Hot answers tagged

56 votes
Accepted

Should we add a character in a story for realistic effect?

You have a realistic effect that follows from the situation that you've put your character in, but that effect isn't interesting, nor does it affect the story in any significant way. The solution is ...
36 votes

I accidentally added a character, and then forgot to write them in for the rest of the series

Reading your description, I came to this conclusion: without changing the plot, Autumn can be replaced by an object, a token of friendship that’s an actual token. You’re right that something needs to ...
  • 3,633
30 votes
Accepted

Alternative sources of drama/tension when the setting is low-violence

There are other stakes than death. From all of Jane Austen to some of Asimov, sometimes the world isn't about to end, and nobody is about to die. So what else is there? First, your story can be small:...
25 votes
Accepted

How to tease a romance without a cat and mouse chase?

You can't This is not a romance. This is a master having sex with his slave. Or wanting to have sex. But he's going to free the slave! Is he now? But the person is still a slave when this all ...
17 votes
Accepted

Is it ok to put a subplot to a story that is never meant to contribute to the development of the main plot?

Everything in your story should have a purpose. That purpose does not need to be plot related Possible purposes for a side plot in a story: It is connected to the main plot It causes character ...
17 votes

I accidentally added a character, and then forgot to write them in for the rest of the series

I think the fact that you yourself forgot about her is indeed a sign that she's not really adding anything to your story. Personally, I believe in keeping characters to the minimum you actually need, ...
15 votes

How much of a character's past/background should I let on?

Only put in what is necessary for the plot. You develop the character so that the actions s/he takes make sense for the plot. If the character reveals something about his/her past, there should be a ...
15 votes

I am overplotting my story - how can I figure out what is necessary and cut out what isn't?

(I think you know what you have to do ... It hurts, but do it.) Here's the format I would follow to cut darlings in your situation. I'll assume you are writing a novel, some sort of fiction. Do you ...
  • 23.7k
15 votes

Can a fight scene, component-wise, be too complex and complicated?

Let's take a look at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in the Lord of the Rings: First, we have the Rohirrim. Among them are Theoden, Éowyn, Éomer and Merry. Then we have Minas Tirith, with its ...
14 votes

Should we add a character in a story for realistic effect?

Leave them out You don't seem to want to write about or develop the doctor and they don't seem to have much value to you. If that is the case then you should probably leave them out. The simplest way ...
  • 4,431
12 votes

Should we add a character in a story for realistic effect?

I think in real life the vast majority of people that are depressed, or even suicidal, will not go to a doctor at all. I don't know what the situation in Britain may be, but here in the USA that ...
  • 94.1k
12 votes

Does my book need to have a love triangle in it?

Writing SE often gets a lot of questions in this vein: "Should I include [thing] in my story, since so many other books in my genre have it?" "I don't feel super comfortable writing [...
  • 8,672
12 votes
Accepted

When do you reveal a backstory of a character?

Reveal It Whenever It Has the Most Emotional Impact Like many things in writing, there is no one "right" way to do everything. You could reveal the backstory of the character at the ...
11 votes

Subplots better than the main plot

You might have a Frame Story as your main plot that connects several short stories. Famous examples are One Thousand and One Nights where the wily hero Shahrazade narrates short stories to stay alive,...
  • 25.1k
10 votes
Accepted

What to avoid when writing distant and inconsequential POVs?

Emotional Connection: My normal advice for someone with a minor character POV would be to not create too much emotional connection to the character, since they are usually there just to fill in a ...
  • 13.1k
9 votes

If two characters are blood relations will it seem coincidental?

The trick to coincidences is to explain them. In the fact a character bumps into someone who turns out to be is attributed to as hinted at in the name (I don't normally add spoiler tags to my ...
  • 9,517
8 votes

How can I make the relevance of a story thread more apparent?

Why do you think you need to make it seem significantly relevant early on? All you need is to make the thread interesting. You may drop a couple hints. Hang some Chekov guns. Signal the reader the ...
  • 15.3k
8 votes

Does detail obscure or enhance action?

Assuming she survives (or in some cases even if she doesn't depending on how the story is structured) don't forget that you can always do the short version (which I agree with the others would most ...
  • 731
8 votes

I accidentally added a character, and then forgot to write them in for the rest of the series

Subtlety is Key... This is entirely your call. Clean writing says eliminate anything that doesn't add to the story. The great thing about a story is you can go back and edit anything. If you love the ...
  • 13.1k
8 votes

I accidentally added a character, and then forgot to write them in for the rest of the series

This is the kind of thing you figure out in revision. I do this all the time in early drafts, dropping characters, adding new ones, renaming them, changing their marital status, changing their gender, ...
  • 4,051
7 votes

Is it ok to put a subplot to a story that is never meant to contribute to the development of the main plot?

As I am prone to do perhaps too often in this forum, I say it depends. Mostly upon what your intentions are. That is, why did you write the story in the first place. Let me take an "extreme" position ...
  • 4,904
7 votes

Is it wise to start a story with a character that never appears again?

Either make this man truly forgettable, or give reader a clue of his fate It's common enough to start a story with a "cold open" from a point of view of a minor character that may never ...
  • 6,048
6 votes

How to handle writing a romantic subplot when the main plot is very different?

What you need to do is define the relationship between the subplot and the primary plot. In other words, you need to know what role the romance subplot is playing in your story. Almost any ...
  • 28k
6 votes

How much of a character's past/background should I let on?

You have probably done yourself a great favour by working out some character background. It is something I recommend to new writers because it helped me so much. The thing you need to remember is who ...
6 votes

Is it OK to introduce a character to leave it simmering to a later date?

I've read a lot of novels were a very likeable character is introduced just to vanish and reappear at another time. It's pretty normal; after all, you have to tell a story, and in most stories, not ...
6 votes
Accepted

I accidentally added a character, and then forgot to write them in for the rest of the series

As Autumn appears as a token of the Queen's support and as the Queen comes to their salvation at the end of the tale, you could consider dropping in very small and perhaps mysterious comments re ...

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible