"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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Urban Writing Question [closed]

I want to write an urban book that isn't ghetto, how would you suggest I go about this? It's a love story about two young females from a urban inner-city neighborhood. I want it to sound sophisticated....
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5answers
692 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 ...
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3answers
448 views

How does one avoid imposing one's own voice and preferences in critiques?

When critiquing another's writing I find myself making suggestions that are clearly biased toward how I would write the work. This effect seems particularly prevent for poetry, where suggestions are ...
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74 views

How do you decide where to place a filler?

Examples: "I've always been interested in marine biology, as far as I can remember. "As far as I can remember, I've always been interested in marine biology, Of course, we can'...
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63 views

What's the initial small caps rule of this book?

I want to use the same initial small cap rule of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. But I still can't figure it out. Some examples: TALKING HEADS’ Fear of Music is on my record player, so I lower ...
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6answers
329 views

Is it OK to add chapters to slow down the pace of the story?

Example: I'm writing a story where the protagonist is searching for some information. She searches for it at her university, and fails. After that chapter, however, she finally finds someone who leads ...
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2answers
96 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 ...
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248 views

Why do writers sometimes use so much description?

Why do many writers use a lot of description when presenting a character or a scene? Is this a writing tradition? Many characters in a book have been described in minute detail , in some ways ...
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2answers
56 views

Do words like “start”, “realize”, and “decide” add ambiguity to actions?

My heart started to race. Did the heart actually race or not yet? Later that night, I realized I couldn't sleep. Did the person try to sleep? Or knew that before even trying? We decided ...
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4answers
2k views

How to write romance without falling into cliché?

A few examples of romance clichés: A is in love with B, but doesn't dare to tell him/her. After some chasing, A finally has sex with B (and the sex is fantastic). Love triangle: A loves B, B loves C,...
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276 views

What makes a piece “lyrical”?

I've been thinking about this question for a while. This is my definition of what makes a sentence lyrical: 1. The use of metaphors: So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, ...
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89 views

Adding the word “that” to maintain symmetry in sentences

Example from my own writing: He wouldn't have guessed (that) there would be someone with diarrhea in the toilet. Or that the ferry's rail would be half his size. Or that the night would become ...
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85 views

The extent of obscure references

How far is too far? If I am aiming for considerable accessibility, and, in my story, I mention Salvador Dali whose name is tier-2, not on the level of Picasso or Van Gogh, should I expect the ...
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2answers
325 views

Should I write “also known as” in full or as an acronym (aka)?

Example: It was located in the East Coast National Scenic Area, also known as China's Last Unspoiled Land. Is that how it should be written? Should I put it in quotes? Lowercase?
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2answers
111 views

How to engage a child audience when my characters have no language?

Good afternoon all, I find myself in a predicament: I'm writing for 8-10 year-olds who, as I understand it, are very dependent upon dialogue to keep the story engaging. Unfortunately the protagonist ...
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3answers
333 views

Clear steps for developing a powerful inner conflict

This question is similar to this one. However, it is different based on what I am looking for. I know what inner conflict is, and I know why I need it. I have tons of examples, and I can usually ...
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2answers
169 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.
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4answers
61 views

How to decide the position of short phrases?

Example: As agreed, we met at Shangai Train Station the next morning. Even though it was just seven, the place was terribly crowded; people were running and lining, jostling and shoving. A ...
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3answers
1k 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. How should I as a writer use this tool to improve my writing?
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5answers
392 views

Is it possible to practice the craft of creative writing in isolation?

Is it possible to practice the craft of creative writing in isolation? I am not directly affiliated with a writing community, at least a community willing to read small practice creative pieces. I do ...
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117 views

Prologues with no protagonist - How can they work?

It is my understanding that novels should generally start right off with the protagonist. The story is about the protagonist, after all, not something else (This obviously changes a bit if the PoV is ...
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2answers
112 views

Should I drop the quotation marks in a chapter that consists mostly on a character telling a story?

The structure looks like this: Chapter 10 (...) And so Cath began telling me her tale. Which turned out to be grimmer than I'd expected. Chapter 11 "I've been suffering from ...
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1answer
996 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, ...
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1answer
168 views

Which narration style gives more authority over emotions

I want to start writing a full-length novel/story. A love story to be exact. I have been using first person and third person writing styles in my previous articles and short stories. Now, I want more ...
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1answer
72 views

Skipping telling to get to the showing - pros and cons

In my style of writing, I often find that I lapse into relating what happens or has happened, usually via short, choppy, dead sentences. As far as I can tell, this is because the scene I am writing ...
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7answers
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In what order should I describe a setting?

For instance I'm describing the park of an art museum in a foggy day. I'm not sure if I should start with the fog, wind, grass, threes, walking paths, buildings, stairs or something else. Is there a ...
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377 views

Structuring a novel like a television or graphic novel series

I have spent a lot of time reading graphic-novels and watching television series, most of which were anime. Now that I have reached the point where I'm ready to begin writing, I feel drawn to the ...
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1answer
42 views

How formal should an article be?

I write articles, poems and essays but usually I tend to make them informal. My question is "Is it ok to write in a new style or informal style". Do I have to follow the normal rules of writing and ...
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6answers
288 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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4answers
1k views

Fiction writing: is using Git overkill? [duplicate]

Hope this question isn't off-topic because it involves programming software (for some reason I think many people in this site has used Git, though). Git is a revision control software to keeps track ...
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5answers
240 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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3answers
111 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 ...
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3answers
631 views

Getting emotional while writing, good or bad?

Once in a while I get really emotional when writing. Writing about love, jealousy or even thinking about a simple scene in which a father plays with his child can get some strong emotional responses ...
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10answers
3k 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 ...
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4answers
482 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 ...
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3answers
93 views

How can clarity and flow of long sentences be improved? [closed]

Sometimes it seems desirable to pack a lot of interrelated information into a single sentence, but such sentences can lack clarity or seem tiring. For example, the following sentence seems to leave ...
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79 views

Alternating names

Example: The cat was lying on a cat bed, barely visible under the blankets, an IV wrapped around one of her front legs. Judging by the triangular shape of her head, her black nose ears and ...
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3answers
975 views

How to write a conversation

Conversation is the thing I have most difficulties with while writing stories. How do I write a conversation so it will be clear who said what, and in a way that's not like a court transcript? Should ...
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1answer
172 views

Placing a “strong” verb before a “weak” verb

I'm not very sure if "weak" and "strong" are the right adjectives. Here's an example: Getting on my knees, I turned to the right. Crouching on my knees, I turned to the right. Does the "...
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6answers
326 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 ...
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1answer
118 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 ...
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2answers
132 views

How to stay motivated and focused while writing [duplicate]

Every now and then, I start writing something, which I at first consider a master piece but after a while I leave it unfinished thinking that it isn't that great. This has started happening quite too ...
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6answers
3k views

Tips for writing sentences like a native speaker

English isn't my native tongue, but I've been writing novels in English for a while. Most of the time, I can be aware of what's grammatically correct and what's not. But making sure that a sentence ...
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60 views

Are the tenses of the following piece correct? [closed]

I almost drowned in the this ocean of tenses. Anyhow, did I make any mistake? It was almost two, so I said goodnight to Mom and went back to my room. Once on my bed, I took the gold tooth out of ...
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4answers
500 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 ...
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1answer
56 views

How to decide whether contract “had”, “did”, and “would”? [closed]

Examples: If we were in control of our happiness, we would all be happy, since everyone would choose to be so." "I know, Mom." I had already lost count of the times she had repeated that. ...
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3answers
2k views

“Thought” Verbs: A sign of weak writing or a stylistic choice?

According to Chuck Palahniuk you should avoid "Thought" verbs as much as you can. These include: knew, thought, realized, believed, etc. However, I've seen many of them in books that I read. And I ...
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169 views

“This” vs “that” in past tense narrative [closed]

Here are some examples (first person past tense): "Well, goodby then." After saying this/that, he picked up his hat and ran out door. I let his words sink in my head. To fight alone. Was ...
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2answers
218 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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481 views

“That's when” vs “That was when.”

Should I use the former or the latter in a story written in first-person past tense? Example: My heart started to race, my adrenaline to spike, and that's when the thought hit me: I had to find ...