"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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105 views

“Where did X go?” vs “where had X gone.”

Which one should be used for a story written in the past tense? Example: But just as I was about to consider that possibility, I spotted something: a blood-stained feather. It was caught between ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Difference between an 'Abstract' and an 'Introduction' in a feature article?

I have to write a feature article for school. However, I'm confused how an abstract [a summary of my points] is different to an intro [Where you outline the points you're going to be elaborating in ...
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2answers
54 views

Should I omit the “at first”s in the following pieces?

I discovered I tend to use "at first" a lot: We were reminiscing about our past relationships, and Mrs. Kondo asked Akiko about her first love (she'd only had two in her life: me and her high ...
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1answer
52 views

Is the following repetition unnecessary?

I peered through the glass. It was a bird. At first I thought it was a crow because of its black feathers; they were so black they shone in the moonlight like a pair of sword blades. ...
2
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6answers
320 views

How can I get myself writing again?

I have authored a particular fanfiction, which has garnered a moderate following on the fanfiction website I published it to. As of now, the story has 279 users following it for updates, as well as 45 ...
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4answers
476 views

Using “he/she” instead of “it” for animals

I'm writing a short story. The main character is visited by a strange black bird during the night (first draft): I glanced around but there was no sign of the bird. I didn't spot it in any ...
3
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3answers
132 views

Is the following passage confusing?

They following is from a short story I'm writing. The main character and his friend are sitting in a bar while discussing about the the former's wife: “I see,” he said, thinking this over, as if ...
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3answers
153 views

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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2answers
69 views

How can I get rid of the “things” in the following passage?

“Good. You've done your homework.” The girl turned around and started inspecting a decaying tree, as if checking its health. “Funny, isn't? How nature can make us do things that don't benefit ...
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2answers
91 views

How do you casually address a child in the Midwestern dialect? [closed]

How do you casually address a child in the Midwestern dialect?
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2answers
50 views

Should one avoid overusing “it” in prose?

The next morning I went to the forest—not the mini-scale forest but the real one. It extended miles and miles around the house. We were well aware of it when Akiko and I bought the house. In ...
0
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1answer
69 views

Is this a good description of a jew looking out the window at nazis? [closed]

Cautiously I rose, briefly leaving his side. Turning to the lugubrious window when suddenly I was forced to duck down as cantankerous Nazis dehisced from behind great timber doors, parading across the ...
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1answer
53 views

Multimedia Project [closed]

I wish to assign a multimedia project to a creative writing class of which I am a tutor, but I am running dry on ideas. Songs, narratives and dances have become commonplace. Any suggestions for ...
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2answers
118 views

Multiple characters without names: how to address

First off, the answer might be pretty much obvious (that there is no clear way to distinguish these characters) but I would still very much like to have perspectives (and perhaps even get an answer). ...
0
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2answers
98 views

Should write “I/he/she said” in dialogue with ambiguous action tags?

I'm not very sure if they count as dialogue tags. Here's an example: “Sorry if I made you uncomfortable,” Akiko suddenly said, placing her hand on my mine. “But you know me, I just keep going ...
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4answers
126 views

Will publishers accept bilingual or multilingual works?

OK. Let's say an author is fluent in three different languages. And now, let's say this author wants to create a trilingual story. The narration may be done in English, but the dialogue may be done in ...
1
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1answer
176 views

How to narrate a fictional dream in third person?

Long story short. A few years ago I suffered from depersonalization and I still struggle with identity and motivation issues. This has deprived me almost entirely of the ability to feel emotion in ...
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3answers
120 views

I'm a new author and I have three projects with complete drafts. Which one should I focus on first?

I'm a new author and, for some strange circumstances, I ended up finishing three stories (first drafts): Ghost Earthquake Eri misses an earthquake that hits her city. She doesn't remember what ...
1
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2answers
105 views

Writing in between dream sequences

I am writing a story in which a set of events occurred that the main character cannot remember, but they come back to him in his dreams. Basically the entire actual story takes place in his dreams, ...
4
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5answers
245 views

Character development in a story?

I am working on a book for fun and have thought a lot about character development. Is character development as important as the actual dialog of the story? For example, I was reading a book this ...
1
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2answers
114 views

Can a character read a short excerpt from published literature?

I have this character. I am still debating whether I should allow him to read the first line of the King James Version of the Bible, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth..." and cut ...
5
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3answers
156 views

Formal video-based creative writing courses

Are there any online video courses for creative writing? Preferably free. I'm referring to university-type courses, which are filmed and then published online. An outstanding example is Brandon ...
4
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6answers
361 views

What can I use instead of “but” and “however”?

I just noticed I tend to use "but" and 'however" in almost every paragraph. Examples (all of them are from the same story): I almost let everything out. But, funny, I didn't. I didn't want him ...
4
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5answers
185 views

Putting a dialogue a tag before a quote

Sometimes I see stuff like this: X said, "..." "..." X did this, and then said, "..." Is it used to just vary sentence structure? Or to make dialogue more readable or smoother in certain ...
3
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3answers
164 views

How to highlight a main character among several points of view?

After some time outlining quite a complex story, I came to the conclusion I need more than one point of view to tell it all. However, I need to have one of those points of view's character as the ...
6
votes
9answers
1k views

Why can't I write something longer than a few pages?

I write short stories, a lot of short-shorts. I would say the longest thing I've actually finished writing is "Lord of Snakes", which was about 19 pages typed. (And not even very good.) So I've always ...
4
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4answers
547 views

Can I use real presidents (past and present) and real companies in a fictional story?

I'm not sure if I want to use real people and companies or make up an entirely different world with different people, presidents, and companies than our real world. If I did the latter I would offer ...
3
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2answers
121 views

Am I providing enough information to keep the reader gripped?

This is the opening of a short story I'm writing (second draft): A deep silence enveloped the room as the words escaped from my mouth. I turned to the side to look at Akiko. She was staring ...
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2answers
180 views

How to follow through with a good idea?

Often times I have a good idea for a story, however short it may be. A good title, good characters, good story line, good concept, good setting. My one problem is that I can never follow through with ...
3
votes
3answers
666 views

What is a systematic way of using Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases?

I'm new to the book, and not sure where to start. Please share some ideas on how you as a writer use Roget's. I love that the book has so many different words and I would like to know how you use ...
2
votes
2answers
126 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 ...
1
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1answer
41 views

Archetypical/popular historical fiction [closed]

Supposing you're asked by a beginning writer which books he should read to improve his skills in writing fantasy, you might say Tolkien's, and similarly, you might say Asimov's for scifi, etc. I'd ...
5
votes
7answers
254 views

Will my readers find it hard to care/identify with a character who seems to lack human emotions?

I'm writing my first novel. One of the main characters was born without a soul. This is her description, which also reflects her personality: She had long black hair, crimson red lips, and a ...
2
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1answer
96 views

How is my writing. Please review.? [closed]

My friend says, it is okay. Not so nice. Please read and comment. Almost anything is welcome. Also could you say in what am I lacking? I pulled myself escaping from him. I don't why I did ...
3
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2answers
155 views

Is it bad idea to directly state the message/moral of a story?

I realized I tend to state directly the message/moral of the story in my stories (as dialogue in most of the cases). My plots are rather ambiguous, though. And I use a lot of metaphors/symbols so the ...
4
votes
5answers
291 views

What gender do you think the narrator is?

Once again, I traveled three hours only to eat sushi, alone. Cars passed by and people streamed along the sidewalk. Hanging in the air, I could feel the faint scent of spring. Or maybe it was just ...
5
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5answers
357 views

How to make a debate/discussion between characters less dry?

I've asked questions in the past about dialogue and I've read some questions about balancing dialogue with plot, however I have discovered yet another corner case in my writing. In my story Cured, the ...
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1answer
105 views

Can this statement be simplified, and is it effective?

I am in no academic circles, nor have any friends who are interested in writing, so it is difficult for me to get any feedback regarding my writing. Any of what I've learned has been through reading ...
1
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2answers
138 views

Should I get rid of short sentences that don't provide much information?

I realized I have the habit of adding small sentences that don't provide much information: Eri searched her memory, but came out blank. She couldn’t even remember what she was doing at that ...
4
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3answers
291 views

Is it good to publish a novel online for free?

I am not after earning money but to spread knowledge about something for free. But if money is neglected, what else can be the disadvantage of publishing it online?
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3answers
2k views

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

Never had a few moments deliberation seemed like an eternity as I feel my consciousness ebbing away, and my thoughts, as clear and concise as they were mere moments ago, were coming to an end. My eyes ...
4
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2answers
137 views

Is having a specific town for a setting in a young-adult novel a bad thing?

I'm writing a young-adult story, that is quite clearly set in my home town, because this is where I grew up as a young adult and it is easier to write about. Everyone speaks English, but speaks French ...
3
votes
3answers
239 views

Is the following extended metaphor/group of metaphors too overwhelming?

I bought a box of sushi, and sat at the round table beside me. Opening the plastic container made me feel as though I was unlocking a treasure chest. I peeked inside to admired its content. ...
1
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5answers
184 views

Should I avoid “lecturing” my readers?

I just noticed I have the tendency of "lecturing" my readers now and then. Examples: I almost let everything out. But, funny, I didn't do it. I didn't want him to feel bad. Which made me wonder ...
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votes
8answers
215 views

What does/would it mean to code a novel?

I have a few interests, and among them belong fiction, math and computer science, and so naturally I like to imagine/think about the possibility of a piece of fiction living in the intersection of ...
1
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1answer
55 views

“No longer knowing” vs “without knowing…anymore.”

I think this is a common problem I have. I always find myself debating whether I should write a sentence as "no longer knowing" or "without knowing...anymore." For example: I looked at Faye's cat ...
1
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1answer
127 views

Do characters sound too similar if they use the same words/expressions?

This is the draft of a story I'm writing (I removed the descriptions): “Sure they allow visitors?” I asked An-Mei as we headed to the pond. “It's OK,” she said. “It's not solitary ...
3
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4answers
112 views

Should I switch to present tense when the narrator is talking about one of his habits?

Example: Without lifting my head from the pillow, I glanced at my watch. Two in the morning. Sleep still seemed faraway. I'd been staring at the maze pattern on the ceiling for hours, ...
3
votes
3answers
375 views

Exercises for improving 3rd person perspective writing

Recently I started writing a story. Two equally important protagonists, omniscient 3rd person narrator, a rather sweet romance. And it was not good. The interactions felt shallow. Despite the ...
1
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1answer
446 views

Writing simple short sentences first and connecting them later

Recently, I've been experimenting with new ways to write sentences, and I came out with the following: I'll write very short and simple ones describing what's happening in the scene. After I'm done, ...