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

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1
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1answer
81 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
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1answer
70 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
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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
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2answers
75 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
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1answer
152 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
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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
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1answer
43 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
904 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
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3answers
51 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
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4answers
337 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
355 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 ...
0
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3answers
87 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? ...
8
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3answers
586 views

In end user documentation, should screenshots come before or after the text that references them?

The end user documentation I'm writing makes use of screenshots (and partial screenshots) to show the user what I'm referring to in procedural instructions for or conceptual explanations of the ...
1
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2answers
93 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?
20
votes
11answers
2k views

Could I reach the level of good writing style as non-native language speaker?

I currently write in Russian, but I think of switching to English to gain more audience and to play with both languages and linguistics. So could I ever reach the level of native English writers and ...
2
votes
3answers
88 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
50 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
30 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 ...
1
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1answer
36 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, ...
1
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1answer
52 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
42 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
581 views

How short can a poem be until it can no longer be a poem?

I am on a small journey to help me understand what the definition of a poem is to different people, what poems mean to them. This made me wonder, some poems are longer than others, so: How short ...
2
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0answers
81 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 ...
3
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2answers
3k views

Scrivener customising the header and footer

To my understanding you can only edit the header and footer through the compile settings. Here we can customise using tokens:- <$compilegroup> <$projecttitle> <$abbr_projecttitle> ...
1
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2answers
84 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
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
1
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2answers
56 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
110 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.
4
votes
3answers
123 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 ...
3
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4answers
433 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 ...
2
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2answers
74 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
469 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 ...
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1answer
27 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 ...
1
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1answer
45 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
120 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
votes
1answer
203 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
236 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 ...
1
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4answers
93 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 ...
0
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1answer
36 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
41 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
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
111 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
votes
3answers
126 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 ...
2
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3answers
58 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
43k views

Citation in AP style journalism

I'm writing feature articles and trying to adhere to AP style, but I'm not sure how to attribute a source. I'm familiar with academic citation (APA, MLA), but have never done this in journalism. ...
3
votes
2answers
280 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?
4
votes
4answers
293 views

Punctuating dialogue with oneself

I am wondering what the convention is for punctuating dialogue with oneself. In particular, if a character speaks to himself, do the words need to be put in open and closed quotes? Note that the ...
2
votes
2answers
75 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
458 views

Avoiding cultural differences

I'm not a native English speaker, but I write in English. I'm now visiting the US, and I have made some very interesting observation regarding the way ordinary life goes on here. It made me think of ...