Plot typically refers to the events and their ordering in a work of narrative fiction. Use this tag for questions regarding plotting, outlining, and narrative arc.

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When a character tells a long story, is it always an info dump?

I have two characters who don't get along and are sniping at each other from the moment they meet in the book. Throughout the story, they keep ramping it up. At a certain point, one character is still ...
4
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5answers
105 views

How can I create an inter-connected plot across a series?

I am an aspiring author, and I have recently just begun developing my first novel. It is a series, but I have engineered the first novel to be a standalone in case the series falls through. When I ...
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2answers
80 views

Inciting incident in Fantasy

In my fantasy story, there is about 10,000 words before the inciting incident. I originally intended to land the end of my story at about 40,000 words. This is partially due to the fact that a lot of ...
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4answers
232 views

How to write negative events without laying blame in an insulting way

My current project is historical fiction, fifteenth century. There were quite a few bad things happening all over the world, and my book picks up on a few of them. With simply laying the information ...
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1answer
40 views

I have a race of winged characters in my story, but I'm struggling as to how and why? [closed]

I know why; they're cool, and they have a deep yearning to be free and with the air, which'll be a major theme in the story. But... I don't know how to explain their wings. I don't want them to be a ...
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3answers
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Writing Action In A fictional Journal

I have written a story in the form of a journal. It's about a man who is going through a separation/divorce, living alone in an unfurnished apartment; now lonely and longing for companionship. ...
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5answers
1k views

How to write a story that spans decades

I'm looking for techniques to write a fantasy story (A song of ice and fire style) but the problem is the duration of the story : The first three years there are lot of plots, and betrayals. After ...
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6answers
306 views

When should my amnesiac protagonist regain memory?

It is very hard for me to ask this without an overwhelming amount of information on how the plot goes, so this is just a warning of what's ahead... I am writing a fictional story which begins with an ...
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3answers
209 views

I'm scared that my story is plagiarizing another story

I am working on my debut story. In my freetime, I write another story that will be the start of a series. The series consists of Steampunk fairytale retellings. Lately, I have been worrying that it ...
2
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3answers
127 views

My Conflict Doesn't End at the Climax. What can I do?

I am currently writing a short book. I've neared the end of the plot, but now I'm seeing a problem: my conflict isn't ending at the climax. The climax should always be the point where all of the ...
4
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5answers
136 views

How to collect my ideas in one story?

I start to feel that i'm mad. I make storys from everything that i see on the street. A dialogue, an interesting personality, a funny couple, a hard question or a perfect view to write about. Words ...
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4answers
169 views

What should you do if the events in your story happen in real life just when you finish writing it?

I was finishing my novella when I heard about the terrorist attacks in Paris (I pray for the souls of the victims). I was surprised to know that circumstances revolving around the violent attacks were ...
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3answers
125 views

Resources for learning how to craft plots

The main problem for someone moving from non-fiction to fiction is the development of a plot. It is especially frustrating to someone who already knows how to string words together and "write well", ...
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2answers
83 views

How to move from writing scenes to a short plot?

I've been working professionally as a part-time freelancer journalist for the past couple of years. Over that time I feel I've got a good grasp of how, technically, to construct an engaging piece of ...
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5answers
141 views

Can the protagonist lose his strength without losing the reader?

In studying writing, I've learned that you need to give your protagonist something - usually a quality - that makes the reader want him to win. Without this quality, the reader doesn't care what ...
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4answers
242 views

How important is a story's introduction?

I would feel like an introduction would be the first impressions and knowledge someone has of a book, along with the cover, just like a good movie. However, you can just skip a book intro. I've heard ...
12
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8answers
274 views

What makes the death of a character satisfying?

My wife and I were watching a movie where one of the main characters died shortly after being reunited with his long lost love. His death was not meaningless -- he died defending his only son, but it ...
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2answers
163 views

How can I surprise my readers with a surprise betrayal?

In my action/adventure story, the two main protagonists are rescuing the injured victim and escaping the dungeon. (Or jail cell. Or whatever.) Once the protagonists have rescued the victim, I want to ...
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7answers
170 views

Creating the goal of a scene when the main character is passive

In my current writing, I've been having some trouble with the plot, specifically with going from an outline detailing what I need, to an outline detailing how I get there. I think the problem (or at ...
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3answers
164 views

When having a plot twist, does there have to be foreshadowing of it?

Can it just pop out of nowhere, or does it have to be something that was slightly mentioned before that only expert readers would catch.
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2answers
138 views

Is this too much of a coincidence?

Before the book starts, my main character worked in a bad place where she was attacked by a boy who was detained and gets his memories taken. When the book starts, she's had an accident so she has no ...
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3answers
114 views

Connecting my plot to different locations in my world

In my world, there all sorts of places that I'd like to include in my book but I have yet to find sound reasons to include more a handful of them. How can I connect several distinct locations to my ...
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6answers
184 views

Starting a book with a scene from the middle

So. I'm currently working on a novel. (It's my first ever.) I need all the help I can get. I had an idea where I start with a scene which is close to the climax, where the main character is to be ...
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3answers
130 views

How to turn an unknown detail in the story into a mystery instead of a lacking detail?

I mean, how to make so that an undefined information in the plot be considered a mystery, i.e. an intentional unanswered question, instead of: ー So, then what? ー Well, this is an unknown fact ...
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3answers
100 views

Getting past a dead end

I've been working on a screenplay for a while now. But I seem to have reached quite the dead end. My question is, what do you guys do, to get past a sticking point. Especially when you don't want to ...
2
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7answers
250 views

Should I write the actual death scene?

I am writing a novel, and in one part, a boy falls off the building. I feel like it would be very gory. Most people said to write in great detail, but then some people say to write what I know. I feel ...
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3answers
140 views

Is there a name for stories which weave initially separate viewpoints into a single plot?

Is there a name for the technique where a writer introduces several separate characters, develops each character's plot line separately - perhaps in separate chapters - and gradually weaves them ...
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2answers
223 views

Can the main conflict be the inner conflict?

I've recently been having trouble with developing plots. The plots I created seemed heavily sequential. No matter how many twists or complications I put in, they always seemed dry, proceeding from one ...
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3answers
83 views

How much effort should I spend explaining plot device?

I think it is good Idea to start by example: Main hero is given briefcase and informed, that such briefcase contains very powerful bomb. The goal is to assassinate Prime Minister of given country. ...
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3answers
128 views

Thinking as a character

Months after starting my first novel (which hasn't made any progress and is still in its first draft) I feel I can only react to a given situation rather than create one. The same seems to apply to my ...
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6answers
270 views

How long can a prologue be, and what should you not do?

A while back I wrote a prologue about the beginning of time and space and all that. One thing I noticed later is that between the prologue and the story itself, the prologue ate out the chapters not ...
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4answers
136 views

A climax where the goal is instantly achieved - Is it satisfying?

I wasn't entirely sure how to phrase the title, so if a better way to put it occurs to anyone, please feel free to edit it. Here's the situation: the goal of a novel is to get the main character - ...
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3answers
129 views

At what point disappointment and frustration within the story makes the reader abandon it?

Does Game of Thrones get any unpleasant when a whole bunch of characters die every season, for example? Leaving hooking elements aside, at what point does exploration of uncomfortable aspects from ...
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5answers
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My story passes in choppy blocks - how can I fix it?

Similar to this question, I am slowly coming to realize that my writing is getting choppy. Unlike that question however, my problem does not lie within sentences, or even paragraphs. It lies within ...
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2answers
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Writing a Romance novel, starts in present but after two chapters the flashback starts

I am writing a romance novel and the story starts in present in a very tense environment. But after two chapters it goes into the protaganist flashback. The love story is all in the flashback. Is this ...
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2answers
61 views

I need to smash a wrist in a grocery store [closed]

One of my lead characters has to do community service at a grocery store. She has magical powers that will allow her to escape easily, but they are suppressed by a high-tech wrist brace. The plot ...
0
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3answers
88 views

Can Bridging Conflict Work When the Answer is Known?

The title is a little vague, so allow me to explain my question in depth here. If someone can think of a better way to phrase the title, feel free to edit it. First off, my definition of Bridging ...
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3answers
726 views

Prologue and Epilogue in third person and chapters in first person doable?

My current work is in first person. Well, it's a début so I didn't compare the benefits of first vs. third when I started writing it. I just picked the first because it was easy. Now the plot line ...
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7answers
320 views

Story development: Multiple characters premises

I am used to stories which have one premise which through sequential events is proven by the character. A few stories like war stories can have several premises each linked to a specific character, ...
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1answer
108 views

is there a “standard” plot structure where the protagonist has a “bird in hand” at the end of Act II?

In most plays I've studied, e.g. Erin Brockovich, the end of the second Act II is the "darkest moment" for the protagonist. It's the time when one (at least yours truly) asks, "Why did the hero come ...
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7answers
196 views

Three Act Structure - How do I include it?

I've been writing for four years without knowledge of the three act structure. When I discovered it about a year ago, I therefore had no room for it in my writing process, mainly because I had ...
3
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2answers
132 views

Should “plot” or storyline be the main determinant of what goes into a story?

In writing a screenplay, I created a bunch of scenes, with about twice as much material in total as I needed. So the job was to cut things down to size. In so doing, I found that a number of scenes ...
6
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4answers
428 views

The backstory's overwhelming the actual story

I have a character with a grim past (forced to watch torture). I need him to have that grim past in order to explain his behaviour in the story I am writing now: characters who did not know his past ...
2
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2answers
153 views

How much character description is considered necessary in a “plot driven” story?"

Some stories begin with a rather full description of say, the main character. Here is a clip from Hello Dolly that describes in (for me) excruciating detail not only about what she does (matchmaking) ...
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3answers
216 views

Are there times when delayed character development is acceptable in fiction?

In my screenplay, I have my female protagonist wear Prada, and perhaps drop other hints of her character, but not act like Miranda Priestly for the first two acts, until she gets a promotion at the ...
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6answers
301 views

Superpowers in Writing - Cool for the sake of cool

I originally started planning/writing a short story that was more or less based on a few popular trends in YA/Sci-Fi writing (interstellar travel, superpowers, etc) just as an exercise to force myself ...
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3answers
112 views

How political can an author's note be, would the following fly? [closed]

"If the ANC does to you what the apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government." – Nelson Mandela I wrote this novel in what was at the time my ...
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3answers
110 views

A grand scheme or destiny in literature

There's one thing in literature that no matter how cliche or over used it might be, I always find very compelling. For example, when a story unfolds as if there is a larger force at work moving all of ...
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2answers
116 views

Any helpful tips on how to, better use description in my writing?

I feel as if, the novel I am writing will have a great plot and I have some creative ideas on where to go with it. My only concern is my ability to develop description through out my story. Any tips ...
2
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2answers
89 views

How do I tell the story of a societal change using a discrete number of narrators?

When I started writing and first tried to characterize my work, I came across a wonderful word: psychogram - a story that revolves around the psychological evolution of a specific character. The ...