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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Is it OK to invent as I write, or should I plan the entire story first?

I have read Harry Potter and am a big fan of her writing and I had always had this urge to blog AND to write. So, I started a blog - 2200 Common Era. I've the basic idea of writing a science fiction ...
3
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2answers
71 views

Writing an Ending: how to prune away the Wrong ones?

My protagonist introduced herself to me through a sequence of set-pieces. She has a very specific altruistic goal, and the conflicts she enters are with other characters who have well-defined ...
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9answers
5k views

Killing the protagonist - should it be done?

I am an aspiring author, but I have written several short 'test novels.' With each of those, it became increasingly clear how you have to develop the main character, the protagonist. After all, the ...
3
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2answers
155 views

Software for plot building across multiple books

I plan to write a series of books set in the same universe, with a major plot about war destruction, murder, killing, love, betrayal etc. But I am having problem getting the big view of my universe ...
2
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4answers
127 views

Is my opening chapter too short?

I've just started writing my first proper novel, I've written short stories and started to write before, but never really had the motivation, but now I have a new, interesting storyline to write ...
3
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2answers
98 views

What is the difference between a complication/twist and a situation?

I have recently read an article (The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, chapter 7) concerning plot twists, or complications. It discusses the difference between twists and mere situations. The ...
2
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3answers
72 views

Non-Linear Storyline: Dynamic vs. Static chapter sequence

While this question may be a little nit-picky I realize chapters do help the flow of a book, and, since I'm now plotting a novel, I figured it's a good time to ask. In a non-lineary storyline, I've ...
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16answers
3k views

How could a criminal forget a crime? [closed]

I'm toying with a scenario however it's crucial to the plot that the murder doesn't know they're guilty and has to work with their friends to try and solve the murder. This is probably set in the ...
3
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8answers
1k views

My Hero is captured, now what?

I'm trying to write an escape scene in a fantasy novel. My problem is that I've spent a fair amount of effort explaining what a dire predicament my hero is in, and now I don't know how to get him out. ...
2
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3answers
215 views

Can't write, can plan

I can plan all sorts of specific events ins a novel, the general plot, characters, etc... but can't actually put it onto paper the way it is in my head. How do I learn to write rather than just think ...
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1answer
116 views

Story first approach in plot outlining

I have been wondering a lot recently about a method of writing which I haven't read about anywhere but seems like it must exist. It would fall somewhere in the "plotting" style of writing, where you ...
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2answers
84 views

How do I develop skills at writing and planning plots and characters? [closed]

I currently earn a little extra money by doing freelance journalism on the side, in addition to working a day job. This is professional, paid work from more than one outlet so I would hope I could ...
2
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3answers
163 views

Is there such a thing as a “setting sketch” for a science fiction writing?

I took a look tonight at the post titled What are the pros and cons of building the setting before the characters and story? It answered questions that I had concerning setting being more important ...
2
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3answers
71 views

Craft group exercises or chapters in critique groups?

I am an aspiring writer who feels blocked in terms of writing a novel because I am lacking knowledge of craft. I have taken two continuing education type writing courses in the past five years: ...
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2answers
104 views

RDF vocabularly for storytelling

Can anyone point me to an RDF vocabulary used for story-telling? A Resource Description Framework is a technique for structuring data in a way that computers can easily process it and connect simple ...
0
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8answers
282 views

Genre conventions: Which end do readers expect?

I need help with the concept of my story: My protagonists live in a mild dystopia. Think of your own country today ;-) They have the opportunity to kill about 20 persons, which will cause a ...
3
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6answers
272 views

Storyboard a Novel?

Sometimes I'm a contrarian and like to think things through backward. What about thinking first of a movie and then writing a novel about it? Would it make sense to storyboard and script a novel ...
2
votes
2answers
131 views

Successful stories that don't follow the standard story template?

I'm mulling over a story that doesn't follow the standard story template of: Hero (or anti-hero) Hero has problem (or is problem) Hero fights problem Hero succeeds (or problem succeeds and all the ...
4
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3answers
206 views

there are considered to be only seven or so actual plots anyway?

I saw this in another answer there are considered to be only seven or so actual plots anyway Is this true? Is it like plots are generalized into a couple of types or forms? Where can I read more ...
5
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1answer
225 views

Twist in kishōtenketsu vs. twist in Western plots

How does the “twist / ten / 転” phase in the Japanese kishōtenketsu narrative structure differ from the “plot twist” that is a standard element of many Western stories? I’m thinking, for example, of ...
0
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2answers
111 views

What are the Criteria that Distinguish a Thriller from Horror?

The criteria that come to mind are not exclusive to horror novels, so I'm a little confused and annoyed (annoyed because I find horror novels scary, and yet just cannot define it logically when I try ...
0
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4answers
81 views

How to travel in a government restricted setting? [closed]

So my fantasy story starts out with two characters travelling by foot through endless woods. They can't take the roads because of an oppressive like government, but the woods are apparently safe. But ...
2
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2answers
163 views

Story resolution issue - A symbolic gift for two new friends

I'm nearly at the end of my story, and I'm struggling to finish it. Ashley (male) and Anna were best friends since childhood, until they grew apart and didn't talk to each other for many years. When ...
0
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6answers
224 views

my first comedy plot draft is very bland. how far can I go on calling this out?

I'm currently working on my first book, a sci-fi comedy set on an alternate history Earth which has progressed at twice the rate of our own planet (they were at our current tech when William the ...
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3answers
156 views

Referencing the process of writing the novel as a part of the novel's plot

I am writing a review of a novel, which I guess is postmodern in a nonstrict way. And I need help with terms. How do you call a technique when the main character is the author of the novel and ...
0
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0answers
57 views

When writing TV scripts, is it heard of to change not only the characters but the type of story?

I have an idea but before i run with it I need to know if you heard of a show going from, let's say, drama to fantasy. I have smooth transitions from one to the other and the B-plot carries through. ...
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2answers
115 views

How to write engaging and relevant backstory

Currently I am trying to craft a fantasy story, but I am having trouble creating a realistic backstory that can explain character actions well. How can I fix that?
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3answers
173 views

I feel my protagonist is too “detached” from the main plot. What should I do?

Here's a summary of the plot: The main character goes to a mountain to visit his half-sister. He hasn't seen her in years. She went there to undergo a spiritual healing. Later he discovers her ...
5
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7answers
277 views

Will my readers find it hard to care/identify with a character who seems to lack human emotions?

I'm writing my first novel. One of the main characters was born without a soul. This is her description, which also reflects her personality: She had long black hair, crimson red lips, and a ...
3
votes
4answers
121 views

Balancing character levity in a serious narrative

I am looking for examples of authors who manage to have sarcastic/funny characters exist in a very serious, end of the world type of scenario. The issue I am trying to resolve is when I write ...
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2answers
63 views

If I am writing in the first person can I have the MC relive a scene as an observer and write it in the third person?

Can I relive a scene in the third person if I am writing in the first person? The main character has broken up with her man and she is reliving a scene in her mind where they where spending an ...
3
votes
2answers
148 views

How can I get my romance through a two-year breakup?

My story calls for the main characters to break up for at least two years, before getting back together. (In this particular case, the breakup is for ethical reasons - the relationship began when the ...
14
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7answers
1k views

Problem: Scenes that are unavoidable, but boring

More specifically: Two of my book series' main characters are (temporarily) diplomats. It's unavoidable to the progress of the plot. But diplomacy is inherently slow and boring. So, the general ...
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6answers
257 views

How do I evaluate an unwritten plot/story?

I'm working on a full, detailed outline of my planned book series before I have much of it written down. I'm not a pantser, I must have a clear idea where I'm going before I can get far. In the ...
6
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2answers
256 views

Tips to identify “noise” or “clutter” in your story

I'm a fan of minimalism so I tend to write stories which are as simple as possible. And sometimes I add elements that don't have a concrete explanation. I leave that to interpretation of the reader. ...
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7answers
424 views

Plot devices for the climax of an adventure story

Setting aside the specifics of my particular plot for a moment, I have need of plot inspiration: how do I set up an escape from a death trap that seems plausible after the fact, and not too contrived? ...
4
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4answers
232 views

How to find the plot to a message or theory

Usually, when I write, the seed of my narrative is a specific scene: in my mind I see a specific place, and in this place there are some people, and these people become aware of each other, or of some ...
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4answers
255 views

Is it common for flashbacks to not to follow a chronological order?

I'm writing a short story with the following structure: Scene 1: Deshi and Yuqi are in a mountain searching for an abandoned amusement park (Present) Scene 2: Deshi talks about how he felt ...
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2answers
272 views

What factors in fiction arouse readers' expectations?

Feedback from my writer's group tells me that my recent stories leave promises unfulfilled and important questions unanswered. So I've become interested in how stories make promises and raise ...
0
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3answers
151 views

Roadblocks in my story: The Gladys Tribe [closed]

I am writing a book and I've come to some roadblocks in the plot. Here is the basic storyline: A tribe of people live in a grand city deep inside the caves and large caverns in a mountain. Outside ...
3
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5answers
219 views

How specific should I be when outlining the plot?

One problem I often run into when trying to make a general outline of the plot for a story is how specific I am in the descriptions of events. Generally, this happens when I have written a portion of ...
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1answer
83 views

Book Plot Sugestions [closed]

Does anyone have a good plot suggestion for a children's fantasy? Maybe about a 13 year old girl in the 1500's. Anything will do.
0
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2answers
656 views

Tips For A Good Medieval Fantasy Novel [closed]

I'm thinking of writing my first fiction novel based on a medieval fantasy setting and I know nothing about writing. Any pointers for this type of genre? I think I read somewhere that you need a hero, ...
2
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9answers
892 views

How to assure your plot isn't a carbon copy of another story?

In what case is it justifiable for your own story to differentiate its plot from another, similar plot? For instance, I'm writing a story with a serial killer who whose motive sounds akin to the ...
2
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3answers
156 views

How to tell if my story is finished, or needs more?

Slightly obtuse title, let me elaborate. I'm writing my first screenplay, and I'm trying to keep it simple while making it simultaneously wonderful. It's just a rom-com. But as I write and modify ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Flashback or dream as a means of hinting at more going on than meets the eye

I plan to use a dream or flashback as a way to show the reader the story has more going on behind the scenes. As well to sprinkle in a little of my main characters back-story. I haven't written it ...
6
votes
3answers
160 views

Tracing dependencies and emergent plotholes during edits

The fiction I write currently hit a major snag and needs a big overhaul of a major part of the story. A whole, large thread is being injected, a second conflict running in parallel with the main one ...
1
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1answer
103 views

Setting up for writing

I am a work professional and the writer by choice. I have been writing since a long but basically poems, short stories and my reviews on books that I read so far. But since yet I have been writing via ...
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3answers
309 views

It is a sign of bad writing to have many scenes that are disconnected with the main plot?

So my novel look like this (I took this diagram idea from this site, but I'm not sure exactly from whom): The beginning and end focuses on the mystery that the heroine is trying to solve (main ...
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5answers
278 views

Are there rules for, or guidelines on, time gaps between a plot's scenes/chapters?

I've been reading a host of old favourites, classics and authors outside of my usual reading pool, in an effort to dissect the writing (from plot, characters and environment to voice, pacing and ...