"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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1answer
309 views

Structure of a good summary

OK, I admit I suck at writing summaries, but based on those I've checked on Amazon, I've realized the following pattern: The first part starts with a brief introduction of the plot The second part ...
5
votes
3answers
935 views

How detailed should I be when writing a character bio?

Basically, I have about 7 or 8 characters (excluding the antagonist) who each have important roles in the story. My problem is that my characters tend to develop themselves, so to speak. I have no ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Rhythm in a list

I think I don't have problems establishing a rhythm in a "normal" paragraph. I usually just go: short, long, long, long, short, long or something like that. But when it comes to lists, I always get ...
5
votes
1answer
379 views

Mixing dialogue and action tags

In my case, I never use dialogue and action tags in the same unit of dialogue (sorry, I just call them units because I had no idea what they are called). So I would never write something like this: ...
3
votes
3answers
829 views

Software to organise world building?

There were a couple of other questions about this, but they were asked many years ago, so I thought I'd start a new one. For a long time, I used Wiki on a Stick to organise my worlds and allow for ...
10
votes
4answers
792 views

Writing Multiple Novels Simultaneously

I am, at present, 50% of the way through my first novel (17 chapters (and counting), ~55,000 words, ~100 A4 pages) and yet I also had many other (what I think are) wonderful ideas pop into my head for ...
3
votes
1answer
904 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
103 views

Create and using a custom version of a part of an existing mythology

In my story, I've decided to create some legends, myths and prophecies for one of the species I used. I don't think there is any problem with this even if I haven't created this species. But one of ...
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2answers
184 views

What to do when you get stuck trying to connect sentences?

At first I blamed coffee (I thought caffeine had a chemical which blocked "editing" skills). But then I realized it happens to me from time to time regardless of what I drink or in which mood I am. ...
4
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3answers
114 views

Techniques for creating a bridge between protagonists from different generations

I'm working on a short novel that has two main stories. These stories belong to relatives from different generations, but of the same age. So, although the book spans through 20-30 years, I'm more ...
4
votes
1answer
701 views

Should I use present or past tense when the narrator talks about an universal/most-often-true statement?

Eri raised her eyes to the screen again. What a terrible thing it must be for an earthquake to hit right on your birthday. She wondered how often that happened. Maybe earthquakes are completely ...
4
votes
7answers
323 views

Does this passage break the rules of telling and not showing?

I wrote a story called Tempo, which I enjoy (this does not mean that it is good), but that has a chunk where the main character has an internal monologue. This is usually bad, but I can't tell how bad ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Am I overusing the words “started” and “began?”

Rika nodded to the person, and closing her eyes, she blew out the candles, making the room return to its original darkness. Applause filled the room once again. After that people raised from ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

Choosing a word according to its length

Within a moment, a girl approached the table, holding a huge birthday cake with twenty flickering candles on it. They illuminated/lit everything around them, like a cluster of stars in a night ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Book recommendations that feature the canadian north [closed]

Are there any well known (or even lesser known) books (fiction/non fiction) that are written against the beautiful backdrop of the Canadian north? i.e that talks about the nature, the history and the ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Ways to replace the phrase “after all?”

I recently noticed I use "after all" very often. But unlike other phrases, I never seem to find a way to replace it. Some examples: Like the books, they hadn't moved a single inch. Erin found this ...
4
votes
5answers
142 views

Is it better to have a deadline?

A lot of writers I admire say: "I didn't know how long the story would be." Me too, I'm the kind of writer who don't know where (and when) the story is going to end. So I'm confused—is it better to ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Is repetition justified in the following piece?

Eri kissed her dad on the cheek, and waved goodbye to him. He entered back into the car, and then drove off, disappearing gradually at the far end of the street. Once he was gone, Eri glanced ...
4
votes
2answers
256 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 ...
10
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5answers
358 views

Can Readers Relate to a Book without Humans?

I've been working on a story idea for a few years now, during which I designed a world (fantasy-based) in which it would take place. The thing is that because this is a different planet, I thought it ...
5
votes
2answers
133 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
213 views

Third Person Multiple POV in a single scene, how to refer each other if one character does not know the name of other character and vice versa

I am writing a romance novel. I have two main characters, Niranjan (male) and Jennifer. POV is Third Person Multiple (above two). I have a scene where they meet first time in a restaurant. While the ...
7
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8answers
956 views

Dialogue writing practices?

First time novelist, long time writer here. I'm looking for creative writing exercises to help with my dialogue. Any ideas?
4
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5answers
627 views

How do I overcome my anxiety of writing again?

You would note the use of the word 'again' in the title of my question. I wrote a number of short stories many years ago. This was when I was doing my first degree (in literature) just after high ...
2
votes
3answers
336 views

Writing an effective summary for a story

I just published my first short story at Amazon. Although many people downloaded it while in its free promotion days, no one have purchased it yet. People have praised the cover (apparently I design ...
1
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3answers
143 views

When to use contractions and when to use complete words?

These are some passages from Man-Eating Cats by Haruki Murakami. He'd been dead set against out marriage from the start, and his tone of voice said he'd finally been proved right. He had ...
2
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2answers
992 views

What is a “light novel” and how does it differ from a novella?

My friend has sent me a work to critique which he hopes to make into a light novel. I've never heard of this type of story before and a quick Google didn't give me much context about how it differs ...
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6answers
426 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
122 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
225 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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votes
2answers
117 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
votes
3answers
373 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
262 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
votes
5answers
277 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 ...
0
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1answer
95 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
313 views

How to make a intellectually disabled character believable?

I want to use a 12yo girl with down syndrome as main character. Trisomy 21 people has a low IQ, normally around 50, at least according to Wikipedia. I've known a few people with such syndrome over ...
1
vote
3answers
367 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
225 views

Characters with non-standard names

My characters' names are always easy-to-read and easy-to-remember because they are common western names (like John or Oscar). However, I am writing a story that has a cultural favour. A western ...
1
vote
2answers
92 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
348 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. ...
1
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4answers
265 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Hand gestures of “Come on” and other short words

While writing stories how I describe the action of hand gestures that many use instead of saying "Come on". Is there any reference? I found list of hand gestures in wikipedia but it doesn't say how ...
2
votes
5answers
427 views

First person pov with more than one main chars

I really love -- and most of time write in -- first person point of view. The novel I'm writing is somewhat different from what I'm used to. I have four main characters -- I don't see any of them as ...
0
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
197 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
votes
2answers
420 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
158 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
votes
6answers
271 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
329 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 ...