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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5
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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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4answers
339 views

should I use predictable plot elements?

I see many similarities in films to the point where I can often guess what will happen next,even if the part was intended to be suspenseful. is that bad writing? should "plot twists" always be ...
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6answers
812 views

Credibility of using English in non-English-speaking worlds

In the Magic Tree House series, two ordinary English-speaking kids travel to different faraway lands through a portal. Every character they meet, whether it's ancient Greece or ancient China, speaks ...
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3answers
461 views

Ways to reduce the -ing verbs in dialogue and action tags?

I find myself writing these a lot: "Thanks." She tilted her head shyly to the side. As soon as she did, her chin-length hair slid off her face, revealing the bowl-sized bruise that made her ...
26
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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 ...
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14answers
8k views

Do I really need to have a scientific explanation for my premise?

So, in my post-apocalyptic novel, the world was caught up in an international war (basically WWIII), and all the world's nuclear superpowers launched their warheads and killed much of the global ...
23
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12answers
6k views

When writing science fiction, how important is it to provide scientific details for the (fictitious) things you are presenting in the story?

I know there is a difference between 'hard' and 'soft' science fiction. But even then, it can be hard to know what sort of categorization in which to place and treat your story, and it is not really ...
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 ...
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6answers
818 views

How to get feedback about the quality of one's fictional writing from friends unbiased by the friendship?

It is a little strange to ask, but are there ways to get feedback from friends about the quality of fictional writing (whether they liked it, not more objective aspects like spelling/grammar/etc.) ...
15
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6answers
3k 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 ...
12
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7answers
2k views

Intentionally leaving out a part of the story, for a more interesting reveal?

In the story I am writing, I have a character who is working on a project and will present it to a group of judges who will mark it in a sort of examination. The project is a source of stress for the ...
10
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3answers
609 views

How can you write during a full work day?

As provided in this excellent answer by @what, there is a certain 'creative time,' for writing, when you can write the best. I've been aware of this for awhile, though I never really saw it for what ...
9
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4answers
716 views

New digital ways of presenting a novel in 2011?

The traditional way of presenting a novel is in a book. I know about e-books too. Do you know another digital ways of presenting a novel? For instance, a blog, a twitter novel or something like the ...
8
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6answers
1k views

Superpowers in Writing - Cool for the sake of cool

I originally started planning/writing a short story that was more or less based on a few popular trends in YA/Sci-Fi writing (interstellar travel, superpowers, etc) just as an exercise to force myself ...
8
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6answers
933 views

How to use short stories to explore a new setting and potential characters for a novel?

I'm an aspiring fantasy and sci-fi writer and I my goal is to write a novel that is to be the first in a series within the same setting. I'm getting to a point where I can feel "the world coming ...
8
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10answers
925 views

Should dull dialogue be removed completely?

The following dialogue is from a novel I'm writing (first draft): "You're quiet tonight," Erin said to Benjamin, who seemed to be lost in thoughts. He looked up and took a sip of his drink. "...
8
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3answers
960 views

Can we use other things than single-word verbs in our dialog tags?

"Albert, you're already drunk! Stop it!" she implored him. "Nah, if I stop drinking, I won't have an excuse to miss work tommorrow!" he joked around. I am wondering if it's possible to use ...
8
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4answers
810 views

Publishing fiction: when do I start looking for an agent?

I am just about finished with the first draft of a novel I've been working on. I've been writing novels for about ten years and I've self-published a couple, but I'm looking to peek into the world of "...
7
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5answers
2k views

How can you humanize infanticide of the evil-tainted?

The world is surrounded by an alternate realm called the spirit world. Humans existed as separate physical entities, but maintain an attachment to the spirit realm due to their connection with god. ...
7
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5answers
851 views

Is it strange/confusing to initiate/introduce a dialogue without a dialogue tag?

In other words, is it strange/confusing to do this? For the next few seconds, I watched Aiko read the letter with her lips agape---lips that steadily curled up into a smile. A contagious one. ...
6
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7answers
670 views

What makes a bestseller - Writing or Setting?

Note: I define 'setting' as where and when a novel takes place, as well as what the genre entails. It is the background to the picture of the story. I realize there are a lot of factors that ...
6
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5answers
600 views

How to make the reader “accept” absurdity?

A few examples of what I refer to as ridiculous scenes: A psychic gives the protagonist a business letter with only her name - no phone, no address - saying that there's no need to call her. She's ...
6
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2answers
3k views

Structuring a novel like a television or graphic novel series

I have spent a lot of time reading graphic-novels and watching television series, most of which were anime. Now that I have reached the point where I'm ready to begin writing, I feel drawn to the ...
6
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4answers
10k views

Is it correct to use verbs like “sighed” and “laughed” as dialogue tags?

In other words, is it correct to write something like this: "Oh," he laughed. "Sorry, I'm not sure what's with me today." (Every time I see something like this, I think: "...
6
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3answers
441 views

How to transition from poetry to song-writing?

I've written poetry since I was nine, and I would say I'm pretty good at it. I also really like music, and I can create simple melodies that I hum to myself. But whenever I try to write a song, my ...
6
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6answers
4k views

How short can a poem be until it can no longer be a poem?

I am on a small journey to help me understand what the definition of a poem is to different people, what poems mean to them. This made me wonder, some poems are longer than others, so: How short ...
6
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11answers
558 views

Can writing actually be creative?

I've been pondering this a lot just now. After reading and learning about tropes online, rhetoric devices, and all relative things, it's come to my attention that writing seems less of a creative, ...
5
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5answers
172 views

Picking a place to start (In media res)

I'm about to start a new story, and I feel it would be better if I started in media res. (aka at some point in the middle.) I know this is a fairly common style used to hook readers into the story but ...
5
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4answers
630 views

How to add depth to primary female character that contrasts well with primary male characters

I am attempting to write a relatively complex SciFi military novel following 3 primary characters. A male and female protagonist, and a male antagonist. So far none of those characters are aware of ...
5
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4answers
1k views

Is there still a market for solo adventures game books?

Game books like Choose your Own Adventure, Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf series were very popular in the past. They are a series of single-player gamebooks. Typically, beginning at the first section,...
5
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6answers
430 views

Are there words that are “stronger” than others? If so, why?

By strong I mean causing intense feelings in the reader. I thought about this while I was editing my novel (I consider the second cases to be stronger words): I turned to the left I twisted to ...
4
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1answer
544 views

How Can You Find A Writing Buddy?

I have noticed I work best in collaboration with another. I am extremely prolific and have a lot of time for writing. So how do you find that reliable, positive person who is deeply involved in ...
4
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5answers
711 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, ...
4
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3answers
970 views

Different types of “Flashbacks”

In a novel, particurlarly fiction, what are the basic ways to reveal something that happened in the past? What ways, (flashback, protagonist telling, etc.) are the most used and most effective? ...
4
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3answers
521 views

Effectively conveying an unreliable narrator

I have been working on a post-apocalyptic novel for about a year. My female narrator/protagonist, named Eris, was isolated for almost all of her life until meeting a rogue group of survivors and ...
4
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1answer
50 views

How do I record information when planning to write a recap of events?

For my pathfinder game I write session updates after each session. I have previously asked about How to write exciting updates? This question is about the planning phase for writing these updates. ...
4
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3answers
346 views

Scenes with different languages spoken after translation

So... imagine you have a story in your native language written down, with protagonists that speak this language and no problem at all, except a bunch of scenes where your protagonist meets someone who ...
4
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3answers
983 views

Tips on engaging the audience in the first chapter?

What are some tips you would recommend to immediately attract a reader, or make the story interesting enough to continue reading? I want to know if there are any specific techniques or ways that you ...
3
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3answers
2k views

What is the purpose of showing [duplicate]

If I have a hard time dissecting showing directly, then I just simply ask about the end result: What showing wishes to create in the readers?
3
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8answers
1k views

Does a novel require a conflict?

Unless a better writer can dissuade me I am minded to say no. The 'essential' 'conflict' is cultural. It is part of the western 'Human Condition' - Eastern cultures have stories without conflict. ...
3
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1answer
522 views

How do I describe a complex Character?

The Character I want to describe is neither the Protagonist nor the antagonist. He's a side character. Yet, he's going to have a very big part in my story. He is a not so open personality with ...
3
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1answer
308 views

Should I take up a Creative Writing online course? [closed]

To begin with I am a novice with no particular experience in Creative writing. However, I come from a technical background and I have experiences of writing the long academic thesis. I have finished ...
3
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4answers
2k views

How do we draw the line between plagiarism and allusion?

It’s no secret that in literature we see characters that remind us of other characters. Furthermore, it’s no secret we see plots that remind us of other plots. For example, an author reads Book A and ...
2
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3answers
128 views

How would a god-like character react to losing their godhood?

A character in my book is a (small g) goddess, who has limited knowledge of all her worshippers and the natural world. She and a group of others were raised to godhood by their friends many years ago, ...
2
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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 ...
2
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2answers
982 views

Tenses I should use in a translated-novel

I have been translating a novel that is originally written in my native language into English. Considering that the book's plot is the author's experience of a life that has happened in the past, I've ...
2
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2answers
252 views

How do you cite when using a reference twice within the body of a composition but not necessarily in the same paragraph?

How do you cite when using a reference twice within the body of a composition but not necessarily in the same paragraph?
2
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4answers
328 views

How do I know, how to limit the details?

While writing a novel, which is a drama, how do I manage the amount of trivial details or trivial information, that I want to give to help the readers visualize the scene but given the details have no ...
2
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5answers
490 views

Is it a good idea to make the protagonist pull themselves together

Is it a good idea, to make the protagonist pull themselves together at a point in a work of fiction. I've been writing a novel, and for practically the entire first half the main protagonist has been ...
1
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4answers
135 views

Is it a bad idea to use footnotes to describe new technologies in a science-fiction novel?

I am wondering if we can use footnotes to describe technologies used in a science-fiction novel instead of describing it by switching from an omniscient POV, that describes everything in a poetic way, ...