Resources that one may wish to ask about on Writers include style guides, instruction manuals, podcasts, blogs, articles, and other means by which experts provide writing information.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
46 views

Best blind sequence? [closed]

I'm trying to write a story in which the sun has essentially gone out and visibility is constantly limited, and sometimes completely gone. Being a very visual person, I'm finding it hard to describe ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

A rhyming dictionary worth bookmarking online or purchasing?

Has anyone come across any really good rhyming dictionaries? If so, what makes it worth having/bookmarking? (eg. completeness/ease of use/absence of really sketchy suggestions)
7
votes
5answers
667 views

How to develop a story for a novel?

I am looking for some inspiration on where to start writing a novel. I have a general idea for a plot and characters, but I don't feel it's enough for sitting down and starting to write. It needs a ...
13
votes
13answers
624 views

Resources for character development

I'm weak at building characters. What resources are there to create rich characters? I'm thinking beyond name generators: Quirks, biography, diseases like allergies, hobbies and jobs, wealth, omens, ...
4
votes
3answers
257 views

Online technical writing classes

anyone aware of or can recommend online training courses for technical writers to improve your technical writing skills? I'm looking for courses that provide video or audio lectures, and teachers ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Looking for source material on large, long-lived criminal blackmail rings

I'm writing a story where the main character is trying to take down a very successful, established blackmail ring. I'm looking for some existing good stories about large-scale blackmail to get some ...
5
votes
3answers
171 views

A POV character who's a slave?

I'm currently working on a novel, in which one of the POV characters is a slave. He was born to a slave (so he was born a slave) of a rich merchant family and was treated well most of his life. One ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Which edition of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style?

I'm interesting in picking up a copy of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style. Unfortunately I'm a little overwhelmed by the minor variations. Amazon lists 12 different paperback formats, plus a ...
19
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the most common style manuals?

From Wikipedia: A style guide or style manual is a set of standards for the writing and design of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization or field. ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Resource on archaic English

I know there are similar questions around (like this and this) but they don't really have an answer that works for me. Are there any specific resources that would give me an idea about writing in ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Resources: Dictionaries of Australian English

I know that Australian English has many spellings in common with British English, but (as with Canadian English) the two are not identical. Are there standard, authoritative dictionaries for ...
3
votes
2answers
67 views

Is there a resource to help find the right connotative meaning?

I'm looking for a resource that will give connotative meanings (English) if one exists. I found http://www.connotative.com/ but despite the footer showing 2013 the images lead me to believe its ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

Is there a great manual for technical and scientific writing?

I am looking for a reference book that details everything I must keep in mind while writing scientific and technical documents. It should include both practical advice, do's and dont's as well as ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Official reference style when quoting a source

My current style is: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud ...
5
votes
3answers
159 views

Formal video-based creative writing courses

Are there any online video courses for creative writing? Preferably free. I'm referring to university-type courses, which are filmed and then published online. An outstanding example is Brandon ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some good instruction manuals for writing short stories?

I'm looking to learn how to write good short stories, what are some good instruction manuals I should use to learn from?
37
votes
39answers
2k views

What are good reads about writing?

What do you recommend as reading material to improve writing for beginners? If one recommendation is put per answer and can be voted separately a good list of resources should build up.
3
votes
1answer
240 views

What are good books on writing romance/erotica?

I've seen writing books on characterization, plot, world-building, conflict and probably 1000 other topics. But are there any good books that focus on how to write good erotica or romance? If it's a ...
5
votes
3answers
421 views

How can I search for words by meaning/definition?

Where can I search for words using descriptive sentences? For example, now I'm looking for a word meaning "to purify (by hand) a quantity of grain and take away anything that isn't good grain." How ...
4
votes
3answers
277 views

Background speech with foreground dialogue

A few days ago, I stumbled upon an issue of the type; meaning I had two characters talking between themselves and another character talking in the background; actually delivering a speech. What the ...
6
votes
2answers
167 views

Do you use a pop-up dictionary/thesaurus on Windows? What are your criteria?

I used to use WordWeb as a pop-up dictionary/thesaurus while I wrote, but I found it lacking, particularly in its inability to let me define my own terms per context (for example, when writing about ...
4
votes
3answers
101 views

Books for children: complexity

I am wondering how complex the story can be so that small children can understand it (younger than eight). Are there any rules of thumb of how many characters can be introduced before the child looses ...
16
votes
7answers
596 views

What are some online guides for starting writers?

I've always wanted to start writing (in a totally amateur way), but whenever I want to start something I instantly get blocked having a lot of questions and doubts. Are there some resources on how to ...
2
votes
2answers
171 views

Where can I find lists of commonly used words to avoid?

I have a theory that good prose style comes in part from avoiding complicated, abstract, and pretentious words. Are there any good lists of words to avoid, preferably with suggested alternatives? I'm ...
4
votes
7answers
2k views

Books to improve writing skills

Could you Please recommend me interesting non-technical books i could read which will help me improve my writing skills?
5
votes
5answers
197 views

Writing about a subject on which you have no expertise?

So I signed up for a novel workshop, and within a month the first chapter will be due. Problem is I that want to use characters who are well-versed in mathematics, especially group theory or model ...
5
votes
4answers
828 views

Believable (but easy) archaic English

Do you know any "shortcuts" to translating passages of my story into believably sounding archaic English? I mean, without taking a full school course? A crash course? An automatic service? A phrase ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

Is it worth reading book to learn more about topic of my story

The story I am writing involves the 10 steps of turning a democracy into a police state. And to make it more real, I thught the people who are doing it should explain it to the main character ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Find Information For Describing A Nuclear Power Plant

I want to start my story connecting the government flaws to the main characters life before he was even born. I thought since the settings a somewhat Communist United Soviet United government, A ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How to convert DOI to citation information

The DOI website will redirect to the article webpage on the journal official website. Is there is a public automated system to translate DOI to citation information? This can be beneficial for ...
8
votes
5answers
611 views

Is this character generator useful?

After some feedback from this site and a training course, I developed a little tool to help with character generation. It's called "20 Questions" and works just like that: It picks 20 questions (or ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to write time duration correctly

Within a user manual, I need to convey the maximum time period allowed as "365 days 23 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds" - are commas expected between each component? Is the word "and" expected before the ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Starting Out - Plot + Charaters by Documentaries [closed]

I gues I could say I am decently good at writing, for someone who doesn't write much besides English 101/102 classes. I have a couple questions, which may proceed some background information to why ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

What resources will teach me about the state of the art in technical writing?

I've been asked to modernize some technical documentation - user manuals in particular. I have some guidelines, but a lot of free rein to take it in whatever direction I think is worthwhile. Where ...
1
vote
5answers
388 views

Is the following piece of text comprehensible and written in good style?

I am a PhD candidate and I am having difficulty in communicating effectively in writing. Specifically, this post is a piece of text submitted for critique and, in addition, explains what I am trying ...
-3
votes
2answers
156 views

Need a resource for creative writing

I'm already quite good at writing and putting together words and sentences. However, I would like to improve myself to the level that I can write a nice entertaining novel or several short stories to ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Phonetic Dictionary

Does anyone know of a phonetic dictionary (such as this one http://www.writeexpress.com/phonetic.html) that works for Mac or is available online?
0
votes
1answer
176 views

Tools or communities for word association?

Are there any tools or online communities that deal with word association? I'm looking for a resource where I could poll for common associations for a particular word. If you do know of such a tool ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Where to get critiques? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Internet communities where I can read/rate/review short fiction, and post my own? Where can I get feedback on my writing? I have just begun learning about writing novels ...
8
votes
2answers
234 views

A Polish manual of style.

English language has a number of popular manuals of style. There's Chicago Manual of Style, Elements of Style etc. Do you know any such resource for the Polish language?
0
votes
1answer
216 views

Incorporating diagrams and equations into text when writing

I am looking to write a book on Physics/Mathematics. Of course this book will need to include mathematical equations and diagrams. Are there any writing softwares that have devices such as TeX and ...
0
votes
1answer
491 views

What are the names of the different levels of English?

In a recent discussion regarding software manuals, we came across the issue of different styles of writing / speaking in English. I am having a hard time finding a list of the different styles, such ...
3
votes
3answers
510 views

A letter of recommendation

I am a programmer/engineer who has been asked to write a letter of recommendation for a colleague, who wishes it to help him pursue higher education. Since I feel it necessary, to be very ...
3
votes
2answers
211 views

How do I express opinion informed by my beliefs without being hamfisted? [closed]

As authors, our influences can come from many places. Religion is definitely one of many influences on people's work. I believe a work should be a reflection of its author, yet religion can be really ...
6
votes
1answer
92 views

Are there online research resources that cater to writers?

I tend to run into a bunch of domain-specific questions when I'm writing, such as: What happens to a jet flying at low altitude, at super-sonic speeds, when its cockpit gets breached? What's the ...
12
votes
3answers
340 views

Podcasts useful for improving writing skills

Any podcasts that can help with writing skills? (One per answer please, I'll add my own fave to get started.)
9
votes
2answers
190 views

What are good writing newsletters to sign up for?

What are some good newsletters writers can sign up for? I signed up for Funds for Writers and Worldwide Freelance Writers because they have some excellent tips and advice for both freelance writers ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Can anyone direct me to writers' resources on AI or robotic ethics? [closed]

I am in the process of writing a science fiction novel that will involve a large quantity and variety of synthetic life forms. I have been highly influenced by the works of Asimov, and while I may ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Quality examples of 'in medias res' starting sequences in SF literature

You can find my initial trials here, and, based on feedback, version two here. I was trying to create a sort of 'flashforward' opening (please don't cite Sawyer) for a novel. That is: of the 45 ...
7
votes
7answers
699 views

What linguistic tools do you use?

I've got a Flip Dictionary, a Thesaurus, my trusty Strunk&White, and I use the almighty GOOG(le) should I ever be unsure of the definition of a word. What does everyone else use? Is there some ...