While searching through questions for possible missing tags I noticed that we have five very similar tags.

  • : 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.
  • : This tag should be used for questions about the story in fictional writing.
  • : This tag should be used for questions relating to the sequence of events of a novel, also known as its plot, though the timeline could change if your writing involves timetravel. Contrast this with the tag [branching-narrative], which should be used for questions that deal with multiple possible storylines that depend on the choices of the person interacting with your work. This could be a turning the page, a quest-item in the characters inventory,...
  • : A narrative is an account of events. This tag should be used for anything related to story-telling, including elements and principles or structure.
  • : This tag should be used for questions about styles and techniques for showing your story to your reader.

Plot is the most used tags and to me makes the most sense. Story's tag wiki is a self-referencing definition 'use this tag for questions about this tag' and storyline litterally says "also known as its plot".

What should we do with these tags?

  • I don't have the brainpower to really go through it all today (19 people coming over for Passover tonight and I need to will myself to go wash 6 bunches of greens and move tables) but I completely support a reorg of these tags and will be glad to help out with retagging once it all goes through, if needed.
    – Cyn
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 16:00
  • I will say though that plot and narrative are different. Plot is the story, the events that unfold. Narrative is how you tell that story.
    – Cyn
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 16:01
  • @Cyn I'm on the same page as you. Plot and Narrative are different, the others should be synonyms of one or the other.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 1:34
  • So where are we going with this? Any changes?
    – Cyn
    Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 2:22
  • @Cyn I think we should go ahead with the suggestions in my answer. But so far only the three of us have weighed in on this so I don't know if that is a consensus.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 2:47
  • So...keep plot and narrative as is. Storyline becomes a synonym of plot. Story gets deep sixed and retagged. Then there's storytelling which I'm not sure of. It's not really the same as plot or narrative but could be either...probably get rid of then retag.
    – Cyn
    Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 3:11
  • @Cyn Storytelling should be the same as Narrative, it requires a slightly expanded definition of narrative but they are getting at the same idea. Plot/Storyline is the story you tell, narrative/storytelling is how you tell it.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 3:12
  • 1
    @MonicaCellio We can wait a week. I was super busy for night one but am back to normal now (the advantages of eating gluten-free year round). Another week is nothing.
    – Cyn
    Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 5:57
  • 1
    @cyn changing 'narrative' to 'narration' might highlight the difference to 'plot' Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 12:51
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    @cyn perhaps changing 'storytelling' to 'storytelling craft' or 'storytelling mechanics' can help to clarify Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 12:52
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    @Cyn Storytelling is now a synonym of narrative. Their tag wikis were almost identical as were their questions.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 1:21
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    @MonicaCellio Thank you. I agree. I just wanted a mod to say it.
    – Cyn
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 3:03
  • 1
    @Cyn That's a fair reason. Thanks Monica for approving.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 3:04
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    @MonicaCellio and linkassin there were 2 story tags on the front page. The one I retagged earlier and a new one. I've removed it from both.
    – Cyn
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 3:08
  • 1
    If a tag has zero questions it goes poof after a few hours.
    – Cyn
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 3:11

2 Answers 2


There should be two tags

Reading through the questions more and trying to understand how these tags came to be I came to some conclusions about the tags.

Plot is for facts

The tag is for questions that deal with the facts and events of a work. Ordering of narrative elements, outlines and structure of fictional works.

Narrative is for feel

The tag has a lot of overlap with plot, likely plenty of mis-tagged questions. However the question on this tag often have more to do with the feel of a work rather than the factual events that occur. The tag-wiki needs updating to reflect its use however.

Storyline should be a synonym of plot

has a huge amount of overlap with plot. It's tag wiki mentions it as being the same. We should make it a synonym. Possibly some storyline tagged questions would be better tagged as but I think there a few enough of these that replacing storyline with plot won't cause an issue.

Story should not exist

The tag's wiki is mostly a synonym of but the tag name itself have more in common with storyline and plot. I think we should burninate and re-tag all questions that use it.

Storytelling should be a synonym of narrative

The tag wiki for suggests that it should only be used in conjuction with other tags. That makes it a poor tag in general. The small amount that it does add would also be provided by a better definition of narrative or plot. We should make it a synonym for narrative.


  • Update wiki for . Use storyline's tag as a inspiration to better describe its use. This is for the structure and ordering of events.
  • Update wiki for . Expand the definition to include the current usage of story and storytelling. This is for the feel of the story and how it is told.
  • Make a synonym of
  • Re-tag questions from as either or and remove the tag.
  • Make a synonym of
  • 1
    And let's not rely only on wikis for disambiguation -- call them plot-events and narrative-feel, or something like that. Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 14:17
  • @MonicaCellio I'm not sure about that. I think plot and narrative are fairly distinct tags. It's only the other ones that muddy the water. plot-events doesn't sound like the same tag as plot.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 1:33

Based on those wikis (I haven't reviewed the questions themselves), those all sound like synonyms. If is the main tag and is a synonym, I don't think we also need as a synonym -- if you type "story" it'll complete to "storyline". (And if we're ever allowed to graduate and get raised privilege levels, it'll be harder to accidentally create "subset" tags like "story".)

If these are not synonyms, we need clearer tag wikis.

  • That was my thought as well. Particularly the plot and storyline wikis.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 5:43
  • I found two more tags with overlap. narrative and storytelling and added them to the question.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 6:12
  • Shall we move forward? See comments on question.
    – Cyn
    Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 3:17

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