"Creative writing" is a vague term, but generally means fiction, or writing that's not non-fiction, technical, or business writing.

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Is muteness appearing without explicit reason acceptable?

In one of my stories, my main character was once able to speak, but after being alone for 3 or 4 years in his early 20's without speaking a word, he became mute, unable to speak at all. Is this ...
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1answer
155 views

Omitting “that” in fiction writing

Is it always better to omit "that" when it's not neccesary in a sentence? Example: Erin realized she'd been so busy with work that she'd forgotten to check if her parents were OK. Would that ...
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3answers
579 views

“Variation” and “symmetry” in a sentence

I always find myself wondering whether to add add "variation" or "symmetry" to a sentence. Most of the time I can't make out my mind. Few examples: With the moon still illuminating my way, I ...
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2answers
182 views

Writing, my first attempt [closed]

I would like to undertake a project and write a novel, but I'm not sure how should I start. I have the idea, I just don't know the best way to write it down. Should I just open "Word" and write ...
2
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3answers
567 views

Can several related short-stories make a good base to write a novel?

I've been writing related short-stories for years, but around 10 months ago, I started to think about a novel based on these stories. The same universe, the same main characters but a longer story ...
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2answers
351 views

Tips to identify “noise” or “clutter” in your story

I'm a fan of minimalism so I tend to write stories which are as simple as possible. And sometimes I add elements that don't have a concrete explanation. I leave that to interpretation of the reader. ...
2
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5answers
743 views

Writing exercises to practice the art of giving unique voice to characters?

I've read many blogs which teach you how to give a unique voice to each of your characters. I feel I understand how to do it, but I think I'm a little stuck in the voice I've been using since I ...
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1answer
113 views

Works of fiction containing non-related but constantly alternating narrative streams?

Chapter is set in a particular period in time, having four - at the time - in no way related characters, each of them with their own separate story. My best feeling is these stories should be ...
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3answers
746 views

Making a female character sound more boyish/masculine

There are two characters in the following dialogue. One of them (Yuki) is a tomboy. She has short hair, dresses like a man, and like girls. I want to make her sound more masculine (but not exactly ...
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2answers
132 views

Would it be annoying for the reader if the all the scenes alternate between “present” and flashback?

I'm writing a short story with the following structure: B tells A she is gravely sick and wants to be alone (present) A talks about how he met B in a hospital (flashback) A talks with ...
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3answers
682 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. ...
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4answers
457 views

Is it common for flashbacks to not to follow a chronological order?

I'm writing a short story with the following structure: Scene 1: Deshi and Yuqi are in a mountain searching for an abandoned amusement park (Present) Scene 2: Deshi talks about how he felt ...
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1answer
93 views

Using “by” on the book cover

I have seen many books covers with the following format: [Title] by [name of author]. In other instances, the word 'by' is omitted. Is there any convention for using 'by' on the cover page of a ...
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1answer
312 views

Is the following analogy effective and clear?

"Why you so sure the stone doesn't exist?" Yuki asked. I took a sip from my glass, then raised my eyes. A moth was hovering around the wall lamp. Yuki was right: why I was so certain about ...
2
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2answers
1k views

When to use semicolons and when to use em dashes?

Sometimes I can't decide whether to use a semicolon or a em dash. Usually, I start with semicolons and once I noticed there are too many of them, I start replacing a few with em dashes (as I read ...
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3answers
212 views

Is it necessary to make clear “when” an event occur in a flashback?

Few examples: Saki first became aware of her sixth finger at the age of five. Her aunt had come to visit the house that afternoon, bringing Rika (Saki's favorite cousin). (...) ...
2
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6answers
300 views

How do I keep up with current written English language?

I am a speaker of English as a foreign language. I appreciate that English is a living language and that different regions in the world use English differently. I wanted to know how I can keep up with ...
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2answers
14k views

Describing a character's panic and confusion

I wrote the following: When I opened my eyes, it was still dark. Half asleep, I got out of bed, and entered the bathroom. As I emptied my bladder, I checked my face in the mirror. For an ...
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5answers
514 views

Swearing - Censor, allude, or include?

I was reading this thread, but it didn't quite the answer a question I had about creative writing and whether profanity should be used or not, in a way that is best for creative storytelling. Here's ...
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3answers
538 views

Why do authors start a paragraph in an indirect way?

I found that many writers of magazines or novels say something in a way that is not straightforward and to the point. Like this: Dressed like a latter-day Steve Jobs in a tight black long-sleeve ...
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3answers
2k 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: "How is this peson ...
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4answers
995 views

Does my title/opening paragraph grab your attention?

Saki's Sixth Finger Saki gripped her extra finger as she peered down at the beach. The plane was reaching Phuket, finally. Watching the crystalline turquoise water and shiny white sand had ...
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3answers
199 views

Roadblocks in my story: The Gladys Tribe [closed]

I am writing a book and I've come to some roadblocks in the plot. Here is the basic storyline: A tribe of people live in a grand city deep inside the caves and large caverns in a mountain. Outside ...
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1answer
126 views

Does this sound like someone at the end of their conflict with emotions? Please help

The more I reject the demon, however, the more its pertinacity grows with unyielding resolve. He follows my every thought with conviction — has an answer for my every action, and speaks words ...
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5answers
224 views

Opening a story with a reference to what someone just said followed by a setting description

An example: Naomi's words hung in the air as I gazed out of the hotel window. The mountain lay quietly in the dark, like a calm, sleeping giant. A cluster of city lights glittered beyond. In ...
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3answers
1k views

Using pronouns properly in order to avoid confusion and repetition

Sample text without pronouns: I don't remember how it started but Monica began talking about Monica's mother—a topic Monica had always avoided before. Monica told me about how Monica's mother ...
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3answers
328 views

story driven by event rhythm

There was a graphical representation of Star Wars, and the curves the story takes. Should a story be rhythm based like this from design phase (i.e. when making some pre-writing work)?
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3answers
143 views

Variation in paragraph length

I've learned that variation in sentence length is good. How about paragraph length? I always end up with paragraphs like this: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam ...
3
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3answers
598 views

Does the country matter in a story if it is set in a real one?

So far I've been setting my stories in the country I live: Taiwan. Not because I love my country. In fact, I'm not fond of patriotism. I just figured out it would be easier to describe surroundings ...
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1answer
209 views

Style Critique (1200 words) [closed]

The Shade of the Magnolia Tree Against the carmine coloured sand his robes seemed to fade. With a jump a bolt of pure crimson followed him like a shadow. His robes broke the unending horizon of the ...
2
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3answers
94 views

About the Author description

Whether we like it or not, the "About the Author" description is a marketing tool. It contains selective personal and professional information which is deemed to have the potential to create a ...
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1answer
207 views

Need Help Understanding the Meaning of Certain Topics in a Writing Contest [closed]

I wish to write an entry for a writing contest. The contest requires a piece of 2,000 words, and gives the following four themes or topics that I may choose to write on. But because English is not my ...
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1answer
77 views

Design stories with techniques from other creative processes [closed]

I view all creative proccesses as design disciplines. Thus composers, architects, writers etc. all are designers from my point of view. Could song rhythms be applied from design perspective to a ...
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1answer
216 views

Using “his/her” vs using “the” to refer to objects in the character's home

I usually have a hard time deciding whether to use his/her or the to refer to an object in a character's home. Examples: When Mark entered his apartment, he realized his radio was turned on. ...
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2answers
349 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 ...
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3answers
224 views

Is the following sentence structure allowed in fiction?

I'm not very sure why, but the following sentence structure came out from my mind: Disclaimer: this is a first draft. The realization just came to her now. Or perhaps, she knew it all along; it ...
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0answers
93 views

where would be a good place to find writers for my staff? [closed]

I want a staff of 16 writers to work on a creative project. Are there websites where I can find good writers to do free work? Please post links. I'm not advertising here.
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2answers
267 views

Does the following piece have too much dry narration (mundane tasks, moving about)?

Tsuki woke up to the morning sun that entered through the window. She yawned and sat on the side of the bed, rubbing her eyes. The clock on the wall said half past ten. She brushed her teeth, ...
4
votes
3answers
161 views

Is it a bad idea to use a culture-specific word in the title of a story?

I wrote a short story long ago called The End of the World. I thought the title was too common so I renamed it to The Kid with the Gigaku Mask and the End of the World. But then, I found that title to ...
3
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6answers
179 views

Is the following allowed under the ungrammatical exceptions in fiction?

I wrote the following: Under the shelter of the inn, a barbecue was taking place, red coal glowing in the dark and tiny sparks fluttering around from time to time. or should I change it to: ...
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3answers
369 views

Techniques to write for a wider audience

Many years ago, I wrote a short story that used specific information from my cultural background e.g. a belief that if you dream something, it is a form of a vision (superstition, some may say!). This ...
4
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3answers
858 views

Is it better to omit phrases like: after a moment, after a while, for a moment, etc?

I also find myself writing stuff like this: (dialogue) They remained silent for a moment. A dog barked at the distance. (dialogue) and this: His stomach started to growl after a ...
5
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2answers
263 views

Is it better to make clear immediately in which country/continent the story is taking place?

I'm writing a short story, and nowhere in it I explicitly mention the country in which it is taking place. The only time I mention something about the country is when I refer to a historical event ...
4
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5answers
676 views

How specific should I be when outlining the plot?

One problem I often run into when trying to make a general outline of the plot for a story is how specific I am in the descriptions of events. Generally, this happens when I have written a portion of ...
4
votes
6answers
8k views

How to better describe “jet-black (pitch-black) darkness”?

I'm trying my hand at translating a few Korean literary texts into English. Something I come across often while translating is the phrasing "jet-black(/pitch-black) eyes(/night/darkness)" which ...
4
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1answer
69 views

Co-authoring, brainstorming but not writing

I'm the brainstorming phase of a new manuscript. Normally I do that on my own, but this time I I want to ask a few friends to help me with ideas. I'm sure you all know how the brainstorming process ...
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3answers
1k views

Are my metaphors/similes effective?

I'm editing a short story I wrote I while ago. And the first thing I wanted to do was to add similes/metaphors to it (OK, maybe just similes). The story is about a girl who fails to feel an ...
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1answer
1k views

Using senses and similes in descriptions

I'm trying to make my descriptions to look less like a bunch of bullet points. So I decided to use more senses and similes. This is something I wrote: The sun hung in the cloudless sky, like a ...
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2answers
142 views

Writing style — comma, period and re-referring the object of the first sentence again as subject in second sentence [closed]

Alex look around the room, it's almost empty except few small empty boxes and few clothes. Alex look around the room. It's almost empty except few small empty boxes and few clothes. Alex ...
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2answers
2k views

Tips For A Good Medieval Fantasy Novel [closed]

I'm thinking of writing my first fiction novel based on a medieval fantasy setting and I know nothing about writing. Any pointers for this type of genre? I think I read somewhere that you need a hero, ...