"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 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 ...
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7answers
429 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 ...
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5answers
204 views

Should I avoid “lecturing” my readers?

I just noticed I have the tendency of "lecturing" my readers now and then. Examples: I almost let everything out. But, funny, I didn't do it. I didn't want him to feel bad. Which made me wonder ...
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5answers
5k views

How to show a crying/sad scene without using sentimentalism?

Previously, I had no difficulty in showing a scene like that, and as for me, to show a crying scene I'd write something like "then a teardrop rolled by her cheek". However, I had read an article from ...
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7answers
196 views

Three Act Structure - How do I include it?

I've been writing for four years without knowledge of the three act structure. When I discovered it about a year ago, I therefore had no room for it in my writing process, mainly because I had ...
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6answers
2k views

The street is filled with cars and people

The street is filled with cars and people. I tend to write simple, straightforward sentences, like the one above. Can you suggest ways I can write more interesting sentences? What books (with ...
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4answers
1k views

Capitalized opening lines

I've noticed that novels and short stories nowadays capitalize the first sentence. Example (This is from Joe Hill's Throttle): Two questions: 1) What's the font size of the capitalized text (right ...
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5answers
110 views

technical subjects - non-fiction vs fiction

This is a question I tried to ask in Novelizing non-fiction, is it worth it? But was un-clear and maybe too generic. Let’s say I am a scuba diving expert and I could write a non-fiction book about ...
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3answers
136 views

Craft group exercises or chapters in critique groups?

I am an aspiring writer who feels blocked in terms of writing a novel because I am lacking knowledge of craft. I have taken two continuing education type writing courses in the past five years: ...
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2answers
158 views

How much influence does blogging have on learning to write better?

I have 100 blogs and have written for 10 years in my language (Persian), but I'm not focused on increasing my ability to write better. What exercises should a writer focus on when blogging to be a ...
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4answers
267 views

Am I using too many adjectives/adverbs in the following piece? [closed]

As I made my way uphill, I understood why An-Mei chose this place for her spiritual healing. I glanced around. Gorgeous conifers stretched up endlessly, like pillars connecting the earth with ...
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2answers
4k views

How do I appreciate a subject matter expert's expertise?

Situation -A subject matter expert is helping me with something that, well, matters. (to me) I want to send a quick one liner thank you and let her know that I fully appreciate the time that she ...
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6answers
255 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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6answers
598 views

Is muteness appearing without explicit reason acceptable?

In one of my stories, my main character was once able to speak, but after being alone for 3 or 4 years in his early 20's without speaking a word, he became mute, unable to speak at all. Is this ...
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4answers
435 views

Is it common for flashbacks to not to follow a chronological order?

I'm writing a short story with the following structure: Scene 1: Deshi and Yuqi are in a mountain searching for an abandoned amusement park (Present) Scene 2: Deshi talks about how he felt ...
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3answers
124 views

Do readers care about any kind of mystery? What makes them prefer one from another?

Here are a few examples of mysteries (I just came up with them now): A. A woman finds out that a lost ancient city still exists. B. A man finds out that her death wife is actually alive. ...
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4answers
851 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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2answers
2k views

Is it a bad writing practice to end a paragraph with question?

I'm not sure where I picked up this habit. Here are two examples: I pictured An-Mei’s slim fingers running across their smooth surface, her hand, and then the body connected to it. But try as I ...
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3answers
246 views

3 short stories that can be turned into a novel. Should I pick the one with best reviews?

I wrote 3 short stories a long time ago, and I realized there's still room to expand them. Recently I made the decision to write a novel with the purpose of starting a writing career. So my plan is to ...
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1answer
149 views

Omitting “that” in fiction writing

Is it always better to omit "that" when it's not neccesary in a sentence? Example: Erin realized she'd been so busy with work that she'd forgotten to check if her parents were OK. Would that ...
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4answers
95 views

Writing backwards

I am a writer, I tend to write and then write my outline. I have done this for many years with papers and stories but it doesn't seem to work with my books. Is that a good strategy?
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270 views

How long can a prologue be, and what should you not do?

A while back I wrote a prologue about the beginning of time and space and all that. One thing I noticed later is that between the prologue and the story itself, the prologue ate out the chapters not ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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4answers
113 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 ...
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5answers
250 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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3answers
301 views

Rhythm in the following passage

I wrote the following: Having finished her breakfast, Tsuki went to take a walk at the beach. She made her way through the sand barefoot, feeling the cold water and foam run between her toes. ...
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3answers
261 views

Am I adding too many unnecessary “actions/descriptions”?

I common critique I receive is that I add too many unnecessary actions/descriptions to a scene. Most of the time I just add them to make things "flow" more smoothly. This is a piece from a short ...
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1answer
202 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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3answers
199 views

Writing a very complex relationship

I am writing a webcomic, and have come upon a snag, I need two characters to like each other very much, but one is the slave of the other. In the comic, there are characters who find and use powerful ...
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3answers
111 views

Any techniques to make the reader feel sad and very sorrowful?

Are there any techniques which writers can use to really touch the character, and make them feel really emotional because of your writing? I'm trying to improve a dystopian piece of writing. I stood ...
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3answers
117 views

What's the best way to format dialogue that goes back and forth (with three characters in the scene)?

Example: "Roses and a dead body?" Anna wrinkled her fine nose. "I don't see the connection." "And they came from Paris," I said. "How did it end up here?" "Yeah. It's a six-hour drive. ...
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2answers
72 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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2answers
305 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 ...
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2answers
86 views

When does repetition start becoming tedious (especially metaphors)?

I always find myself using CTRL + F to remove the words/phrases I think I'm repeating too much (most of the time they are metaphors). In the following passage, however, I'm not very sure whether the ...
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2answers
88 views

X and Y vs Y and X

This always confuses me. Example: Louise and Jizanthapus were sitting on the floor of her room. Louise is the main character, so I assume she should go first? Or should I put her after ...
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1answer
86 views

Listing items in fiction

What sort of criteria should I consider when listing items in fiction? For example: He was wearing a knit cap, a flower-patterned shirt, and faded jeans. I ordered the items from top to bottom. ...
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2answers
145 views

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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1answer
90 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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3answers
687 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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3answers
210 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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2answers
142 views

What's the exact format of letters/text messages inside novels?

The following is from The Fault in Our Stars: If I'm not mistaken, this is the formatting: The font should be half the size of the normal font. They should be indented with twice the indent ...
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1answer
65 views

Original writing is lost when using other people's ideas?

Let's say you have a story about a fictional war on a futuristic world and you already have five chapters going on and you want to keep writing to get to the end but then, you're stuck because you ...
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4answers
148 views

How can I improve my writing's pacing and sophistication?

How can I improve my creative writing skills? I have many ideas for short stories but I feel as if my writing is very slow paced and not sophisticated enough. How can I integrate literary techniques ...
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4answers
152 views

Should I prefer writing a Hard diary or Soft diary?

I have never seriously written a diary before(not even tried casually). I am required to write a diary for my work as Intern and later report it. I think they would prefer a soft version but I can ...
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2answers
61 views

Degree of symmetry in lists

For example, is the flow disrupted or does it sound weird if only one of the items has an adjective? My understanding of zoology was poor, but I knew animals would do everything to survive; ...
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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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5answers
387 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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1answer
115 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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2answers
77 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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225 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 ...