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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
7
votes
13answers
19k views

How long can a prologue be, and what should you not do?

A while back I wrote a prologue about the beginning of time and space and all that. One thing I noticed later is that between the prologue and the story itself, the prologue ate out the chapters not ...
5
votes
5answers
6k views

How to avoid using “he/she/it” repetitively in action

Please do not make this a duplicate, I know there's a couple of questions like this, but they are not quite like my question, and their answers don't answer my question to the fullest, hence me asking ...
4
votes
6answers
483 views

How do I keep up with current written English language?

I am a speaker of English as a foreign language. I appreciate that English is a living language and that different regions in the world use English differently. I wanted to know how I can keep up with ...
3
votes
5answers
245 views

What is an easy way to create a detailed character profile for a short story?

What is an easy way to create a detailed character profile for a short story? I'm new to this Stack Exchange, and need help creating an organized character profile, with the information I have on my ...
2
votes
7answers
1k views

How to make good anti-heroes?

Dr.House, the God-Emperor of Mankind, Han Solo, and so on, and so forth. Something is appealing about anti-heroes, for instance: Superman is bland, perfect and ultimately a bruh superhero, whose ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Weaving VERY IMPORTANT OPINIONS into a story without murdering it

In Bad Webcomics Wiki, a place for reviews of bad webcomics, there's a common phrase: the "VERY IMPORTANT OPINIONS". The novelists who endeavor to enforce what they are pleased to call "moral ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Introducing the hero first?

In the book I'm writing, the first character I introduce dies before the end of the chapter. She is the girlfriend of my hero and is setting up their date before her untimely end. The hero is also ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the basic elements of a crime investigation story?

I've been delving a lot into the the crime investigation genre, and at first I thought "Simple, just start of with Who, What, Where, When, Why and How and you've got yourself a story!" but I quickly ...
8
votes
4answers
824 views

Are words like 'cunt' too provocative for use in the current fiction market?

Let's face it, I like edgy writing that borders on inflammatory. I read less for entertainment than I do for expanding my world view. I don't have to agree with the points or even like the style of ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I use ellipses or em dashes to denote pauses in speech?

I flipped open its latch and peered inside. A—gold tooth? I flipped open its latch and peered inside. A ... gold tooth? Was it an elephant? No, elephants didn't frequent beaches. It ...
4
votes
1answer
487 views

Dealing with lackluster plot failure

So, I wrote the beginning of something about novel-sized. I drafted totally sweet, lovable protagonists in an interesting, original relationship, I placed them in a solid world, I painted the ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

What sites can I use to crowdsource my writing project?

I have a writing project I'd like to crowdsource. I imagine opening the project definition to an open call, and awarding the work to the most creative writer / thinker based on a sample of their work ...
3
votes
2answers
586 views

How to determine whether or not a plot twist is needed?

I should start by saying that this question is not this question, How to decide if a plot twist worth doing despite how similar they sound. And, the answer I'm looking for was not at this question ...
3
votes
1answer
773 views

When to keep the passive voice and when to remove it

This is something I wrote: The person was standing in the middle of the clearing, facing away from me. It was a girl. She was wearing a red knit hat, a white sweater, an a gray plaid skirt that ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

Should I make my prologue chapter 1?

My prologue is set 17 years before the main story arc. I am reflecting on the discussion here, which was asked by another SE contributor. I'm trying to decide what to do with my prologue. Building a ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Swearing - Censor, allude, or include?

I was reading this thread, but it didn't quite the answer a question I had about creative writing and whether profanity should be used or not, in a way that is best for creative storytelling. Here's ...
7
votes
3answers
287 views

Likeable characters with deplorable professions?

I'm planning out an idea for a short story. In the story, slavery didn't abruptly end but instead continued to modern day and beyond. The structure of the story will be similar to The Last Question by ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Does a story necessarily need a theme?

I'm writing a short story From what I understand, the theme is the message that I want to send across. Akin to Beauty and the Beast's "Don't judge a book by it's cover" theme, or "Opposites attract." ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Punctuating dialogue with oneself

I am wondering what the convention is for punctuating dialogue with oneself. In particular, if a character speaks to himself, do the words need to be put in open and closed quotes? Note that the ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Multiple characters without names: how to address

First off, the answer might be pretty much obvious (that there is no clear way to distinguish these characters) but I would still very much like to have perspectives (and perhaps even get an answer). ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Secondary Dialogue

When writing a novel how would one best represent background dialogue from a radio or television that is perhaps only half heard by the characters but still important for the reader? Should I have the ...
1
vote
3answers
429 views

At what age can I publish a book? [duplicate]

I am writing a novel called "Kimberly Rose," but the thing is, I'm 12. I'm not sure if there is an age cap when it comes to publishing books. Please tell me if you know.
0
votes
2answers
129 views

Do light conditions affect writing? [closed]

I've started to notice that I do a lot more writing at night, with my lights off. When I write with a light on, I get a slight migraine, and I'm not sure why. So do different lighting conditions ...
-1
votes
6answers
355 views

How do you handle it when a controversial philosophy is an essential part of your story?

What do I mean? Well, teleporters: "Every room resets. Remember I told you that? Every room reverts to its original condition. Logically, the teleporter should do the same. Teleporter. Fancy ...
60
votes
9answers
16k views

How to write a story without conflict, like “My Neighbour Totoro”?

We are used to stories being about conflict. There can be an antagonist, or a hostile environment, or even an internal problem (like depression), but conflict is there. The story arc involves dealing ...
54
votes
10answers
13k views

Traits of Bad Writers - Analysing Popular Authors

I realise that this question can fall in the scope of personal opinion but I am looking for something concrete. Very often, not only on this site but other writing related sites, I find people ...
36
votes
8answers
7k views

How do I stop using 'the' to start sentences so much?

Something that always bothers me in my writing is how often I start sentences with the word "the". A terrible nonsensical example: The dog ran through the rain-swept streets, chasing a ball he ...
36
votes
13answers
9k views

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

Background: I'm developing names for places/characters/races/etc. in my world. One example are a particular political sect. The sect are a group within a different species that are named (the species ...
49
votes
12answers
17k views

'The Chosen One' paradox

In many books novels or other forms of fictional writing, the reader is introduced to a so called 'chosen one'. This character or being is of higher power or in general, of different nature than other ...
16
votes
17answers
2k views

What should step one in writing a novel be?

I have had an interest in writing for years, but I don't know where to start or how to organize the process of "becoming a writer." I have plenty of time, but don't know what to do first. This past ...
16
votes
7answers
6k views

What is considered “childish” in fictional writing?

There are some people who have read some of my book so far and they think it is childish and then some say it's somewhat morbid. What are your views on what each of those terms means?
11
votes
8answers
1k views

How to develop a story for a novel?

I am looking for some inspiration on where to start writing a novel. I have a general idea for a plot and characters, but I don't feel it's enough for sitting down and starting to write. It needs a ...
40
votes
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 ...
20
votes
11answers
5k views

Do readers not like a book if it's too dark and the characters almost never win?

I started a book and although I wanted it to be dark, will the readers find it too dark if the characters almost never win? Or are a lot of readers into that? In my book the two main characters' whole ...
18
votes
8answers
2k views

How to introduce alien flora/fauna without turning the fiction into a biology book?

Got advised on Worldbuilding’s Sandbox to post here, so here I am. I don’t even know if the word “alien” applies here because to the eyes of the characters, those animals and plants won’t be alien at ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

What software/techniques do people use to gather ideas?

I'm planning to create a game. It won't be the first game I've created (or even released), but it will be my first game with any story to speak of. I'm still very much in the planning phase of the ...
8
votes
4answers
938 views

Non-cheap ways to make villains evil?

Do you have any tried and true techniques to make villains of your stories truly hated by the audience? I mean, frequently it's "eh, sure, that's bad, he's got to be stopped" but the audience would ...
24
votes
14answers
2k views

How does a code monkey become a novelist?

I have always loved creative writing, but honestly do not see software engineers that write fiction all that often. Heck, I do not see software engineers that read fiction all that often either. To ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

How much description is necessary?

I have trouble imagining things. With me everything is blurred, as if I were almost blind. That's why I find it hard to describe things. For example, the protagonists enter a castle. I have a very ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How to start writing a book?

I'm new to writing and I'm still young (preteen young). I want some advice on writing and help. How am I gonna start my book? What is the best way to begin writing a book?
12
votes
9answers
2k views

Where do I start?

Let’s say I’ve created an outline, have explored my characters properly, and have properly broken down each scene to an appropriate level of detail. I know the story, I know the pacing, and I know ...
8
votes
4answers
969 views

Is there a software for story writing with detailed character files and an interactive timeline? (other then aeon timeline and scrivener)

I'm looking for a writing software that's user friendly and doesn't require endless tutorials to figure out. Plotist seems to be a good start, but their timeline is too simple and doesn't even have ...
30
votes
15answers
16k views

Is no religion a bad thing?

(I believe I've asked about a half dozen questions pertaining to this post-apocalyptic novel, including my "is this story too diverse" question. This sort of pertains to that.) Last night, I thought ...
26
votes
16answers
3k views

How do you write boy & girl protagonists without turning them into a love story?

I've played with the idea of a multi-book fantasy story for years, where a female and male protagonists' lives intertwine with one another, the series running from 12-22 years old for them. There ...
20
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

Character is an expert on something I'm not

My OC Edward, who I thought of quite a while ago but haven't done anything with, is a professional cyber spy and hacker. He's employed by an organization (in the future, of course) that is basically ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

How to write a Complete Monster?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with TV Tropes lingo, a Complete Monster is the worst kind of villain imaginable: one that is evil to the core and has little to no redeeming traits whatsoever. ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How to make a debate/discussion between characters less dry?

I've asked questions in the past about dialogue and I've read some questions about balancing dialogue with plot, however I have discovered yet another corner case in my writing. In my story Cured, the ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How to describe a diverse set of characters without falling into purple prose or exoticism?

In my setting, a city was founded by people from all over the world, and developed in almost complete isolation (long version here). The story in itself starts several generations after the foundation....
26
votes
14answers
14k views

Can a writer joke with the reader without breaking the fourth wall?

Can I, for example, write a whole new storyline inside my novel, and then say something, for example such as: "just kidding"? Or is that breaking the fourth wall?