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

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6
votes
2answers
544 views

What is “head popping” and why is it bad?

Most of my writing experience has been with first person, nonfiction stories. Now I want to try some fiction. I'm working in third person, but I'm a little bit confused about how to pull something ...
4
votes
1answer
278 views

Is my writing 'disjointed', and if so how can I fix it?

First page of my fantasy novel. I'm told my writing is disjointed and jerky, but have no idea in what way! And it's driving me crazy that I don't know where the holes in my boat are so I can't really ...
19
votes
10answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
5k views

How do I sign a (formal) email?

My email client includes a signature beneath the text of my writing. Currently it is of the form: ------------ John Doe Acme Widget Company 123 Elm Street Metropolis, USA phone:222-555-1212 ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Should one avoid overusing “it” in prose?

The next morning I went to the forest—not the mini-scale forest but the real one. It extended miles and miles around the house. We were well aware of it when Akiko and I bought the house. In ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Overuse of 'I' in a memoir

Is it acceptable to use I multiple times over and over when writing dialogue and quotes for memoirs. I have been told that if you are using quotes in dialogue that nothing is wrong. I am reading a ...
2
votes
2answers
142 views

Multiple characters without names: how to address

First off, the answer might be pretty much obvious (that there is no clear way to distinguish these characters) but I would still very much like to have perspectives (and perhaps even get an answer). ...
6
votes
3answers
268 views

What is the proper format/style for using and properly citing code in an APA paper?

I'm working on a paper that covers concurrency in Java, however to properly explain many concepts I feel code samples are basically needed. However, I don't know how to properly cite code I've ...
0
votes
4answers
907 views

Which font should I use when I'm writing? [closed]

I know most people want to see courier, well, at least that is what I think (correct me if I'm wrong.) I would probably never be able to finish a novel or any kind of book for that matter (not ...
6
votes
4answers
299 views

Where to draw the line between being descriptive and getting on with the story?

I have loved writing since early in high school and it has helped me tremendously, not only in my emotional well being, but also in music. I have started writing on a lot of things, which I wanted to ...
4
votes
6answers
142 views

On the role of “accidents” in “realistic” stories

Accidents are a part of our real life. It is possible to see an old friend accidentally. It is possible to find a fallen comet accidentally. It is possible to kill someone by an accident, etc. Many ...
0
votes
2answers
41 views

Which opening for my book is better? [closed]

I am currently writing a fictional book. I have no idea how to introduce the new country and the history. I already have three ideas on how to start the book, but I don't know which one to use and ...
0
votes
4answers
95 views

Indentation, paragraph spacing, when?

What are the proper rules for indentation in text? When should there be larger spaces separating paragraphs? In this particular example, I am writing a math book, so there are several different ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the advantages of different date formats in resumes and CVs?

I've seen a somewhat related question, but it doesn't answer my question quite right. Say you're writing an event that happened on a single day, and you need to put it in your resume or CV. So how ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

How is my writing. Please review.? [closed]

My friend says, it is okay. Not so nice. Please read and comment. Almost anything is welcome. Also could you say in what am I lacking? I pulled myself escaping from him. I don't why I did ...
1
vote
4answers
401 views

How can I write poems in an attractable manner?

I have written several poems, but only very few won prices. Those poems impressed people very much, so I want you to share your thoughts, what are the key things I have to focus on or I have to keep ...
20
votes
2answers
587 views

When should modifiers be avoided?

I've come across this Mark Twain quote: When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them -- then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Listing names with titles

Normally when listing a group of people you would simply separate each with a comma. Please send the memo to Jason, Sarah, and Courtney. However if you want to include the title of each person ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Perspective and Balance with Multiple Characters

I am working on a piece of fiction and am having some difficulty locking down which perspective/s to utilize. The main issue at hand is that I have 4 characters that will play "lead" roles and ...
2
votes
3answers
95 views

How to list concepts and tie them in together?

The green pieces of paper folded up in your pocket, the balance in your checking account, your mortgage, and that time you paid for dinner with your friend and she said that the next time is on ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Examples for books that don't use (traditional) chapters? [closed]

I'm a big fan of Terry Pratchett, and he doesn't use chapters (mostly). Are there any other authors who don't or tend to not use chapters?
6
votes
4answers
266 views

Using capital letters for shouting

I respect that with the power of language, we don't necessarily need to capitalise anything, because a description of how a character is speaking is more powerful. Take my example: The hooded man ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Should I use contractions on a non-fiction work? [duplicate]

It is many things, as we’ll see in Chapter TBD, but at its heart, it is just software. I heard it was bad to use contractions, but it seems a bit wordy to say: as we will see.
0
votes
0answers
65 views

According to Bakhtin, why is poetry monologue, and a novel dialogue? [closed]

Addressing the idea of heteroglossia, why is poetry generally unable to exhibit heteroglossia? What specifically is the "other speech" in a novel that shows heteroglossia?
93
votes
20answers
4k views

The “Rules” of Writing

There are a lot of axioms that get tossed around in creative writing courses, books on writing, and of course, the internet. Often, these little gems are explained to new writers as though they were ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

Should I indent when I write just a short sentence?

I'm writing a curriculum vitae and in Special skills section I wrote as the following: 8- Special skills I have the following skills: C++ Objective-C Should I indent "I have the following ...
5
votes
3answers
163 views

Best way to convey an immediate change of scenery

Okay, bear with me. Think of it like this: My character is stuck in an situation whereby every time he sleeps, he wakes up at a different time (as in the past/future, not 8:00am), in a different ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

What does “MC” in section break mean?

I saw - I think at least a few times now - authors separating sections of a story with ~MC~MC~MC~ or something similar. What does that mean? Is it an acronym for something, or just some odd ...
11
votes
6answers
14k 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
2answers
51 views

Should I italicise when the protagonist quote other character's words?

For example in a story I'm writing a character says the following: “Be careful,” An-Mei said, ignoring my question. “No matter what, don't get close to her.” Later on the protagonist thinks ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

How to style a film or book title?

Let's say I had a character which was looking at a book shelf and I wanted to mention a particular book that they were looking at, let's say it's Lord of the Rings, should I put the title in quotes? ...
37
votes
20answers
4k views

How to name the characters of your story?

I find it hard to name my characters. Every normal name sounds funny if applied to a product of my fantasy. If I take a common name, I may get the image of someone I know into my head. And that may ...
10
votes
5answers
562 views

Switching POV: Should it ever be done at all?

When I started, I had a nasty habit of hopping from perspective to perspective to perspective. I forced myself down to one perspective per chapter, but I still wonder if it's acceptable to do it at ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Synonym recommendations for “chuckle?” [closed]

Apparently I want to use this word a fair amount ("she chuckled," etc.), or, more specifically, a word that means "a short and [soft or gentle] laugh." When I comb online and other digital thesauri, ...
4
votes
4answers
133 views

Is extraneous language appropriate in academic writing?

I teach a course in academic writing. My students, who do not have much writing experience, add many phrases, as in What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?, to the ...
4
votes
3answers
259 views

A friendlier way to write charges or fees to clients?

What is a better way to write in an email to tell my client that I will charge him a fee of say $100? Often, I feel very reluctant to write these ways: I will quote the hosting and development ...
0
votes
1answer
189 views

Comma between the following clauses in AP Style?

The AP style says that a comma is not needed between two clauses that have the same subject. However, it would become ambiguous if I removed the comma fromt the following: When you walk straight ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Using pronoun in an essay: 2nd person or 3rd person?

1) Working in a wide range of positions can improve a person’s experience and make him more successful. 2) Working in a wide range of positions can improve your experience and make you more ...
2
votes
1answer
427 views

How to cite a Terms of Service in APA style

I need to cite a Google condition using APA style. I have the following paragraph, but when I pass it through Viper I get plagiarized. How shall I do?
1
vote
1answer
83 views

becoming better blogger when I write about diverse topics

I often tend to treat my blog as my diary and thereby end up having a mix up personal and general blogs on my site. I understand that it does not attract readers - a mixed bag of one liner and ...
5
votes
3answers
406 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
267 views

Italicize part of a word in fiction?

I am wondering if I can or should take a bit of stylistic license and italicize just part of a word: He took a sharp turn back into a side street, and collided hard with something that sent him ...
2
votes
5answers
157 views

Punctuating Thoughts

Following my question here I am still unsure if it is a 'hard and fast' rule to italicise thoughts. My preference is to use normal quotation marks, so that if a person is thinking in a dialogue ...
3
votes
2answers
685 views

Changing narrators

Is it ever a good idea to change narrators in a short story? In one of my short stories, the narration starts in third person 'eye of god' mode. Then it moves to each character - there are only two ...
1
vote
3answers
146 views

When to use contractions and when to use complete words?

These are some passages from Man-Eating Cats by Haruki Murakami. He'd been dead set against out marriage from the start, and his tone of voice said he'd finally been proved right. He had ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Pros ans cons of writing a plot based on the present and past tense (character's point of view)?

I'm not sure if I should write my first book in the present or past tense. The book is about a doctor in a clinic who is analysing his patients. e.g. I said, VS I say. I thought for a while ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Shift in tense and starting a historical account with the present tense

I was just writing a historical overview of a battle and decided I'd write the introduction in the present tense--the present tense being a narration of a specific event during the war. I just ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Publisher field in Book Review when the book is obtained for free from the internet

I'm writing a book review as part of my English Holiday Homework. The book (or rather, prolegomenon) that I'm reviewing is Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift. Due to obvious reasons for my ...
4
votes
7answers
180 views

Level of description in a story

I have often come across stories where the author has described a particular scene or action of a character in minute details. e.g. If a character has to open a door, the description is about how the ...
47
votes
20answers
2k views

How to overcome the fact that I can't write?

My problem is that I basically suck at writing. Especially prose. Part of it is basically because I don't practice as much as I could. Part of it is because I'm just not talented in that way. ...