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Questions tagged [creative-writing]

"Creative writing" is a vague term, but generally means fiction, or writing that's not non-fiction, technical, or business writing. This tag should be used when asking questions that apply to multiple categories of creative writing, such as when asking questions that could apply to fiction or poetry alike.

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How to deceive the MC

My protagonist is finally meeting with the big boss of a mafia. At least, he thinks he is. The boss actually sends someone to pretend to be him. I'm writing from the protagonist's (limited) POV. If I ...
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3answers
334 views

How do you earn the reader's trust?

Recently, I have stumbled upon a problem. After releasing an issue, I think that I failed to earn the trust of my readers. My analysis is that they did not have enough faith in me to make the "right ...
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1answer
63 views

How do we properly manage transitions within a descriptive section?

I wrote the following: She invited him to look out the window, which he did. He looked out of the gray window and saw a field of green vegetables under a lush blue sky. Children were playing in ...
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0answers
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Looking for a review about my writing style and content quality [on hold]

I'm not sure whether this is a correct forum to do this as I'm new here, so please let me know in that case. I've started blogging about freelance programming lately and these are some of my latest ...
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9answers
5k views

How do you cope with rejection?

I know that Bradbury was rejected about 800 times. I know the famous JK Rowling story. Yet the question is lurking in my mind, becoming stronger and clearer with each rejection: what if? What if I am ...
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3answers
162 views

How do I write gray vs grey stories?

I've been kind of interested in writing a grey vs gray story. For those who don't know grey vs gray is two or more sides of conflict that aren't full on good or full on evil. I'm writing a webcomic ...
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11answers
6k views

How can I answer high-school writing prompts without sounding weird and fake?

Being given a prompt makes me freeze up immediately. Let me clarify. I'm talking about high school writing prompts. You know. Those. The ones that ask you to write an essay about what you would ...
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2answers
4k views

Is it bad writing or bad story telling if first person narrative contains more information than the narrator knows?

Here are a few examples of the narrator knowing more than he should. (A) In a humourous short story about Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, Bertie is talking about a situation involving two strangers and ...
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13answers
7k views

Are wands in any sort of book going to be too much like Harry Potter?

I am trying to write a magical system, and I love the way that wands are like gunfire and how you flick and attack and it's instant. No weird hand movements or long unwieldy staffs or canes to use. ...
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6answers
1k views

Picking a theme as a discovery writer

When I write I often don't have any great meaningful moral to share. I don't have a message that I want to convey to the reader. I often don't write about the nature of the battle between good and ...
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3answers
579 views

Outlining A Novel - How do you make it less of a slog?

I've seen this question asked before but many years ago and no doubt much has changed in terms of software. I find that a book comes together much faster and with a more coherent structure if I ...
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6answers
3k views

I have a unique character that I'm having a problem writing. He's a virus!

Yes, you read that correctly. My villain character is literally a virus. He thinks and behaves just like any other character does, mentally and personality-wise, but his body is best described as a ...
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4answers
427 views

Is there something “wrong” with my writing? How do I improve it? [closed]

So I usually use stackexchange as a last resort, but I'm completely stumped. If this question is inappropriate here, I will gladly delete it. None of my teachers say that anything is wrong with my ...
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2answers
182 views

How can I push a protagonist to a moral event horizon without making them a sympathetic Sue?

We human beings have no control over our destiny, and it is arrogant and foolish to think as such. Our fates are decided by a group of dark gods who control the strings of time. It is they who design ...
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4answers
2k views

What matters more when it comes to book covers? Is it ‘professional quality’ or relevancy?

This is a sort of follow up to my previous question. It is generally understood that covers matter a great deal in terms of getting people to click on a fiction eBook and check out its blurb and ...
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6answers
226 views

How can I effectively research for a high-fantasy setting?

When you write in a modern day setting, you research the culture, climate, location and history of that setting. You can do the same for historical fiction or low-fantasy settings based on real places....
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3answers
224 views

Is it true that a great cover is enough to sell many copies of your book

I've come across podcasts and internet articles about self-publishing in which they basically say that books with fantastic covers and interesting blurbs tend to sell lots of copies even if the actual ...
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1answer
36 views

How to add individual citations or copyrights to an eBook?

I'm compiling my first book. In this book I have translated several legends, fairytales and stories of my country (El Salvador). Most of them are loosely based on different books, blogs, newspapers, ...
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17answers
8k views

How to creep the reader out with what seems like a normal person?

The person in question, though this is yet unknown, is not actually a person. Instead, they are some form of eldritch being of which we cannot comprehend. Though, they seem for all appearances and ...
3
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1answer
150 views

As an author, how can you ensure that your agent/publisher isn’t ripping you off by pocketing your money and giving you false info about sales?

Agents typically demand that authors sign over complete control of their royalties to them so that their money comes from the agent rather than from the publisher directly. I know a certain author ...
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4answers
111 views

How to write Arabic in dialogue for an English piece?

I have a character who is a Syrian refugee to Canada. His first language is Arabic, but he's lived in Canada long enough that he's learned English and uses this as his primary spoken language. On ...
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2answers
153 views

How can I emphasize the horror of a ritual without getting too overly graphic?

A person is born with a certain amount of mana, which increases with age and peaks at a certain point. Individuals are born with all the mana they will ever have, but it can be refined with practice ...
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3answers
105 views

How to transition from poetry to song-writing?

I've written poetry since I was nine, and I would say I'm pretty good at it. I also really like music, and I can create simple melodies that I hum to myself. But whenever I try to write a song, my ...
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1answer
36 views

How do I record information when planning to write a recap of events?

For my pathfinder game I write session updates after each session. I have previously asked about How to write exciting updates? This question is about the planning phase for writing these updates. ...
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3answers
180 views

How do I create a fictional cast of villains that remain memorable?

Recently, I've begun on my journey to create the skeleton of a book I plan on writing; The 888. Anime has been a large inspiration in the way I consider composing my characters along with their ...
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8answers
2k views

How is simplicity better than precision and clarity in prose?

Many recommend the Hemingway app, which pushes simplicity and the lowest possible reading level. Where I live, an illiterate person is defined as any person who reads below a grade nine level. The ...
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4answers
213 views

How to create place names that feel like they belong to a culture?

As somewhat of a follow-up to my previous question: How to create a consistent feel for character names in a fantasy setting? Once I have named the characters in a given setting, how do I create ...
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2answers
155 views

How can I design a “rational” religion that eliminates faith as a requirement? [closed]

Faith is defined as a belief in God based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. Religion and science can be seen to oppose one another due to conflicts between people of those practices. In my ...
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3answers
118 views

Critique strategies to help improve someone's writing

How can I smooth the transitions in this text? I feel like the POVs are changed quite a lot which makes it fairly confusing for readers to understand. To elucidate your points, please feel free to ...
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10answers
3k views

The difference between dialogue marks

Most authors use dialogue in writing, especially when writing fiction. Now, if I remember my first grade primary school correctly, dialogue can be directly separated from narration in a number of ways....
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7answers
4k views

How do I create uniquely male characters?

In How to write strong female characters, Standback says that the best way to write a strong female character is to make her uniquely female, the type of character that can not possibly be male and ...
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4answers
164 views

How to write about trauma I never experienced

So, in a story, I have a girl who has been ritually abused and raped by her father for being born, as he wanted sons to continue his bloodline. Thing is, this sort of thing has never happened to me. ...
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4answers
143 views

Creating simple jokes

Sometimes in the process of writing dialogue, I wish to insert a joke in the exchange. I could copy an existing joke, or I could come up with one. The latter option seems preferable if I could tie the ...
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2answers
96 views

How can I make an eldritch abomination out of humanity? [closed]

The fanfic I'm writing is so that I may get into the swing of literature. A test story if you might like in the Mass Effect Universe. Please prepare for a long text because there's a lot of trivia ...
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4answers
87 views

How can I incorporate poetry techniques to improve my prose?

My first question on the site was How do I stop using 'the' to start sentences so much? , One of the answers said: I would suggest reading more English poetry to pick up some techniques. I ...
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13answers
15k views

Avoiding the “not like other girls” trope?

The "not like other girls" trope is pretty common in young adult fiction, arguably misogynistic, and usually applied to a female protagonist or love interest. Attempts to make a female character ...
4
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2answers
140 views

Can a third-person narrator ask questions instead of the characters?

In novels, when the PoV follows a particular character, is pretty common that we get to hear his/her thoughts. Sometimes, those thoughts take the form of questions that the character ask himself: ...
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2answers
93 views

Ellipses in the middle of a paragraph?

Words words words. ...Words words words words. Would having an ellipses right after a period like this be correct? If not, how would I incorporate them in? Would it be more like this?: Words words ...
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6answers
174 views

Changing the meaning of well-established symbols

Can we change the meaning of a well established symbol and use the newly defined symbol in our writing? If so how do we go about doing so? It am not talking about using a symbol in the context of its ...
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6answers
2k views

What makes a siege story/plot interesting?

I will have to write a story arc where the main characters will be trapped in a town during a siege. What are the key points I should address / display to make the siege interesting for readers? They ...
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10answers
4k views

Is a stroke of luck acceptable after a series of unfavorable events?

The protagonist sets out on a journey to reach a goal. But the further he gets into the story, the clearer he understands that the odds aren't in his favor. He experiences loss, frustration, anger, ...
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3answers
85 views

Book/Novel About aliens fearing humans - perspective delivery

I read a very interesting novel or book about aliens accidentally discovering humans and finding out how dangerous they are, where the galaxy got scared of humans and their potential to wipe out all ...
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1answer
54 views

Writing based on the context or theme

I'm totally new to this field as well as this site and going to learn on my own and need a direction for this specific area I want to learn. I want to understand what I need to learn and which ...
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9answers
2k views

Stereotypical names

In every country, some names are particularly common: 'John' in the UK, 'Juan' in Spain, 'Ivan' in Russia. Those names are common almost to the point of being stereotypical (consider 'John Doe'). If ...
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7answers
402 views

I'm trying to figure out whether to discovery write or outline. How do I choose which is right for me?

I've been struggling for a long time to tell a story. In any medium really. I've read a lot of writing tutorials and read lots of writing sites. I've also read a lot of books on writing. However in ...
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2answers
100 views

Characterizing a sentient robot: inhuman PoV

Following the previous question: Characterizing a sentient robot: sensory data I'm writing a robot character with a particular PoV. In the previous question I wanted to talk about sensory data; here ...
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4answers
102 views

Characterizing a sentient robot: sensory data

I have a sentient robot in my novel. Truth to be told, I have many. Sentience is somewhat cheap to achieve, meaning that there are multiple artificial beings that can be considered sentient by our ...
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1answer
47 views

The three acts and their relative length

Let's take for granted that the 3 acts structure is relevant and exists. This, of course, is an assumption. How the three acts relate with the length of the novel? In a standard book - let's say 50k ...
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3answers
88 views

Introducing a character in the third act?

I'm well into the third act of my novel and I'm introducing a new character that will play a part in the ending and an even bigger part in the roughly sketched sequel I have in mind. Now, I'm pretty ...
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5answers
82 views

Does success imply validation and agreement?

When I write I always want to deliver a message. Not matter what I'm writing I ultimately have something important (to me,) to say. For that reason I try to be very careful about how I deliver certain ...