27 Answered Questions for the topic Plot
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... more
Does this scene fail the Bechdel test?
My novel has approximately a dozen women in it, but they don’t tend to talk to each other. Most of them are separated geographically or philosophically and sitting down for a chat does not seem... more
What new plots are available to writers?
I read *The Seven Basic Plots* by Christopher Booker (yes, it was so heavy that I had to cut into two books just to be able to carry it around) and I just can't believe that the number of plots we... more
How can I have a war with no "good" or "evil" side?
I'm conceptualising a story involving two heroes who go on an epic journey and return bitter rivals etc. etc. and form their own forces in a sort of civil war.My issue is that I want them to both... more
Is it ok to put a subplot to a story that is never meant to contribute to the development of the main plot?
Is it ok to put a subplot to a story that is never meant to contribute to the development of the main plot? In Game of Thrones season 8, a lot of the subplots that were explored in previous seasons... more
Publication: What to do about a high wordcount debut novel?
I'm a strong believer in books/novels being as long as they need to be; if it turns out short, don't try to pad it out, and if it's long... unless there's chaff to cut out, it's long for a... more
How should I "remind" the reader of something that they may have forgotten?
Say there is a small detail in the beginning of the book that has a big effect later on. The reader might've forgotten about that by the time they get to that part. How should I remind the reader... more
How can I make an in-universe random event feel like it was really random instead of just RNJesus' will?
Some stories feature random events that bring about drastic change either to the characters or to the setting.A lottery draw, some gotcha that grants a special skill.Most of the times I find one of... more
Why is character lifetime proportional to character development so often?
Hollywood movies are a good example of this, but also many books feature the rule.When the plot revolves around life and death situations, the first to die are the characters with least... more
How to invest readers in a story that (initially) has no clear direction?
The main character of my novel (third person limited) is an outlaw, on the run from government agents and living from day to day trying to survive.In the first quarter of the story, she doesn't... more
I am overplotting my story - how can I figure out what is necessary and cut out what isn't?
I have recently discovered that the plot and cast of characters of my novel is so unbelievably complex that I am the only one who can actually understand it. I have too many characters, with too... more
Choosing between two people in a romance?
So, my dilemma is as follows. I have a romance project with the MC trying to choose between two women who he cares for very much. Each has broken his heart, but are willing to make amends and... more
Can ‘Stupid’ Characters Make Plot Narratives Memorable?
Characters in movies ‘28 Days Later’, ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ made terrible impulsive choices that cost other characters their lives, but if it weren’t for any of those choices... more
Can I make a character make a philosophic observation or say their opinion, even if it's unnecessary for the plot/story?
I have a character in my story who has the habit of making philosophic observations about life and the functioning of things, or his opinion/vision about something. Although most of his... more
How to write two seemingly different characters that are actually the same person?
I'm currently working on a book with two protagonists and switching the perspective between them. They have quite different plotlines, but actually they're the same person. English is not my first... more
Should a reader have enough information to deduce the twist?
When building a twist into the ending, should I leak enough information such that astute readers could predict the twist if they stopped and mulled it over or should I withhold key elements to... more
Problem: Scenes that are unavoidable, but boring?
More specifically: Two of my book series' main characters are (temporarily) diplomats. It's unavoidable to the progress of the plot. But diplomacy is inherently slow and boring. So, the general... more
Would it be wise to make the turning point of a story coincidental?
I've written a fictional story and the way my characters are coming together and forming a bond seems way too coincidental to me.>A lady lives on the first floor while her tenant, a guy, lives... more
What techniques are used to plot long (multi-novel) story arcs?
As a very visual person, I have always considered plotting a story to be somewhat like knitting or macrame. How do series authors handle multi novel story arcs? Do they just keep throwing out... more
What's a typical trilogy structure?
Is there a typical structure for a fantasy trilogy?To be more specific, would they usually follow the three-act structure, with an act per book? And would each book need a self-contained story arc... more
Can a book be written without an antagonist?
I have had this thought running through my head and wondered what your thoughts were on it. Can a book, a story I should say, be written without an antagonist or antagonistic theme? I have an... more
How do you change the size of figures drawn with matplotlib?
How do you change the size of figure drawn with matplotlib?
How to edit story structure?
I’ve written a plot for a long story. But it’s not easy for anybody to review because my characters’ dialogue and goals are all over the place, it’s often usually mixed up and I struggle to... more
Quiksilver, Inc., the makers of the Quiksilver and Roxy clothing lines, has had steadily increasing profits over the past several years. The profits for Quiksilver, Inc. are given in the chart.
A bar chart with 5 bars of unequal heights is titled "Gross Profits for Quicksilver, Inc." The horizontal axis is labeled "Year." The vertical axis is labeled "Gross profit (millions of dollars)"... more
What are tips / techniques to manage the consistency of a plot encompassing several subplots ?
When I lay out a plot consisting of interwoven threads, one of the most annoying things is to manage effectively the factual, logical consistency of the whole.In order to be more effective and... more