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?
4
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1answer
63 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 ...
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 ...
6
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3answers
198 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 ...
4
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3answers
136 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 ...
1
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1answer
70 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, ...
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... ...
6
votes
2answers
110 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
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2answers
132 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 ...
17
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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 ...
1
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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 ...
15
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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, ...
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
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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 ...
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 ...
1
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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 (...
3
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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 ...
5
votes
1answer
82 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
111 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 ...
7
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3answers
210 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
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 ...
3
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2answers
96 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
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 ...
6
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4answers
136 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, ...
0
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2answers
116 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
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
-3
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1answer
96 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?
6
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3answers
101 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
80 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 / ...
4
votes
2answers
172 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
votes
3answers
196 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
249 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'...
1
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2answers
58 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. ...
11
votes
7answers
733 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
votes
3answers
96 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
votes
5answers
134 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 ...
36
votes
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
votes
2answers
98 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 ...
-1
votes
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, ...
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?
14
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6answers
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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
200 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
193 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
46 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 ...
0
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5answers
756 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
votes
2answers
199 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, ...
0
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1answer
49 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 ...