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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

3
votes
5answers
135 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
34 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
351 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?
1
vote
2answers
544 views

Chopped sentences with too many conjunction, and repeating the subject again and again

I have tendency to write chopped sentences with too many conjunctions, repeating the subject again and again. I don't want that but I'm not skilled in English. For example how do write the following ...
2
votes
3answers
95 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
3answers
136 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
316 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
4answers
837 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
72 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
170 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 ...
4
votes
7answers
17k views

Differences between script and screenplay

There is usually a lot of confusion when it comes to these two terms. Some sources say that there is no (practical) difference between the two while other sources talk of various kinds of differences. ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

Citation anniversary editions

How do I do MLA citations for an anniversary edition, e.g. 30th anniversary Selfish Gene. Do I treat it as a normal edition or just ignore that it is a new edition?
4
votes
3answers
64 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
27 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
223 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
25 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
81 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
40 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
338 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there some guideline that I can point to about the overuse of bold and underline?

I am getting really tired of getting emails and PowerPoint presentations in which half of the words are bold and underlined. There is also excessive use of exclamation points, all caps, and overly ...
4
votes
4answers
137 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. ...
1
vote
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; ...
2
votes
4answers
296 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. ...
3
votes
6answers
274 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
451 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
5answers
104 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
443 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
43 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
138 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
3answers
100 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
3answers
71 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
4answers
230 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. ..."
2
votes
2answers
74 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
58 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
200 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
191 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
84 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
110 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
82 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
228 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
382 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
300 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 ...
4
votes
7answers
6k 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
61 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
97 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
114 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
74 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
132 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
76 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 ...