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.

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28
votes
15answers
19k 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. (...
26
votes
8answers
11k 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.
19
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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,...
18
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
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 ...
28
votes
13answers
17k 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, ...
14
votes
5answers
16k 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
votes
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 ...
8
votes
6answers
2k 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, ...
11
votes
10answers
10k 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 ...
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
9k 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?
9
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
632 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
541 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
38k 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 ...
29
votes
11answers
6k 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 ...
28
votes
11answers
9k views

An LGBT main character, but the book isn't about LGBT issues

So I'm in the very early stages of plot development on a new story. It focuses on a (nonbinary, hence the they/them pronouns) witch named Kem who recently discovered their powers and met some ...
18
votes
12answers
6k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
10k views

How to avoid using “he/she/it” repetitively in action

Please do not make this a duplicate, I know there's a couple of questions like this, but they are not quite like my question, and their answers don't answer my question to the fullest, hence me asking ...
14
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
13answers
21k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
238 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
13k views

No English degree, what are my chances on successfully publishing a novel?

I don't have an English or Writing-related degree in any way. As of right now, I have no degree, but what I mean is that I'm not even pursuing a degree in writing. How does this hurt my chances? Do ...
6
votes
7answers
1k 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
398 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 ...
68
votes
22answers
21k 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....
27
votes
11answers
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
4k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
1k views

How to develop a story for a novel?

I am looking for some inspiration on where to start writing a novel. I have a general idea for a plot and characters, but I don't feel it's enough for sitting down and starting to write. It needs a ...
63
votes
17answers
14k views

Avoiding racist tropes in fantasy

I'm interested in starting a pleasure project: a fantasy story, along the lines of a witch delivering a prophecy to a king about a dangerous and deceitful foe who will overthrow him, and the king ...
45
votes
14answers
11k 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 ...
15
votes
11answers
2k 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
16k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
5k views

How to Write an Eldritch Abomination?

My trilogy features an otherworldly monstrosity called Fenrisúlfr as it's primary antagonist, whose characterisation takes cues from Nyarlathotep, Sauron, Showa!King Ghidorah, Sutekh, Makuta Teridax ...
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 ...
18
votes
6answers
2k 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....
12
votes
9answers
288k 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 ...
38
votes
16answers
8k views

How do I convey that a relationship is platonic?

I've been toying around with the idea of writing a novel. The story revolves around two characters, one male and one female, and the perspective will shift between them. One of the central ideas of ...
20
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 ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

How to write a Complete Monster?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with TV Tropes lingo, a Complete Monster is the worst kind of villain imaginable: one that is evil to the core and has little to no redeeming traits whatsoever. ...
27
votes
12answers
6k views

Should we avoid writing fiction about historical events without extensive research?

I was thinking about writing about the Holocaust, but I am not sure if it's a good idea since I am not sure if people would feel offended if I exaggerate certain events or facts even if it makes the ...
21
votes
8answers
4k views

Help, I cannot decide when to start the story

So, this probably came up already thousands of times, though here I am. So let me explain... I have a story I want to tell. I am planning for it to become a novel, possibly multiple novels because of ...
10
votes
7answers
845 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 ...