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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7answers
2k views

How To Settle On An Ending?

I've had a few different ideas for an ending that I've narrowed down to two. They both fit the tone and they both fit the story. But they are also completely different. How do I pick? For example, ...
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4answers
958 views

Will what worked 'back then' work today? (Novels)

Tokein. Jane Austen. Steinbeck. The greats of the past. I often come across people on this site and elsewhere who use the works of these great authors and others as examples and reservoirs of advice. ...
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5answers
492 views

Writing the dialogues of characters who are much smarter than you

A.I. should have perfect English, but because they are mainly servants, they should be easily understood. Cyborgs, on the other hand, not necessarily, because they're augmented humans, but some ...
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1answer
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Sex: How much is too much?

Regardless of genre, at what point does sex stop becoming art and become the erotic blubbering of a perverse mind? Ever since middleschool my writing has had a sensual twist, and it has become more ...
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2answers
198 views

How many elements can you focus on during worldbuilding?

Possibly related: How can I get readers to accept more than 1 "buy" in worldbuilding? Worldbuilding is a tireless art; that's what our brother site Worldbuilding-SE is for, and why as a ...
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5answers
618 views

Pitfalls to avoid when using the “GM technique” for fantasy writing

I've got an idea: If I were to use GURPS (Generic Universal Roleplaying System) for creating a story, then in-universe inconsistencies would practically be impossible. You wouldn't be able to turn ...
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2answers
546 views

Basics in the world building of a novel

About a year ago I started developing something like an alternative world. About two months a go I finally found some time for more work on this theme and now I am collecting information from few ...
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8answers
705 views

How to invoke my creative side without investing too much time?

I suck at writing. There, I admitted it. More often than not, I find my self staring at a blank moleskine page, or the blinking cursor. You see, the problem lies not in writing itself, but ...
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3answers
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How to make horror events more interesting in daytime

In a book I'm writing at the moment I have created a world with a day and night cycle. I have created a veil of mystery over this madman and this machine he's made, however, every event to do with the ...
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8answers
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Referring to different instances of the same character in time travel

I am writing a story that involves time travel, and I have a chapter where a character from the future interacts with his present-day self. This chapter is written from the present-day self's POV. ...
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13answers
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How to make side-characters look competent next to the chosen one?

I'm writing a storyline for a game where the forces of evil have humanity cornered. Truly everything seems lost, that is, until our main character decides to step in. Let's call him Bob. The Chosen. ...
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Do Short Stories Need Definitive Endings?

I'm looking to create a few short stories that are in a shared universe of sorts and I'm curious whether or not I need to have a definitive ending to a story. I'm thinking that the "end" would be more ...
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Invoking Deliberate Values Dissonance

Deliberate Values Dissonance is when the morals of a character or culture in-story (whether historical or fictional) that modern people don't agree with are presented in-universe. Not because the ...
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11answers
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How can I add more fluff to my stories?

Teenage writer here! I have a bunch of great ideas for stories and such but I never really know how to add more fluff or detail into them to make them longer to where readers can read all day and ...
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4answers
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Fiction writing: is using Git overkill? [duplicate]

Hope this question isn't off-topic because it involves programming software (for some reason I think many people in this site has used Git, though). Git is a revision control software to keeps track ...
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5answers
827 views

Peeking through character's mask

Normally, I specialize in strong, determined, uncompromising, extroverted protagonists, "If the laws of physics are against us, too bad, they need to be changed." I'm pretty good in getting them right....
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6answers
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Why are clichés discouraged in fiction writing?

Every writer knows the rule: Avoid clichés like the plague! Wait I can't say that, it is a cliché. Let me try again, I hate to beat a dead horse but... No that won't work either. If you have ever ...
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4answers
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Is there a standard for dealing with lyrics in dialogue and narration in creative writing?

I'm peer-reviewing/editing a paper for a final in my English course and in it, the author has a character singing a song (of the author's creation). The character is singing in dialogue, like so: &...
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9answers
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Is killing off one of my queer characters homophobic?

(For reference, I am queer.) In my post-apocalyptic novel and in the short story from the novel's antagonist's perspective, my MC, Eris' love interest, Caspian, has/had two mothers, Saskia and Ezrith ...
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7answers
407 views

What aspects of written dialogue are important when giving characters a unique voice?

I have a project that I am working on in which I need to write quite a few fictional informal email correspondences between pairs of characters. I am not using these characters in any other context. ...
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4answers
751 views

What makes a good action scene?

Action, in any storytelling medium, is the relationship between build up and pay off. While cinema may emphasize the payoff (pyrotechnics play well to theater-going crowds) it seems that the written ...
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3answers
522 views

Do I need to have a degree to become a writer? [duplicate]

I've always loved to write. Granted I haven't been writing very much these days because of university but I want to publish a book one day. I want to keep writing as a hobby because I want to do more ...
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5answers
505 views

Does self-publishing one's eBook online hurt a writer's chances of later selling the same book to a traditional publisher?

Prior to asking this question, I have found and read similar questions posted by other people and I have come away each time deeply dissatisfied and frustrated by the responses given. Here’s an ...
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4answers
358 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
820 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
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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 ...
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5answers
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What to do with a story fragment?

What should I do when I write an idea, for example a fight scene, but then I find it difficult to write a solution or way to switch from that idea? Should I cancel the whole idea or what, knowing ...
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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 ...
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12answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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
832 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.) ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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7answers
3k 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 ...
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3answers
699 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 ...
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10answers
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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. "...
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4answers
726 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 ...
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6answers
962 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 ...
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10answers
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I feel my protagonist is too “detached” from the main plot. What should I do?

Here's a summary of the plot: The main character goes to a mountain to visit his half-sister. He hasn't seen her in years. She went there to undergo a spiritual healing. Later he discovers her ...
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7answers
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Writing and proofreading a book in English - non-native speaker

I started writing a book. I wanted to write fiction books for a long time, but never really got around doing it. I decided to write in English rather than in my own language for many reasons, one of ...
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3answers
978 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 ...
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6answers
710 views

How to stop writing from deteriorating mid-writing?

I'm not really sure how to describe this, but whenever I write I tend to start off okay-ish but as I progress it all just falls downhill. I think it's because I get too ahead of myself with my ideas ...
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4answers
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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 "...
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5answers
857 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. ...
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5answers
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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. ...
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2answers
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Pros and cons of using real brand/company names?

Examples: Mary sat in front of the computer and fired up Google. Mary sat in front of the computer and fired up the search engine. Jack started up his old car. Jack started up his old Subaru. Bob ...
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4answers
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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: "...
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3answers
643 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 ...
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11answers
572 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, ...
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5answers
655 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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...

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