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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
577 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
1k 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: ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

“Thought” Verbs: A sign of weak writing or a stylistic choice?

According to Chuck Palahniuk you should avoid "Thought" verbs as much as you can. These include: knew, thought, realized, believed, etc. However, I've seen many of them in books that I read. And I ...
6
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
986 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
317 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

Should I start writing even if I'm not sure how the story will end?

I'm writing (planning to write) a fantasy novel. I'm done with the worldbuilding, rules of magic, main characters (even though I think I will add some more in the future) and their initial plots and ...
4
votes
6answers
498 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
4answers
177 views

How to create a title

I am at a dilemma, as I cannot title my novel. So I created these questions. What creates a good title for a novel? What should I include/not include in my title? At the moment, I have come up with '...
3
votes
5answers
270 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
1k 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Does a story necessarily need a theme?

I'm writing a short story From what I understand, the theme is the message that I want to send across. Akin to Beauty and the Beast's "Don't judge a book by its cover" theme, or "Opposites attract." ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the basic elements of a crime investigation story?

I've been delving a lot into the the crime investigation genre, and at first I thought "Simple, just start of with Who, What, Where, When, Why and How and you've got yourself a story!" but I quickly ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Are words like 'cunt' too provocative for use in the current fiction market?

Let's face it, I like edgy writing that borders on inflammatory. I read less for entertainment than I do for expanding my world view. I don't have to agree with the points or even like the style of ...
7
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
388 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. ...
4
votes
4answers
209 views

Can I use prominent people in history to as characters in my fiction?

I am a little puzzled. I want to set my story in a real era that happened; like say, the American civil wars during Lincoln's time, and involve the then prominent figures like Lincoln and McClellan as ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

What sites can I use to crowdsource my writing project?

I have a writing project I'd like to crowdsource. I imagine opening the project definition to an open call, and awarding the work to the most creative writer / thinker based on a sample of their work ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I use ellipses or em dashes to denote pauses in speech?

I flipped open its latch and peered inside. A—gold tooth? I flipped open its latch and peered inside. A ... gold tooth? Was it an elephant? No, elephants didn't frequent beaches. It ...
4
votes
1answer
508 views

Dealing with lackluster plot failure

So, I wrote the beginning of something about novel-sized. I drafted totally sweet, lovable protagonists in an interesting, original relationship, I placed them in a solid world, I painted the ...
3
votes
1answer
804 views

When to keep the passive voice and when to remove it

This is something I wrote: The person was standing in the middle of the clearing, facing away from me. It was a girl. She was wearing a red knit hat, a white sweater, an a gray plaid skirt that ...
3
votes
2answers
673 views

How to determine whether or not a plot twist is needed?

I should start by saying that this question is not this question, How to decide if a plot twist worth doing despite how similar they sound. And, the answer I'm looking for was not at this question ...
2
votes
1answer
273 views

Tips for making writing move fluidly

I think there's a problem in my writings, that I can describe as not being fluid, and lacking in smooth transitions. Based upon this, I'm interested in tips at shifting focus smoothly between ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

Should I make my prologue chapter 1?

My prologue is set 17 years before the main story arc. I am reflecting on the discussion here, which was asked by another SE contributor. I'm trying to decide what to do with my prologue. Building a ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Swearing - Censor, allude, or include?

I was reading this thread, but it didn't quite the answer a question I had about creative writing and whether profanity should be used or not, in a way that is best for creative storytelling. Here's ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Punctuating dialogue with oneself

I am wondering what the convention is for punctuating dialogue with oneself. In particular, if a character speaks to himself, do the words need to be put in open and closed quotes? Note that the ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

I'm scared that my story is plagiarizing another story

I am working on my debut story. In my freetime, I write another story that will be the start of a series. The series consists of Steampunk fairytale retellings. Lately, I have been worrying that it ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Multiple characters without names: how to address

First off, the answer might be pretty much obvious (that there is no clear way to distinguish these characters) but I would still very much like to have perspectives (and perhaps even get an answer). ...
1
vote
3answers
447 views

At what age can I publish a book? [duplicate]

I am writing a novel called "Kimberly Rose," but the thing is, I'm 12. I'm not sure if there is an age cap when it comes to publishing books. Please tell me if you know.
0
votes
2answers
131 views

Do light conditions affect writing? [closed]

I've started to notice that I do a lot more writing at night, with my lights off. When I write with a light on, I get a slight migraine, and I'm not sure why. So do different lighting conditions ...
-1
votes
6answers
369 views

How do you handle it when a controversial philosophy is an essential part of your story?

What do I mean? Well, teleporters: "Every room resets. Remember I told you that? Every room reverts to its original condition. Logically, the teleporter should do the same. Teleporter. Fancy ...
61
votes
9answers
16k 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 ...
53
votes
10answers
14k views

Traits of Bad Writers - Analysing Popular Authors

I realise that this question can fall in the scope of personal opinion but I am looking for something concrete. Very often, not only on this site but other writing related sites, I find people ...
36
votes
8answers
7k views

How do I stop using 'the' to start sentences so much?

Something that always bothers me in my writing is how often I start sentences with the word "the". A terrible nonsensical example: The dog ran through the rain-swept streets, chasing a ball he ...
36
votes
13answers
10k views

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

Background: I'm developing names for places/characters/races/etc. in my world. One example are a particular political sect. The sect are a group within a different species that are named (the species ...
42
votes
13answers
12k views

Averting Real Women Don’t Wear Dresses

Real Women Don’t Wear Dresses is when writers portray female characters possessing traditional feminine qualities as being less desirable, competent and reliable instead of their tomboy foils. They ...
42
votes
14answers
9k views

What can a novel do that film and TV cannot?

I have enjoyed writing prose for years and have a few short stories penned. I would like to build up to a novel but believe I have identified a potential weakness in my storytelling. My style is ...
47
votes
12answers
17k views

'The Chosen One' paradox

In many books novels or other forms of fictional writing, the reader is introduced to a so called 'chosen one'. This character or being is of higher power or in general, of different nature than other ...
16
votes
17answers
2k views

What should step one in writing a novel be?

I have had an interest in writing for years, but I don't know where to start or how to organize the process of "becoming a writer." I have plenty of time, but don't know what to do first. This past ...
25
votes
8answers
11k views

How can I Avoid Being Frightened by the Horror Story I am Writing?

Yes, I have to admit it. I don't like horror movies because (shocker) I find them scary. Unlike other people in my house, I do not like being scared. Especially right before I go to bed. I dislike ...
20
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
663 views

Are there good tips on being a better *creative* writer?

I'm a student at Case, and while we of course have an English department, it seems the only kind of writing classes/courses available are for learning to be either a "literary" writer, or a "scholarly"...
16
votes
7answers
7k views

What is considered “childish” in fictional writing?

There are some people who have read some of my book so far and they think it is childish and then some say it's somewhat morbid. What are your views on what each of those terms means?
55
votes
12answers
14k 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 ...
40
votes
13answers
16k views

Avoiding the “not like other girls” trope?

The "not like other girls" trope is pretty common in young adult fiction, arguably misogynistic, and usually applied to a female protagonist or love interest. Attempts to make a female character ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

What software/techniques do people use to gather ideas?

I'm planning to create a game. It won't be the first game I've created (or even released), but it will be my first game with any story to speak of. I'm still very much in the planning phase of the ...