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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.

0
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2answers
196 views

Making conflicts based on misunderstanding

So, the problem is that I can't make conflicts based on a misunderstanding that wouldn't resolve in five paragraphs. My chars are too smart for that, I'm too smart for that (and also have all the time ...
9
votes
3answers
441 views

How not to give up hope on Scrappy

We all know the spiel: We have an insufferable jerk who is a jerk/annoyance for 95% of his "screen time". In the remaining 5%, he sacrifices himself to save everyone else. The fans dance around a ...
7
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2answers
141 views

Writing on the sides of Buildings [closed]

I sometimes see poetry and art and word-based graffiti on the sides of prominent buildings and it's often inspiring and sometimes wonderful to see this. A couple of examples of what I mean: The ...
5
votes
4answers
302 views

Best way to write chilling, short thriller/horror without getting gory in a natural setting?

What are the tricks to writing short, chilling stories that don't resort to blood or cliched monsters, in a setting in nature of hunter/hunted? EDIT: While this edit isn't meant to invalidate any of ...
7
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8answers
231 views

Why do most literature magazines take so long (several weeks or months) to respond to submissions despite having only a few hundred subs per month?

I have heard that the the editor of F&SF (Finlay) is the only one who reads all the submissions. Yet he always responds within a week! (With detailed comments on each story.) Clarkesworld is ...
10
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5answers
3k views

Is my book too similar to Harry Potter? [closed]

The story takes place in a fictional country I created. There are 6 main characters, 3 girls and 3 boys. They are all "gifted" which are people with special abilities. There are 3 types of gifted, ...
9
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6answers
262 views

Describing an important emotional turmoil in the character's life I've never been through

I have this young character who grows up to be very strong and powerful but while he was young he was still discovering how strong he was. This incident happened to a friend he's protective of. When ...
9
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4answers
567 views

How to hide a character's identity from the audience?

My trilogy features two important characters that I wish to keep the identities of hidden. The first is the series' deuteragonist, who is heavily implied to be Jeanne d'Arc (yes, THAT Jeanne d'Arc), ...
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2answers
199 views

Making similies and metaphors work as intended [closed]

Similies are like the Reddit 50/50 challenge: you either get something very good, or your eyes will melt off. I mean, you can ruin the mood with a bad one and make yourself a laughing stock. Metaphors ...
-2
votes
2answers
220 views

How to defeat a strategic mastermind without throwing the idiotball? [duplicate]

My antagonist is a "strategic mastermind", similar to the one discussed in How to prevent seeming like a Marty Stu-ish villain is cheating? Proceeding from this kind of antagonist, my question is how ...
6
votes
3answers
170 views

Can I assume readers will root for my protagonist in a man vs. beast story?

I am writing a short Sci-Fi story centered entirely on the man vs. beast narrative where the protagonist attempts to escape an unstoppable, bloodthirsty creature for roughly 15 pages. From the first ...
7
votes
5answers
153 views

Executing a tonal shift

A novel's tone/atmosphere is typically established within the first few chapters of the book. So, let's say, we establish the story as a light-hearted, over-the-top fantasy deconstruction, with humor ...
20
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10answers
5k views

How to make a repeating plot “slice” not annoying

In my fantasy novels, I don't want to kill anyone off, I just want to get them injured, like badly. I made up numerous believable excuses for this (low-violence, a genuine will to live on the enemies' ...
0
votes
1answer
137 views

Making an existential horror work without really showing it [closed]

I have an idea for a story: My setting is reminiscent of some computer games, in that Player Characters (PCs) are essentially immortal - they reincarnate indefinitely, and can continue to kill the ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Using profanity

I'm working on a war novel (sci-fi). My initial plan was for my MC to start out with a very clean language, almost comically clean, and as the plot progresses and the situation gets more FUBAR, his ...
3
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2answers
87 views

On what basis can existing writings be analyzed? [closed]

On what basis can I analyze the piece of writing? Like, what are the things that tells me writers state of mind, or certain effects that a writer has tried to create for a purpose or why has the ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

What is the correct way to switch dialogue between two or more characters during a conversation without it being confusing for the reader? [duplicate]

When I use dialogue within the stories I write I have a bad habit of writing dialogue after dialogue without indication as to who is talking. An example is when I do this in a story “Arden! Darling,...
19
votes
9answers
4k views

Avoiding Slang whilst Writing

I sometime express my personality too much in my more creative fiction. When I get going, I include slang words and phrases that sound fascinating and are comprehensible to me, but may not be ...
2
votes
2answers
193 views

Making a prolonged training montage work

Training montages and arcs are typically viewed as backstory, something that ends in the prologue, or shows up in flashbacks. They show us a piece of information about the world or a character. This ...
7
votes
6answers
543 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

Who are some examples of recent famous self-published authors? [closed]

What famous authors, within the last 40 years, were self-published?
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1answer
220 views

How to control safety nets in discovery writing

Even though discovery writing is about letting the story go without interference, you still don't want the characters to get killed in the first chapter. For this exists safety nets, people, objects, ...
1
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0answers
47 views

Are you allowed to make references to things like Jedi or The Walking Dead (those are just examples) or do you need permission? [duplicate]

Like will I get sued or something if I just mention/ reference something like that?
8
votes
5answers
280 views

How do I ratchet down expectations in a genre that seems to have gone gonzo?

I've done worldbuilding and extensive plotting for a Book 1 based around a "detective" (not a literal detective but someone who fills that role) who hunts and resolves (neutralizes) occult objects. ...
60
votes
9answers
15k views

How to write a story without conflict, like “My Neighbour Totoro”?

We are used to stories being about conflict. There can be an antagonist, or a hostile environment, or even an internal problem (like depression), but conflict is there. The story arc involves dealing ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

How do I describe drugging? [closed]

I’m supposed to write a scene where someone drugs her husband for sexual purposes. But I don’t happen to know how that works. Does she slip drugs into his food or drink? What would be the condition of ...
4
votes
4answers
863 views

I have characters, no plot [duplicate]

I'm trying to write a story with characters that I already designed long ago and also have planned the world for them a bit, but I cannot come up with an interesting plot. What do you suggest I can do ...
2
votes
3answers
204 views

How to make a harmless villain

TvTropes alert! Harmless villains are the straightforward opposite of a complete monster and the typical evil overlord in fantasy, and so, creating one who can raise the steaks or look threatening is ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Avoiding Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy

Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy is when the audience is put off by the incredibly dark nature of a fictional work and won't care what happens next, lose interest or want all the characters to die off....
39
votes
7answers
5k views

How often should I remind my readers of the setting?

My story takes place in a city during a hard winter: streets are covered with snow, the wind is blowing, the river is frozen. I describe all the setting in the very first scene. My character leaves ...
6
votes
5answers
258 views

What is the structure and important points to cover in a first chapter?

I feel like I have everything except the first chapter; once the story is underway I feel like I know where to go, but I'd like some guidance in getting it all started when the reader knows nothing at ...
25
votes
6answers
5k views

Is it Ok to make up places if I want the reader to think it’s set in the real world?

What I’m doing is making a story in the medieval times and I wanted to make up a village and have my characters be there and travel around there but do I have to make everything around there in the ...
6
votes
4answers
148 views

Describing slices of a tedious eternity without becoming tedious

This is a story of a guy in the waiting room for the afterlife. Because this guy was a horrible specimen of humanity in his lifetime he is 100% sure that he is going to end up in hell and he doesn't ...
6
votes
2answers
181 views

On copyright infringement and plagiarism

So, I'm writing a novella about this guy named Peter, who is an actor living in LA. In the fall, he comes back to his hometown, a small town in New Jersey, after a gap of three years. He has a large ...
14
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I take breaks, or focus harder?

I often have trouble deciding whether (or how often) to take breaks from writing, or to "double down" and try to write, and try to eliminate anything distracting me from that. I am not looking for ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Brands to use, brands not to use

Inspired by GGx's question Will traditional publishers force you to remove brands? I would probably not want to mention a brand name of a small brand in my work: a small brand might not want to be ...
17
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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 ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

Fiction Writing - has it all been done before?

It's a simple fact the there are more fiction books in existence now than one person could possibly read in a lifetime. Add to this the supposition that all plots, themes and genres have been ...
2
votes
8answers
271 views

Is it important to research the topic of your novel/story before writing it?

Let's say you're writing a story about magic. Does it have to be based on real facts and real magic or can you just make up everything and it doesn't have to be based on real facts?
5
votes
2answers
178 views

Can I use the name of an already-existent band for my fictional one?

I made up a fictional band for a story and called it Enceladus, only to discover that there is already a real band with the same name (not a very well-known band). Could I still use the name without ...
3
votes
2answers
155 views

Breaking the Fourth Wall in Creative Non-Fiction

I went to see Deadpool 2 at the weekend and it got me thinking about fourth wall awareness in my own writing, specifically in creative non-fiction that's based on my own life. According to the first ...
4
votes
4answers
172 views

What would you say is the best way to get a self published book popularized without making a blog?

I feel like a new blog would be too hard to gain attention to because for me I don’t especially love talking about writing that much even though I love to write so I just wanted to know if they’re ...
6
votes
5answers
419 views

Concentration whilst Writing

The mental aspect of the physical act of writing is giving me some trouble recently. In other words - I think that I'm thinking too much as I'm writing and it seems to be interfering with my ...
20
votes
11answers
4k views

Do readers not like a book if it's too dark and the characters almost never win?

I started a book and although I wanted it to be dark, will the readers find it too dark if the characters almost never win? Or are a lot of readers into that? In my book the two main characters' whole ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

I want to know if this opening is appropriate for my story or if this is confusing? [closed]

Night, when words fade and things come alive. The leaves murmured as the cool winter breeze gushed through them, Grime Street was illuminated by an old lamp that flared to follow the light. Unsure ...
6
votes
3answers
360 views

How do I describe an accidental kiss between the two main characters that is romantic as well as regretful?

How do I describe an accidental kiss between the two main characters? I want to make it so they got caught up in the situation and that both of them apologise to each other after that, like a kiss ...
18
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9answers
5k views

Is it ok to reference something modern to give the reader a better idea of what something looks like if the book is set in the Middle Ages?

This is a random example but would it be bad if I said something like this when the book is set in a historical setting: “Edwards sword was black and shiny like a brand new car” is it not ok? Should I ...
6
votes
4answers
160 views

How does one go about describing someone doing Naruto like hand symbols?

Like how do I describe if someone is doing symbols with their hands like this? I want to describe specific hand formation but that seems like it’ll be a whole paragraph just for one second of saying ...
12
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9answers
2k views

Where do I start?

Let’s say I’ve created an outline, have explored my characters properly, and have properly broken down each scene to an appropriate level of detail. I know the story, I know the pacing, and I know ...