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4
votes
2answers
550 views

Placing similes at the beginning and at the end of a sentence

Would the following sentences have different effects on the reader? He washed his hands thoroughly, like a surgeon after an operation. Like a surgeon after an operation, he washed his hands ...
12
votes
12answers
729 views

How do expert writers avoid using “I” when they have to refer to themselves in their article?

How do competent authors, in a refined and perhaps (slightly) formal way, refer to themselves without saying I? I've seen the term "this writer" somewhere. How is it with a native? Are there other ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

Word for “work completed on behalf of…” [migrated]

I hope you can help. I am updating my CV/resume and I am using one word for each section. I must admit I am stumped in one area. I need a single word to convey the following description: "Work ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Resource for idioms

I'm not a native English speaker and I have a hard time finding good words sometimes. Sometimes I feel like there should be an idiom for the thing I want to say, but cannot remember it correctly. For ...
5
votes
1answer
207 views

Alternative word for “she”

I am writing about a female person. I noticed most of my sentences start with "she". Is there a way to avoid using this pronoun too many times, and use an alternative word instead? I have tried ...
4
votes
5answers
227 views

Indicating a word choice you're unsure of

I've often had situations where I'm unsure of the correct word to be used, either when writing or proofreading. How can this sense be indicated in writing? Someone mentioned adding a question mark ...
1
vote
3answers
105 views

Does this convey that I recommend the anthology I'm reviewing?

Here's a snipped-up version of a review of an anthology I wrote a while back (full original review here). Most of the stories were pretty good, a few were superb, and there were a few poor ones. For ...
2
votes
3answers
141 views

Thesis writing: how to address “self”

This came up when I was writing my thesis: Usually it is recommended that when writing a thesis, one sticks to passive voice and use sentences that read like "The study showed the effect that blah ...
4
votes
6answers
444 views

What can I use instead of “but” and “however”?

I just noticed I tend to use "but" and 'however" in almost every paragraph. Examples (all of them are from the same story): I almost let everything out. But, funny, I didn't. I didn't want him ...
3
votes
3answers
682 views

What is a systematic way of using Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases?

I'm new to the book, and not sure where to start. Please share some ideas on how you as a writer use Roget's. I love that the book has so many different words and I would like to know how you use ...
3
votes
2answers
333 views

Can I use idioms in my personal statement?

I was wondering if I can use expressions such as "I was flooded with ideas", "It would get me closer towards my desired career" or "it worked like a charm" in my personal statement as it is considered ...
1
vote
3answers
170 views

Does the word 'bazaar' instead of 'market' seem more catchy?

Under what specific condition should I use 'bazaar'and what famous writers have used it? I know some Indian writers have, but does someone know any notable English writer who has used that word?
1
vote
1answer
87 views

how to make this thank quote sound more eloquent [closed]

I am trying to write a thank quote and wanted to seek advice on how to make it sound more eloquent... "To my joyful and loving /name of person/, who brings me the joy and peace to be able to do my ...
2
votes
3answers
14k views

What is the other way to say “stay in touch”? [closed]

In one of the statements that I'm writing, I wanted to express the idea that the Internet has helped one to stay in touch with friends. I wrote it this way: It is undeniable that the Internet has ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

When to use pronouns, and when to repeat yourself?

This is a quote from one of my favorite movies: "There are nearly thirteen million people in the world. None of those people is an extra. They're all the leads of their own stories." - Synecdoche, ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

young age, youthful age? [closed]

It would be great if you could help me phrase this sentence: Many primary schools students also fail to recognise the importance of consuming breakfast due to their age . Any suggestions for the ...
3
votes
4answers
173 views

What's a word for a person who took a very rough story and made it into a book?

I have written a book. Well, actually, my mother-in-law told the story of her experiences as a German forced laborer in the Soviet Union after World War 2. This was given in German and recorded onto ...
1
vote
2answers
237 views

Ways to refers to two people who were about to marry or just married

I wrote the following: A bright red carpet ran all the way from the entrance to right beneath the altar. Enclosing it on both sides, were two rows of long benches—each of them with a tiny ...
5
votes
3answers
421 views

How can I search for words by meaning/definition?

Where can I search for words using descriptive sentences? For example, now I'm looking for a word meaning "to purify (by hand) a quantity of grain and take away anything that isn't good grain." How ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Other options for “had had”? [closed]

Although the use of "had had" is grammatically correct, it doesn't read well and seems awkward to me. Take for example the following sentence: I had had enough of this nonsense and was ready to ...
7
votes
5answers
307 views

Swearing - Censor, allude, or include?

I was reading this thread, but it didn't quite the answer a question I had about creative writing and whether profanity should be used or not, in a way that is best for creative storytelling. Here's ...
1
vote
5answers
286 views

Complimenting on solid structure with no major flaws

When reviewing fiction, there's a certain quality that's very important to me, which I can best describe as being "solid." By which I mean: the story is well thought-out, well constructed; it flows ...
-2
votes
1answer
152 views

Style Critique (1200 words) [closed]

The Shade of the Magnolia Tree Against the carmine coloured sand his robes seemed to fade. With a jump a bolt of pure crimson followed him like a shadow. His robes broke the unending horizon of the ...
5
votes
4answers
267 views

think, I think, I don't think

I use "think", "I think" and "I don't think" in my writing a lot. Can you suggest a few ways to reduce it and few alternative ways of saying the same thing? Look at the below sentences I have ...
7
votes
3answers
239 views

Techniques to write for a wider audience

Many years ago, I wrote a short story that used specific information from my cultural background e.g. a belief that if you dream something, it is a form of a vision (superstition, some may say!). This ...
4
votes
3answers
449 views

Is it better to omit phrases like: after a moment, after a while, for a moment, etc?

I also find myself writing stuff like this: (dialogue) They remained silent for a moment. A dog barked at the distance. (dialogue) and this: His stomach started to growl after a ...
-1
votes
2answers
124 views

how to use `and so on` or `blabla` in the middle of a sentence?

in the following sentence: We forge such concepts like agent's IP, agent's port, agent's sequence number and so on for ease of explanation. We forge such concepts like agent's IP, agent's port, ...
6
votes
4answers
297 views

How to avoid specifying the gender in English when the original text does not specify it?

I'm translating a short story from Korean into English. One problem I frequently face is the 'antecedent pronoun agreement' when the original text leaves the 'gender' of the subject unspecified (and ...
4
votes
4answers
307 views

Does writing in a certain mood change how a writer writes?

I'm not sure if this is right for this part of Stackexchange, but since there is no psychology section, here we go: I'm currently writing the same short story several times with the intention of ...
0
votes
2answers
373 views

How to describe the dissipation of tension between two people?

I'd like to describe the sense of two people, one who is angry (call him Joe) at another (call him Bob), but upon hearing Bob's retort, Joe reconsiders his position and changes his mind about being ...
0
votes
2answers
174 views

Strange ungooglable symbol. What does it mean? What is it called? § [closed]

I'm not sure if this symbol will show up in everyone's browser, so I'll describe it also; It looks like an S with a o in the centre vertically. Here it is: § I've seen this symbol used as a bullet ...
1
vote
2answers
158 views

Which animal symbolises trade? [closed]

Different animals symbolise different objects or actions. For example: Bird for letter or postman. Horse for speed and power. Bull for aggressivitet and anger. Im looking for an animal or ...
6
votes
2answers
216 views

How to have a character be nameless for the first few paragraphs of a book?

Let me first explain what is going in in the beginning of the story: My main character belongs to a tribal culture that requires their children pass a rite of passage to earn their name. So I'm kind ...
-1
votes
2answers
3k views

How do greetings vary with time of day?

A character in a story meets another and the author is keeping time of day, as in "the clock was indicating 12 noon". How do the characters greet each other? Kindly include salutations for each time ...
4
votes
5answers
271 views

What is the proper way to use the pronoun “I” without too much repetition?

I found a new job in London and while emailing with my soon-to-be boss, I noticed something that drove me off: the constant repetition of the pronoun I. This is very different from my native language ...
1
vote
2answers
157 views

Possible interactions of punctuation marks with the word “however” in a novel

When using the word however in my story, I feel like using a semicolon before it disrupts the flow of words in the readers head too much. So, is the usage of a comma or semicolon necessary in front ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

How to write realistic female dialogue

I just can't make my dialogue sound like it's being said by a woman. As a friend of mine pointed out, "This woman talks just like you, Jack." I tried imitating the speech patterns of various females ...
15
votes
13answers
2k views

How much swearing is TOO much? (And how much is not enough?)

I've noticed that some of the most successful writers refrain from using profanity, such as Stephanie Meyer and Norman Mailer. Are readers turned off by swearing in books? More importantly, is it ...
3
votes
4answers
138 views

Various flavors for the action “irritate someone”?

I would like to get help to apply different flavors to the action "annoy someone". Please consider the below excerpt. Her mother spoke again, Aarii looked irritated, "Why should I get engaged ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

More concise words for “Ask for help & learn from others”

I’m looking to summarize an idea into as few words as possible — to make it as concise as possible. The idea is to ask others for help (putting ego aside), value others’ input, listen to others, learn ...
0
votes
5answers
93 views

Correct word for “Pulling some one into work, with continuous effort”?

Please consider the below excerpt. 'How long is your break?' I shouted. A group of labourers sat under the banyan tree near the main campus building. 'It's two-thirty, lunch ended an hour ago' ...
6
votes
6answers
199 views

A cross-[What] kind of romance?

In the scientific taxonomy of Living Things, you have: Life Domain Kingdom Phylum Class etc. down to Species, and maybe thence to Breed. If I were talking about my neighbor's dog who is half ...
5
votes
5answers
679 views

How to refer to character of focus in a story

I find that when I write, I'm not always sure how to refer to the character of focus. You can only say "he/she" so many times before it feels choppy and repetitive. Constantly referring to character ...
0
votes
1answer
286 views

Adding related work to an academic project report

In an academic project report, what phrasing should I use to introduce and explain related work? I have to explain several previous projects; I would like to be clear but also avoid repetition. I ...
1
vote
2answers
177 views

Word Choice: When something negative happens that changes your perspective for the better [closed]

Examples: 1.Today I got in a car accident, but I now value life more. 2. Today, I stubbed my toe, but looked down and found my wife's wedding ring we thought was lost. This concept is called the ...
1
vote
1answer
179 views

Where and how to give an overview of each chapter in scientific writing?

Since I find it quite helpful for readers (e.g., of my dissertation) to get an overview of what they are going to read, I want to do this in each chapter. Where should I locate these overviews? How ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

What is the word for this effect - things are not normally noticed until those things come in to the news and people fear/are looking for them [migrated]

For instance. I've never really paid attention to white vans, but when the DC sniper was at large and they stated that he's probably shooting from a white van, white vans seemed to appear out of no ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

What are the 'header' lines/meta information in a formal letter called?

When writing a letter there is often meta information about the correspondence before the actual content of the letter. For example, in bold below:- Address,Town,City,Postcode 23rd July 2012 ...
9
votes
2answers
279 views

Is it typical to add variation to the words used for a character's name to keep it spicy?

A friend has asked me to read through a chapter of his story and give my opinion. Lets say he has two main characters Mr John de Havilland and Mrs Sally de Havilland. I've noticed that the author ...
0
votes
1answer
176 views

Tools or communities for word association?

Are there any tools or online communities that deal with word association? I'm looking for a resource where I could poll for common associations for a particular word. If you do know of such a tool ...