The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

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
3
votes
4answers
166 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
votes
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 ...
23
votes
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
15
votes
6answers
783 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.) ...
15
votes
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 ...
12
votes
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
545 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
706 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
733 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
votes
6answers
831 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
votes
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
votes
10answers
896 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. "...
8
votes
3answers
898 views

Can we use other things than single-word verbs in our dialog tags?

"Albert, you're already drunk! Stop it!" she implored him. "Nah, if I stop drinking, I won't have an excuse to miss work tommorrow!" he joked around. I am wondering if it's possible to use ...
7
votes
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. ...
7
votes
5answers
846 views

Is it strange/confusing to initiate/introduce a dialogue without a dialogue tag?

In other words, is it strange/confusing to do this? For the next few seconds, I watched Aiko read the letter with her lips agape---lips that steadily curled up into a smile. A contagious one. ...
6
votes
4answers
8k views

Is it correct to use verbs like “sighed” and “laughed” as dialogue tags?

In other words, is it correct to write something like this: "Oh," he laughed. "Sorry, I'm not sure what's with me today." (Every time I see something like this, I think: "How is this peson ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Structuring a novel like a television or graphic novel series

I have spent a lot of time reading graphic-novels and watching television series, most of which were anime. Now that I have reached the point where I'm ready to begin writing, I feel drawn to the ...
6
votes
3answers
164 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
634 views

What makes a bestseller - Writing or Setting?

Note: I define 'setting' as where and when a novel takes place, as well as what the genre entails. It is the background to the picture of the story. I realize there are a lot of factors that ...
6
votes
5answers
587 views

How to make the reader “accept” absurdity?

A few examples of what I refer to as ridiculous scenes: A psychic gives the protagonist a business letter with only her name - no phone, no address - saying that there's no need to call her. ...
5
votes
3answers
51k views

Is there a standard for dealing with lyrics in dialogue and narration in creative writing?

I'm peer-reviewing/editing a paper for a final in my English course and in it, the author has a character singing a song (of the author's creation). The character is singing in dialogue, like so: "...
5
votes
6answers
408 views

Are there words that are “stronger” than others? If so, why?

By strong I mean causing intense feelings in the reader. I thought about this while I was editing my novel (I consider the second cases to be stronger words): I turned to the left I twisted to ...
5
votes
11answers
519 views

Can writing actually be creative?

I've been pondering this a lot just now. After reading and learning about tropes online, rhetoric devices, and all relative things, it's come to my attention that writing seems less of a creative, ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

How short can a poem be until it can no longer be a poem?

I am on a small journey to help me understand what the definition of a poem is to different people, what poems mean to them. This made me wonder, some poems are longer than others, so: How short ...
5
votes
4answers
757 views

Is there still a market for solo adventures game books?

Game books like Choose your Own Adventure, Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf series were very popular in the past. They are a series of single-player gamebooks. Typically, beginning at the first section,...
4
votes
3answers
875 views

Tips on engaging the audience in the first chapter?

What are some tips you would recommend to immediately attract a reader, or make the story interesting enough to continue reading? I want to know if there are any specific techniques or ways that you ...
4
votes
5answers
700 views

Research overgrown main novel plan and writing

I want your opinion on this: For about half a year now I've researched my novel. Because of situating the story to the part of an original Earth's history, I made my research about history, ...
4
votes
3answers
481 views

Effectively conveying an unreliable narrator

I have been working on a post-apocalyptic novel for about a year. My female narrator/protagonist, named Eris, was isolated for almost all of her life until meeting a rogue group of survivors and ...
4
votes
1answer
44 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
321 views

Scenes with different languages spoken after translation

So... imagine you have a story in your native language written down, with protagonists that speak this language and no problem at all, except a bunch of scenes where your protagonist meets someone who ...
4
votes
1answer
495 views

How Can You Find A Writing Buddy?

I have noticed I work best in collaboration with another. I am extremely prolific and have a lot of time for writing. So how do you find that reliable, positive person who is deeply involved in ...
3
votes
3answers
869 views

Different types of “Flashbacks”

In a novel, particurlarly fiction, what are the basic ways to reveal something that happened in the past? What ways, (flashback, protagonist telling, etc.) are the most used and most effective? ...
3
votes
1answer
366 views

How do I describe a complex Character?

The Character I want to describe is neither the Protagonist nor the antagonist. He's a side character. Yet, he's going to have a very big part in my story. He is a not so open personality with ...
3
votes
1answer
295 views

Should I take up a Creative Writing online course? [closed]

To begin with I am a novice with no particular experience in Creative writing. However, I come from a technical background and I have experiences of writing the long academic thesis. I have finished ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the purpose of showing [duplicate]

If I have a hard time dissecting showing directly, then I just simply ask about the end result: What showing wishes to create in the readers?
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How do we draw the line between plagiarism and allusion?

It’s no secret that in literature we see characters that remind us of other characters. Furthermore, it’s no secret we see plots that remind us of other plots. For example, an author reads Book A and ...
3
votes
8answers
911 views

Does a novel require a conflict?

Unless a better writer can dissuade me I am minded to say no. The 'essential' 'conflict' is cultural. It is part of the western 'Human Condition' - Eastern cultures have stories without conflict. ...
2
votes
5answers
457 views

Is it a good idea to make the protagonist pull themselves together

Is it a good idea, to make the protagonist pull themselves together at a point in a work of fiction. I've been writing a novel, and for practically the entire first half the main protagonist has been ...
2
votes
2answers
899 views

Tenses I should use in a translated-novel

I have been translating a novel that is originally written in my native language into English. Considering that the book's plot is the author's experience of a life that has happened in the past, I've ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

How do you cite when using a reference twice within the body of a composition but not necessarily in the same paragraph?

How do you cite when using a reference twice within the body of a composition but not necessarily in the same paragraph?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How to write a conversation

Conversation is the thing I have most difficulties with while writing stories. How do I write a conversation so it will be clear who said what, and in a way that's not like a court transcript? Should ...
2
votes
4answers
314 views

How do I know, how to limit the details?

While writing a novel, which is a drama, how do I manage the amount of trivial details or trivial information, that I want to give to help the readers visualize the scene but given the details have no ...
1
vote
4answers
121 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

Should I use letters or digits in the following case?

De-Shi was holding something that looked like a price tag. It had the numbers 024 written on it. "Isn't that what cows wear as earrings?" "Yeah," De-Shi said, still inspecting the object, ...
26
votes
4answers
5k views

How do we handle pauses in a dialogue?

How do we handle pauses in a dialogue? Let's say that character A speaks and then after a pause character A speaks again. How should we separate the two moments, should we write two lines of ...
15
votes
6answers
7k views

How do you normalize a taboo custom in a setting that most readers would not agree with?

This setting' world is populated by witch covens that function as both royal houses and political entities. They are matriarchial, with witches had the head of families who directly control their ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Pros and Cons: A blog to get feedback

As a creative writer in my free time, I sometime suffer from a lack of feedback. To get some impressions on what I've written, I either have to ask my girlfriend (who acts as a sort of beta-reader) or ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

How does one write from a minority culture? A question on cultural references

Christian culture is dominant. Thus, even without being Christian myself, I can recognise, understand and appreciate references that are within that culture, like the Pietà: Sam sat propped against ...
10
votes
8answers
805 views

How do you escalate a story's plot after killing the Big Bad?

Everyone remembers the Death Star and how it was supposed to be the most potent superweapon in the Star Wars-verse. Then in the Expanded Universe, they needed to add tension to the series since the ...