thought it would be reasonable to ask this on the writers stack exchange. The story ...
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

Structuring a novel like a television or graphic novel series

I have spent a lot of time reading graphic-novels and watching television series, most of which were anime. Now that I have reached the point where I'm ready to begin writing, I feel drawn to the ...
Trismegistus's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
484 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 ...
Liath's user avatar
  • 1,900
4 votes
4 answers
532 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 ...
Arkenstein XII's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
480 views

My story portrays a process, not a conflict - how do I make the process my focus?

My current WiP is a science-fiction piece which is less about characters coping with a particular problem, and more about the process they go through in reaction to the SF-nal catalyst. My story is ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 28.3k
4 votes
3 answers
3k views

How many points are sufficient for my essay?

I am writing a 3000 word essay entitled 'Challenges and opportunities of future Civil Aviation'. For the essay, I have taken two aspects of the future of civil aviation in supersonic flight and ...
Linfan Siddiqi's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
user3776022's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
397 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 ...
Edmund Frost's user avatar
  • 1,312
3 votes
2 answers
197 views

What does "telling and not showing" mean?

I have been told that my writing had the right idea and aim, but my words weren't strong enough to support that. I need some tips and tricks to help strengthen my writing. I've been told that I have ...
Nate_Writes's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
515 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 ...
Yashbhatt's user avatar
  • 183
3 votes
3 answers
595 views

Do publishers prefer a particular type of poem?

I've always particularly liked poems with very fixed structure (e.g. a Villanelle or Sestina), both to read and to write. However nowadays, I've noticed a remarkable number of poems I come across ...
Benubird's user avatar
  • 223
3 votes
2 answers
80 views

Difficulty describing a complex image in a single sentence

I am having difficulty explaining that the sun evaporated the fog that had brushed up against the blooming hills. When I add "with spectacular wildflower blooms", it sounds as if the sun ...
Silver12748's user avatar
3 votes
8 answers
1k views

Does a novel require a conflict?

Unless a better writer can dissuade me I am minded to say no. The 'essential' 'conflict' is cultural. It is part of the western 'Human Condition' - Eastern cultures have stories without conflict. ...
Surtsey's user avatar
  • 5,289
3 votes
3 answers
806 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 ...
Tony's user avatar
  • 43
2 votes
2 answers
398 views

Normal structure for Dialogue paragraphs

Now I'm not sure whether this is something that's an accepted teaching with regards to structuring paragraphs, or just something that is commonly used... I'm talking about paragraphs that are ...
Dan Hanly's user avatar
  • 981
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Tenses I should use in a translated-novel

I have been translating a novel that is originally written in my native language into English. Considering that the book's plot is the author's experience of a life that has happened in the past, I've ...
rusticmystic's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

How much falling action can follow the climax?

I'm writing an action/adventure in the same genre as Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider. I've reached the climax, where the heroes have saved their friend from death at the last moment, and the cave/tomb is ...
whiterook6's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
355 views

Critique: Make excerpt more visual/flow better

I have this excerpt I'm not sure is fluid and visual enough: Peter came out of the café rubbing his tummy. The chipmunk had a smile on the face and seemed content. Not too far behind him was ...
Jerry's user avatar
  • 269