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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
4answers
287 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
724 views

I suck at plots. Is there a way to sort of train oneself to think of creative plots, specifically in scifi?

I'm pretty good in the writing department as far as prose, it's just that I'll sit down and have no idea what to write. Perhaps it's a creative problem, I just don't know. I cannot figure out any ...
5
votes
6answers
300 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
555 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
134 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
167 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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
5answers
372 views

Changing main character within a trilogy, is a good idea?

I am writing the first novel which will be part of a trilogy. For plot reasons, I am considering to change the main character in the other two parts (will be the same in the last two books). But I ...
5
votes
4answers
464 views

Creating a compelling story from a prebuilt world

I have during the last couple of years developed a fantasy world. It's a hobby project I work on when I have the time. Every now and again I get some idea of a scene or an event and I place it on the ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Could a different structure for “Feast of Crows” have been a better solution to Martin's five-year-gap?

The latest two volumes of Martin's Song of Ice and Fire have been poorly received compared to the series' earlier books. What's interesting here is that Martin's original plan did not include these ...
5
votes
1answer
235 views

How could the surprise-villain thread have been less contrived in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone”?

Throughout Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry is certain that Snape is serving Voldemort, and bulling Quirrell into helping him. At the climax, we learn that Snape is protecting Harry, ...
5
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
229 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
6answers
408 views

Can't write, can plan

I can plan all sorts of specific aspects in a novel such as characters, locations, and the plot in general, but I struggle to actually write it the way it is in my head. How do I learn to write rather ...
4
votes
5answers
650 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
182 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
93 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
481 views

original story climaxes - rules / guidelines for this?

I always get stuck trying to work out what the high-point of the story should be, especially when writing sci-fi/fantasy. There seem to be just a few climaxes that get recycled through this genre - ...
4
votes
3answers
281 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
206 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
326 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
212 views

Writing a novel which has the same structure and a particular theme in each chapter

I'm writing a novel that will have 9 chapters. Most of the chapters have the same structure: The main character goes down a hole she found in her room. She finds herself in a strange part of the ...
4
votes
5answers
186 views

How do I involve my audience with my story?

I am writing for a video game, and I have noticed that there is a gap between plot and gameplay. Most times there is a plot to a story, but it takes place either only in cutscenes or in reminders of ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Anyone has any super intense software for plot outlining?

Now, at the get go, I fully acknowledge that I have gone way over the top as far a story plotting goes, but I'm trying for something on the extreme end of epic and I have a legit obsessive compulsive ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
167 views

How long has the “scene” method been used for writing a novel?

I've noticed that many authors discuss "building" their novels using scenes as the fundamental building block. Be it by software or notecard, the scenes are identified, arranged and written, then ...
3
votes
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. ...
3
votes
5answers
333 views

My first act is lengthy. And I cannot shorten it. Any Suggestions?

After the great amount of encouragement that you all gave me here, you'd be happy to know that I finally started writing my novel and I'm writing whenever I get time. Special thanks goes to Lauren for ...
3
votes
8answers
545 views

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 J.K. Rowling's 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
387 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
888 views

Organization for epic fantasy writing [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Organizing your Universe? I have some issues on the organization of my fantasy story. For instance there are many factions that come into play during the story and I ...
3
votes
6answers
508 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
319 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, ...
3
votes
3answers
259 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
388 views

How do you effectively develop a plot when you have a proper back story?

I'm writing a sci-fi/fantasy story, which is arguably not yet a novel, and has general similarities with most fantasy stories. I have a back story set and a fairly good idea on how the story is ...
3
votes
3answers
567 views

Is pantsless writing practical for NaNoWriMo?

Those of you who like to just sit down and write what comes out, you all are known as pantsless writers. — KitFox We have a question on preparing for NaNoWriMo, but what if you start a NaNoWriMo ...
3
votes
2answers
791 views

Resource for generic plot hooks?

I'm in a long and painful recovery from many years of writer's block. Coming up with even quite simple story ideas costs me unreasonable amount of effort. Sometimes inspiration is generous and I'm ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
240 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
135 views

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 ...
3
votes
6answers
579 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
200 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
185 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
148 views

Is a chapter the equivalent of a sequence?

When I do my daily writing, questions often pop into my head, and I jot them down to ponder later on. I was going through all the papers on my desk today and couldn't help but wonder: are chapters in ...
3
votes
3answers
252 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 ...
2
votes
9answers
465 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 ...