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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.

2
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6answers
110 views

Will my book have a better chance at being successful if I include more gender diversity in it?

My novel so far only contains female main characters. There are some male characters, but they are few and far between, and only play minor roles. Obviously it's hard to predict if any book is going ...
50
votes
12answers
13k views

Sometimes a banana is just a banana

Often reading analyses of books and films, I find that the analytics derive conclusions from the specific food or beverage that a character consumes. The food appears to always be symbolic of ...
4
votes
2answers
114 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
77 views

How to write a puzzle without being too descriptive or vague?

I have recently joined the Puzzling.SE site and I am excited to ask few puzzles there. However, I am stuck, rather confused as to how a puzzle qualifies as good and precise. I want to ensure its ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Should we write a long prologue if the main component of our novel is the original world building? [duplicate]

So I want to write a book that's set in a very different and otherworldly world, so I thought about it and I was wondering if it was ok to put a lot of things into context. However, I think I went a ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

How do we succintly describe a boxing match?

I am writing a short story, and the boxing match which comes after 2/3 of the story is likely to exceed the length of the entire story, so how do you cut the action short? Do you describe the match ...
8
votes
3answers
320 views

Knowing when to use pictures over words

When writing about food, be it a cookbook or a food blog, as long as the media supports it, the use of pictures is going to make a difference in the quality of the work. So when I am writing about ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

How do we properly manage the state of transition between unknown and known?

I often have a passage that sounds like this. I don't know why, but I always found these passages a bit odd sounding. A stranger was lying, face into the sands, belly down, on the beach all alone....
-2
votes
1answer
47 views

Writing a long description of a sequence of actions while still being impersonal [closed]

When I try to do this, the description feels very dry, and I am not sure if it's possible to make it feel less dry while still being impersonal and super objective (because I am using a omniscient and ...
3
votes
2answers
53 views

Switching perspective in battle scenes?

I have written a book with an ensemble cast. Prior to them meeting, I simply gave each character his/her own chapter. Once they met, I narrowed the perspective to only a couple. The battle at the ...
6
votes
6answers
226 views

how can I showcase the internal struggles between a man and his demons?

The character in this story is a human-demon hybrid. He is good natured on a normal day, but because of the demon genes and blood coursing through him, as struggled with certain urges his entire life. ...
6
votes
2answers
61 views

How to write exciting updates?

For my Pathfinder campaign I write an update each session which I share with my players. The goal for these updates is: Provide a brief recap of the previous session Get people excited for the next ...
2
votes
3answers
62 views

Should the average length of a chapter depend on the length of the novel?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_count#In_fiction This Wikipedia page tells you under which classification a fictional work falls under depending on its length, so we have 3 I am most interested in,...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Injecting creativity into a cookbook

I'm a chef. I'm also a writer. It's inevitable that I would want to write a cookbook. In fact I've probably started a dozen that I just never got around to finishing. Partly because I'm not sure how ...
5
votes
3answers
92 views

Write for an audience or find an audience for your writing?

I've never written for anything other than personal enjoyment or for a predefined context before. I have ideas and partial drafts for several books and want to finish at least one this year. My ...
3
votes
3answers
95 views

Increasing the flow in descriptions of a sequence of events

Thomas appeared behind Daniel and shook him by the neck, which brought him down to his knees. Thomas kicked him and then kicked away the gun that Daniel dropped making sure he wouldn't be able to ...
5
votes
5answers
164 views

Consulting experts - why should they talk to someone who isn't a published writer yet?

Whatever subject I am researching for my story, the common recommendation is "talk to the relevant professionals". If I need medical information, talk to a doctor. If I need information about the ...
-1
votes
2answers
60 views

Naming non-living things [closed]

I know two ways of naming things. One is to use latin prefixes and suffixes and try to have them match the object you are naming with its definition. The other is to use metaphors based on how it ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Is using an 'empty' metaphor considered bad style?

I just had this sentence off my head: A crown of fire spread through the country consuming everything on its way. What I mean by empty metaphor is a metaphor that doesn't really have any meaning ...
7
votes
4answers
909 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
120 views

Is it ok to have many characters who only appear for a few chapters?

At least 40% of the characters in my novel appear for only 2-3 chapters and I don't really have the chance to develop them. Is this too many? How can you determine you have too many characters ...
2
votes
3answers
82 views

Can we have 2 parallel allegories inside a story?

I have heard there can be an allegory inside another allegory (mise en abyme), but what about 2 concurrent allegories (at the same time) and how do you insure that people don't get confused by the ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Writing dialogues for characters whose first language is not English

I am seriously wondering how to go about writing dialogues for characters whose native language isn't English and who aren't very fluent in English. It's very hard, because people have different ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
5answers
446 views

Using time travel without creating plot holes [closed]

There are different types of time travel (they have different rules and constraints) throughout literature, so I was wondering if you could list some of them here, and which ones are best for driving ...
3
votes
3answers
110 views

How may a book and movie be one?

How could a movie be paired to coincide with a book and come out at the same time? I would like to know if a book and a movie can be written to complement each other? Many times I hear how a book or ...
7
votes
3answers
131 views

Describing sex in a non-erotic fiction

How explicit should the scenes be? When writing any type of fiction I just skip to the day after the sex took place and heavily imply that the persons in question had sex. Is this ok? Is it better to ...
18
votes
6answers
3k views

How to write painful torture scenes without being over-the-top

I'm trying to write torture scenes but I'm not really all that confident about it since I've never written anything like it before and have never really witnessed anything violent. I know the methods ...
0
votes
3answers
71 views

Writing a short story in the same universe as my novel

In my post-apocalyptic novel, the MC Eris navigates the world of survivors and grapples with her newly discovered abilities. The leader of the group of survivors, and the book's antagonist, Ezrith, ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

What are some ways to implement multiple endings in a novel?

I am thinking of implementing multiple ending to one of my novels and it would be done the following way: There's a scene where the main character is about to do something, but I leave it to the ...
4
votes
4answers
103 views

How to expand on scenes?

I guess you can call this a writing style, but whenever I do creative writing I write very concise. Which can be good as I don’t want scenes to drag on, but most of the time I feel I wrap up my scenes ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

Identifying and managing weak scenes during planning

I structured my plot, designed the path to the climax, listed my characters and even outlined some scenes. Then halfway through I got stuck: one minor transition scene just did not make sense. The ...
2
votes
8answers
825 views

Is writing three drafts really necessary?

So I understand the first draft which is basically writing whatever comes to mind but I don't understand why we have to rewrite it three times. Can someone please explain to me? What exactly do we ...
-1
votes
2answers
87 views

Is a nuclear apocalypse cliche? [duplicate]

My post-apocalyptic novel occurs in 2122. In canon events, around the year 2018, after many years of global war, a chain reaction caused the launching of all the world's nuclear missiles and after ...
3
votes
3answers
131 views

Does symbolism have only one level of depth?

When I use symbolism, I think of replacing something concrete with an abstract idea, but can you use these abstract ideas and then tell a story inside a story that's inside a story? As in: Using ...
4
votes
2answers
65 views

How do I write different factions with ideologies, philosophies, and symbolism?

This may sound like a complex question, so let me explain what I mean. I'm inspired by Harry Potter, Avatar The Last Airbender, Homestuck (it exists), and all of those things have different houses / ...
22
votes
5answers
5k views

How soon is too soon for a redemption arc?

My character, Day, is the son of a dictator and the director of state-sanctioned and sponsored torture of mutated humans, one of whom is my MC. He killed his own sister to prove to his father that he ...
5
votes
3answers
221 views

Integrating complex philosophical concepts into a story

I would like to integrate the concept of "Nietzschean affirmation" in my short story. What are the typical ways to go about it? I don't want to put it there in plain sight, but make it obvious enough ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Writing short stories in an original world setting [closed]

I'm writing short stories in a Fantasy world setting I have created — medieval times, magic, dragons, etc. People who are familiar with such a world may not find a problem reading a short story set in ...
0
votes
3answers
110 views

Using a grammatically incorrect tense for stylistic effect

Immanuel Kant has been born in Europe. I heard you can't use the Present Perfect for dead people, so can I use it to indirectly state how influential Kant was (as if he were Immortal, or that he ...
1
vote
4answers
215 views

Is bigotry always necessary in a story?

I asked a question here on how to avoid political issues when I have a witch MC named Kem who is nonbinary, and a few people suggested that instead of including any kind of transphobia towards Kem, I ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Writing a fiction novel with poetic verses and handling dialogues

I am wondering how you should format dialogues when writing a fiction novel with poetic verses. I believe that the descriptive parts should be written in verses, but what about dialogues? How would ...
3
votes
2answers
59 views

Can I reference something used in another medium, like names, play titles, or song titles?

I'm having a hard time finding information on this so let me explain the idea: I'm writing a story that takes place in a small town high school in 1986. And I want to give the characters all nicknames ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

When should you use extra long sentences, never?

I often see world-renowned thinkers and writers, such as Nietszche and Herman Melville, write extremely long sentences. When I was in high school, people said sentences should be as short as possible, ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Characters speaking different languages

Let's suppose you can only write in English, and characters speak 2 different languages. How do you put it into writing. Consider 3 different situations: Person A speaks in language B, Person B ...
9
votes
6answers
302 views

How do I write a MODERN combat/violence scene without being dry?

Warning: I have ADHD and this might be a little ramble-y, sorry. I'm completely stumped. I'm trying to get into writing fiction but I feel that I've hit a roadblock. My story is told from the first ...
22
votes
11answers
9k views

Is it bad to have no gender variety?

The majority of stories, movies, shows, comics, and other media I've read or seen have a pretty even split between men and women, and that's fine, I don't have a problem with it. But if I want to ...
5
votes
2answers
130 views

Are run-on sentences always bad?

(TW, depression related stuff?) In my AP Lang class, we've recently started an activity called Visiting Author, where a student does a cold read of a piece they wrote and the others give criticism ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
214 views

How do I tackle religion and mythology correctly? Without offending religious people [closed]

Update -- notes on April's Edits -- I added [[square brackets]] when I wasn't sure if my rephrasing clarified/changed the original asker's meaning too much. Please do edit my edits! I'm hoping that ...