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

3
votes
3answers
98 views

How do you force a turning point in a narrative that is supposed to be precisely about the lack of such devices?

Please, before flagging this question as subjective or generic, take a moment to read it through. IMO this is a valid, specific question, albeit a bit complex. To try and unpack the admittedly ...
3
votes
1answer
241 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
147 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
202 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
237 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
154 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
257 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

The origin of multiple 'plotlines' tabular diagram?

Where did the concept of multiple parallel plotlines (that may or may not interact and converge) originate? These days they're also known as throughlines, subplots, narrative/character arcs, series. ...
2
votes
9answers
495 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
145 views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
524 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 ...
2
votes
9answers
3k 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
votes
3answers
190 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
184 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
213 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.
2
votes
3answers
147 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
529 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 about,...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
2
votes
5answers
309 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
135 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
149 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
207 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) ...
2
votes
2answers
234 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

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 ...
2
votes
7answers
334 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
587 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
119 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
309 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
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
134 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", ...
2
votes
2answers
92 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
222 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
200 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?
2
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Is it possible to outline a dual plot novel using the “Snowflake Method” or other method?

I am interested in learning the Snowflake Method to outline a novel. Question is: I'd like to write dual plot novel. One part is science fiction set in the near future. The other part is a fantasy ...
1
vote
7answers
240 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
149 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: ...
1
vote
4answers
133 views

How To Develop A Character For A Character-Driven Story?

What is essential for a character-driven story - except, obviously, appearance?
1
vote
4answers
463 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
112 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 ...
1
vote
6answers
467 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 ...
1
vote
6answers
361 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
179 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
138 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
91 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. ...
1
vote
3answers
115 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
138 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 - ...