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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
967 views

Using ACM style, how do I cite an article without a specific author's name?

I'm using Mendeley, and trying to cite this article using ACM citation style: Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus American Diabetes Association Should the author be "N/A" or ...
4
votes
1answer
316 views

singular or plural for index entries

I am in the final stages of writing a book and currently I am preparing the index. Are there any rules whether index entries should be listed in singular or plural? Currently I have Markov chains, ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

What tense to use in an academic paper when speaking about correspondence?

What is the correct tense to use in an academic paper when speaking about correspondence? Say one of my source materials is a letter written by someone named William, in which he says he went to the ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

Capitalizing “The” in Title Case - Increases Engagement?

I regularly write advertisements for a client who insists that capitalizing "the" improves conversion rates (the number of people that click or buy). I know that it's technically wrong and it drives ...
3
votes
2answers
343 views

Creative writing use and abuse

I am wondering what is the limit, if any, of justifying one's writing style as being creative. I have often seen the use of a single word or phrase as a 'sentence' for creating impact. Example: "It ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

Verb tense for technical document titles

I'm writing a technical manual about creating database systems, and wondered what is the best verb tense for title names. My ideas are: Continuous (-ing) form: (e.g. "Creating a Cluster", "Creating ...
3
votes
4answers
629 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
834 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
618 views

How to write English in Merlin (TV Series) style?

I find the writing style of the show Merlin to be very good, and much better than current/modern English usage. Details about the show can be found at IMDB's Merlin page, and Wikipedia's entry about ...
3
votes
8answers
438 views

Developing your writer's voice

I'm a relatively new writer and sometimes I feel like my writing is too bland and that I'm struggling to develop my writer's voice. Does anyone have any good tips? Thanks
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it okay to quote a saying, even if i don't know who said it?

If it is okay to quote then how should i quote it. For example, "Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions." - Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959) Now if i don't ...
3
votes
3answers
139 views

Formatting blog posts like the pros

I am new to writing. I have seen Jeff Atwood's blog and I am really impressed how he writes. I have seen a similar manner on wordpress docs too. I am still confused with some issues while writing. ...
3
votes
3answers
688 views

First Person Voice - Same as speaking?

When writing in first person, if the POV character talks with a certain dialect or type of diction (eg. "I ain't got all day! Hurry it up, will ya?") should they narrate with the same accent, or can ...
3
votes
5answers
280 views

Which English grammar should be followed when writing for a global audience?

In relation to my question on Usage of 'z' in the word serialized in English?, it seems I was mistaken in assuming there is a generally accepted correct variant of English. The question Which variant ...
3
votes
2answers
280 views

Should a piece of fiction be made of 100% concise writing?

I recently finished reading William Strunk's Elements of Style. The book mostly teaches how to write concise paragraphs (e.g. by removing, changing, and rearranging words). So I decided to apply that ...
3
votes
2answers
98 views

Effective differentiation of dream sequence from “normal text”

There are lots of questions about how to write about dream, how will it be in a book etc. I have a bit different question. Imagine this situation: I was walking down the street to the entrance of ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to Cite an Author Who Has a Pen Name

If both the author's name and the pen name are known, should one cite by one name or both names? If one, which?
3
votes
4answers
577 views

Quotes or no, for Hiccup

I have a character unleash a monster hiccup in a scene. I'd like advice regarding whether or not it should be in quotes. Here's the scene, in summary "Hiccup!" Jane tried not to look embarrassed. ...
3
votes
6answers
222 views

Please help me improve this sentence…

In a first-person narrative, I’d like to use the following sentence: It took me nearly a decade to write this script, and now I’d pitch it to the top producer in Hollywood. I’m not following ...
3
votes
4answers
839 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
5answers
176 views

Which version of these three lines is more likely to attract the interest of the reader ? (character's viewpoint vs omnicient narrator)

The first one is a suggestion I got from my previous question. The second one is a version based on the character's viewpoint. Which version is more likely to attract the interest of the reader (and ...
3
votes
2answers
104 views

Using comma splices in dialogue

At university, it was drilled into us to avoid comma splices like the plague, but I keep seeing them in all different types of famous, best-selling novels. I read things (all in dialogue, in inverted ...
3
votes
3answers
147 views

If not in the prologue/intro, where would a hook be?

For many stories I have seen, written or otherwise, a fight or some intimate moment is used to hook the reader. It is done A LOT, if not every time. Does a hook have to be in the beginning? Are ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you write a character's internal monologue?

I've seen two main methods of writing a character's inner monologue One is to use italics Dean is being silly thought Sam Another is to quote the text "Dean is being silly" thought Sam Or you could ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Are contractions antithetical to academic writing?

This question is very specific to academic writing: I used the contraction "don't" instead of "do not" in some of the papers. Some of the reviewers mentioned that "don't" is not a formal style of ...
3
votes
3answers
67 views

“The company from Redmond” vs “The Redmond company.”

I'm writing an article about Microsoft for my tech' analysis website and I got into a stylistic roadblock. Which of the following sentences should I use? As I said before, the company from ...
3
votes
1answer
220 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
360 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?
3
votes
1answer
57 views

How to add difficult Web Citation?

I am writing an article and needs to be heavily cited. My statement is: Jinisys Software Inc is a partner of Cisco. Problem: Cisco website does not have a static list of partners, and instead ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Are there good writing exercises for compressing expression?

I recently sat down and wrote a poem after a long hiatus. It was a narrative poem with a formal rhyme scheme. I'm pretty dissatisfied with my initial draft, as it was far too wordy. Besides editing ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

Is it okay to attempt to write in the style of another person, and how is that done well?

I want to write like Neal Stephenson- I read Snow Crash and absolutely fell in love with the style. I'm trying to write a cyberpunk style book myself, and I have a good plot (I think), but I want to ...
3
votes
3answers
386 views

How to discover clichés

What is the best way to find out if a certain phrase is considered a cliché? Is there an online resource, a specialized dictionary-like lookup? EDIT I found these so far: Cliché Finder Movie ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

All persons fictitious - where to place it?

I've got an all persons fictitious disclaimer similar to the one mentioned at All persons fictitious disclaimer — ideas regarding modification? but where should I place it? Bear in mind, this is a ...
3
votes
1answer
614 views

Writing an artist statement , not a thesis

Question Hello, I need guidance writing an artist statement for a gallery. Specifically, what's good practice, and what should be avoided? Thanks, Thoughts I'm a visual artist appearing in a gallery ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Personal Page - review request

I have created my personal about page, based on "The Personal Page" template. As a non-native English speaker I worry, that my attempt at telegraphic style is riddled with questionable use of ...
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
128 views

Units to use in travelogue-book (time, weight, temperature, distance, etc)

I'm writing a book (travelogue) about Japan in English, detailing my walk across the country a few years ago. My target audience is English speaking countries, and I'm trying to write in American ...
3
votes
2answers
38 views

Plural of the scholastic grade A

There's a similar question right now, and I have an issue: How would one write the grade of A in plural? For clarity, my smart device isn't smart enough for italics. I will use bold. In general, I ...
3
votes
2answers
53 views

Repeating a subject

Can I repeatedly use the same subject to start several sentences in a paragraph that describes a process? Does it build continuity or become redundant? For example: A passenger arrived. He ...
3
votes
2answers
325 views

Does the word “Its” get a capital in The Economist Style title case?

I need some help on the topic of title case following the Economist Style Guide. Does the possessive pronoun "its" get a capital in Economist style title case or not. There was a recent headline ...
3
votes
3answers
109 views

What's the best way to distinguish between co-authors?

I know a couple of people who are co-authoring a book, and they have been debating how to go about distinguishing between the two of them in their content. They have an outline of topics that they are ...
3
votes
1answer
380 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

How many names in a book are too many?

It seems to me there is a relative limit for commercial fiction regarding the number of named characters. This makes sense, of course. Readers get confused; lots of people aren't good with names. ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

What is the fine line between “confidence” and “presumption”?

I am about to apply to a grad school, and I have prepare the SOP for it (think it like a cover letter to apply to a job). I know the rule: show what I've got, not tell how I think I'm cool. I've ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
202 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 ...
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?