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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2answers
188 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 ...
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6answers
394 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 ...
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9answers
19k 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 ...
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10answers
15k 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 ...
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8answers
13k 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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14answers
10k 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 ...
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12answers
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'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 ...
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9answers
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Is it smart to reserve one's best ideas or to utilise them early in their writing career?

At the very commencement of my writing "career" (I have virtually zero experience), I have an idea I would like to flesh out and turn into a full story. Being extremely proud of the concepts I have ...
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17answers
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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 ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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13answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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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?
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12answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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9answers
20k views

Software to organise world building?

There were a couple of other questions about this, but they were asked many years ago, so I thought I'd start a new one. For a long time, I used Wiki on a Stick to organise my worlds and allow for ...
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16answers
17k views

Is no religion a bad thing?

(I believe I've asked about a half dozen questions pertaining to this post-apocalyptic novel, including my "is this story too diverse" question. This sort of pertains to that.) Last night, I thought ...
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13answers
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To what extent should we fear giving offense? [closed]

Recently we have seen multiple questions on various aspects of political correctness. They have sparked some measure of disagreement, which is what I wanted to examine here. To what extent should we ...
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11answers
10k views

Is it bad to have no gender variety?

The majority of stories, movies, shows, comics, and other media I've read or seen have a pretty even split between men and women, and that's fine, I don't have a problem with it. But if I want to ...
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11answers
5k 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 ...
19
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8answers
3k views

How to introduce alien flora/fauna without turning the fiction into a biology book?

Got advised on Worldbuilding’s Sandbox to post here, so here I am. I don’t even know if the word “alien” applies here because to the eyes of the characters, those animals and plants won’t be alien at ...
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9answers
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What should come first—characters or plot?

I'm starting a new fantasy story, and although I had a loose idea of plot, I began sculpting my characters before writing anything. Creating images of them in my head, developing their personalities, ...
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3answers
4k views

How to describe a diverse set of characters without falling into purple prose or exoticism?

In my setting, a city was founded by people from all over the world, and developed in almost complete isolation (long version here). The story in itself starts several generations after the foundation....
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5answers
2k views

How to portray a character with gender dysphoria?

Context In my fantasy novel-in-progress, one of the two main characters has a close friend he's known since childhood. Both of them are greatly developed by their interactions with each other ...
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4answers
1k views

Non-cheap ways to make villains evil?

Do you have any tried and true techniques to make villains of your stories truly hated by the audience? I mean, frequently it's "eh, sure, that's bad, he's got to be stopped" but the audience would ...
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4answers
2k views

Is there a software for story writing with detailed character files and an interactive timeline? (other then aeon timeline and scrivener)

I'm looking for a writing software that's user friendly and doesn't require endless tutorials to figure out. Plotist seems to be a good start, but their timeline is too simple and doesn't even have ...
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7answers
9k views

Evil plans - how do you come up with interesting ones?

I just wrote a long way into a first draft for Nanowrimo before realizing my villain’s evil plan kinda wasn’t interesting at best (and at worst was something we’ve all seen a thousand times before). ...
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16answers
6k views

How do you write boy & girl protagonists without turning them into a love story?

I've played with the idea of a multi-book fantasy story for years, where a female and male protagonists' lives intertwine with one another, the series running from 12-22 years old for them. There ...
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6answers
5k views

How do discovery writers hibernate?

I am 20% outliner and 80% discovery writer, (I know many will object that this is not possible) meaning, I have a very brief outline of what is going to happen in the end and then I go on filling the ...
24
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14answers
3k views

How does a code monkey become a novelist?

I have always loved creative writing, but honestly do not see software engineers that write fiction all that often. Heck, I do not see software engineers that read fiction all that often either. To ...
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7answers
3k views

How do you earn the reader's trust?

Recently, I have stumbled upon a problem. After releasing an issue, I think that I failed to earn the trust of my readers. My analysis is that they did not have enough faith in me to make the "...
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5answers
1k views

How much description is necessary?

I have trouble imagining things. With me everything is blurred, as if I were almost blind. That's why I find it hard to describe things. For example, the protagonists enter a castle. I have a very ...
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5answers
2k views

How to start writing a book?

I'm new to writing and I'm still young (preteen young). I want some advice on writing and help. How am I gonna start my book? What is the best way to begin writing a book?
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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 ...
28
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14answers
14k views

Can a writer joke with the reader without breaking the fourth wall?

Can I, for example, write a whole new storyline inside my novel, and then say something, for example such as: "just kidding"? Or is that breaking the fourth wall?
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3answers
2k views

How to Write a Good Metaphor

I struggle with metaphors. My attempts are either so wild that no-one understands them, so lame that they break down really easily or so normal that they are indistinguishable from cliché. I read the ...
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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?
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4answers
447 views

How much can I trust my players to remember previous states of the story and not get confused?

In my game, the player may run into deadends in the story, which causes the game to end prematurely. This can range from the player simply getting killed, another important character in the story ...
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4answers
2k views

What are some ways of extending a description of a scenery?

I find it very hard sometimes to describe a scenery, especially when the features are very bland, like you describe a city where all of the buildings are tall and look about the same or a plain with ...
10
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5answers
3k views

How to make a debate/discussion between characters less dry?

I've asked questions in the past about dialogue and I've read some questions about balancing dialogue with plot, however I have discovered yet another corner case in my writing. In my story Cured, the ...
9
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5answers
688 views

Am I breaking the “show don't tell” rule in the following passage?

Then, as if sensing my presence, the girl turned around. She looked young. Probably sixteen or seventeen. She had long black hair, crimson red lips, and a skin so pale it made me wonder whether ...
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7answers
8k views

In what order should I describe a setting?

For instance I'm describing the park of an art museum in a foggy day. I'm not sure if I should start with the fog, wind, grass, threes, walking paths, buildings, stairs or something else. Is there a ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Clear steps for developing a powerful inner conflict

This question is similar to this one. However, it is different based on what I am looking for. I know what inner conflict is, and I know why I need it. I have tons of examples, and I can usually ...
20
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5answers
10k views

Current events may have ruined a name I was going to use

In the middle-grade series I'm working on, there are two organizations: one led by the antagonist, and one that opposes them, which the protagonists join. In the setting of the series, a very small ...
20
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8answers
2k views

How realistic should dialogue and character voices be?

I've heard a lot of conflicting suggestions in the past regarding dialogue, so I'm hoping I can get a solid answer here. Some people have told me that the best way to go about dialogue is to make it ...
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4answers
2k views

Is it okay to say what the character infers about other characters thoughts as fact in third person limited?

The story is third person limited to Bob's point of view. He is with Alice, and I have the following line. Alice sat up proudly, then shrunk back down, realizing where she was. Compare this to ...
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11answers
7k views

How do I have to refer to a person of a specific racial group?

My novel is developed in an East Asian environment (specifically Japan) and my main character is not Asian, she is from Central América and is Mixed Race. Now, my main character is going to refer to a ...
15
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5answers
571 views

Writers Communities?

I don't mean writer's circles, or "auditioning sites", although some of these have forums tacked on as a by the by. Usually places to talk about the beardy philosophy of writing are moribund places as ...
15
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11answers
3k views

Do I need to start off my book by describing the character's “normal world”?

I know a lot of books do it (Harry Potter, LOTR, Wheel of Time). It's even part of the "Hero's Journey". However, my book starts with the "inciting incidient" i.e. my main charatcer begins her first ...

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