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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9
votes
6answers
324 views

Describing an important emotional turmoil in the character's life I've never been through

I have this young character who grows up to be very strong and powerful but while he was young he was still discovering how strong he was. This incident happened to a friend he's protective of. When ...
9
votes
3answers
171 views

How to write exciting updates?

For my Pathfinder campaign I write an update each session which I share with my players. The goal for these updates is: Provide a brief recap of the previous session Get people excited for the next ...
8
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7answers
9k views

Is it important to describe how the characters are dressed?

One thing that I never mention in my stories is how the characters are dressed. Well, except when they are being described for the first time, when the main character first meets them. How important ...
8
votes
3answers
316 views

Any Tips On Writing Extended Recollection In A Novel

So, I've been working for about a month now on my latest novel but have come across some issues in regards to recollections of past events. I'll outline what I mean, because that's a bit general... ...
7
votes
1answer
248 views

Researching sensitive subjects

How do you research subjects for a novel that might be sensitive? Both cultural and jurisdictional. Example: I usually try to "research" the setting and characters for my texts from real life. When I ...
7
votes
3answers
304 views

Likeable characters with deplorable professions?

I'm planning out an idea for a short story. In the story, slavery didn't abruptly end but instead continued to modern day and beyond. The structure of the story will be similar to The Last Question by ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Writing a Platonic Relationship

I'm writing a story, however I just can't seem to form a platonic relationship between my characters. Whenever I am writing my characters (Eric and Abigail), it feels they should just kiss and make ...
7
votes
2answers
29k views

How to format news, poems, text messages, and other kinds of written text?

I always find myself wondering how to format written text: news (on TV and newspapers), text messages (from a cellphone), lyrics, and poems. Right now, I just put them in a new paragraph and italicize ...
7
votes
3answers
246 views

Is it true that writers don't really need agents and they can just query publishers directly, as Dean Wesley Smith says?

While I tend to agree with the writer & publishing guru, Dean Wesley Smith, that agents are usually a liability and that it is wrong for writers to hand over their royalties to them, I am not sure ...
6
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3answers
245 views

Is it true that a great cover is enough to sell many copies of your book

I've come across podcasts and internet articles about self-publishing in which they basically say that books with fantastic covers and interesting blurbs tend to sell lots of copies even if the actual ...
6
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2answers
243 views

To what extent 'Reality' be included while writing 'Realistic' Fiction literature?

According to wiki, Realistic fiction typically involves a story whose basic setting (time and location in the world) is real and whose events could feasibly happen in that real-world setting. ...
6
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4answers
485 views

Preserve “The Reveal” vs lying to the reader

My story involves a kind of plot-twist towards the end. The problem is that the one of the sources of the misdirection comes from a kind of "Story so far" chapter towards the beginning. It sets up ...
5
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5answers
407 views

How do you handle slang with questionable spelling?

Imagine the following common conversation: Q: What are you up to? A. The usual Now imagine it spoken by certain kids these days: Q: What are you up to? A: The yooooshj. My question ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

How to improve logic/reduce plot holes?

One of my biggest weakness is logic/plot holes. And it's not only about inconsistency in my stories, but my character often have contradictory thoughts and do stuff that come up as unbelievable. I'm ...
5
votes
2answers
397 views

Changing the way one addresses a character in a dialogue to create variation

I wrote the following dialogue: After a moment, Eri's mother appeared from the kitchen, carrying a tray with miso soup. Eri was startled by the amount of food. Her parents were definitely ...
4
votes
4answers
203 views

How can I introduce languages that will be spoken in the long term?

My story is a little bit weird because it starts in a Spanish speaking country and then moves to Japan where everybody speaks japanese and I don't know how to introduce this new language that will be ...
4
votes
2answers
314 views

Convergent, parallel plotlines okay?

So I saw Over Plotting My Story this morning, and I thought "Am I making the same mistake?" If so I'd rather fix it soon than later. I then did a search for multiple plot branches and found Are ...
4
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5answers
530 views

What are “good” writing habits?

I always read that good writers shouldn't use similitudes and metaphors. Also, a writer shouldn't use too many descriptions. Then, I read Raymond Chandler and my little stupid world of securities went ...
4
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2answers
1k views

How to shorten meandering dialogue?

My story Cured (which I've asked about before, but has undergone major revisions since then), has an extremely large section of dialogue that annoys my beta tester. I agree with her that it should be ...
4
votes
4answers
140 views

What format should I use when beginning a chapter with the time and location of the events?

What format should I use when beginning a chapter with the time and location of the events? I was thinking to use: Nine pm. Sunday, in Los Angeles, CA, USA. but I don't think it looks good, so I ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

How do I compensate for lack of knowledge about foreign accents and takling styles?

In my novel, Matt goes to the club in Moscow and starts walking towards a Russian mafia. I have written the following line; Christoff was sitting in the club balcony with his acquaintances. As ...
4
votes
2answers
245 views

How to organize your ideas, how to keep reasonable when writing

I tried to write about specific subject but i had a problem which is: I always lose concentration and forget some important things to write. Sometimes, a secondary idea comes to my mind and made me ...
4
votes
4answers
174 views

How to write Arabic in dialogue for an English piece?

I have a character who is a Syrian refugee to Canada. His first language is Arabic, but he's lived in Canada long enough that he's learned English and uses this as his primary spoken language. On ...
4
votes
4answers
445 views

Are paragraph spaces used for emphasis?

I am writing a story and I have these 3 sentences that elaborate on the ending of a first page. This way the reader will continue to read my story. My question is, am I allowed to place paragraph ...
4
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4answers
182 views

What would you say is the best way to get a self published book popularized without making a blog?

I feel like a new blog would be too hard to gain attention to because for me I don’t especially love talking about writing that much even though I love to write so I just wanted to know if they’re ...
4
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3answers
365 views

Sympathy for a villain [duplicate]

I have a villain. The villain is the hero of their own story. The villain starts off as good, looking to overthrow a monstrous leader. They were once in the same shoes as the heroes. Part of the ...
4
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4answers
122 views

Characterizing a sentient robot: sensory data

I have a sentient robot in my novel. Truth to be told, I have many. Sentience is somewhat cheap to achieve, meaning that there are multiple artificial beings that can be considered sentient by our ...
4
votes
2answers
634 views

Creative writing use and abuse

I am wondering what is the limit, if any, of justifying one's writing style as being creative. I have often seen the use of a single word or phrase as a 'sentence' for creating impact. Example: "It ...
4
votes
4answers
490 views

show-don't tell with word limit

I've signed up for a short story contest where the word limit is 5000 words. In show-don't tell, one invariably uses more words showing than telling. I'm worried about the word limit: What if I use up ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

What happens with changing POV Irregularly?

I have a story that is primarily told from one POV character (third-person limited). However, plotted within this story are a few chapters from other characters. Most of my multiple-POV research ...
3
votes
1answer
449 views

What are the elements of a good blurb?

I'm writing a blurb. To do so, I'm using my favorite novels as examples. Here's one: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. ...
3
votes
2answers
255 views

How much influence does blogging have on learning to write better?

I have 100 blogs and have written for 10 years in my language (Persian), but I'm not focused on increasing my ability to write better. What exercises should a writer focus on when blogging to be a ...
3
votes
4answers
151 views

I'm having an issue committing to my novels [closed]

So, obviously, I'm a writer. I have pretty bad ADD/ADHD and though it's never bothered me before, it's really affecting my writing as of late. I don't really think this is a medical question, as ...
3
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6answers
665 views

Is it OK to add chapters to slow down the pace of the story?

Example: I'm writing a story where the protagonist is searching for some information. She searches for it at her university, and fails. After that chapter, however, she finally finds someone who leads ...
3
votes
2answers
212 views

Skipping telling to get to the showing - pros and cons

In my style of writing, I often find that I lapse into relating what happens or has happened, usually via short, choppy, dead sentences. As far as I can tell, this is because the scene I am writing ...
3
votes
2answers
899 views

Is it possible to turn a cliche into something original?

I always try to avoid cliches as much as I can. But sometimes I just can't; they seem to be the perfect bridge between one scene and the other. For example, in the current novel I'm writing, the ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

Any techniques to make the reader feel sad and very sorrowful?

Are there any techniques which writers can use to really touch the character, and make them feel really emotional because of your writing? I'm trying to improve a dystopian piece of writing. I stood ...
3
votes
3answers
557 views

Is it OK to have two different POVs in a same paragraph (third-person omniscient narrator)?

This is my first time writing a third-person omniscient narrator. And just got stucked in a dilemma. This is the opening of the story: Once again Kuo found himself standing face to face with Mei-...
3
votes
2answers
686 views

How to write for a certain audience?

I'm busy writing a book that I've been putting off for years. In this book the main character starts off as an 18 year old but grows up to be a young adult, sometimes she will think about when she was ...
3
votes
2answers
450 views

How to restart a novel(la)?

I've got a novel(la) of 33,000+ (130 or so manuscript pages) words that I would like to build up to 60,000 or so words - but I'm having trouble restarting the project... So my question is this: what ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Ways of presenting a metaphor/simile/analogy

This is something I wrote (adult content—and very bad description of sex): Strangely, it didn't feel much like sex. I felt we were just exchanging feelings that we couldn't be put into words. ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Are essays supposed to be formal?

After reading a prompt to one of essays, and then looking at this link, I realized how little I know about the actual meaning of an essay. Here is how my definition of "essay" has become muddied over ...
2
votes
4answers
705 views

How to deal with cliche dialogue?

The following is from a story I'm writing: "Goodbye Choco," my mother said, to end the prayer, “may your soul rest in peace,” and crossed herself. “Sorry I couldn’t come earlier,” I said. “I’...
2
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4answers
1k views

How much repetition is too much repetition?

This is a question that'd been bothering me for a while. Here's an example: My heart racing, I wriggled to the edge of the bed and fumbled for Travis' hand. Just make sure to hold onto it, he'd ...
2
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4answers
53k views

Does this sound like a good description of someone falling asleep due exhaustion? Anything I can do to make it sound better? [closed]

I'm trying to describe somebody falling asleep from exhaustion, in first person. I'm currently using a longer, detailed description, but is that the best way? Never had a few moments deliberation ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

What is a “methodology” I can I use/follow to determine the ideal set of protagonists for my story?

So I'm pretty much about to start a new story, which I plan to be a big process. I have several fleshed-out characters in mind, but I'm really not sure how exactly to determine if they're all fit to ...
2
votes
1answer
977 views

Chapter titles or numbers?

I am about to start writing a science-fiction novel, and having only ever written technical documents before, I have very little experience in the finer details of creative writing. In particular, I ...
2
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the best practice for writing a character that speaks with a whistle lisp?

For a character that whistles when pronouncing the "s" sound, how can I write in the lisp effectively? I tried using multiple "S"s, but it reads as a snake-like sound, which I don't want since there ...
2
votes
2answers
698 views

Converting/rewriting present tense narratives to past tense gracefully. Not a question about verb conjugation

I decided a few chapters into a book I'm writing that I dislike present tense, and that I would need to go back and make all instances of present tense past tense to maintain consistency. However, now ...
2
votes
2answers
691 views

How can I implement more show less tell in my writing? [closed]

I wrote this piece, but have had quite a lot of problems with showing, not telling. I am wondering how I can add More SHOW and less TELL in this piece of writing. The morning was warm. Just like ...