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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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Words that end with 's" [migrated]

Dubai Customs is a government department in Dubai. when we want to mention its employees, for example, what should we say: Dubai Customs' employees or Dubai Customs employees Thank you
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1answer
31 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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7answers
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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
302 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
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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
84 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
37 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
73 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
67 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 ...
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2answers
68 views

Are friendly writing contests a useful exercise?

Yes, I know that - in theory - any exercise is a good exercise. Context: Lately I've been running a writing group were multiple creative-writing/reading enthusiasts meet. As a group activity, we've ...
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3answers
70 views

When is using a simile better than giving a literal description?

Definition of simile : a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses) Similes are nice tools that every narrator has (even if I'...
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7answers
3k views

How can I write humor as character trait?

I have a character that likes to make humor, puns and jokes. Humor should work here as a character trait; something really peculiar to this particular char. He says a lot of puns because he find ...
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7answers
2k views

Does the reader need to like the PoV character?

I have the feeling this is already been asked, but I can't seem to find it. Close the question if it comes out as duplicate. There's an issue with novels with a first-person narrator, or a third ...
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3answers
89 views

Writing a Novel based on a Self-help Guide Book

I just want to be clear on this before I do any sort of writing with regards to the subject. So I have an idea for a novel that shows a person trying to obtain his objectives using the lessons and ...
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8answers
3k views

What should be the ideal length of sentences in a blog post for ease of reading?

I have heard many times that you should always keep the sentence length to the minimum as possible, as it makes reading easy, fast and more important understandable to readers. I'm wondering: What ...
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7answers
2k views

Should I use acronyms in dialogues before telling the readers what it stands for in fiction?

There are occasions where you basically just start a chapter with a short descriptive passage and go straight to dialogues, so in those situations I am not sure how to deal with acronyms in dialogues. ...
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2answers
58 views

Using elision in poetry

I am seriously wondering what the limits are concerning the use of elision. It seems from the definition that elision is the omission of one vowel, consonant or syllable: In linguistics, an elision ...
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11answers
2k views

Describing a chess game in a novel

I have a scene in a upcoming novel where two people play a game of chess, and I realized how difficult it was to describe it. The problem is due to the fact that there are many pieces and you can't ...
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1answer
41 views

How do we distinguish someone talking to another person via telepathy rather than via vocal means? [duplicate]

In my sci-fi novel, some people have the ability to talk via telepathy so how do we distinguish telepathy from other types of communication? I would like to do it, because it's not the same, and I ...
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2answers
51 views

How to make writing humorous? [closed]

I think my writing tends to be too serious/intense or whatever, so I'm wondering how writers create humorous writing. I'm interested in writing some humorous short stories in particular. What ...
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3answers
99 views

Combining an idiom with a metonymy

I am not sure if this is possible. I would like to use a metonymy with an idiom, and it doesn't seem to be something people ever did, so it feels wrong. I have the following sentence: He was in ...
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2answers
40 views

Using a possessive pronoun before using its antecedent in a poem

I was seriously wondering if it's a problem to use the antecedent, which is "Mr Spooner", after the possessive pronoun "his". Also, I am wondering if we can use "his" without ever using an antecedent. ...
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4answers
882 views

What should tie a collection of short-stories together?

Short-stories are a nice format to write. If you have been an aspiring writer for at least one year, it's quite probabile that you've got at least three short stories drafted out, sitting in some ...
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12answers
8k views

Is it true that good novels will automatically sell themselves on Amazon (and so on) and there is no need for one to waste time promoting?

This is what Dean Wesley Smith teaches in his articles and workshop videos. He says that all you have to do is just write and publish your books on kdp (Kindle Direct Publishing, the self-publishing ...
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1answer
86 views

Using spoonerism for a non-humoristic purpose

I found this interesting figure of speech called spoonerism. Here's the article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoonerism Now, I have been wondering if spoonerism can be used in a non-humoristic ...
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3answers
105 views

Picking a good story goal for a morally neutral character

A blogger with the name of Glen C. Strathy said the following: The first and most important element of any plot is the Story Goal or Problem. This is the organizing idea around which the entire ...
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1answer
38 views

Translating a rendering in Greek of a word/term/name in a different language into English

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozymandias So I was reading this article on Percy Bysshe Shelley's Ozymandias, wondering how the author came up with the name. It basically says that "Ozymandias" is a ...
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4answers
3k views

Rules about breaking the rules. How do I do it well?

There are rules to writing and we often talk about them here. But sometimes a good writer will break the rules. And to be honest some of my favorite pieces of writing are from when this is done well. ...
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1answer
84 views

How do we properly show that a person is talking at the same time as something or someone else? [duplicate]

I am not sure how to best handle this, do we skip over a part of the dialogue? When a person is cut, he can resume, but it's not the same thing for a TV. Anyway, here's an example: The TV blurted ...
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4answers
105 views

Is it a bad idea to use footnotes to describe new technologies in a science-fiction novel?

I am wondering if we can use footnotes to describe technologies used in a science-fiction novel instead of describing it by switching from an omniscient POV, that describes everything in a poetic way, ...
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15answers
6k views

Is a lawful good “antagonist” effective?

In my post-apocalyptic novel, my protagonist is not necessarily "good", and although the antagonist is an honest and kind person, my protagonist perceives her as "evil". My antagonist is the leader ...
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2answers
50 views

How do we distinguish plagiarism from homage in literature?

In film-making, some people consider a copy of an action scene scene-by-scene to be a homage. Is it any different in literature; how do you distinguish the two of them? If, for example, we take the ...
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1answer
86 views

How to describe my character using they/them so the reader doesn't know their gender until their pronouns show up later?

I'm experimenting with writing nonbinary or generally gender-ambiguous characters in my writing. The most recent example of this is in an urban fantasy story I'm currently working on in my spare time, ...
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3answers
149 views

How do I make a “contract” with my reader? [closed]

(EDITED TO MAKE IT LESS BROAD AND MORE CLEAR). I recently asked a question about if I really need to include scientific proof for my mostly-non-scientific post-apocalyptic novel, and the best answer ...
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9answers
8k views

My story is written in English, but is set in my home country. What language should I use for the dialogue?

I'm an amateur writer from the Philippines. I am writing a novelette for an international writing contest. My story is written in English, but is set here, in my country, with my POV character being ...
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3answers
127 views

Are major mystery subplot(s) in a fantasy story distracting or do they make a story more appealing?

Is it too distracting to include a major mystery subplot(s) in a fantasy story? I mean a complete subplot or subplots that the character solves. Perhaps the examples below do not qualify as mystery ...
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3answers
111 views

Short story vs. Novella [duplicate]

I'm writing a short story in the same universe as my post-apocalyptic novel, about the novel's antagonist. I'm planning on turning in this piece to my teacher as a part of my AP Lang portfolio. I'm ...
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14answers
8k views

Do I really need to have a scientific explanation for my premise?

So, in my post-apocalyptic novel, the world was caught up in an international war (basically WWIII), and all the world's nuclear superpowers launched their warheads and killed much of the global ...
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2answers
71 views

Should the length of the different parts of a novel be distributed equally?

Let's say that a novel consists of three parts: introduction, climax and conclusion. Is it ok if the conclusion is much shorter than the climax. For example, can the introduction be 20% of the novel, ...
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3answers
128 views

When should we redefine a term that's used in a different way in the book we're writing?

Let's say I am writing a fantasy book where magic users doesn't use something called "magic", but use something called "Hermetic". Where in the book should we redefine (give a new definition to the ...
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6answers
1k views

How do we create new idioms and use them in a novel?

I am not sure if people would agree, but I think because there were some authors who coined terms and idioms, anyone could create their own idioms. The questions is if there's a guideline, and if ...
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4answers
106 views

'Ellipsis' - what do they convey and how to use them aptly in a Novel?

In the writing practises guides, it is usually mentioned that use of ellipsis is a bad practice. But I have come across certain usages in professional writing. To give an example; In the novel Eat ...
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2answers
83 views

As a new author, is it possible to sell a book to a publisher within one or two weeks after you've finished writing it?

I know it normally takes several months to get an agent and then a contract. But are there any shortcuts, any particular companies that one can submit to directly and get a much faster evaluation? Or ...
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5answers
148 views

Should we avoid having a protagonist of a different ethnicity than ours if we don't know anything about their culture?

Let's say I am thinking about making an Indian protagonist who lives in India when I've never lived there, don't know anyone who is Indian and don't know anything about Indian culture. Should I even ...
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3answers
115 views

How to cue in our readers that we are using an uncommon symbolism?

We all know some common symbolism: For instance, red stands for anger, blood, and violence. The cross stands for martyrdom and sacrifice. Common symbols are easy to notice, but what if you decided to ...
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1answer
64 views

How do I write for the majority, without alienating my minority?

This is something of a companion question to How does one write from a minority culture? A question on cultural references I have recently had a somewhat unpleasant experience reading Naomi Novik's ...
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1answer
45 views

Do we need to make consistent use of archaic English in our poem/novel?

If you use an old expression like "by a many", do you need to make it consistent and use old expressions throughout the poem, or is it ok to just use it in one verse or sentence? “The spring is ...
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6answers
2k views

Naming Characters after Friends/Family

I drafted a book two years ago that I'm now polishing to publish. When I drafted it, for speed's sake, I named one of my primary characters after an old school friend who I'm still in contact with on ...
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6answers
201 views

Including disabled characters without “inspiration porn”

We all have seen the headlines: "Touching Moment Where Autistic Boy is Asked to Prom", "Watch This Child With Downs Win Her Heat During a Swim Competition", etc., that are touching at first glance, ...
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7answers
5k views

How do we objectively assess if a dialogue sounds unnatural or cringy?

By unnatural, I don't mean ungrammatical, but something people wouldn't really say. For example, in many fictions, you find yourself in very weird situations and it's hard to know how a person would ...