"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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Writing in between dream sequences

I am writing a story in which a set of events occurred that the main character cannot remember, but they come back to him in his dreams. Basically the entire actual story takes place in his dreams, ...
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83 views

Rhythm in a list

I think I don't have problems establishing a rhythm in a "normal" paragraph. I usually just go: short, long, long, long, short, long or something like that. But when it comes to lists, I always get ...
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476 views

Making a female character sound more boyish/masculine

There are two characters in the following dialogue. One of them (Yuki) is a tomboy. She has short hair, dresses like a man, and like girls. I want to make her sound more masculine (but not exactly ...
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186 views

Is it necessary to make clear “when” an event occur in a flashback?

Few examples: Saki first became aware of her sixth finger at the age of five. Her aunt had come to visit the house that afternoon, bringing Rika (Saki's favorite cousin). (...) ...
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117 views

Using “his/her” vs using “the” to refer to objects in the character's home

I usually have a hard time deciding whether to use his/her or the to refer to an object in a character's home. Examples: When Mark entered his apartment, he realized his radio was turned on. ...
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133 views

Referring to characters that are too familiar for a name

This question is very similar to this one. However, I felt it was different enough, and I also did not find an answer. In the tale I am currently writing, a girl, whose parents have both been long ...
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5answers
188 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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195 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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101 views

Can stories be “revived”?

Has it happened to you that "you're in love" with an idea of yours? Like a core idea that you won't let go no matter what? I heard that people usually write, check and recheck the story they write, ...
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70 views

How can I get rid of the “things” in the following passage?

“Good. You've done your homework.” The girl turned around and started inspecting a decaying tree, as if checking its health. “Funny, isn't? How nature can make us do things that don't benefit ...
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153 views

Should write “I/he/she said” in dialogue with ambiguous action tags?

I'm not very sure if they count as dialogue tags. Here's an example: “Sorry if I made you uncomfortable,” Akiko suddenly said, placing her hand on my mine. “But you know me, I just keep going ...
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159 views

Will publishers accept bilingual or multilingual works?

OK. Let's say an author is fluent in three different languages. And now, let's say this author wants to create a trilingual story. The narration may be done in English, but the dialogue may be done in ...
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149 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 ...
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119 views

Is it a bad practice to end sentences with phrases like: “…and went over to it” or “…and did X to it?”

I often find myself writing stuff like this: Eri's eyes scanned the room, stopping at the bookshelf. She went over to it and, as if she were searching for a secret passage, she examined each ...
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251 views

Third Person Multiple POV in a single scene, how to refer each other if one character does not know the name of other character and vice versa

I am writing a romance novel. I have two main characters, Niranjan (male) and Jennifer. POV is Third Person Multiple (above two). I have a scene where they meet first time in a restaurant. While the ...
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29 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 ...
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86 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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158 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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65 views

How does the placement of transition sentences affects the meaning/tone of a piece?

Example: Finally, I began questioning the kid. What was her name? Where were her parents? And most important, what was she doing outside in this horrible weather? She replied to none of that. ...
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159 views

Stardate(Julian Day) - Problem

In the history of the world I am building, there is a big time spam, divided by some important events that changed the course of human history many times. Brief: At first, we have these two ships ...
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55 views

Should one avoid overusing “it” in prose?

The next morning I went to the forest—not the mini-scale forest but the real one. It extended miles and miles around the house. We were well aware of it when Akiko and I bought the house. In ...
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134 views

I'm a new author and I have three projects with complete drafts. Which one should I focus on first?

I'm a new author and, for some strange circumstances, I ended up finishing three stories (first drafts): Ghost Earthquake Eri misses an earthquake that hits her city. She doesn't remember what ...
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57 views

“No longer knowing” vs “without knowing…anymore.”

I think this is a common problem I have. I always find myself debating whether I should write a sentence as "no longer knowing" or "without knowing...anymore." For example: I looked at Faye's cat ...
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1answer
100 views

Ways to replace the phrase “after all?”

I recently noticed I use "after all" very often. But unlike other phrases, I never seem to find a way to replace it. Some examples: Like the books, they hadn't moved a single inch. Erin found this ...
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99 views

Would it be annoying for the reader if the all the scenes alternate between “present” and flashback?

I'm writing a short story with the following structure: B tells A she is gravely sick and wants to be alone (present) A talks about how he met B in a hospital (flashback) A talks with ...
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178 views

When to use contractions and when to use complete words?

These are some passages from Man-Eating Cats by Haruki Murakami. He'd been dead set against out marriage from the start, and his tone of voice said he'd finally been proved right. He had ...
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164 views

How to convey the fact that the person that I'm talking to, is “she” but from the past?

I wrote the following: I think about cheating on you...with a girl who I used to have random romantic moments with, a girl who no longer exist, a girl which was you, the first days we met. ...
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1answer
67 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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89 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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88 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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95 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 ...
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117 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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108 views

What should take precedence? Rhythm or clarity?

We resumed our way, until we finally exited the woods and reached a valley. Two ridges stood on both sides, meeting together on the far horizon. In the middle was a river, its quiet surface ...
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205 views

What to do when you get stuck trying to connect sentences?

At first I blamed coffee (I thought caffeine had a chemical which blocked "editing" skills). But then I realized it happens to me from time to time regardless of what I drink or in which mood I am. ...
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3answers
479 views

Ways of presenting a metaphor/simile/analogy

This is something I wrote (adult content—and very bad description of sex): Strangely, it didn't feel much like sex. I felt we were just exchanging feelings that we couldn't be put into words. ...
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6k views

Describing a character's panic and confusion

I wrote the following: When I opened my eyes, it was still dark. Half asleep, I got out of bed, and entered the bathroom. As I emptied my bladder, I checked my face in the mirror. For an ...
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1answer
688 views

Using senses and similes in descriptions

I'm trying to make my descriptions to look less like a bunch of bullet points. So I decided to use more senses and similes. This is something I wrote: The sun hung in the cloudless sky, like a ...
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114 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
52 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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104 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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52 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 ...
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78 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
127 views

Do you set yourself daily goals and stop once you've reached them?

I don't follow any kind of time or word limit. I write when I have time and stop when the time is over (e.g. time to eat, to work, to sleep). But now I'm thinking of setting myself some daily goals ...
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145 views

Does the narrator sound childish?

I really apologize, this is something that just came to my mind (and while sitting on the toilet). There's no editing. The reason is, I'll remove the whole passage if the protagonist sounds childish. ...
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126 views

“Where did X go?” vs “where had X gone.”

Which one should be used for a story written in the past tense? Example: But just as I was about to consider that possibility, I spotted something: a blood-stained feather. It was caught between ...
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2answers
262 views

How to follow through with a good idea?

Often times I have a good idea for a story, however short it may be. A good title, good characters, good story line, good concept, good setting. My one problem is that I can never follow through with ...
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156 views

Should I get rid of short sentences that don't provide much information?

I realized I have the habit of adding small sentences that don't provide much information: Eri searched her memory, but came out blank. She couldn’t even remember what she was doing at that ...
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718 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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587 views

How to elegantly convey the finer nuances of language in written form

I am fascinated by the idea of how to convey, in the written form, as much detail of expressive nuance as you originally intended in your head (i.e. what you hear when first coming up with it). I ...
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394 views

Tenses I should use in a translated-novel

I have been translating a novel that is originally written in my native language into English. Considering that the book's plot is the author's experience of a life that has happened in the past, I've ...