"Creative writing" is a vague term, but generally means fiction, or writing that's not non-fiction, technical, or business writing.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
2answers
935 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
votes
3answers
309 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
votes
4answers
102 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
votes
2answers
86 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
votes
2answers
227 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
votes
3answers
146 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
votes
5answers
110 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
531 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
237 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
votes
2answers
103 views

Finding it difficult and stress provoking to write a long post

For the past few weeks, I have started to write about random things in an attempt to improve my language skills. I figured maybe writing on forums(all types) about my own problems would help me to ...
2
votes
3answers
222 views

Are essays supposed to be formal?

After reading a prompt to one of essays, and then looking at this link, I realized how little I know about the actual meaning of an essay. Here is how my definition of "essay" has become muddied over ...
2
votes
1answer
103 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
votes
3answers
165 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.
2
votes
2answers
72 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
223 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
votes
1answer
319 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
votes
3answers
641 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
169 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
votes
7answers
244 views

Should I write the actual death scene?

I am writing a novel, and in one part, a boy falls off the building. I feel like it would be very gory. Most people said to write in great detail, but then some people say to write what I know. I feel ...
2
votes
2answers
125 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
votes
3answers
101 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
votes
6answers
270 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
votes
2answers
191 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
718 views

Is there a reference for “dumbing down” material?

I've noticed some fiction authors (James Patterson, for instance) over time "dumbed down" their writing to include less obscure words and less poetic descriptions. It's my understanding that this ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Writing Multiple Protagonists

I'm currently working on a visual novel project with the help of my friends. There are actually five protagonists, however, instead of one. They each have their own chapter, which then culminates in a ...
2
votes
1answer
54 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
167 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
197 views

Do the following scenes feel like flashbacks?

I wrote a short story. One recurring critique is that the flashbacks don't feel like flashbacks, so the readers get confused. The story is about a man who hears a piano next door. Nothing ...
2
votes
3answers
547 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

Not resolving the main / significant conflict

I am occasionally slightly frustrated by how neatly stories wrap up the major storylines. Mostly because life rarely ties things up in a bow for us! I have a story I've been considering, where the ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

What is a “methodology” I can I use/follow to determine the ideal set of protagonists for my story?

So I'm pretty much about to start a new story, which I plan to be a big process. I have several fleshed-out characters in mind, but I'm really not sure how exactly to determine if they're all fit to ...
2
votes
7answers
137 views

How much heed should we pay to writing advice

In replying to this question I thought this would make a good question... This entire site is devoted to giving people advice on their writing, there are a near infinite number of books and ...
2
votes
2answers
81 views

Writing Style Changed [closed]

After the death of my cousin I have stopped writing for quite some time. However the stories ideas would persist in my mind. So I decided to try and write again, but whatever ideas I have. Turn into ...
2
votes
2answers
95 views

How do you casually address a child in the Midwestern dialect? [closed]

How do you casually address a child in the Midwestern dialect?
2
votes
1answer
749 views

What is Content Testing?

What is Content Testing? Are there content testing tools available, or is content simply tested manually for quality?
2
votes
1answer
51 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
votes
1answer
93 views

Does this text flow smoothly (description of suicidal thoughts)?

So how did this animal suicide thing start? Ironically, it began with my own death wish. But why? I had perfect health, friends and family who cared about me, plus I had just been admitted into ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

How should I execute this idea?

I'm writing a story. This story will be longer than a short story and shorter than a novel. The story is of a hacker. He is at a stage in life where he wants to reflect therefore he writes his story ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

How do I create different speaking styles for my characters? [duplicate]

In my fiction writing, how do I create individual speaking styles for my characters? It is more than giving one or two of them an accent or dialect. What techniques do you use to vary the structure, ...
2
votes
0answers
73 views

Humor in Writing [closed]

I'll be honest here and say that I'm a pretty funny guy. I tend to make my friends and family laugh from time to time but I've got a problem on my hands: I have no humor in my writing. I'm writing a ...
2
votes
3answers
63 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
217 views

How is my writing. Please review.? [closed]

My friend says, it is okay. Not so nice. Please read and comment. Almost anything is welcome. Also could you say in what am I lacking? I pulled myself escaping from him. I don't why I did ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

How to use His/My/Your permutations in adressing persons [closed]

I'd like to understand the rationale of when, why and how His/My/Your are used in titles of addressing people. For example, the standard commonly accepted uses are: "His Honour"("His Grace", or ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

If you could design writing software, what would be your top 5 required features? [duplicate]

I am a developer. I'm curious what features other writers look for in writing software. (I am, of course, excluding features of typical word processors such as options to change font size, paragraph ...
1
vote
7answers
240 views

Is the following deus-ex-machina? If so, should I remove it?

I wrote a novel called Animal Suicide. It's a mix of romance and dark humor. It's about a girl who, after a weird incident, postpones a pill overdose and starts researching about the topic of animal ...
1
vote
7answers
428 views

Thinking of a story for the past 10 years as an inexperienced writer, what should I do?

What should I do about a story that has been in uneducated development for the past ten years? Should I delete the story and do something else with my life? Below I provided a quick summary of the ...