Non-formulaic writing discussion thread


Hello dear friends,

This is a small initiative to bring together a group of writers whose works deserve to be noticed and appreciated.
@Penfolk @Radhika402 @DevaDDK

Let’s select one book per week and read the first five chapters. Let’s make a note of everything we liked, disliked and everything that can be improved. Let’s present our analysis here on the weekend. Hope it will help us to be better writers.


1 Like

I would like to introduce you to the basic rules I follow before starting a story. I read it somewhere and was really impressed. My apologies if you already know this.

The thing is, don’t worry too much about every minute aspect of the plot. Get the basic plot line ready. And then start developing the characters.

  1. Who is the lead character? (Includes her/his personality, backstory, daily routine, etc.,)
  2. What does the lead character want more than anything else? What is their biggest aim? (blissful life, power, glory, money, vengeance, love, etc.,)
  3. What can I, as a writer, do to prevent them from getting what they want? (Most important part of the story. The idea is to let the main character struggle.)

This is a great initiative, Harshi!!!

In regards to your second post, I do almost the same thing as you when I start a new story.

  1. Finding a concept. Select a genre.
  2. Developing a character.
  3. Giving an aim for the character(s).
  4. Plot the outline at least 70% before beginning the first chapter. That way the outline will guide us throughout and we can most probably avoid dropping the story halfway.
    Which will result in completing the book without having ‘writers block’.

And I do agree on the idea of letting the main character struggle. Hardships of a character either mentally or physically does help escalate the story which will grab the readers interest.

So, let them SUFFER!!! :joy::joy::rofl::rofl:


Hi there,

This seems better suited in #story-services:book-clubs, so I’m going to move it over there.

Thanks for understanding,
Fray - Community Ambassador :frog:


Hi there,

I mostly jot down main points of every chapter previously and then while writing include those points to complete the chapter.
But many a times I can’t do them as well, that’s when I leave stories midway.


Hello, thanks for including me in this initiative. Will try to be active as much as I can

1 Like

@Penfolk and @DevaDDK Thank you so much for joining.
Now that we established the purpose of this group, let’s decide which book to read and analyse this week.

Let’s make sure that we write only the usual stuff in comment section. And provide the actual feedback here.

Please do suggest your ongoing works.

1 Like

Exactly. The readers will root for the character who suffers. So, it is important to give them problems which sound realistic.
I also agree with your point that we should make a list of plot points before we proceed to avoid writer’s block.
Another important thing we sometimes forget to consider is that, the skills our characters require to solve the problem must be introduced much earlier than the problem itself.
For example, if a character is kidnapped and then it is revealed that they are expert in martial arts, readers will feel betrayed. We must mention it much earlier. Just in passing, like the character says, “I’m getting late for kungfu class.” etc.,
Not a great example. But that is the general idea.

I think you all know this better than me. I just want to keep the discussion going. If you would like to provide any writing tips please do. Thank you.

1 Like

Yes. It happened to me once.

An idea sounds good in our brain, but when we try to edit the story based on that, it may look different from what we thought.

Hope we can figure out a solution for this issue soon.


True when comes to skill we should give readers a hint of skills and personality because time may come when we ourselves wont know when we will need them to be skillful in a particular aspect.

In another way, if ever we miss to mention about their skills, we can use the ‘flashback’ as a way to convey to the readers about the skill. Provided it should be used in the right way. For example if the skill is something the character did not put to practice, flashback may help.

We can surely keep this thread going :slight_smile:

1 Like

My current ongoing is The Last Agosti.

Note: I’m pretty bad in doing analysis :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:


I am very new to this place. Having a hard time.


Sorry for being late​:sweat_smile:Guys I really don’t feel I belong here! U seem like proper professionals!! No wonder your stories come out so damn well! Well I’m just a little girl playing with my.brains and words…I really have no proper method for writing a book. But the usual routine I follow is that when I get an idea, I just jot it down and make a jist of the story before writing the chapters . I know that the conversations have proceeded too far… but…better late than never. :slight_smile:


Using flashbacks is a good idea. I have only written flashbacks to show emotional scenes.
Now I will try to utilize this option for the purpose you mentioned. Thank you for the suggestion.


This is my first time in a thread too. Do you remember you provided guidance when I sought your help for IF? I think this is similar to IF. The UI is slightly different but I guess we have almost all options we have over there.

Is there any ongoing story of yours you would like to present for analysis?


Hello. Welcome to the group. We were just having the discussion to break the ice. I understand each writer has a unique way of building a story. Yours is more genuine approach than mine. Because you concentrate more on concept than worrying about other aspects. I like it. A story written like this wins hearts. All the best.

If you have any ongoing story you would like to present for analysis, please do mention it.


Flashback can be used for many other events too like introducing a character just before the character makes entry or to justify upcoming events that we might have missed earlier :smile:

Flashbacks most of the time works if it’s used properly for any events​:smile::smile::smile:

However it depends on how the characters were moulded during introduction.


Book to be discussed has to be our own? Or anyone’s?


If we have enough time and if the other writers consent to it, then we can discuss other books.

So, if everything’s set then let’s select a book for this week. As @DevaDDK suggested The Last Agosti and her name comes first in alphabetical order, how about we start with that? I mean if it is okay for everyone.

There are a few simple rules like,

  1. We will post only normal comments in comment section of the book and discuss what we disliked only here. In a ‘subtle and polite’ manner.
  2. While reviewing, we do not consider grammatical errors and typos.
  3. Any suggestions we provide which the writer might dislike, will be disregarded.
  4. If we find a loophole or plot hole in the story, we will notify it to the writer immediately.

These are the general rules book clubs follow. Anything you all wish to add?

P.S. We are free to provide any random writing related tips in this thread. Knowledge sharing might improve our skills.


Now I feel as if I’m going for an exam :sweat_smile:
I’m mentally preparing myself for whatever is to come :rofl::rofl:

What does ‘loophole in the story’ means?