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

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3
votes
2answers
68 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
6k views

What are widely-used UK-English style guides?

In the UK, what are the equivalents to Chicago Manual of Style, the Associated Press style guide, Yahoo, APA, MLA, etc? Most importantly, what are their intended audiences? (AP is used for ...
14
votes
8answers
22k views

Should I indent the first line of the first paragraph in a chapter?

I was reading a thesis report of a friend and I noticed that he didn't indent the first line of the first paragraph in each chapter. I don't remember noticing it anywhere before until I saw it there ...
0
votes
3answers
135 views

Why do writers sometimes use so much description?

Why do many writers use a lot of description when presenting a character or a scene? Is this a writing tradition? Many characters in a book have been described in minute detail , in some ways ...
1
vote
1answer
71 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
87 views

A grand scheme or destiny in literature

There's one thing in literature that no matter how cliche or over used it might be, I always find very compelling. For example, when a story unfolds as if there is a larger force at work moving all of ...
0
votes
3answers
76 views

The extent of obscure references

How far is too far? If I am aiming for considerable accessibility, and, in my story, I mention Salvador Dali whose name is tier-2, not on the level of Picasso or Van Gogh, should I expect the ...
0
votes
2answers
109 views

Should I write “also known as” in full or as an acronym (aka)?

Example: It was located in the East Coast National Scenic Area, also known as China's Last Unspoiled Land. Is that how it should be written? Should I put it in quotes? Lowercase?
4
votes
3answers
188 views

How do I write numbers in dialogue?

My proofreader recently revealed to me the following, which I was wholly unaware of: ...when a number/code/serial or whatever is said in dialogue, you write the whole thing out... I had written ...
0
votes
5answers
104 views

Why are the paragraphs of an document often indented and not vertically separated?

A quick side by side comparison of two writing styles: Left: no indent and with white space; right: indented, but no white space Recently, I'm seeing more and more academic-like documents which are ...
3
votes
7answers
4k views

How to separate scenes in a chapter?

I have multiple scenes in a chapter, sometimes from different POVs, or different locations/times. Now I would like to make it clear to the reader that they have left a scene and are entering a new ...
0
votes
4answers
60 views

How to decide the position of short phrases?

Example: As agreed, we met at Shangai Train Station the next morning. Even though it was just seven, the place was terribly crowded; people were running and lining, jostling and shoving. A ...
4
votes
1answer
55 views

Should I ever repeat the affiliation of a person?

I have not been able to find an existing question similar to mine, but apologies if I've missed one. I write an academic dissertation where I mention a lot of people. The first time someone is ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

Which one is the correct dialogue punctuation format?

I am writing my first novel and this the very first confusion I would like to clarify. As I am not a native English speaker, I find it very hard to understand the punctuation scheme in direct ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

Does this sentence excessively break the fourth wall?

I am currently writing a scene for my novel. In this scene I will be revealing the primary villain for the entire first book. The villain, named Annihilus, has the power over the domain of life; he ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

How to search for similar works

I'm writing a proposal for a book and have been asked to provide examples of similar books and list how my own work is different from them. Unfortunately I don't know how to approach this question ...
2
votes
3answers
73 views

How to structure a sentence containing long code examples?

In the context of a technical manual, I need to write instructions guiding users through several standard manipulations. When providing examples of these manipulations, I have written a short sentence ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Is the Microsoft Manual of Style appropriate for writing general IT related instructional documents?

I'm currently working for a company's IT department, and one of my tasks is to write documentation for common procedures that we perform, in order to get new employees acquainted with them more ...
1
vote
1answer
132 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

On mastering the art of writing descriptive passages on certain weather conditions

It is, in my opinion, a difficult task to describe certain weather conditions (e.g., an overcast sky, the falling rain, the storm, the rising of the rainbow, the falling of the snow, etc.) ...
1
vote
1answer
54 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
176 views

Does this dream sequence work in my introduction? [closed]

I'm writing the introduction to a story. The intro starts with a dream, then the main character wakes up, and then he and one of the secondary characters have a conversation while waiting for a bus. ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Do I format other works' titles in my title?

I'm currently writing an essay in MLA format about a short story, and would like to include the title of the short story in my title. We all know that titles of short stories are underlined when ...
2
votes
3answers
112 views

Proper way to punctuate an abrupt stopping of speech?

I'd like to properly punctuate one of my characters being stopped in speech, followed by a sentence that explains that the character didn't have time to finish. It's going to be something like this, ...
5
votes
4answers
466 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." ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

How to use academic titles in the beginning of a paper

Should I use titles e.g. Dr., PhD, MS., BS, etc the beginning of a paper along with author names? Does the rule, if any, differ for different styles e.g. APA, MLA, etc.? Is the following, to make ...
1
vote
2answers
140 views

Critical Elements Of A Story [closed]

I've been writing a story and i wanted someone to proofread my story before i actually send it off for further checking. This person is my teacher and he wants me to categorize all my chapters in ...
0
votes
2answers
457 views

How do I choose the most appropriate font for a professional document?

I've written many documents at school, but there is one thing I'm always struggling with: Font types. I never know which font to choose for which occasion. At the moment I'm writing a document that ...
2
votes
6answers
245 views

Am I making the writing too complex?

My story is of a fantasy world where the wars of several species have all been fought, lost, and the protagonist is writing his journal from inside a jail cell. The writing he does can't be erased. I ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Techniques for writing internal monologue

I've seen the thoughts of a character written in a few different ways: Example 1: Indirect Ender liked it better, though, when two boys played against each other. Then they had to use each other's ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Is there evidence for a categorical difference between British and American literary argument style?

I overheard a friend say: "I was used to writing essays in the American style, where you have to take a position, be really passionate about it, and given arguments with references for and ...
0
votes
4answers
150 views

Skipping the action scene

My novel has a lot of fighting scenes. It's natural since its about a war. The problem is that people don't read books for fighting scenes. Numerous fighting scenes is just bad writing. Jrr Tolkein ...
1
vote
4answers
150 views

How to indicate the topic has been changed without using words?

I am writing an an article to share knowledge, not novel. Usually, when you change the current topic, at the beginning of the new paragraph you would like to use some transition words such as ...
2
votes
5answers
192 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
509 views

Getting emotional while writing, good or bad?

Once in a while I get really emotional when writing. Writing about love, jealousy or even thinking about a simple scene in which a father plays with his child can get some strong emotional responses ...
0
votes
3answers
86 views

How can clarity and flow of long sentences be improved? [closed]

Sometimes it seems desirable to pack a lot of interrelated information into a single sentence, but such sentences can lack clarity or seem tiring. For example, the following sentence seems to leave ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Referencing figure in text - capitalize the word “Figure” or not? Why?

I see it quite a lot. It looks a bit like this: It can be seen in Figure 3 that... My gut feeling is that there is no reason to scream in the middle of a perfectly calm sentence. I would like to ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

Using Present Tense to describe a Fact on a story that uses Past Tense

newcomer here, and I have a question. I have a story that starts with the sentence, 'the ocean is vast'. However, I'm actually going to write my story in past tense form but changing that 'is' to ...
1
vote
3answers
253 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Overabundance of punctuation, too many pauses, like this title

I have a writing style which relies heavily on pauses, specifically commas and periods. I like to put them everywhere but I am quit sure I overdo it significantly. I was wondering if there are known ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

When should headers be used in writing?

When I ask the Should I use hypophoras at the beginning of every paragraphs? question, Lauren Ipsum suggests me to organize things with headers while Kristina Adams advises me to avoid headers in ...
27
votes
8answers
1k views

When is it okay to tell?

One of the major mantras of writing fiction is "show, don't tell". Is it ever okay to tell? When?
2
votes
2answers
69 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

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

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. ...
5
votes
6answers
854 views

Overusing “the” and “I”

I'm not a native English speaker, and I find that my English writing contains too many definite article "the" when writing scientific reports, and too many "I" when writing in informal settings (like ...
0
votes
3answers
50 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
319 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
350 views

Vancouver citation

I just want to confirm if I did this correct. I have this reference: G. Burg, Das Melanom, Serie Gesundheit: Piper/VCH, (1993). And, want to convert it to vancouver style. In this case, this ...