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

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0
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4answers
27 views

Should I worry that my storyline is very similar to another?

I've written a story about anthropomorphic animals in a noirish setting solving murders. I came up with the concept and wrote the first draft about a year ago and am planning on releasing it soon. ...
0
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2answers
40 views

How to start writing short stories

I wish to write short stories based on the experiences I have from my life. Also, I love writing inspirational stories. But somehow, when I start to write them, I could not focus on the subject; also ...
1
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2answers
14 views

If a heading is in roman numerals, is an in-text cross reference also in roman, or arabic, or spelled out

Where in the Chicago Manual of Style is the answer to my subject question? I looked in the CMOS, but could not find the answer to my question. The book is nonfiction, self help divided into parts ...
0
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2answers
60 views

Describing laughter in dialogue?

I'm having a problem that is not addressed by The Chicago Manual of Style or the AP Style Guide I have access to: How does a writer express laughter in fiction? I have seen no consistent answer. It ...
0
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2answers
25 views

Format for capitalizing quotes

Do you have to capitalize the second part of a dialogue if the second part is separated from the first. “Behind every great fortune,” he said as he started to zip up his jacket, “is a great crime. Do ...
19
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9answers
2k views

What's Essential In A Combat Scene?

I've just been reading a bunch of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books. Although they were the most enjoyable read I'd had in ages I always found myself skimming long segments that described involved ...
3
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1answer
98 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. ...
0
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2answers
71 views

Would a native English speaker talk like this? Or does it sound stilted? [on hold]

A: She only loves you for your money, obviously. B (being sarcastic): Sure, I'll take your word for it. You're a self-proclaimed authority in dating, aren't you? You made me realize that every woman ...
1
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2answers
56 views

How should I write a height in feet and inches?

I wrote the sentence: From far away, he could easily be mistaken for a ten year-old, at 5’1 he was as thin as a rail and wore a flannel shirt tucked into a brown, leather belt. I wrote 5'1. ...
0
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3answers
37 views

How can a screenplay writer learn to write a novel?

I am the sort of person that is really great at coming up with amazing ideas, plot-lines, worlds, etc. for stories, but I'm not so good at putting them to paper - at least not in a novel. I'm really ...
1
vote
1answer
21 views

should I put the reference number after the dot or after a space? [duplicate]

I am writing my thesis. and I need to know the correct way of putting the reference. for example: this is a sentence taken from someone [2]. this is a sentence taken from someone[2]. ...
0
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0answers
21 views

Who is the first writer (or book) that has an index? [on hold]

I need to know who is the first writer to make an index in a book. Or maybe if the writer is unknown, the first book where the index appeared. I am aware that it's hard to indicate exactly the first ...
0
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3answers
40 views

The difference between two speech formats

I am conflicted about which one is appropriate for a story, or whether it makes a difference at all. A few years ago, god knows where, I've seen speech that was formatted like so: Hello. - Tom said. ...
12
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7answers
31k views

What are the differences between narrative and descriptive writing?

What are the differences between narrative and descriptive writing? While writing either what should we keep in mind?
3
votes
4answers
82 views

Is there a way to add discovery into a short story?

I'm planning on writing a short story and I'm just wondering if it'd be possible to add an element of discovery into it. I think it'd be interesting if the reader would be able to learn things about ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Citing an article with multiple authors in APA style

I have been trying to go through Mayfield Book on Technical Writing to find out how to do an in-text and parenthetical citation of a source that I found online. The source is an article from a popular ...
6
votes
5answers
301 views

Can anyone think of books that contain two separate stories or two very different perspectives on the same story being told together? [closed]

I fear that the question sounds vague and confusing, but I can't conjure up the words I need to say exactly what I mean without going into detail. I thought it would be interesting to have two ...
1
vote
3answers
135 views

How to give written advice in a way that is encouraging, not overbearing

How do we write something to inspire a person which corrects the mistakes they've made until now, but without making them feel like they're getting mocked from the recipient's perspective? I was ...
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 ...
38
votes
8answers
7k views

“All of a sudden…” ?

I am writing a manuscript for a novel. It's my first attempt, and often I find myself wanting to write "suddenly" or "all of a sudden". I do this when I want the scene to change in an instant, or ...
17
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8answers
31k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
109 views

What aspects of written dialogue are important when giving characters a unique voice?

I have a project that I am working on in which I need to write quite a few fictional informal email correspondences between pairs of characters. I am not using these characters in any other context. ...
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
336 views

How should I capitalise headlines for professional Web writing? (Sentence case vs title case)

I'm often uncertain about how I should capitalise headlines for professional writing on the Web. The two options I'm talking about are: Just capitalise the first word and any other words that would ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

What aspects of written dialogue are important when giving characters a unique voice? [duplicate]

I have a project that I am working on in which I need to write quite a few fictional informal email correspondences between pairs of characters. I am not using these characters in any other context. ...
10
votes
9answers
308 views

Swearing in a book, within a context. Too offensive?

I am currently writing a science fiction novel. The characters are almost uniformly pirates and/or miners in the asteroid belt. Having worked in the mining industry, and grown up around mining towns ...
3
votes
2answers
103 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
53 views

Should you emphasise text within quotation marks?

e.g. Bold: Click "Setting" then click "Options". Italic: Click "Setting" then click "Options". Or even underline? Or none quotation marks? Click Setting then click Options. Which ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Use of ellipses at the end of a passage [duplicate]

My actual passage is a bit involved, but I've had this come up a few times over the years, and I've never resolved the issue. So I'll give a generic passage. I posted this question on ELU but didn't ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Abbreviation for “figures” in scientific papers

In scientific papers, the term "Figure" -- referring to an illustration in the text -- is often abbreviated as "Fig." But is "Figures" abbreviated as "Figs", "Fig.s" or "Figs."? I am proofreading a ...
1
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1answer
7 views

APA Headings- Frequency

How often should you use a heading? Are there any guidelines or limitations to using headings too often (i.e., every paragraph, every other paragraph, etc.)?
8
votes
6answers
3k 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 tend to not use traditional chapters or chapters at all in novels?
2
votes
2answers
51 views

How to write about paternal and maternal grandparents?

What are some practices to write about paternal, maternal grandparents, especially when their names are not used? In my case, the names are not given. One method I am considering is "p-grandfather", ...
7
votes
4answers
116 views

Is it possible for characters to get stuck reacting the same way to everything?

Alright so I am new here so I'm not sure if it's okay to ask this type of question, but I am wondering if it is possible for characters to get stuck in a sort of 'rut' where they react to things with ...
10
votes
4answers
379 views

What are potential pitfalls for a young writer?

Though I'm by no means perfect, I generally consider myself a good writer. The issue is that most older writers I know look back on their writing at my age and cringe at the sentences their artless ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

How to make a list enjoyable to read?

I think I'm a Modern Man by George Carlin, is a good example. And, after analyzing it, I've come up with some techniques. Varying sentence length I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. ...
4
votes
3answers
91 views

Writing figures in novels

I believe that most of the time, it is advised to write out figures as words in novels, rather than writing the actual figure. E.g. He's twenty years old. He lives on the fourth floor. However, are ...
-1
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2answers
78 views

Is there a name for the **writing** tic/technique in which the **writer** inserts an aside beginning with “well”?

Is there a name for this writing tic/technique (which I find very annoying, by the way): Please note: these examples are in the form of dialogue which belies the context in which my question was ...
1
vote
3answers
94 views

Using acronyms in fiction writing

I'm wondering whether I can use acronyms without the period between each letter in fiction writing. Adding the period seems kind of clunky and stops the flow of the sentence a little but I don't want ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

How to format neural actions in a story

I'm writing a short story with androids and cybernetically enhanced humans who have access to neural interfaces. Essentially, they open up some kind of computer terminal, but it's via internal sensors ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

When not to use commas before dialogue (and capitals)

I'm struggling with when to omit the comma before dialogue (as well as when to use capitals) in fiction writing. My understanding is that you would omit the comma before/after something like "he says" ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Playwriting: What is the difference between parentheticals and stage directions?

Coming from the World of Screenwriting, it proves difficult for me to discern the usage of parentheticals from the usage of stage directions in a play I'm writing. I need to know which is for what and ...
5
votes
4answers
417 views

In present-tense narrative, does “I spend the NEXT few hours…” make sense?

I was directed to the writers stackexchange from the English/grammar forums. I'm writing a novel in present-tense. If all the actions are in the present-tense, e.g. as the character is experiencing ...
0
votes
3answers
73 views

In a formal writing, does having a paragraph rewritten by another person make the style change noticablely?

I am writing a personal statement to apply to a grad school. At first, I have thought that because the role of this statement is to show an image of me as a person, using the tone I usually use when ...
6
votes
4answers
152 views

How can I convey something without going into details?

I am considering writing a novel in which society has fallen into a perverse pit of debauchery. This is necessary to the novel, but it also presents some problems. I want the reader to know just how ...
1
vote
1answer
183 views

Having a character quote an entire stanza of a poem

I am working on a long form fiction item.In this one of the characters will quote the first Stanza from a poem. Normally with speech one opens quotes, adds the text, and closes quotes. However I do ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

Acronym issue transitioning from prose to dialogue

Fiction. There is a group called the Mental Health Access and Referral Team. In prose, I can either use M-HART or MHART. In dialogue, I'm a bit stumped. (I use THE CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE.) I think ...
4
votes
4answers
115 views

I like to write but I keep stopping myself

I have this problem where I always just can't seem to be satisfied by my choice of words resulting it me never getting far in writing. Almost every sentence I would think "This isn't the kind of ...
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

Where to insert chapter breaks

I've recently written something about the length of in-between a short story and a novel. I've had a bunch of friends edit it, and all of them say that I should insert chapter breaks. I wrote the ...