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 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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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 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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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4answers
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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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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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Write multiple trilogies or make a saga?

So I am currently writing a fantasy story that tends to be long. This question is related to the following question: related The main difference resides in that it is certain that the story will be ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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 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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How do you determine if a plot device is too coincidental?

I see lazy plot devices as anything that is too coincidental. Person One just so happened to be in the 'area' when Person Two was attacked (then they end up running into each other a bunch of times ...
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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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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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102 views

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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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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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 ...
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239 views

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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My cool character is doing nothing for the plot. How do I deal with him?

So I have this great character( not the main protagonist), who is funny and intelligent. Each scene I write for him is a delight. But the problem is, he is doing nothing for the plot. I have tried to ...