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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4answers
7k 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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....
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9answers
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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 ...
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16answers
10k 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 ...
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12answers
7k 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 ...
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6answers
3k 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 ...
14
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6answers
4k 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. ...
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13answers
7k views

Painting ritualistic murder in a “good-guy” light?

My good guys murder people. They slowly carve runes onto them to help defeat the bad guys. Sure they try to use "society's worst" people for the rituals, but realistically that doesn't always happen. ...
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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 ...
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7answers
4k views

Character is an expert on something I'm not

My OC Edward, who I thought of quite a while ago but haven't done anything with, is a professional cyber spy and hacker. He's employed by an organization (in the future, of course) that is basically ...
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7answers
961 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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: ...
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6answers
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“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 ...
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10answers
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1000 words a day for a part-time writer

I've got a 40h, full-time job, as many do. Yet I'd like to become a writer someday, or at least, bring a novel through the first draft. This considered, I'm trying to give myself a daily target of ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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." ...
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5answers
1k 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
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3answers
637 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 ...
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3answers
927 views

How to write about an emotion you never experienced?

Is it possible for a writer to describe realistically a never felt emotion? For example I have never experienced faith, or being truly in love. I've never physically hurt anyone and have no idea of ...
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7answers
2k 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 ...
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6answers
4k views

How to hide something in plain sight (and keep it hidden)?

I’d like to include in a story “mysteries” and deceptions that (ideally) should be obvious in hindsight (By obvious, I mean "elephant in the room" kind of obvious). How to give to the reader every ...
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6answers
530 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 ...
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5answers
316 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 ...
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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
453 views

How to refer to a character who doesn't know her name?

I am writing a book that begins with the protagonist having amnesia (cliché, I know). At first, I wrote it in the first person jumping from one character to another, however I had to write a whole ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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2answers
646 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 ...
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5answers
732 views

Research overgrown main novel plan and writing

I want your opinion on this: For about half a year now I've researched my novel. Because of situating the story to the part of an original Earth's history, I made my research about history, ...
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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 ...
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4answers
217 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
558 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 ...
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3answers
3k views

How to write a conversation

Conversation is the thing I have most difficulties with while writing stories. How do I write a conversation so it will be clear who said what, and in a way that's not like a court transcript? Should ...
3
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2answers
804 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 ...
3
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1answer
904 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 ...
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4answers
5k 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 ...
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4answers
5k views

How do we handle pauses in a dialogue?

How do we handle pauses in a dialogue? Let's say that character A speaks and then after a pause character A speaks again. How should we separate the two moments, should we write two lines of ...
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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 ...
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4answers
8k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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). ...
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0answers
23 views

How do you properly quote a quote as a title? [duplicate]

There's this sentence from Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing that I want to use as a header/title of my project, and I need ...
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3answers
514 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.
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2answers
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Can a male writer write from a female perspective? [duplicate]

The question is pretty straightforward. Can a male writer write a first person story of a female protagonist? What limitations might he face in writing about the other gender? Should he just stick to ...

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