If the answer is "pick a method and be consistent", your question may be one of style.

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4
votes
2answers
227 views

What's the best way to punctuate a list with an comma-containing item?

Examples: She looked tough: pieced nose, broad eyebrows, tousled hair, almost spiky. I tried picturing him: his tiny body swinging above the ground, his eyes bloodshot, almost popping ...
4
votes
4answers
59 views

How To Write Concisely

I am a high school student, and am concerned with my recent compositional tendencies. This past year, I took AP English Language and Composition. It was a rather difficult class, as writing is not my ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

How do you make page numbers in google docs? [on hold]

I really need to know how to make the page numbers in google docs look like a real book. I know how to do the page numbers, but how do you do them half on the right side and half on the left (like an ...
2
votes
3answers
71 views

How can I stress a certain word in a medium that doesn't allow for font embellishments?

Many of us probably encountered it before on a social media like Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section of a major website. You've decided what you want to say, but you want to stress a ...
-1
votes
3answers
62 views

Avoid repeating specific words with no synonyms

For a short essay assignment (650 word limit), I'm writing about how my experiences with learning Norwegian shaped me as an individual with the underlying idea centered around how sharing a common ...
2
votes
7answers
347 views

Developing your writer's voice

I'm a relatively new writer and sometimes I feel like my writing is too bland and that I'm struggling to develop my writer's voice. Does anyone have any good tips? Thanks
1
vote
0answers
69 views

This is right. Or that is right? [migrated]

Opinions sought. I vaguely remember that the expression "This is right" (meaning "I agree with what you just said") appeared in the 1970s. And I remember it because, if I remember correctly, it ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Mixing dialogue and action in the same paragraph?

I know you can add dialogue to the same paragraph as an action to show who's talking, but what happens when a character is making a speech and it's broken up by actions (hand movements, looking at ...
0
votes
5answers
102 views

What makes a bestseller - Writing or Setting?

Note: I define 'setting' as where and when a novel takes place, as well as what the genre entails. It is the background to the picture of the story. I realize there are a lot of factors that ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Main noun: How do you decide where to place it?

I'm not very sure if it's called "main noun" (sorry, I didn't pay attention in my grammar class). But anyway, here's an example: I decided to start my search at the library. Why? Well, it had more ...
4
votes
3answers
270 views

Capitalizing generic names

I have a story with several characters. I've decided that I won't give them names, but refer to them as their titles. For example, the grocer. The cleaner. The officer. Currently I capitalize ...
0
votes
4answers
65 views

What do you think about having very different tones in a single story?

What if a chapter is incredibly depressive, dark, with intense language. And the next reads almost like a dialogue from a Seth MacFarlane comedy. Or even better, what if the tone switches occur ...
2
votes
5answers
140 views

When is repetition good?

I'm aware that, in writing, repetition is sometimes bad. For example: "You forgot my birthday!" I said. "No, I didn't forget your birthday." "Then why didn't you wish me happy ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

What phrase can I use to describe connected concepts [migrated]

I am searching for a more sophisticated phrase that would express a specific connection between items mentioned in my paper. I wish to explain that the connection is not like a vertical line but more ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

In fiction, is the use of old-fashioned verbage or voice (ex. Tolkien, Le Guin) advisable?

If my genre lies somewhere in the fantasy-fiction spectrum, is the use of a more "dated" narrative style/vocabulary going to narrow my audience to a harmful extent? I've always been drawn to the ...
2
votes
3answers
98 views

How to find the balance between research and the obvious

I'm embarking on writing my first popular science book on a controversial subject. For sure the writing must be rational, coherent with a clear train of thought and littered with references to be ...
2
votes
3answers
58 views

Which citation style do I use if I'm writing a religious book?

Should a self published book on a biblical topic, use MLA or Chicago citation styles? It'll be a persuasive writing on a biblical subject. I want to persuade the reader to my point of view but I know ...
3
votes
5answers
102 views

My story passes in choppy blocks - how can I fix it?

Similar to this question, I am slowly coming to realize that my writing is getting choppy. Unlike that question however, my problem does not lie within sentences, or even paragraphs. It lies within ...
0
votes
2answers
31 views

How to avoid repeating the adjective “corresponding”? [closed]

I have the following sentence (I am not native): If the context relies on a single anchor (Self, Parent, Following), the nodes within the corresponding scope are treated with regard to this ...
2
votes
3answers
69 views

How to express myself in a sensible way

I find really hard to express myself I mean it's pretty difficult write clearly what I mean. Any time I try to write something even for my job I am stuck, I look at the page and no words come to my ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Citing an article with multiple authors in APA style

I have been trying to go through Mayfield Book on Technical Writing to find out how to do an in-text and parenthetical citation of a source that I found online. The source is an article from a popular ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

How to cite a report in APA style

I have been trying to go through Mayfield Book on Technical Writing to find out how to do an in-text and parenthetical citation of a source that I found online. The source looks like a report with ...
1
vote
3answers
90 views

How important is a catchy first paragraph?

Some novels start with a bang, with a ingeniously crafted opening paragraph or sentence that instantly catches the interest of the reader and starts the concept of the novel. How important is it to ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

What is it called when an author uses vague words for concrete concepts, “hedging”?

As an editor for an academic press, my pet peeve is when authors write sentences like "attempt to conceive of a possible approach to resolve X" instead of "try to resolve X". Obviously one big ...
1
vote
3answers
119 views

How to format multiple inner voices, differentiating the text from dialogue? and omnipresent inner voice

For the occasional use of inner voice, Italics are usually recommended. However I have a protagonist who is speaking with himself all the time, and Italics use quickly becomes tiring and ...
3
votes
2answers
66 views

Dealing with quick shifts in emotion

I have a character that, by design, quickly jumps between emotions. To put it into human terms, I have pictured scenes where he will, literally, within the span of a sentence, go from hysterically ...
4
votes
2answers
103 views

How to write about transgender issues while avoiding cognitive dissonance?

As a writer, it is difficult to help your readers hold two dissonant ideas in their heads. This can occur when the situation you are describing does not match well with the lived experience of your ...
16
votes
10answers
2k views

What can I do to make my writing fit the 1950s?

I'm working on a project (for a game) that needs to have a strongly 1950s feel. I, however, was born in the 1980s, so my writing has plenty of things that would sound out of place in the 1950s. For ...
4
votes
3answers
62 views

Using Pronoun 'It' repetitvely for emphasis?

I'd like to know if using "It" repetitvely (for emphasis) in this context is okay grammtically. TV has become the modern day baby sitter. It is raising our children. It is dictating the cultural ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Advice on writing a research paper [closed]

I am a math major who hasn't written a research paper in 6 years, and I need some help. I have to write two thesis statements, and have both written, but I'm not sure they're right. I also must state ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Lists of description appropriate for formal writing?

In a formal piece, is it appropriate to write a list, especially one of descriptions? It's the easiest way to get information across sometimes, especially on a tight word limit. For example, if I had ...
1
vote
3answers
62 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

How to approach an “Imagine and Describe” creative essay prompt?

I have this prompt for a creative essay as part of my application into a summer program: Participants in the Summer Programs for High School Students come from approximately 75 different countries ...
2
votes
2answers
71 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
104 views

Should word choice be varied or consistent?

I've heard from some English teachers that word choice should be varied because consistent word choice is boring, but I've heard from a different English teacher that word choice should be consistent. ...
3
votes
6answers
217 views

Are there words that are “stronger” than others? If so, why?

By strong I mean causing intense feelings in the reader. I thought about this while I was editing my novel (I consider the second cases to be stronger words): I turned to the left I twisted ...
1
vote
2answers
143 views

Can a male writer write from a female perspective? [duplicate]

The question is pretty straightforward. Can a male writer write a first person story of a female protagonist? What limitations might he face in writing about the other gender? Should he just stick to ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Good style guide on order to list people for non-fiction writing?

I'm looking for a style guide that indicates the proper order to list people in a sentence (given age, rank, etc). In particular, I'm sort of curious as to whether this was really appropriate Gary ...
3
votes
4answers
415 views

“Empty-space” vs “three-dot” scene break

What's the difference between the two? I've seen both in the same book. For example in the Bone Clocks by David Mitchell: Space breaks: He’s clever, I realize. First he makes you grateful. Right. ...
2
votes
4answers
111 views

Direct thoughts

The most commonly given advice for using direct thoughts seems to be to format them in italics. I am not really satisfied with that, however. I haven't seen this used anywhere (granted, I do not read ...
1
vote
1answer
21 views

Customising book titles in references/sources

Some book use lower case titles while others use upper and lower case. Should I stick to authors choice or customise upper and lower case (as per correct usage of caps in titles). When re checking ...
1
vote
3answers
80 views

Is breaking the fourth wall to the point of nonexistence appropriate for a comedy book?

After considering the style and setting for my first book, I've decided on writing a comedy treasure hunt set in a not too distant alternate future. I still have some final things to figure out before ...
1
vote
5answers
87 views

Is there an objective way to determine that writing is “stilted and cluttered”? [closed]

For question, see title. For example of supposedly "stilted and cluttered" writing, see below. The Constitutional prohibition against political dynasties cannot be made clearer, but no ...
1
vote
2answers
60 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; ...
4
votes
5answers
331 views

Condensing words, to condense or not?

I am doing a lot of writing lately. Novels, short stories, and so forth. I have one person that tells me, Immense improvement from the first version. A great deal of your description is ...
0
votes
4answers
93 views

Dot after figure title?

Whether there should be a dot after a figure title (in a scientific book)? Note that I have figures numbered like "Figure 1. ..."
1
vote
3answers
55 views

Is using “gonna” in first-person narrative acceptable?

From what i understand, an author is supposed to conform to proper grammatical convention both when writing in third-person and first-person narrative. Is a sentence like this considered "acceptable" ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

What's the initial small caps rule of this book?

I want to use the same initial small cap rule of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. But I still can't figure it out. Some examples: TALKING HEADS’ Fear of Music is on my record player, so I lower ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

Use of the Chicago Manual of Style by UK-English writers

I am Australian and have just finished writing a novel. The publisher I will be using is in the USA and uses the Chicago Manual of Style. Because I use UK English, I would prefer to leave my ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

Capitalization of Open form Compound Words in Titles

What would be considered proper capitalization of open form compound words in titles? Should the second part of the compound word be capitalized? Why? For example, the capitalization for which ...