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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.

13
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9answers
4k views

Is my story pacing too fast?

I have a quick question- I'm just a bit confused about the story I'm writing. So earlier today I posted the first chapter of my story, and someone commented that the story "escalated too fast for me ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Why are outlines so essential?

In my writing class, huge emphasis was placed on outlining the entire plot. Yet as I write it, things change dramatically, and I end up not following the outline. Is it bad to just go with the flow?
33
votes
13answers
6k views

How can you write when you're upset?

I mean exactly this. Writing needs focus, to some extent. Even if you may fall into a state were words flow naturally on the keyboard almost without effort, you still have to reach that condition. ...
2
votes
5answers
485 views

Writing compelling dialogue [duplicate]

I try to avoid repeating the prosaic "he said", "she said" structure as much as possible when writing dialogue. But I think overload of complex descriptors "he articulated", "he intoned" is ...
4
votes
4answers
208 views

first point of view and the problem of opinion

Is it better for first person POV to be treated in the same way as third person POV meaning that the POV person withholds opinions? (So the reader can form them?) Or is it okay to establish conflict ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Help with reasons for rebellions against my oligarchic/Philosopher kings inspired empire [closed]

The government of this (fantasy) world is made up of a small group, randomly chosen at birth and representing maybe 0.5% of the population. The group are tutored in their homes with their families for ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Publishing my book [duplicate]

my name is Ash, and I'm 14, I've been writing since I was in sixth grade, well, I mean I've been writing over 500 words since sixth grade. I have written small little books that had no plot whatsoever ...
3
votes
3answers
131 views

Is it possible for one to be a good editor but a bad writer or vice versa?

If so, how? Intuitively, it would seem like being skilled in one automatically entails being skilled in the other. Why is that not necessarily the case?
7
votes
6answers
236 views

How do you get over the fear of exposing yourself in writing?

I really feel like writing, in all its forms, is a very nice way to express myself especially since I'm an introvert, but I'm afraid people would know how I think and know my thinking process and ...
1
vote
6answers
228 views

Everything I write ends up being a rhyming poem, or lyrics maybe

I have been writing for awhile and decided to write a memoir, except I can’t seem to write anything but poetry. However, I don’t know for sure if poetry is the proper term. My work uses cuss words, &...
1
vote
3answers
111 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
94 views

Can a book with a lot of action be annoying?

I’m writing a book and these first 20 pages are mostly just action so my question is if a book is like mad max fury road, (almost nothing but action) will it be annoying or not be exciting anymore ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
385 views

What are the story beats in a “stranger comes to town”?

As we mentioned in this question, we believe it was Robert Mckee we heard say that all stories fall into one of two categories: “stranger in a strange land” or “a stranger comes to town.” Writing ...
2
votes
3answers
115 views

How do you make sex magic feel like a natural part of a setting?

In this world, witchcraft is practiced openly and is a neccessary function of society. Men cannot use magic directly, but possess much more mana than women. There are some spells that a witch may not ...
1
vote
3answers
175 views

Averting Protagonist-Centred Morality

Protagonist-Centred Morality is when a fictional work is eager to point out when an antagonist does something immoral or distasteful but fails to acknowledge when a protagonist does the same or ...
8
votes
7answers
377 views

How can show that my cold hearted character is coping with grief?

I have a little contradiction in my story that may well be fatal. In my high sci-fi setting, one of my main characters is an android. Let's call him Bob. Bob is efficient, cold and straight-to-the-...
0
votes
3answers
109 views

Can you frame ritual suicide in a “positive” light?

Eons ago, there was a war among gods that came close to destroying humanity and the mortal realm. Gods depend on humanity, and their destruction would inevitably hurt them as well. At the conclusion ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

Are there widely recognized iconic story examples of “a stranger comes to town” and “a stranger in a strange land”? [closed]

I am working on a story and looking for examples of a particular type I can read as an archetype that might commonly be taught in writing schools. I believe it was Robert McKee who I heard say that ...
4
votes
3answers
194 views

How to write a character speaking in broken english? [duplicate]

I found a slightly similar question from 2014 on here but a lot of the answers weren't helpful in my case (as they brought up points of the internet and such) so I'm going to try here... In my ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

How to simulate someone talking with a full mouth?

If, for example, someone said : "How are you today?", how would you go about "translating" this into sounding like they were talking with a full-mouth? Like, phonetically.
7
votes
7answers
269 views

How does an author write in hand gestures and non-verbal communication?

Writing in hand gestures and non-verbal communication is kind of tricky. They are deeply cultural symbols, interpreted by a specific group of people. To outsiders, they seem like nonsense. But non-...
4
votes
4answers
191 views

The Art of creating Subplots

What are the ways of creating Subplots in fantasy genre that really catch the reader's attention? Should there be a conflict in the subplots? Please explain.
4
votes
2answers
51 views

Does my response fit into the scope of the question or is it too abstract? [closed]

I'm applying to get into Brandon Sanderson's writing class this coming winter semester. As such, I've begun to fill out his application and I ran into a problem. One question asks "In 400 words or ...
4
votes
3answers
152 views

When should ideas be scrapped?

I've been working on plots and different characters for a few months now and I haven't really written anything that might be salvageable down the line. I really like the idea, but I feel as though it ...
6
votes
5answers
330 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

How do I narrate the events in a fantasy novel?

I'm writing a fantasy novel which includes the following events Protagonist's childhood (education, friends etc..) The main conflict Death of Protagonist All this happens in a world. Let's call it ...
0
votes
3answers
129 views

What do I do if I have no idea how to explain how something looks or even what it is?

In my story there is a hill and the hill looks like a stair case with three steps what would you even call each step? (Without saying “step” because that’s not right for the moment he is in).
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Is anyone willing to read my book sample and give feedback? [duplicate]

I have currently written two chapters for my first fiction venture, which spans six pages and 3500 words. I really just want to get some feedback to know if i'm going in the right direction and if ...
11
votes
8answers
635 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
709 views

Will the publisher/agent tell me what to write?

I recently read this answer, which suggested that an author's first novel will be rejected, and the publisher will instead get the author to write the novel they want to publish, assuming they feel ...
4
votes
3answers
169 views

In literary fiction, when does allusion, pastiche or intertextuality cross over into plagiarism?

I want to write a novella that to some degree translates Conrad's Heart of Darkness to a modern urban setting, and I want the astute reader to be able to make multiple connections between the two ...
4
votes
3answers
161 views

How to write dialogueless flashbacks?

In my trilogy, the protagonist and deuteragonist share a mental link, allowing them to communicate with each other telepathically. A side effect of this telepathy is that they enable the duo to ...
29
votes
8answers
9k views

I feel like my book is too small and I’m kind of just throwing all my ideas out too quick. Does this mean filler might be necessary?

My book seems like it’s going to be way too short. My goal was 300 pages but it seems like it’s barely gonna make 100. What should I do?
1
vote
4answers
106 views

When is it okay to say the word “now” in a past tense story?

I’ve seen it done in Harry Potter I just don’t understand when its okay to do it, like can I say something like “John walked away from the house and was now walking along the road” or not? When is it ...
1
vote
6answers
303 views

How far apart can the dots be?

I've written enough to know the kind of writer I am, my voice, my style. I am often accused of making the reader work too hard to put the plot points together. In my latest story: a man experiencing ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

Proper handling of “sophisticated” English usage

Good day everyone! I am currently writing my first fan-fiction. Here are some basic traits of one of my characters. He usually talks in normal English with a small infusion of 'moi' and 'thou/thee'....
0
votes
1answer
125 views

What do we mean by “Inevitable Narratives”? [closed]

The inspiration to ask & answer this question came from a comment made by Matthew Dave on this reply: https://writing.stackexchange.com/a/38648/16555 I've also been asked that before, by a ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

Exposition: Talking Animals - How do I Reveal This to the Reader?

I'm writing a book series where most of the cast are highly anthropomorphized animals (or in some cases mythological creatures). Humans still exist in this universe, but are rare (only being found in ...
4
votes
1answer
53 views

Are there any set rules to creating a story with audience participation?

I have recently grown interested in the idea of writing a litrpg novel where each two days i will publish a chapter describing a single day of the main character and at the end of the day the readers ...
4
votes
7answers
229 views

How much time do you find you have to commit to daily writing to see results?

I've wanted to publish a book for a long time (since I was 10 or 11), but never bothered to do any serious writing until a few years ago. Now I'm in college and working part time in an engineering ...
8
votes
3answers
849 views

What are some examples of an inciting incident that would force a character to go on a quest or adventure?

I've noticed that my novel is missing a really strong inciting incident and I can't think of anything strong enough to suffice. The only inciting incidents I'm familiar with seeing in nearly every ...
4
votes
5answers
145 views

Sensitivity with disorders/mental illnesses

The novel is overall very distressing and supposed to elicit emotion from the readers, it's practically dependent on it. A few of the characters in my novel will contain depressed and suicidal ...
1
vote
3answers
105 views

Does point of view matter drastically?

I've looked at a few other questions and answers but nothing that I was really looking for. The point of view is a little confusing at the beginning (and probably) throughout the novel. It starts with ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

How to stop rushing writing

I get caught up a lot in what I'm writing and I'm interested in writing a particular scene, but the scene might be chapters away. I don't like writing it before I write the rest and go back to it ...
12
votes
5answers
848 views

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
190 views

What makes “thrilling” writing?

I am writing a thriller, but even though it is filled with exciting events, it is starting to feel boring to me. My Scenario: This girl (Freya) has amnesia and the doctor that is helping her(Lana) ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Futuristic world with old technology? [closed]

I wrote this paragraph with my character pulling out a laptop, when he literally has a computer Chipped into his Arm??? Greyson entered his study, he got his computer out of it’s briefcase and ...