Writing What story structure to use to plan a Sice-Of-Life with no drama(tag)?

Chillfire02

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I want to commit and a write a full slice of life story, even if a short one. Similar to all those with a Japanese high school theme.
But I can't keep going past a few chapters because I don't know how to structure it in the planning phase. There are no demon lords to beat, worlds to save or even long dense romance because I'm not aiming for a drama. HELP please.
 

Temple

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The answer is already in your comment. You need a goal. Obviously, you don't have demon lords to beat, so make a chill slice of life goal. Can be something simple like managing a cafe well and learning things along. In fact, many slice of life are about managing stores. Just goes to show you need a goal for your characters, just a chil, one since it is slice of life.
 

Jailbreak571

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A normal high school life. For example: how hard to answer the exams, friends who always somehow get into fights, how pricy the cafeteria launch is, forgetting to bring your pen in the middle of the exams, etc.
 

LostLibrarian

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Stories are about change. So something in the life of your MC has to change. There is no need for big drama or problems, but change is what drives a problem.

That change can be the MC moving to a new town and learning about its history and making new friends. The MC learning an instrument or joining a club just for fun. A group of friends where the dynamic changes as they grow up. Whatever.


In most stories, your arc has an inciting incident, followed by a question/problem. But the first solution fails while complications raise the stakes for the MC. At some point, you have an "everything is lost"-moment at which the MC uses the knowledge he learned before to finally arrive at the correct solution.
For SoL-stories, the middle part is often taken out and stakes are dialed to a minimum. It'll be "I can't go to the party" or "I won't have ice" instead of "Everyone will die" or "The love of my life will forever be out of my reach". So you cut out the progressive complications and the "everything is lost"-moment and just go with a more simple "problem with low stakes" - "tries a solution" - (maybe one failed attempt before it works) - "it works".
Depending on the story, those challenges can be as low as "I want to talk to X" or "I need to apologize".


But if you look at a lot of the really successful SoL-stories, you'll still find an overarching story with smaller arcs that build it up. You'll still have challenges or problems. Those will give your story both structure and a better flow. It's just that their topic is rather trivial...
 

Hans.Trondheim

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I think for that, you should use:

POV: 3rd Person
Tone: Comedy
Language: Informal, like the narrator is just telling a story to a close friend.
Chapter Transitions: Episodic, and problem is solved at the end of the chapter.
Themes: Make mundane activities absurdly challenging, like passing an exam against a draconic teacher.
 

K5Rakitan

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A normal high school life. For example: how hard to answer the exams, friends who always somehow get into fights, how pricy the cafeteria launch is, forgetting to bring your pen in the middle of the exams, etc.
Many such stories are about a character who desires to be normal but isn't for one reason or another. Along the way, they discover that trying to be normal all the time isn't nearly as fun as being true to themselves.
 

Hans.Trondheim

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Then waking up with several cult-like people surrounding you then declaring you just got summoned.

Oops, wrong genre.
 

TheEldritchGod

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So, you want a story without any conflict and wonder why it is boring?
O.o
 

Erys

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Have your protagonist worry about homework, school assignments, exams and bad grades.
 

ConansWitchBaby

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It's all about the characters personality and interactions with one another and making the mundane exciting.
 

udin-san

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I do have a few suggestions. But your question is too vague, so I'm not sure if my answer would be the one you want. You also don't seem to reply to any of the suggestions above so I'm not sure if they've already answered your question or not. Can you be more specific?
At least can you answer these questions like:
- Where are you at right now? Are you still ideating, at least have a setting in mind, or already writing?
- What kind of story do you want to write? Not just the genre. Can you at least write a premise?
- Do you have an inspiration I could refer to? A WN, a manga or maybe an anime that inspire you to write a slice of life story.
 

SakeVision

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Episodic, obviously.


Find a bunch of themes you want to explore (fishing, bullying, money troubles, video games, part-time job, full-time job, hiking, exams etc.) and dedicate each part to it.
 
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