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

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2
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6answers
656 views

How should I phrase “requests” to a higher-ranked individual in another department?

At work, I lead a small team of programmers. I often have to request equipment and services from our I.T. department, and all of those requests have to go directly to the C.I.O., which is an ...
2
votes
5answers
668 views

What does “Exposition and Ammunition – back story” mean in screenwriting?

I am just starting my first screen writing class and I got an assignment that says: Exposition and Ammunition – back story. I have been searching online but I don't get it. Can someone explain it for ...
2
votes
7answers
344 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
2
votes
2answers
195 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). ...
2
votes
4answers
334 views

Jumping between points in time in narrative

Is it acceptable for a writer to jump back in time for a whole chapter? I don't mean a flashback, I mean more like, for example, chapter 5 happening in 25/06/2014 and then the next (Chapter 6) ...
2
votes
5answers
562 views

Techniques for creating variety in prose

When I write my short stories, I usually end up using a direct style as follows: Tim remembered the day he had to say goodbye to Cathy. He did not really have a choice. He had to let go of Cathy, ...
2
votes
6answers
291 views

How do I keep up with current written English language?

I am a speaker of English as a foreign language. I appreciate that English is a living language and that different regions in the world use English differently. I wanted to know how I can keep up with ...
2
votes
6answers
250 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
59 views

Spelling style in academic papers

When an article is submitted to a conference or journal, is it better to use British or American spelling? Does it have to be according to the conference or journal's style (based on where it is being ...
2
votes
5answers
198 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

When is it correct to capitalize terms/phrases in a personal statement?

I'm writing a personal statement for graduate admissions, and I've a query regarding the use of capitalization in the midst of sentences. For example, is it correct/expected to capitalize the names of ...
2
votes
3answers
69 views

How can I stress a certain word in a medium that doesn't allow for font embellishments?

Many of us probably encountered it before on a social media like Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section of a major website. You've decided what you want to say, but you want to stress a ...
2
votes
5answers
140 views

When is repetition good?

I'm aware that, in writing, repetition is sometimes bad. For example: "You forgot my birthday!" I said. "No, I didn't forget your birthday." "Then why didn't you wish me happy ...
2
votes
3answers
98 views

How to find the balance between research and the obvious

I'm embarking on writing my first popular science book on a controversial subject. For sure the writing must be rational, coherent with a clear train of thought and littered with references to be ...
2
votes
3answers
58 views

Which citation style do I use if I'm writing a religious book?

Should a self published book on a biblical topic, use MLA or Chicago citation styles? It'll be a persuasive writing on a biblical subject. I want to persuade the reader to my point of view but I know ...
2
votes
3answers
127 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
votes
4answers
257 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. ...
2
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3answers
80 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
3answers
119 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, ...
2
votes
4answers
296 views

How to reference a figure from text in a technical document

I'm preparing technical documentation for some software. For the installation, there are lots of screen grabs and they all have Figure x captions. What's the correct styling and means of referencing ...
2
votes
3answers
96 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
185 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
101 views

How much can I talk about other people's works?

Let's say I'm writing a novel set in the future, clearly on Earth, with all the history that has happened through today. Obviously in the real world, there are numerous works of fiction that are ...
2
votes
3answers
69 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
72 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 ...
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.
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Template for IT technical report?

I'm looking for a template or guidelines for how to write a technical report. The report is IT-related and intended for a project manager to review the work of the investigation of a IT-related ...
2
votes
3answers
766 views

When should I use italics in scientific writing?

I noticed that proper nouns, such as names of theorems or techniques are often set in italics in scientific writing but not always. Are there rules about it, for example each proper noun should be set ...
2
votes
1answer
246 views

Using Glossary Instead of Footnotes (for translation/transliteration)

I am writing a technical report with keywords which are mainly English. I am using a Glossary at the end, which describes translated keywords. Is it a replacement for footnotes or I should just keep ...
2
votes
4answers
903 views

Which tense should I use when writing a post about a journey?

What tense could I use when I write about a journey? Suppose if I write about a train journey and describe the countryside, would using a present tense create a deeper impact to the reader? I could ...
2
votes
2answers
217 views

Indirect Narration Style

Does the indirect narration style (as in: 'Surely she was going to ask him out tomorrow.') directly fall into the classification of Narration?
2
votes
2answers
63 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
106 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.) ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

Do publisher ever automatically reject unread stories

I understand that publishers get a lot of manuscripts to read, so I am wondering, are publishers known to reject a story from an unknown author the moment that realize he is using a so called ...
2
votes
1answer
176 views

What is the correct casing for a character's title?

I'm currently writing some fiction about a lord and I'm struggling with when I should capitalise his title. There are a number of circumstances. When someone is referring to him or about him using ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

Capitalization of personal event names

I am working with a friend on a essay and we have encountered a capitalization question. The book we are analyzing is The Assault by Harry Mulisch. The central event in the book is the attack on his ...
2
votes
1answer
52 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Is it possible to publish stories with experimental spacing technique? (aka, blank pages, etc.)

I've got a few stories that employ experimental stylistics. The piece that is giving me the most trouble, though, is split up into five sections-- each section begins on its own page. It's hard to ...
2
votes
2answers
239 views

Am i using “he/she” too often during action scenes?

I'm not sure if I am being too overly critical of what I write or if I am actually falling into that "He/She" echo. By that I mean, using "he" or "she" over and over during the action, or combat in ...
2
votes
3answers
674 views

Help me rewrite this sentence [closed]

I would like help re-writing this sentence. I would like the overall tone of the language kept intact, and I would like it to be as concise, eloquent and well written as possible. In the event ...
2
votes
3answers
95 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
54 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
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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
98 views

Improving techniques independently: Description

How can I improve my technique in description? Which things I should avoid in description? How can I know, that I put "enough" description and will go to narration? My description technique is bad ...
2
votes
3answers
250 views

When to start a new paragraph and when to start a new “scene”

This is an extract of a short story I'm writing. Sometimes I get confused about when to start a new paragraph and when to start a new "scene." So I would like to know if I'm doing it properly here ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Style signatures and uncommon formatting patterns

Style signatures are bits of words and phrases used consistently throughout the entirety of a work (but not necessarily among my unrelated works). I would like to try using style signatures in a work ...
2
votes
1answer
219 views

Does this passage convey an appropriate mix of seriousness and levity?

The following is a standalone passage from a collection meant to deal with topics of psychology, philosophy and self-help. The question is: Is the quirky style helpful in driving home the point, or ...
2
votes
2answers
71 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 ...