For questions relating to the sequence of events of a novel, also known as its plot.

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16
votes
7answers
3k views

When should one *not* present events in chronological order?

Some stories tell well from beginning to end, all in a neat little line...and some don't. When can a story be improved by using a different order in the telling? Off the top of my head, I'd say ...
13
votes
3answers
426 views

Learning storywriting for videogames - where to start?

Over the years, games that affected me emotionally convinced me that storywriting is a very rewarding work. I thought about learning from novelists. But it seemed that some of the skills, i.e. ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I write anonymously (based on true experiences)?

I want to use an experience I had which is pretty unbelievable but true. The majority of the story will be completely true. It's not over yet so I want to use an ending which is NOT true yet works ...
8
votes
4answers
535 views

How common *are* happy endings?

I'm curious. After reading some other questions, I've been pondering about the frequency and reason for happy endings. That is, a positive and/or hopeful ending, even if not everything went right, ...
7
votes
7answers
203 views

Should I start writing even if I'm not sure how the story will end?

I'm writing (planning to write) a fantasy novel. I'm done with the worldbuilding, rules of magic, main characters (even though I think I will add some more in the future) and their initial plots and ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

On copyright laws and plots

I was pondering a lot on the issue with copyrights on plots. Is having an identical plot infringing someone else's copyrighted work? I am fully aware that the character names are copyrighted and ...
7
votes
4answers
893 views

How to stay motivated while writing a story, after the initial burst of enthusiasm?

TL;DR: How do you approach to writing? What part of the work do you enjoy the most? And how do you keep the motivation up? I often ask myself if I really like to write. I mean, I have a lot of ...
6
votes
4answers
292 views

Using a world created by someone else for your own fiction

What is the procedure if you want to set a story in a world created by someone else?If, after reading someone else's novel I came up with some neat plot that would fit into that novel's world, but ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the most effective way to deal with flashbacks in a novel structure ?

In writing a novel, often flashbacks are difficult to manage: if too long and detailed, they can appear as second class (at worst, aborted) plots whose only task is to sustain the main plot line; if ...
6
votes
5answers
435 views

Can anyone think of books that contain two separate stories or two very different perspectives on the same story being told together? [closed]

I fear that the question sounds vague and confusing, but I can't conjure up the words I need to say exactly what I mean without going into detail. I thought it would be interesting to have two ...
6
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What techniques are used to create non-linear stories?

For stories that are highly non-linear, or that use multiple simultaneous sub-plots, what are some techniques for creating and managing the different items? An example that comes to mind is Steven ...
5
votes
4answers
294 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
3answers
333 views

story driven by event rhythm

There was a graphical representation of Star Wars, and the curves the story takes. Should a story be rhythm based like this from design phase (i.e. when making some pre-writing work)?
5
votes
4answers
222 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
423 views

Arch Hero and Arch Nemesis in one book

I am standing before a problem. For my story I largely developed the background and the world for two main characters: the hero of my stories and a villain. I started with the story of my hero, his ...
4
votes
4answers
205 views

controversial rape subject in mainstream novel?

I hope this Q will not mimic the fate of the racism Q which was buried in negative votes and caused quite a stir. this Q is somewhat linked to Is BDSM becoming mainstream? (though i am not equating at ...
4
votes
3answers
180 views

Should I write about how the character solved some riddle or let the reader solve it himself

"Reaching an end to his path, Eric found a locked door, the lock was a combination of 4 numbers, and above the doorknob a script explaining the lock : 'finishing four circles, a lost day is found' " ...
4
votes
5answers
158 views

Is killing a character to further the plot necessarily a bad thing?

I've heard quite a few complaints about character deaths being used to further the plot. They say it's boring and overdone and mention that there are plenty of other ways to get to the same point ...
4
votes
3answers
192 views

Techniques for creating a bridge between protagonists from different generations

I'm working on a short novel that has two main stories. These stories belong to relatives from different generations, but of the same age. So, although the book spans through 20-30 years, I'm more ...
4
votes
3answers
110 views

Books for children: complexity

I am wondering how complex the story can be so that small children can understand it (younger than eight). Are there any rules of thumb of how many characters can be introduced before the child looses ...
4
votes
6answers
165 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
2answers
74 views

Is it a good idea to try to make my readers feel attached to the character's home?

Towards the beginning of my story, my character is forced to leave home. I'm hoping this scene will be rather eventful and emotional and specifically don't want it to be meaningless to the reader (as ...
3
votes
4answers
341 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
141 views

How linear should I be in writing my story?

This my most serious writing endeavor ever. I've gotten much farther than I've dreamed of getting. So far, I've been chugging along writing everything in the order that I imagine it being written in ...
3
votes
7answers
425 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
7answers
410 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
2answers
135 views

Hiding information

I have often noticed this in many books and movies (mostly mysteries) that information is kept hidden from the reader. Like the character goes to some place and returns but what happens in between ...
3
votes
6answers
615 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
1answer
133 views

Looking for some tips on how to improve writing [closed]

I have just completed my first draft of a novel. Now the story is completed it's time to capture the style so the reader can engage in the story. I want to make sure the story style is easy enough for ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

Is BDSM becoming mainstream?

Seems that in the last decade there is more and more stories with a BDSM arc. For instance: The Fifty Shades series The Sword of Truth series The Black Dagger Brotherhood series I remember when ...
2
votes
9answers
505 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
3answers
528 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
3answers
96 views

Magic or No Magic?

I have the majority of the story for my first novel worked out. My only problem is that I feel like I'm trying to find a way to force magic into it. There is only one point where magic is essential ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Novelizing non-fiction, is it worth it?

There are a few lifestyle subjects where I feel I need to write non-fiction books. The problem is that in these fields, most of what is published is 101 intro manuals, while my takes to the field ...
2
votes
2answers
109 views

Studies of when to kill a character

I have a pretty simple question: Are there any studies/surveys that show the appropriate time to kill a main character earliest? I am talking about studies among readers/viewers of books/movies/...
2
votes
2answers
93 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
224 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
110 views

Should I worry that my storyline is very similar to another?

I've written a story about anthropomorphic animals in a noirish setting solving murders. I came up with the concept and wrote the first draft about a year ago and am planning on releasing it soon. ...
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
371 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
3answers
42 views

Pieces missing from my narrative

I have this (IMHO) cool idea for a general storyline I want to write about, and one or two ideas for characters. However, I'm really struggling to go about fleshing it out. It's like having a string ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

What is the story structure called when someone doesn't know they have the solution to their problem in hand?

Perhaps the "classic" example is Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Early in her journey through the land of Oz, she acquires the slippers that she needs to take her back to Kansas. But she doesn't realize ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

When having a character ask a question…

Okay, which is the proper way of a character asking a question? and why is it better one way vs the other? 1.) "Why is it you always show up when you are not wanted?" he asked. 2.) "Why is it you ...
1
vote
1answer
308 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Setting Up The Climax & Eventual End of The Story

I've been suffering a lot of problems with my writings recently. I started off a great story, where a girl is accepted in a prestigious school in a far off city. The story I've written in my head is ...
1
vote
2answers
42 views

One-page tales: what i have to spit out and what is indispensable?

I've undertaken to write a book with 50 tales, one per page. It is hard going, because the stories keep coming out too long. How can i "filter" the job, or extract short ideas and work?
1
vote
3answers
55 views

Interwoven story arcs (for video) - guidelines so viewers will not get lost?

I am trying to create a documentary about the history of a sports team, and have identified some compelling story arcs. However, as we know in reality, stories do not begin and end one at a time: ...
1
vote
2answers
44 views

Influence of The Protagonist's Birthday [closed]

I was writing up my story and i wanted to know how much should the Protagonist's Birthday be part of the story. I have seen many stories in books,movies and games in where birthdays play very ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

How do you know if your writing can become a story

Hope this is the right forum to be asking a question! I have been writing every since I can remember, my stories, writings, letters, poems, lessons and emotions where captured from as young as 14, I ...