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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11
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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. ...
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4answers
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What are some ways of extending a description of a scenery?

I find it very hard sometimes to describe a scenery, especially when the features are very bland, like you describe a city where all of the buildings are tall and look about the same or a plain with ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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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....
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14answers
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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?
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4answers
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Is it okay to say what the character infers about other characters thoughts as fact in third person limited?

The story is third person limited to Bob's point of view. He is with Alice, and I have the following line. Alice sat up proudly, then shrunk back down, realizing where she was. Compare this to ...
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11answers
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How do I have to refer to a person of a specific racial group?

My novel is developed in an East Asian environment (specifically Japan) and my main character is not Asian, she is from Central América and is Mixed Race. Now, my main character is going to refer to a ...
15
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5answers
528 views

Writers Communities?

I don't mean writer's circles, or "auditioning sites", although some of these have forums tacked on as a by the by. Usually places to talk about the beardy philosophy of writing are moribund places as ...
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3answers
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How to Write a Good Metaphor

I struggle with metaphors. My attempts are either so wild that no-one understands them, so lame that they break down really easily or so normal that they are indistinguishable from cliché. I read the ...
11
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4answers
389 views

How much can I trust my players to remember previous states of the story and not get confused?

In my game, the player may run into deadends in the story, which causes the game to end prematurely. This can range from the player simply getting killed, another important character in the story ...
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6answers
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“Thought” Verbs: A sign of weak writing or a stylistic choice?

According to Chuck Palahniuk you should avoid "Thought" verbs as much as you can. These include: knew, thought, realized, believed, etc. However, I've seen many of them in books that I read. And I ...
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7answers
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In what order should I describe a setting?

For instance I'm describing the park of an art museum in a foggy day. I'm not sure if I should start with the fog, wind, grass, threes, walking paths, buildings, stairs or something else. Is there a ...
8
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4answers
742 views

Will what worked 'back then' work today? (Novels)

Tokein. Jane Austen. Steinbeck. The greats of the past. I often come across people on this site and elsewhere who use the works of these great authors and others as examples and reservoirs of advice. ...
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5answers
642 views

Am I breaking the “show don't tell” rule in the following passage?

Then, as if sensing my presence, the girl turned around. She looked young. Probably sixteen or seventeen. She had long black hair, crimson red lips, and a skin so pale it made me wonder whether ...
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1answer
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Sex: How much is too much?

Regardless of genre, at what point does sex stop becoming art and become the erotic blubbering of a perverse mind? Ever since middleschool my writing has had a sensual twist, and it has become more ...
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5answers
420 views

Writing the dialogues of characters who are much smarter than you

A.I. should have perfect English, but because they are mainly servants, they should be easily understood. Cyborgs, on the other hand, not necessarily, because they're augmented humans, but some ...
5
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5answers
541 views

Pitfalls to avoid when using the “GM technique” for fantasy writing

I've got an idea: If I were to use GURPS (Generic Universal Roleplaying System) for creating a story, then in-universe inconsistencies would practically be impossible. You wouldn't be able to turn ...
4
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2answers
144 views

How many elements can you focus on during worldbuilding?

Possibly related: How can I get readers to accept more than 1 "buy" in worldbuilding? Worldbuilding is a tireless art; that's what our brother site Worldbuilding-SE is for, and why as a ...
3
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8answers
671 views

How to invoke my creative side without investing too much time?

I suck at writing. There, I admitted it. More often than not, I find my self staring at a blank moleskine page, or the blinking cursor. You see, the problem lies not in writing itself, but ...
2
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3answers
1k views

How to make horror events more interesting in daytime

In a book I'm writing at the moment I have created a world with a day and night cycle. I have created a veil of mystery over this madman and this machine he's made, however, every event to do with the ...
23
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12answers
6k views

When writing science fiction, how important is it to provide scientific details for the (fictitious) things you are presenting in the story?

I know there is a difference between 'hard' and 'soft' science fiction. But even then, it can be hard to know what sort of categorization in which to place and treat your story, and it is not really ...
21
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13answers
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How to make side-characters look competent next to the chosen one?

I'm writing a storyline for a game where the forces of evil have humanity cornered. Truly everything seems lost, that is, until our main character decides to step in. Let's call him Bob. The Chosen. ...
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8answers
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How realistic should dialogue and character voices be?

I've heard a lot of conflicting suggestions in the past regarding dialogue, so I'm hoping I can get a solid answer here. Some people have told me that the best way to go about dialogue is to make it ...
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5answers
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Invoking Deliberate Values Dissonance

Deliberate Values Dissonance is when the morals of a character or culture in-story (whether historical or fictional) that modern people don't agree with are presented in-universe. Not because the ...
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8answers
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Do Short Stories Need Definitive Endings?

I'm looking to create a few short stories that are in a shared universe of sorts and I'm curious whether or not I need to have a definitive ending to a story. I'm thinking that the "end" would be more ...
9
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6answers
600 views

Why are clichés discouraged in fiction writing?

Every writer knows the rule: Avoid clichés like the plague! Wait I can't say that, it is a cliché. Let me try again, I hate to beat a dead horse but... No that won't work either. If you have ever ...
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7answers
360 views

What aspects of written dialogue are important when giving characters a unique voice?

I have a project that I am working on in which I need to write quite a few fictional informal email correspondences between pairs of characters. I am not using these characters in any other context. ...
8
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2answers
680 views

How to write about an emotion you never experienced?

Is it possible for a writer to describe realistically a never felt emotion? For example I have never experienced faith, or being truly in love. I've never physically hurt anyone and have no idea of ...
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4answers
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Fiction writing: is using Git overkill? [duplicate]

Hope this question isn't off-topic because it involves programming software (for some reason I think many people in this site has used Git, though). Git is a revision control software to keeps track ...
7
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4answers
646 views

Peeking through character's mask

Normally, I specialize in strong, determined, uncompromising, extroverted protagonists, "If the laws of physics are against us, too bad, they need to be changed." I'm pretty good in getting them right....
6
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4answers
683 views

What makes a good action scene?

Action, in any storytelling medium, is the relationship between build up and pay off. While cinema may emphasize the payoff (pyrotechnics play well to theater-going crowds) it seems that the written ...
6
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3answers
343 views

Do I need to have a degree to become a writer? [duplicate]

I've always loved to write. Granted I haven't been writing very much these days because of university but I want to publish a book one day. I want to keep writing as a hobby because I want to do more ...
5
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4answers
303 views

should I use predictable plot elements?

I see many similarities in films to the point where I can often guess what will happen next,even if the part was intended to be suspenseful. is that bad writing? should "plot twists" always be ...
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6answers
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How to hide something in plain sight (and keep it hidden)?

I’d like to include in a story “mysteries” and deceptions that (ideally) should be obvious in hindsight (By obvious, I mean "elephant in the room" kind of obvious). How to give to the reader every ...
4
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6answers
791 views

Credibility of using English in non-English-speaking worlds

In the Magic Tree House series, two ordinary English-speaking kids travel to different faraway lands through a portal. Every character they meet, whether it's ancient Greece or ancient China, speaks ...
3
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3answers
384 views

Ways to reduce the -ing verbs in dialogue and action tags?

I find myself writing these a lot: "Thanks." She tilted her head shyly to the side. As soon as she did, her chin-length hair slid off her face, revealing the bowl-sized bruise that made her ...
3
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4answers
162 views

How to create a title

I am at a dilemma, as I cannot title my novel. So I created these questions. What creates a good title for a novel? What should I include/not include in my title? At the moment, I have come up with '...
24
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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 ...
17
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4answers
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Will traditional publishers force you to remove brands?

I’ve read the other questions on this topic but the answers seem contradictory and somewhat opinion-based. Some posters have said you ‘don't want to risk the wrath of corporate lawyers’ (or trademark ...
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6answers
2k views

Should I focus on ideas which the market enjoys, or ideas which I enjoy?

Two approaches to writing: Writing about ideas that are currently 'hot' in the market (a bit like when the Hunger Games came out, many authors quickly released books which incorporated the same set ...
15
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6answers
770 views

How to get feedback about the quality of one's fictional writing from friends unbiased by the friendship?

It is a little strange to ask, but are there ways to get feedback from friends about the quality of fictional writing (whether they liked it, not more objective aspects like spelling/grammar/etc.) ...
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7answers
2k views

Intentionally leaving out a part of the story, for a more interesting reveal?

In the story I am writing, I have a character who is working on a project and will present it to a group of judges who will mark it in a sort of examination. The project is a source of stress for the ...
9
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4answers
700 views

New digital ways of presenting a novel in 2011?

The traditional way of presenting a novel is in a book. I know about e-books too. Do you know another digital ways of presenting a novel? For instance, a blog, a twitter novel or something like the ...
9
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3answers
525 views

How can you write during a full work day?

As provided in this excellent answer by @what, there is a certain 'creative time,' for writing, when you can write the best. I've been aware of this for awhile, though I never really saw it for what ...
8
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6answers
774 views

How to use short stories to explore a new setting and potential characters for a novel?

I'm an aspiring fantasy and sci-fi writer and I my goal is to write a novel that is to be the first in a series within the same setting. I'm getting to a point where I can feel "the world coming ...
8
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6answers
1k views

Superpowers in Writing - Cool for the sake of cool

I originally started planning/writing a short story that was more or less based on a few popular trends in YA/Sci-Fi writing (interstellar travel, superpowers, etc) just as an exercise to force myself ...
8
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4answers
718 views

Publishing fiction: when do I start looking for an agent?

I am just about finished with the first draft of a novel I've been working on. I've been writing novels for about ten years and I've self-published a couple, but I'm looking to peek into the world of "...
8
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10answers
866 views

Should dull dialogue be removed completely?

The following dialogue is from a novel I'm writing (first draft): "You're quiet tonight," Erin said to Benjamin, who seemed to be lost in thoughts. He looked up and took a sip of his drink. "...
7
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6answers
1k views

Difference between Writing Song-Lyrics and Writing Poetry

Not sure how to jazz this question up other than to say that I've tried putting my poems to music and found it to be somewhat challenging. Question is then: what's the difference between the ...
7
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5answers
2k views

How can you humanize infanticide of the evil-tainted?

The world is surrounded by an alternate realm called the spirit world. Humans existed as separate physical entities, but maintain an attachment to the spirit realm due to their connection with god. ...