"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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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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2answers
151 views

Is it OK to use “I guess” in fiction?

Example: I groaned. Why was I doing this? I guess I was afraid of losing him. Like it or not, he was my only guide right now. Does it sound strange since the tense temporarily changes to the ...
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3answers
89 views

Is the following “shortening” allowed in fiction?

I know you can write stuff like this: Head on pillow, I glanced at the clock. My mind made up, I went over to the counter. How about following: And with that he put on the climbing ...
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3answers
96 views

Is the following “…noun, adjective…” structure allowed in fiction?

Exhausted, I continued lying on my back. A cloud drifted lazily in the sky, heart-shaped, its curves flawlessly outlined as if drawn with a compass. Or should I write this instead? Exhausted,...
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4answers
450 views

Writing techniques or exercises to improve ability to show rather than tell?

Does anyone have any effective writing techniques or exercises that you use to help you focus more on showing the reader what you mean rather than just telling them about? I know I often find myself ...
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3answers
126 views

“And” vs “with” in description lists [closed]

When should I use the former or the later? Examples: It was a bird. It had a black head and wings and a golden underbelly. It was a bird. It had a black head and wings with a golden ...
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1answer
55 views

Is it a good writing practice to keep related elements as close as possible to each other?

Here's an example: Not finding anything useful, I went to check the maple. Four times my size, it was the biggest tree in the yard. I mean, it was. A typhoon tore it down three years ago, and ...
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3answers
128 views

Is the word “becoming” being used correctly in the following metaphor?

We kept going until we reached a door. Finally! The corridor was deeper than I thought, like a tunnel. Or the bottom of the sea—the shelves and scrolls becoming the reef and algae that keeps the ...
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1answer
35 views

How to tell where to place a parenthetical em dash phrase?

Sometimes it's clear to me. But other times I get kind of confused. Example: After returning the materials back to their shelves, I turned—as were the others—the chair upside down on the table ...
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2answers
101 views

What Self Publishing Company should I contact?

I just want to purchase ~200 copies of my anthology containing short stories and sell them to family and friends by myself in order to donate to charity. I don't need an agent. I can format by myself ...
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5answers
2k views

I can't figure out to come up with a good plot! [duplicate]

The one major problem I feel that I have as a writer is coming up with a plot that has any substance at all. I can write believable characters (most of the time), build a unique but not far fetched ...
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2answers
105 views

How do you find inspiration as a creative person? [closed]

Scientists and intellectuals are yet to discover the hidden mysteries of human brain. Its power and capacity is yet to be explored. Along the way, many have discovered "hacks" to get what they what ...
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1answer
138 views

Is there a coherence problem in my story?

So the logic goes like this: the protagonist realized life was meaningless, decided to kill herself—but at the last moment her mom calls to tell her that the dog died (it "accidentally" hung itself on ...
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5answers
193 views

Is replacing “this” with “a” allowed in fiction?

Example: "Exploding whales?" My date stared at me as if I had given him some bad news. He'd taken me to this fancy Italian restaurant. "That's what your thesis is about?" I'm not sure why, ...
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2answers
64 views

Should I use letters or digits in the following case?

De-Shi was holding something that looked like a price tag. It had the numbers 024 written on it. "Isn't that what cows wear as earrings?" "Yeah," De-Shi said, still inspecting the object, ...
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3answers
224 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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1answer
176 views

Am I over-explaining or being condescending to the reader?

I have many moments like this when the protagonist talks about the strangeness of her situation. Am I over-explaining or being condescending to the reader's intelligence? I like saying, "You know what....
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3answers
144 views

Commas at the beginning of a sentence: should I follow convention or intuition?

An example from my own writing (Mother and daughter are burying their deceased dog): As planned that Friday, Mom and I underwent Choco’s burial at my home in __ (yes, she kept him in a garbage ...
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2answers
122 views

Can I adapt writing in a RPG forum to writing in a book?

To explain how the rpg forum works: Somebody proposes a Story setting in which the world, rules, possibilities and so on are described. Then the interested players gather and create their character(...
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1answer
90 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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4answers
745 views

Should I use ellipses or em dashes to denote pauses in speech?

I flipped open its latch and peered inside. A—gold tooth? I flipped open its latch and peered inside. A ... gold tooth? Was it an elephant? No, elephants didn't frequent beaches. It ...
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2answers
162 views

Is it necessary to add a.m./p.m. after the time?

Examples: To make sure we had plenty of time to ask questions, we took the first bus to Mrs. Mann's house. By the time we arrived it was 11:00 a.m. Seven hours before the planet apocalypse. ...
3
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1answer
234 views

Non-dialogue sections: single quotes or double quotes?

Should I write: I haven't met Sophia after our 'friendly' meeting. or I haven't met Sophia after our "friendly" meeting. The sight reminded me of a part of the Genesis that Mom used ...
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3answers
221 views

Should I write my novel? [duplicate]

I am a guy whose passion has always been fiction writing but in college I decided to go into software engineering because my parents were in a bind and they needed help financially. Now I am decent ...
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5answers
452 views

Why write in a different genre than what you read?

This question is somewhat linked with Should you read your own genre?, but I believe it is distinct or at least approached in a different way. I am a sucker for sci-fi/fantasy and read nearly ...
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5answers
347 views

Why do heroes need to have a physical mark?

It seems that a lot of authors want their heroes to be marked in a special way. It is not enough that these protagonists are going to be heroes, no; they seem to require having a mark that makes them ...
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0answers
136 views

How to improve my English writing? [duplicate]

I know the title of this question is too broad. But I think this is the apt title for my doubts. I am a non-native speaker of English language. Even then I love to write in English whenever I get ...
2
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1answer
52 views

“Its vs ”the" when referring to an element belonging to the previous sentence

Example: The cottage looked completely different inside. It had none of the coldness and rigidity of its exterior. Or The cottage looked completely different inside. It had none of the ...
2
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1answer
216 views

Is repeating the action/verb in a metaphor a sign that is a bad one?

Example: She didn’t reply; just stared at us vacantly. She might as well have been observing two squirrels that had invaded her yard. As you can see, the action stare/observe has so be ...
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4answers
119 views

How much information should a narrative sentence contain ,from experience on average, for good readability?

While randomly browsing, i noticed fiction writings contain much more comas in their sentences as lets say sentences in chats or instruction leaflets. just for contrast simple sentence: i live in ...
3
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2answers
146 views

Is there a systematic overview over the approaches of describing a physical object?

If one tries to describe sth. very concrete, like a house, for instance, one could try it with different approaches: describing the very physical attributes: the house is 5m wide, 5m deep and 5m ...
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2answers
201 views

Can prologues and epilogues change POV from the main text?

I have completed my book. But I'm stuck writing the prologue. I've written the story with narration by the writer (not from the point of view of any of the characters). But I don't feel like that ...
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6answers
4k views

Are modern authors still using colons and semicolons in dialogue?

Not sure if it's just my idea but I rarely see colons and semicolons in dialogue (especially in modern novels). Is it because they don't simulate normal speech? Because their use is more a semantic ...
2
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1answer
109 views

Using citations in chapter headings?

I noticed in some books I read that under each chapter title, there is a citation, somewhat related to what the chapter in question is about. I was thinking of maybe using the same technique for my (...
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1answer
352 views

Chapter titles or numbers?

I am about to start writing a science-fiction novel, and having only ever written technical documents before, I have very little experience in the finer details of creative writing. In particular, I ...
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2answers
79 views

Do items on a list have to follow the order/logic of the previous one?

This is a bit hard to explain, so here's an example: His room was an exact replica of mine. The only difference were the things he had brought along: his zoology books, his backpack, and of ...
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1answer
175 views

Stories based on news: are they allowed?

I just read a story on the news that made me go: Oh my, this would make a great short story. I've never written a story based on a news article before. So I'm wondering, will someone sue me? Am I ...
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3answers
67 views

Literary criticism handbook

Can you point out some reference books on literary criticism – from a theoretical as well as practical point of view – to hone and systematize my skills, acquired through first-hand reading of lots of ...
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7answers
2k 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. ...
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5answers
241 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
2k views

How do I write my own character sketch?

I have to write a character sketch, and I have to pick an object (example: vase, key, dress, ect.) to base the character on. So the object has to be important, but my professor doesn't want it to be a ...
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3answers
139 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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2answers
183 views

Rules for creative writing? [closed]

What makes a good 'story' - a short creative writing prompt that has to be influenced by a stimulus (the topic being 'discovery')? Any general rules, apart from the fact that it has to be third ...
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2answers
73 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 problem ...
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2answers
206 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 ...
0
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1answer
65 views

Is the following analogy of natural selection effective and clear?

I'm writing a scene where one of the characters is explaining the process of natural selection: “Think of it as a beach full of crab holes of various shapes and sizes, and with little pebbles on ...
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3answers
148 views

When to be specific and when to let context fill in the holes?

Some examples: Half-crouching, I went over to the railing and pointed my flashlight down (to the ground). It was approximately a two-storey fall. Not incredibly high, but high enough to kill a ...
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2answers
359 views

What's a good custom language translator?

I'm working on a fantasy story that has a Language of Power (TVTROPES) in it and I was trying to look around online to find an automatic translator for the language I came up with but can't find any. ...
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2answers
327 views

How do you know when there's something missing in your story?

You always hear about what has to be removed. Usually unnecessary stuff that doens't contribute to the plot. How about the opposite? How do you know when your story is lacking something? Say, more ...
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8answers
590 views

Story without any character development whatsoever?

Is it possible to write a story with one single character and no development of that character at all.