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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.

28
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15answers
16k views

Is it okay to publish a book at a young age?

I am writing a novel that is called 'Murder' It's about a girl who almost gets murdered but then has to live with the murderers with almost no knowledge that they are the ones that killed her. (...
17
votes
7answers
8k views

What is a discovery writer?

From an answer to this question: How do I successfully structure a long fiction piece? I think I can infer the meaning from the usage but some elaboration would be helpful.
18
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9answers
1k views

At what point does a POV character noting their surroundings go from showing/telling to an infodump?

In a story I'm working on, at one point one of the main characters (also the POV character in this case) arrives at a new location which he has never been in before. This is the first mention of this ...
14
votes
5answers
15k views

How to avoid repetitive sentence structure?

I've realized that I always start sentences with (name of character), he, she, it, they, her, his, the, after (a moment/that), and then. I wonder if there's any useful exercise or tip to reduce this? ...
12
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6answers
4k views

Can I use real presidents (past and present) and real companies in a fictional story?

I'm not sure if I want to use real people and companies or make up an entirely different world with different people, presidents, and companies than our real world. If I did the latter I would offer ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I effectively invent a language?

I want to make a particular language that adapts to the story. And the language has to have x and y and e characteristics for example. Is there a protocol to follow on the process of making a ...
10
votes
8answers
7k views

First person pov with more than one main chars

I really love -- and most of time write in -- first person point of view. The novel I'm writing is somewhat different from what I'm used to. I have four main characters -- I don't see any of them as ...
10
votes
8answers
3k views

Dialogue writing practices?

First time novelist, long time writer here. I'm looking for creative writing exercises to help with my dialogue. Any ideas?
8
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6answers
684 views

How do you write a story about a team?

There just isn't information about this on the internet (at least that I could find), so I'm here. A few specific questions: how many team members should there be? Should they all be main characters, ...
8
votes
5answers
439 views

Is it permitted to mention a real life work of fiction in your story?

I am working on a new project that draws influence from a currently running television show. What I want to do is make a reference to that show in my work. Almost as a joke to say, "We're nothing like ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I improve my knowledge of English well enough to write in it?

I have a long-term goal to write a non-fiction book: a critical book about the current state of humanity's moral methodologies and how humanity is better off dead. Much like Friedrich Nietzsche but ...
6
votes
3answers
499 views

Prologues with no protagonist - How can they work?

It is my understanding that novels should generally start right off with the protagonist. The story is about the protagonist, after all, not something else (This obviously changes a bit if the PoV is ...
48
votes
16answers
33k views

Is there any good time-line software out there?

I write mostly speculative fiction, and use Scrivener for writing and note-taking. But I'm looking to start crafting timelines to keep track of the exact year and months events in the distant and ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

Should I write my story if I haven't established a plot?

I'm in the process of start writing my story and I'm not sure if I should do it if I'm not done with the main plot of the story. Also I don't know since what part should I start writing off, The start,...
29
votes
11answers
5k views

Why are writers so hung up on “show versus tell”?

I write primarily science, which I readily admit can be very bland. On occasion I read fiction, but have found over the years that my tastes have changed considerably. Overly descriptive scenes leave ...
17
votes
12answers
5k views

How to overcome the fact that I can't write long stories?

I have written some short stories (in fact, they are flash fiction). When I'm writing short stories, the ideas and the structure come to my mind by themselves. Something different happens when I try ...
9
votes
4answers
915 views

How to make “Joffrey like” characters for a “kick that son of a bitch ” moment

We know what I'm talking about. The feeling when the legal side of a story doesn't bothers us too much because we want to see Joffrey getting strangled with a string of sausages. So basically we ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Resource for generic plot hooks?

I'm in a long and painful recovery from many years of writer's block. Coming up with even quite simple story ideas costs me unreasonable amount of effort. Sometimes inspiration is generous and I'm ...
14
votes
6answers
833 views

Little disjointed scenes

My MC is going through boot camp. Physically and mentally, he goes from high-school boy to soldier prepared for combat. Along the way there's struggles, there's new friendships formed, there's the ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How much time should you devote to learning the craft?

When is enough, enough? Some writers argue that you don’t need how-to books, just practicing writing. Yet, many writers write beautifully but are incapable of producing a publishable novel, while ...
4
votes
3answers
226 views

How to keep writing?

I really love writing, mainly screenwriting. I can also come up with ideas and start writing. But there is one problem, I just start writing them and never take up the work again. What do you do to ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I get myself writing again?

I have authored a particular fanfiction, which has garnered a moderate following on the fanfiction website I published it to. As of now, the story has 279 users following it for updates, as well as 45 ...
7
votes
7answers
986 views

Curbing Self-Indulgent Writing

I have written both professionally and on an amateur level for several years. A lot of it basically fell into my lap, and it hasn't been my primary profession for a couple of years now. I have some ...
-6
votes
1answer
342 views

How to make a deceitful trainwreck of a character likeable

So, due to a smaller miracle, a scrapped concept, a badly timed Eragon review from Nostalgia Critic and the SAO abridged came together and created a good "filler" episode concept and a character in ...
61
votes
22answers
20k views

How do I know if a concept is sexist or not?

In my story's world, witchcraft is a respected institution, with the most powerful practitioners being at the top echelons of society. Due to this, society traces its lineage through matrilineal lines....
25
votes
10answers
3k views

What's Essential In A Combat Scene?

I've just been reading a bunch of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books. Although they were the most enjoyable read I'd had in ages I always found myself skimming long segments that described involved ...
33
votes
5answers
5k views

How much can a reader remember?

I've been writing some fantasy. Now, inevitably because its a big piece of fantasy, its all very involved with the world, culture, story and general bits. Personally, I'm really enjoying writing it. ...
22
votes
9answers
3k views

How can I improve my sentence construction or flow in general writing?

Can anyone suggest resources or techniques I can use to improve my sentence construction when writing? I am a native English speaker and fairly well educated, but confess I didn't pay much attention ...
45
votes
14answers
10k views

Avoiding spectacle creep

It's common in stories for spectacle to build over time. Each story arc, the stakes get higher, the drama gets more intense, the villains get more dangerous, and so on. For a story with a fixed ...
27
votes
11answers
16k views

Is my story “too diverse”?

(Edit: I feel like I should clarify, these are the only LGBT characters in the story, and the only characters whose sexualities are even touched on, and they are part of a larger group of people, ...
12
votes
10answers
1k views

Can technical writing suck less

I currently have the prospect of writing a considerable amount of technical documentation (describing interactions with an extremely complex online service). I consider myself a reasonably proficient ...
36
votes
16answers
14k views

How do I write LGBT characters without looking like I'm trying to be politically correct?

So I have a few characters now (two possibly three) who identify as LGBT. My problem is I'm worried that I might come across as "trying to be politically correct". How do I write about characters who ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Feedback: What to use and what to ignore?

I posted my novel online for critique. And stumbled with the obvious question: when should I consider a feedback and when should I ignore it? This is what I'm doing so far: If more than two people ...
19
votes
6answers
2k views

Not projecting myself onto my characters

I have struggled with mental illness for my entire life. Writing has been an extremely helpful and important mode of self-expression for me, since I was little. But recently, I feel like my writing ...
12
votes
9answers
224k views

How to show a crying/sad scene without using sentimentalism?

Previously, I had no difficulty in showing a scene like that, and as for me, to show a crying scene I'd write something like "then a teardrop rolled by her cheek". However, I had read an article from ...
9
votes
10answers
9k views

Why can't I write something longer than a few pages?

I write short stories, a lot of short-shorts. I would say the longest thing I've actually finished writing is "Lord of Snakes", which was about 19 pages typed. (And not even very good.) So I've always ...
8
votes
3answers
656 views

Where can I find resources about writing “Choose your own adventure”-style books?

I have read/played a couple of "Choose your own adventure"-style book and am interested in the process of creating one. Where can I find (preferrably free) online resources, such as How-To-Write or ...
10
votes
7answers
787 views

Writing techniques or exercises to improve ability to show rather than tell?

Does anyone have any effective writing techniques or exercises that you use to help you focus more on showing the reader what you mean rather than just telling them about? I know I often find myself ...
5
votes
3answers
496 views

Proven psychological or scientific means of scaring people?

I already feel right out of the gate that this is going to be a naive question, but I'm going to ask it anyway. I know that writing horror does not guarantee that you're particularly good at it, and ...
4
votes
6answers
926 views

Do I risk losing reader if I put too many religious/anti-religious views?

I've been pondering this for a while. Now, I'm not so worried about losing readers than affecting the quality of my writing. Preaching too much instead of telling the actual story. Here's an example: ...
6
votes
5answers
390 views

Writing about a topic which you don't have personal experience in

I would like to make it very clear that I'm very young (just graduated to a teen) and only an amateur writer. I have recently become seriously involved in writing in preparation for my IGCSE English ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

What can I do to make my writing less choppy?

Recently and in the past I have been practicing writing as a hobby. I enjoy the creative pleasure it provides, but am hitting major road blocks in the process. My trouble is in seeing the big ...
10
votes
5answers
828 views

How important is being well read for a writer

Back in the mists of time, I would put a lot of time into reading, and would read pretty much anything I could lay my hands on. Then I started writing, and it is very very rare that I read any ...
8
votes
3answers
270 views

How to write about what you don't know?

I am a strong believer in writing what you know. Everything I write is at least partially based on something that I have experienced. My problem is that for plot reasons, I need one of my characters ...
7
votes
13answers
16k 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
453 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
237 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
921 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 ...