"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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4
votes
1answer
678 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
319 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
77 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
72 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
111 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
252 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
votes
5answers
346 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
132 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
209 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
votes
8answers
926 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
votes
5answers
618 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
332 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
vote
3answers
140 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
votes
2answers
976 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 ...
1
vote
6answers
420 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
vote
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
211 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 ...
-1
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
366 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
256 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
266 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
votes
1answer
93 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
305 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
353 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
224 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
90 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
333 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
vote
4answers
256 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
418 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
187 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
399 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
153 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
270 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
2k 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
320 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
259 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
549 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
743 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
151 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
115 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
175 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
407 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
220 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)?
6
votes
3answers
118 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
votes
3answers
320 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 ...