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

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Being a non-native English writer how can i improve my English Writing style? [duplicate]

I'm an Indian and trying to write a novel based on 2 sisters. My problem is that i don't feel very comfortable with my english sometimes. How can i improve my english? And sometimes i use the same ...
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1answer
27 views

How to decide whether contract “had”, “did”, and “would”?

Examples: If we were in control of our happiness, we would all be happy, since everyone would choose to be so." "I know, Mom." I had already lost count of the times she had repeated that. ...
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1answer
31 views

What advice is there for aspiring journalists and authors?

As an aspiring writer/blogger, I'm finding it hard to know where to start. I'd like to be able to get some work of mine, possibly from my blog, in a local newspaper. What advice is there for ...
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3answers
74 views

Is the following “…noun, adjective…” structure allowed in fiction?

Exhausted, I continued lying on my back. A cloud drifted lazily in the sky, heart-shaped, its curves flawlessly outlined as if drawn with a compass. Or should I write this instead? ...
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4answers
178 views

Writing techniques or exercises to improve ability to show rather than tell?

Does anyone have any effective writing techniques or exercises that you use to help you focus more on showing the reader what you mean rather than just telling them about? I know I often find myself ...
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2answers
27 views

Should embedded figures/images be placed before or after they are referred to in text?

As the title question asks: Should embedded figures/images be placed before or after they are referred to in text? Which is more appropriate? Or does it depend on the setting/context?
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3answers
40 views

“And” vs “with” in description lists [closed]

When should I use the former or the later? Examples: It was a bird. It had a black head and wings and a golden underbelly. It was a bird. It had a black head and wings with a golden ...
2
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1answer
42 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 ...
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3answers
63 views

A question about dialogue and paragraphs?

First question I've asked on here so hopefully it isn't a silly one. I am a little confused about a certain paragraph/dialogue convention I am using in something I am writing. Occasionally I have a ...
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1answer
25 views

How to tell where to place a parenthetical em dash phrase?

Sometimes it's clear to me. But other times I get kind of confused. Example: After returning the materials back to their shelves, I turned—as were the others—the chair upside down on the table ...
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1answer
18 views

What “kind” of writing is The Fixation of Belief essay by Charles Sanders Pierce?

I happened by this essay a couple of years ago, now. I've been trying to find things written in a similar style since. However, I'm not terribly familiar with writing analysis, terminology, ...
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1answer
34 views

How can I weave variety in this passage?

I have noticed that good writers create a passage by weaving different concepts, opinions and by varying the writing style and tone. As much as I can identify that sort of writing, I have a very hard ...
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1answer
46 views

Is it correct to use acronyms in a bio or should I omit it?

In writing a bio in a technical context, like an author blurb in a publication, should I use acronyms or spell them out? Always? Depending on the context? For example: Degrees: BS, MS, PhD, MCC ...
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2answers
28 views

Should quotation marks for titles of short works be included as part of link text?

In a hypertext document, when the title of a short work (which is enclosed in quotation marks) is a link should the quotation marks be included as part of the link text? Do common style guides ...
2
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0answers
51 views

What referencing style is this?

I was reading a book and I'm curious about the referencing style that is used. When you go to the reference page it is sorted by chapters and then it lists then the references for each particular ...
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2answers
56 views

How do you find inspiration as a creative person? [closed]

Scientists and intellectuals are yet to discover the hidden mysteries of human brain. Its power and capacity is yet to be explored. Along the way, many have discovered "hacks" to get what they what ...
4
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1answer
128 views

What is this 'pretend dialogue' technique called

There's a style that is popular on blogs, and takes the form of a dialogue between the reader and the author, where the author provides both sides of the argument, like a ventriloquist. Often there's ...
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2answers
43 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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3answers
52 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.
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3answers
107 views

Commas at the beginning of a sentence: should I follow convention or intuition?

An example from my own writing (Mother and daughter are burying their deceased dog): As planned that Friday, Mom and I underwent Choco’s burial at my home in __ (yes, she kept him in a garbage ...
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4answers
247 views

Should I use ellipses or em dashes to denote pauses in speech?

I flipped open its latch and peered inside. A—gold tooth? I flipped open its latch and peered inside. A ... gold tooth? Was it an elephant? No, elephants didn't frequent beaches. It ...
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2answers
367 views

How to indicate that a single letter was removed from a quotation

Suppose a source text says: 1 Timothy 2:4 says that God desires all people to be saved. Now suppose I want to quote it like this: It is possible for God to "desire all people to be saved." Notice ...
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2answers
72 views

Citing and Quoting events in Games

How do I cite and quote a happening in a game? I am looking for more detail than just game and version number in the citation. How can I cite events and quote the actions of characters in my analysis ...
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1answer
24 views

How to improve quality of this answer? [closed]

Someone asked on Quora I want to write my autobiography. How do I start? I have given following answer, You must be remembering lots of things when you were young. Just try to list them as you ...
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1answer
33 views

Spaces within abbreviations, acronyms, and initials

I have come across examples supporting both spaced as well as non-spaced examples and that's what confuses me. I want to understand what the standard practice is as endorsed by any of the major style ...
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2answers
97 views

Is it necessary to add a.m./p.m. after the time?

Examples: To make sure we had plenty of time to ask questions, we took the first bus to Mrs. Mann's house. By the time we arrived it was 11:00 a.m. Seven hours before the planet apocalypse. ...
3
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1answer
171 views

Non-dialogue sections: single quotes or double quotes?

Should I write: I haven't met Sophia after our 'friendly' meeting. or I haven't met Sophia after our "friendly" meeting. The sight reminded me of a part of the Genesis that Mom used ...
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2answers
79 views

Use of punctuation within quotes with single words or letters

Consider the following sentence: Huego becomes fuego by discarding its "h" in favor of "f". Do not omit the trailing "s", which is key to the overall meaning here. Nueve comes from the Latin word ...
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0answers
23 views

Italics in MLA paper for a body of work by numerous authors?

I am writing a paper in MLA style. I know to italicize a single work, such as The Call of Cthulhu, but what about when referencing the entirety of the Cthulhu Mythos, which was written by numerous ...
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1answer
21 views

Comprehensive reference book for syntax and style [duplicate]

I am searching for a good comprehensive (up-to-date) reference that covers not only English grammar and syntax (from an advanced standpoint) but also (actually mainly) matters of intrinsically ...
7
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4answers
257 views

What's the difference between purple prose and vividly descriptive writing?

Elements of Style describes purple prose as "hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating." In short, it's ornate, contrived and breaks the narrative. There's plenty of advice on ...
2
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1answer
43 views

“Its vs ”the" when referring to an element belonging to the previous sentence

Example: The cottage looked completely different inside. It had none of the coldness and rigidity of its exterior. Or The cottage looked completely different inside. It had none of the ...
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4answers
79 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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3answers
105 views

What are frequently used arguments for recognizing bad writing styles in fiction?

I ve heard randomly of remarks used to explain why a writing style is bad. for instance by the argument that a writing style is bad because of the usage of adjectives. Could you provide further ...
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1answer
38 views

What stylometric pecularities are considered to be typical for stephen kings writing? [closed]

I never read a book written by Stephen King, but i heard on many occasions about his style of writing being very unique with regard to his stylometric featurs. Could you bring some examples for this ...
0
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1answer
65 views

[Words in brackets in print and online]

Unfortunately I can't find a reference now, but many times I'll read an article either in print or online, and I'll see a certain word or phrase in brackets []. Here's a bad ex. The man walked up the ...
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4answers
73 views

On offering feedback to stories/novels/poetry

Very often, I happen to have to offer my feedback on friends' short stories or novels or poetry. However, I find it very difficult to give a throughout feedback on this kind of writing which is not ...
2
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3answers
54 views

Literary criticism handbook

Can you point out some reference books on literary criticism – from a theoretical as well as practical point of view – to hone and systematize my skills, acquired through first-hand reading of lots of ...
3
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2answers
114 views

In modern writing is there a a significant difference between satire and parody?

Are there significant differences between satire and parody? Can you provide examples of the difference? Do you know of a book which is considered satire; one which is considered parody?
2
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3answers
110 views

Is it a bad habit to write “something” too much? If so, how to get rid of it?

I just realized my prose is filled with somethings. Here are some examples: I was already too far away to go back, and I figured the dog (if it'd been a real one) had ran back to where it had ...
2
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3answers
113 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 ...
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2answers
69 views

Screenplay format: Can character names be shortened after the first mention?

For example: TED DIBAR, (40s) swings his cape to the side, as he approaches Felix. Do I need to continue to use the character's full name, or can I shorten it in subsequent mentions?
2
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2answers
70 views

Why do page headers seldom include chapter/section numbers?

In many of my course books, the header of each page includes a page number, and the name of the current chapter and section. Only in a few of the books the headers include the chapter and section ...
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3answers
303 views

Why one sentence per paragraph in these news articles?

Lately I've noticed some news articles using (usually) a single sentence per paragraph. Some examples: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29341850 ...
2
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1answer
62 views

Capitalization with compound nouns starting with a number

Consider the technical term 4-terminal: if I were to start a paragraph with this term, or using it as column heading in a table, would I have to capitalize the t or not? My understanding is that it ...
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3answers
152 views

Should the opening of a short story mirror the ending?

When I was in school, my English teacher told me that a short story's beginning should mirror its ending, or at least the conclusion should in some way parallel the starting point of the story; but I ...
2
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1answer
157 views

Do publisher ever automatically reject unread stories

I understand that publishers get a lot of manuscripts to read, so I am wondering, are publishers known to reject a story from an unknown author the moment that realize he is using a so called ...
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2answers
490 views

What's the difference between the American and the European style in essay writing?

Several times during my studies I have heard about American and European styles in writing essays. From what I've gathered, the American style is supposed to be more argumentative. On the other hand ...
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2answers
164 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. ...
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0answers
27 views

Best way to become more natural at English [closed]

To give a brief background about me, I was born in east Asian countries then moved to America when I was 15. I went to American high school and became comfortable with English in certain level now ...