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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35
votes
13answers
14k views

Should I use the words “pyromancy” and “necromancy” even if they don't mean what people think they do?

If you look up the exact definition for "pyromancy" or "necromancy" they refer to divination using fire and the dead, respectively. However, if you were to ask a layperson what those words mean, they ...
28
votes
13answers
6k views

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 ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

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, ...
8
votes
3answers
196 views

Point of View Confusion

I’m confused about point of view. In my story—so far—I only reveal to the reader what the main character, a child, can see/hear. Not often, but at times, I write that the child “wondered” or he “...
3
votes
4answers
172 views

How do we distinguish how a character pronounces a word and how it is spelled in a dialogue?

How do we distinguish how a character pronounces a word and how it is spelled in a dialogue? For example, some people pronounce words in a different way than they should, how do you show that in a ...
63
votes
17answers
15k views

Avoiding racist tropes in fantasy

I'm interested in starting a pleasure project: a fantasy story, along the lines of a witch delivering a prophecy to a king about a dangerous and deceitful foe who will overthrow him, and the king ...
3
votes
5answers
195 views

Does each writer have a unique writing style?

I admire the writing style of many other writers and I try to emulate them, but most of the time it doesn't turn out how I want it to. Is this because it's not uniquely my own style, but rather ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is this kind of description not recommended?

I think I read somewhere that when writing, you shouldn't describe characters by their characteristics i.e. The tall man walked across the room Is this true? Maybe I'm misremembering
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 ...
5
votes
5answers
354 views

Why do most authors shed their LitRPG elements as the stories go? Is it a genre convention?

In almost all the LitRPG stories I read, the start of the stories is full of system messages, +1 here and there, even damage prompts saying "Goblin hits Hero for -8 HP". Classes, skills, experience ...
21
votes
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Use of punctuation in song lyrics?

https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/The_Edge_of_Dawn_(Seasons_of_Warfare) The following is the short version of "The Edge of Dawn". Reach for my hand, I'll soar away Into the dawn Oh,...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Formatting a conversation

In a novel, how would one best represent a recorded conversation between two people played back to a larger audience? The normal rules apply regarding quotation marks and beginning a new paragraph ...
8
votes
3answers
938 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 ...
7
votes
8answers
2k views

What are good ways to improve as a writer other than writing courses?

As a novice writer to improve my writing I have taken one online course. I want to ask, what are good ways to improve as a writer other than writing courses?
7
votes
3answers
680 views

How to portray a character who has mood swings?

The protagonist of my trilogy-in-progress suffers from a serve case of Borderline Personality Disorder. Among his symptoms are continually splitting, unstable self-image, chronic feelings of emptiness,...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Multiple lines of dialogue and action from a single character

I am in the middle of writing a scene between two characters, a cello player, Lisa and her friend from college, Jack. Lisa has recently lost her sight, and Jack is trying to encourage her back into ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I know when and if a character requires a backstory?

In my novel, at the point where the MC meets her would-be boyfriend, Rufus, I have added a small backstory about his job. Later on, the story is almost entirely focused on the MC and what happens to ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I show and not tell a backstory? [duplicate]

In my novel, Matt's girlfriend Ella gets kidnapped and Matt is held responsible by the kidnappers. As it wasn't for ransom but as a revenge of something Matt did. And then Matt storms into my MC's ...
5
votes
2answers
213 views

Are writing prompts copyright protected?

I love following writing prompt blogs and accounts on social media because they really get my creativity flowing, my favorite being Writing Prompts on Tumblr and Instagram. I've never actually ...
6
votes
1answer
106 views

Is there a good resource on all different formatting and writing styles throughout history?

I noticed writers in the past used a different format, in terms of punctuation, indentation, quotations, spacing, and paragraph length, and the format can be different from author to author and from ...
3
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
168 views

Is the MC in first person singular always all knowing?

While writing a first-person singular novel, is the MC all-knowing? How do we handle plots which do not include the MC, like something happening with others but not including MC? Will it be taken as ...
6
votes
3answers
395 views

Does the use of a new concept require a prior definition?

In my novel I have written this line; At your deepest core the buddha nature is waiting quietly for you. Now Buddha-nature is a complex concept to understand. If the reader is not savvy about ...
8
votes
1answer
881 views

What's the proper way of indicating that a car has reached its destination during a dialogue?

What's the proper way of indicating that a car has reached its destination during a dialogue? For example, two persons have a conversation, and they reach a destination, is there a standard way to do ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Is this 'complex' metaphor an oxymoron? [closed]

This is from the lyrics "The Edge of Dawn" from Fire Emblem Three Houses: Yet still I hide Behind this mask that I have become My blackened heart Scorched by flames of a force I can'...
10
votes
8answers
724 views

How do I sound like Thanos when I write?

This is really a dumb question but as a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I have watched Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame so many times. One of the most interesting things that popped ...
22
votes
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 ...
3
votes
6answers
313 views

Averting Always Chaotic Evil

Always Chaotic Evil denotes an entire species in a fictional setting as outright evil - no matter how one treats them, they reward kindness with treachery and violence. Frequent recipients of this ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Will I get into trouble if I included some real life historical characters in my historical fiction / alternate history novel? [duplicate]

I'm planning on writing a story set in the past with some historical events as the background. My story will involve the protagonist meeting with some real life characters in history (a fictional ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

What is a good way to come up with original world building ideas? [closed]

I have a hard time coming up with original worlds and plots, but I need a portfolio of original work. Any thoughts on how to come up with ideas?
4
votes
2answers
627 views

Is a fighting a fallen friend with the help of a redeemed villain story too much for one book

In a story I am about to write the best friend of the protagonist is a good, caring and benevolent person, lets call him John. The antagonist is not really a bad person but because of the ...
2
votes
2answers
121 views

Thoroughly conveying my protagonist's thoughts and emotions

I'm currently writing a story in which our protagonist is trapped in a labyrinth of sorts. The twist here is that she is the monster within this maze yet she does not realize it as she has no memory ...
2
votes
4answers
267 views

Would this character be classified as an antivillain, antihero, or something else entirely?

From an analysis standpoint, I'm trying to determine what classification the antagonist and protagonist in my story would fall under in terms of the classic literary labels of "hero," "villain," "...
25
votes
11answers
7k views

How do I stop my characters falling in love?

So I'm writing a short story based in a WW2 American military base camp stationed in Germany. It's about A Jewish Soviet soldier that, with the help of an American soldier and a series of coincidences,...
7
votes
4answers
326 views

What language to write in for a beginner wanting to write fiction?

So far, all of the fiction I've written in my life has been short stories given as writing tasks in school. However, I've always enjoyed reading/watching/experiencing fiction and for the last few ...
25
votes
8answers
7k views

Is an easily guessed plot twist a good plot twist?

In my post-apocalyptic novel, there are two "twists", but they're mostly tied up in each other. The first is that humans have developed different kinds of kineses, like hydrokinesis, telekinesis, and ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Can we have too many dialogue tags and follow up actions?

Can we have too many dialogue tags and follow up actions? I am trying to think of a situation where it might make sense to describe everything the people do while talking, but it also feels overkill, ...
7
votes
4answers
671 views

Storyboarding Approaches for the Non-Artistic

TLDR: Tips and Tricks for storyboarding a novel? For someone who can't draw well enough to do the "Draw and describe method" Hello, having read the "Storyboard a Novel?" as well as some sources ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Do we have to introduce the character's name before using their names in a dialogue tag?

Do we have to introduce the character's name before using their names in a dialogue tag? I am wondering if we can use the names without saying it's a man or a woman, and then making the characters ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

How important are the author's mood and feelings for writing a story?

How important are the author's mood and emotions while writing a story or describing a scene? For example, while writing an erotic scene, is it important for the author to feel the same way as they ...
1
vote
6answers
234 views

what techniques or approaches can I use to explore distasteful concepts while also making them necessary?

In my story democracy crumbles in a nation, replaced by a powerful dictatorship. Our world has been invaded by servants of the elder god, Nyalathotep. Governments have been fighting back for years, ...
4
votes
2answers
76 views

What effect does compounding bring when used in the title of a song, poem, story?

What effect does compounding bring when used in the title of a song, poem, story? Sometimes, you see word that are made of two conjoined words, and you wonder what's the point of it. Does it make a ...
9
votes
2answers
882 views

How would you write the dialogues of two characters talking in a chat room?

How would you write do the dialogues of two characters talking in a chat room? I am seriously wondering about the format. Should it look like regular dialogues, what about emoticons like OWO and ;) ...
6
votes
3answers
313 views

When to finally reveal plot twist to characters?

In a post-apocalyptic novel I'm writing (which is the subject of many questions I've asked on Writing.SE), I recently cut out my entire Chapter 10-11. I was revealing the MC, Eris' finékinesis (death-...
1
vote
2answers
171 views

When to publish satire of current events?

I'm writing a satirical novella of sorts, based on the current American political climate. I'm exploring themes of race, political polarity, and youth. I do want to finish and possibly publish this ...
8
votes
8answers
9k views

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 ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Should you avoid redundant information after dialogue?

Should we avoid repeating redundant information after a dialogue and is there a way around this? Sometimes, you feel prompted to write the description of an action that follows a line, but that also ...
5
votes
3answers
126 views

When should a character refer his dad or someone close in third impersonal person?

When should a character refer his dad or someone close in third impersonal person? Let's say you have a character and his dad is the President of the United States. In what situation is it appropriate ...

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