"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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406 views

How much repetition is too much repetition?

This is a question that'd been bothering me for a while. Here's an example: My heart racing, I wriggled to the edge of the bed and fumbled for Travis' hand. Just make sure to hold onto it, he'd ...
2
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2answers
201 views

How can you represent music in writing

I was wondering if a character was in a nighclub or at a concert. How do you represent the music? It got me thinking that writing is a very non musical medium and that it is actually pretty hard to ...
2
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5answers
538 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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6answers
292 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 ...
2
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6answers
253 views

Am I making the writing too complex?

My story is of a fantasy world where the wars of several species have all been fought, lost, and the protagonist is writing his journal from inside a jail cell. The writing he does can't be erased. I ...
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2answers
229 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, ...
2
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3answers
84 views

How to turn an unknown detail in the story into a mystery instead of a lacking detail?

I mean, how to make so that an undefined information in the plot be considered a mystery, i.e. an intentional unanswered question, instead of: ー So, then what? ー Well, this is an unknown fact ...
2
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4answers
133 views

How to make a character that doesn't speak about himself relatable?

I have a character in my novel, De-Shi, who's the mentor and love interest of the protagonist, Li-Mei (nicknamed Hanging Pup). He listens to her feelings, gives her advice, jokes with her, shares ...
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2answers
177 views

Show don't tell advice

Tell: Andy looked angry Show: Andy scrunched his eyebrows together, he gritted his teeth and glared. His skin turned a bright red making him look like a raging demon. So, are there other ways to ...
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1answer
76 views

How to format the following dialogue without the parenthesis?

So the protagonist's boyfriend committed suicide. He left a suicide note. And now the detective is showing it to the protagonist: "So I'm the one who made him do it? "We read the letter. ...
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5answers
203 views

Is it a bad habit to write “something” too much? If so, how to get rid of it?

I just realized my prose is filled with somethings. Here are some examples: I was already too far away to go back, and I figured the dog (if it'd been a real one) had ran back to where it had ...
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1answer
96 views

Pulling the reader out of the narrative: When it's too much?

Example (excerpt from a story I'm writing): To make things worse, my schoolmates started calling me “Hanging Pup” from then on (yes, news spread like a diseases at my university. The dumber ...
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3answers
56 views

Delaying narrative/actions

I tend do this a lot: A straight curve appeared after a moment. I slowed my pace and circled around. Once I came out of it, I caught sight of something. It was a girl. Probably a sixteen ...
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2answers
87 views

Asking questions in the middle of a narrative

I'm writing a short story. And I realized the opening is filled with question marks: Ming was disturbed by the faint sound of a piano. He put down his guitar tuner and glanced at the clock. ...
2
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3answers
131 views

Can you use a company's name as title for a short story?

I'm writing a short story about a girl whose boyfriend is doing in internship in another city. She goes to visit him every week. But the guy always call at the last minute, saying he can't come and ...
2
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2answers
114 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 ...
2
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4answers
2k 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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5answers
1k 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 ...
2
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3answers
93 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 ...
2
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3answers
257 views

Gadgets that make the world/story broken

Every so often I see a nice piece of fiction where its author adds something (to save the plot, or to make it interesting, whatever) that makes the story broken (usually it makes the world, setting or ...
2
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2answers
691 views

Resource for generic plot hooks?

I'm in a long and painful recovery from many years of writer's block. Coming up with even quite simple story ideas costs me unreasonable amount of effort. Sometimes inspiration is generous and I'm ...
2
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5answers
144 views

When is repetition good?

I'm aware that, in writing, repetition is sometimes bad. For example: "You forgot my birthday!" I said. "No, I didn't forget your birthday." "Then why didn't you wish me happy ...
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3answers
127 views

Writing “X, Y, and Z” vs “X and Y and Z.”

Example: The forest was so dense I was practically swimming through it. A dark, murky ocean of shrubs, trees, and bamboo shoots. The forest was so dense I was practically swimming through ...
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4answers
259 views

How to deal with cliche dialogue?

The following is from a story I'm writing: "Goodbye Choco," my mother said, to end the prayer, “may your soul rest in peace,” and crossed herself. “Sorry I couldn’t come earlier,” I said. ...
2
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3answers
236 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
740 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 ...
2
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3answers
256 views

Is a glossary needed in a novel?

Is a glossary needed in a translated-novel? or I would only need to put the translation of the native words under the brackets?
2
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4answers
91 views

Seeking advice for maintaining child like authenticity without being too immature for the audience

I am writing a novel which I imagine will have an adult or older readership (or at least teen) wherein the main protagonist is a ten year old boy. It is definitely not written for a younger audience ...
2
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2answers
79 views

Is it OK for a first person narrator to directly state the other character's emotions?

Example: I gasped. Tom swallowed. He was also surprised by the maid's sudden appearance. In this case the narrator is directly talking about Tom's feelings. I gasped. Tom swallowed. He also ...
2
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2answers
192 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 ...
2
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3answers
144 views

Worried that my opening is not gripping enough

This is the beginning of a novel I'm writing (not the final draft): The hiking trail consisted of pairs of uneven stone steps. On both sides, tall coniferous trees extended tall into the sky, ...
2
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5answers
108 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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1answer
89 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
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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 ...
2
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3answers
414 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
235 views

Hooking the reader by omitting a piece of information

I'm writing a short story. I decided to opening it in the following way: We were in Y, doing Z when she mentioned X. I wasn't sure whether she had misheard X's name or had gotten the wrong ...
2
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3answers
958 views

How do I stick to one story?

I have been writing bits and pieces for quite a while now. I just can't ever follow through. I have written tons of poems (close to 50) but the only reason they have been possible is because I can ...
2
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1answer
94 views

Omitting pronouns and possessive adjectives in fiction

When is OK to omitting pronouns and possessive adjectives in fiction? Examples: She called me that weekend while I was cleaning my apartment. She called me that weekend while cleaning my ...
2
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3answers
117 views

When to use normal caps and small caps in fiction?

Sometimes I don't know which one to use. For instance, what kind should I use when referring to the stamping on a t-shirt? Mark wore a t-shirt that said, SAVE WATER, DRINK BEER.
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6answers
1k views

How many pages long should a chapter book be?

I have recently started writing a chapter book, which is "a story book intended for intermediate readers generally between 7-10 years old". The book is only 29 pages long and I am nearing the end. ...
2
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2answers
71 views

Improving the flow/rhythm of the following comparison

I smiled and gave her a nod. I was beginning to like her more, plus I realized we had some things in common. Like our attempts of suicide. The difference was striking, of course. Kate’s ...
2
votes
1answer
189 views

When it's forgivable to use “suddenly” and “all of a sudden?” [duplicate]

Unless the answer is never, when is it excusable to use those two? I think someone told me it was a sin for a writer to use them. I wonder this because one of my favorite writer used it in one of his ...
2
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1answer
243 views

When to keep the passive voice and when to remove it

This is something I wrote: The person was standing in the middle of the clearing, facing away from me. It was a girl. She was wearing a red knit hat, a white sweater, an a gray plaid skirt ...
2
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3answers
526 views

Is it unusual for a flashback to have a very long dialogue?

This flashback is from a short story I'm writing (unedited first draft): I met Limei last summer. Our class had organized a graduation trip to Green Island, where we stayed for fourteen days and ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

Dealing with lackluster plot failure

So, I wrote the beginning of something about novel-sized. I drafted totally sweet, lovable protagonists in an interesting, original relationship, I placed them in a solid world, I painted the ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Is it better to divide writing time for a 'many short times' approach instead of 'one long session'?

Most authors I read write in small chunks of time (1hr~40min). I wonder if this is a writing technique. I always find myself writing for 3 to 4 hours straight (taking 5 minutes breaks). The thing is ...
2
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2answers
86 views

How do you convey nonverbal utterances?

Like when you get irritated and say "tch" for example. I'm looking to do this in a 3rd person narrative context.
2
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3answers
96 views

Resource for someone better at editing than writing

(I had a previous question, closed as too opinion-based, about being a better editor than writer. I wasn't able to rescue that one, but I thought I'd take a try at a related question.) I am an ...
2
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6answers
193 views

Creative writing exercises for engineers

I'm teaching a problem solving course for engineering students (most around 19 years old) and want to increase their creativity levels. Any ideas for writing/ thinking exercises that could inspire ...
2
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2answers
171 views

Are the following passages examples of tense change? Are they allowed in fiction writing?

We reached the place a few minutes later, which turned out to be—a record store? The room was tiny but nice. Simple, and with the comfort and coziness of the countryside. Plus it had ...