"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
1answer
102 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
57 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
125 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
votes
3answers
153 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
votes
2answers
115 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
votes
3answers
94 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
votes
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
138 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
307 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
votes
4answers
289 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
244 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
2answers
1k 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
345 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
5answers
165 views

Is it a good idea to make the protagonist pull themselves together

Is it a good idea, to make the protagonist pull themselves together at a point in a work of fiction. I've been writing a novel, and for practically the entire first half the main protagonist has been ...
2
votes
4answers
107 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
3answers
150 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
113 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
97 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
594 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
238 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
1answer
104 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
2answers
109 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
285 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
115 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
202 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
242 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
360 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
703 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
176 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
76 views

How much repetition of a word or phrase is too much?

I like to experiment with rhetorical devices to add spice in my writing. Repetition can be used for emphasis, establishing rhythm, etc. For example: Over and over again, my mind jumps between ...
2
votes
7answers
330 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
164 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
108 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
313 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
200 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
792 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
2answers
71 views

Scenes with different languages spoken after translation

So... imagine you have a story in your native language written down, with protagonists that speak this language and no problem at all, except a bunch of scenes where your protagonist meets someone who ...
2
votes
1answer
218 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
202 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
208 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
569 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
4answers
128 views

Describing a Traumatic Silence [closed]

I am finishing a short story by describing how the silence of a deceased character is more unnerving than that character's cries before he died. Is there a simile to describe a traumatic or ...
2
votes
2answers
70 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
66 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
2answers
90 views

Is it OK to add description just because a chapter has none?

I am trying to write without description, only narrating the perceptions of my protagonist, both external (what happens) and internal (what she thinks). I want to avoid all those explanations that are ...
2
votes
7answers
140 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 ...