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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What are some techniques for deciding which of two or more plot directions to go with?

I have always wanted to write a book but have never actually taken the time to do so. There are many things that hold me back but one of them is that I often come up with story lines in my mind. As I ...
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How to think of a plot in 5 minutes

I have an English high school exam in five days in which I will be given 2-3 prompts e.g. A story which includes the sentence, "I could not not believe when my neighbour walked right past me" or a ...
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Why does the villain always win right before the hero defeats him?

One common setup for a story goes like this: We have the heroes on one side We have the villains on the other side The bad guy has an evil plot that will cause some undesirable result The heroes ...
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How to write believable “Man vs self” plots

Context introduction In my story the protagonist is both curious and fearful. He wants to know what is in a forest but is too afraid to go inside. He is also distracted by his basic needs for food and ...
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How can I keep secret a major detail known to the POV protagonist?

How do you write a story where the point-of-view character knows something, but you want to keep it a secret from the reader until later in the story? How do you effectively suppress a vital detail ...
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1answer
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How to decide if a plot twist worth doing?

There's a major piece of information in my story, which I could either make tell right away - or else keep it a secret, and use it as a plot twist later. I'm having a hard time choosing which way to ...
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How do I keep a journey sequence going?

In my story, my characters have to go on a journey, plus it's medieval. (So original right?) Anywho, they've already been captured by road robbers once and escaped. Also, they've stumbled upon a town ...
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how to write a sports game scene?

The main character is on a sports team, and I want to describe games, but I don't know how to without having to explain every point or without explaining it enough. I want it to be a page or two long ...
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how can I make my main character interesting and not bland?

All my supporting characters are really cool and have their habits and problems and backstories but I just feel so lost when it comes to my main character. She just seems to be floating around in the ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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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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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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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
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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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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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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
338 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
264 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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5answers
142 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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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
133 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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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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159 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
288 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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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
233 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
142 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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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 ...
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7answers
325 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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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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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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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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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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396 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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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
137 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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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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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 ...
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3answers
92 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
834 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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369 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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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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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 ...