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 ...
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3answers
520 views

How to cover different perspectives/levels of thinking in one story?

I was reasoning with a friend about why movies/novels often get highly successful while others, despite having an interesting story/topic, don't get much attention. We came to speak about Matrix, Pulp ...
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9answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
305 views

Making characters multidimensional and unique. What can i do?

I'm writing a sci-fi/fantasy story and i have quite a number of characters that i want to deploy in the story. However, these characters should each have their own agendas in life, their own internal ...
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3answers
183 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 ...
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4answers
171 views

How about a story as a series of anecdotes?

I have a concept for a story I'd like to do where my purpose for writing the story is simply to explore a hypothetical society by means of anecdotes about the members of the society. But this sounds ...
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3answers
163 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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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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4answers
454 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 ...
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3answers
251 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 ...
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1answer
168 views

I cannot determine my Protagonist's work-life. Any help?

My protagonist works in a pharma company and I really don't have a clue about how they work, what kind of a life they live and all. It is required for the plot to make him work in a company which ...
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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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126 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 ...
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2answers
226 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 ...
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1answer
169 views

Dealing with lackluster plot failure

So, I wrote the beginning of something about novel-sized. I drafted totally sweet, lovable protagonists in an interesting, original relationship, I placed them in a solid world, I painted the ...
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7answers
246 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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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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2answers
570 views

How do I maintain flow and interest when handling numerous plot threads?

I want to learn how to maintain the flow of a novel's plot - there are so many characters and events to organize. What I find most difficult is the way a writer needs to shift from one phase of the ...
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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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288 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 ...
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1answer
38 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
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
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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 ...
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2answers
207 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 ...
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1answer
107 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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2answers
157 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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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 ...
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3answers
136 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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4answers
435 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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3answers
111 views

Stranded Society Speaking Same Language

Let's start with a scenario: a dozen babies are left on an island in the middle of the ocean and are brought up by monkeys. When they come of age, they are mean to find a message somewhere on the ...
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6answers
268 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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6answers
302 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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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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128 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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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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5answers
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I can't figure out to come up with a good plot! [duplicate]

The one major problem I feel that I have as a writer is coming up with a plot that has any substance at all. I can write believable characters (most of the time), build a unique but not far fetched ...
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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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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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5answers
933 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 ...
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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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1answer
280 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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1answer
223 views

Is there a database of plots that have not been “processed”/used yet?

I ask about something coming from my personality. I have imagination for overall story plots. I don't have a writers' abilities (nor do I have time to write). I hope there are much more people like ...
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1answer
113 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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1answer
124 views

Faith, Hope and Love as the keys to victory in an action-adventure novel?

I'm at the outline stage of my novel writing. It is pretty straightforward to think of an action-adventure novel's victory as attained by physical attributes and/or courage. I'm looking for ...
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3answers
46 views

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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1answer
146 views

How do I manage a plot with two protagonists? [closed]

I'm a beginner manga plot writer. On the first season of my story I have a protagonist A. How can I manage the second season if I want as protagonists the protagonist A from the first season and a ...
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2answers
74 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 ...
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Character in Macbeth that maintains integrity in position of power? [closed]

I'm writing a movie based off of Shakespeare's "Macbeth". It includes characters directly linked to the original play and is loosely based off the plot but all in modern times. I know that Macbeth is ...
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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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4answers
241 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 ...