-1
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
409 views

How do authors gain strong familiarity with archaic and extremely rare words?

I keep thinking about this because I've lately been reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, and it's just ridiculous. I have to look up 1-2 words per sentence sometimes, something I'm only used to ...
4
votes
6answers
259 views

How to tell a story with the least amount of writing?

I love to invent stories and come up with ideas, but I don't have the patience to fill out all the details that is usually a part of a novel. (For those of you familiar with Myers-Briggs or Jungian ...
1
vote
5answers
330 views

Are there rules for, or guidelines on, time gaps between a plot's scenes/chapters?

I've been reading a host of old favourites, classics and authors outside of my usual reading pool, in an effort to dissect the writing (from plot, characters and environment to voice, pacing and ...
2
votes
5answers
303 views

Writing exercises to practice the art of giving unique voice to characters?

I've read many blogs which teach you how to give a unique voice to each of your characters. I feel I understand how to do it, but I think I'm a little stuck in the voice I've been using since I ...
4
votes
2answers
861 views

What is the difference between “creative writing” and “fiction writing”?

My college offers many writing courses. I notice, one course is called "Creative Writing" and another is called "Fiction Writing". What is the difference between creative writing and fiction writing?
2
votes
2answers
94 views

Is it worth reading book to learn more about topic of my story

The story I am writing involves the 10 steps of turning a democracy into a police state. And to make it more real, I thught the people who are doing it should explain it to the main character ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Parts, books, volumes, etc

Is there any standard (or at least common) heirarchical arrangement for major divisions of a fiction book? For instance, I occassionally see some large novels divided into "parts", and sometimes I see ...
4
votes
5answers
279 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 ...
0
votes
5answers
142 views

How to number the equations in an academic paper?

I know that the figures and tables are numbered consecutively throughout the while paper. What about the equation numbering? Suppose I have four equations in the paper, but I want to number only two ...
2
votes
3answers
215 views

Gadgets that make the world/story broken

Every so often I see a nice piece of fiction where its author adds something (to save the plot, or to make it interesting, whatever) that makes the story broken (usually it makes the world, setting or ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Find Information For Describing A Nuclear Power Plant

I want to start my story connecting the government flaws to the main characters life before he was even born. I thought since the settings a somewhat Communist United Soviet United government, A ...
3
votes
4answers
269 views

Should I embrace or avoid memes(pictures) when blogging?

I write on a fairly low traffic blog. One thing I've been seeing some of around the internet are blog posts which use meme pictures(example picture. It seems like an interesting approach to me. I'm a ...
4
votes
2answers
196 views

Are TOC and appendix part of total word count for books?

Do table of contents, appendix, and chapter titles count toward the total word count for a book? For example, if a book is 50,000 words, what is not included in the count? This is for a nonfiction ...
2
votes
2answers
528 views

Resource for generic plot hooks?

I'm in a long and painful recovery from many years of writer's block. Coming up with even quite simple story ideas costs me unreasonable amount of effort. Sometimes inspiration is generous and I'm ...
11
votes
3answers
373 views

Should I remove scenes that I myself find “boring”?

Sometimes, I find myself writing a scene that does everything I think it should do: reveal details about the protagonist, drive the plot forward, show other elements related to the story, etc. There's ...
2
votes
2answers
276 views

Can I use a different ISBN when publishing a co-authored book in two different countries?

I have what seems to be a rather complicated situation and need some advice. I have co-authored a book with an author living in a different country. We began by using a publisher in her country but ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

Are the web audience who love microblogging and the book audience who love long stories different?

In my experience readers on-line prefer summarized news and condensed stories a separate audience for traditional books love long stories. It seems we now reached the point where we write in ...
3
votes
3answers
231 views

Troubles with unfamiliar locations and settings based in the real world

I have a question: is it hard to write about a foreign country/place? I know that Dostoevsky was Russian, his themes and settings were inspired or entirely based by Russia/the Russian culture. But I ...
4
votes
2answers
242 views

How to keep the reader engaged in a novel where “not much happens”?

(Hope I don't get an answer like this). I'm writing a novel where "not much happens," instead, it focuses on things that could happen. In other words, the protagonist does not directly experience ...
-1
votes
4answers
461 views

What genre appeals to the widest audience?

My writing is focused primarily on love stories, i.e. the romance genre, and I believe this reaches a relatively small audience. Is there one genre that appeals to a far wider audience than its ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Very simple markup language for writing fiction

I'm using a plain text editor (Vim) to write a fiction piece (chapter book), and I'm wondering what markup languages others use for such a task? I'm looking for something exceedingly simple, it does ...
-1
votes
1answer
129 views

What language style should I use for a tech blog?

I am getting ready to launch a tech/personal opinion blog slightly more geared towards technical details. What documentation style is best for a journalistic/technical doc style? Thanks.
2
votes
4answers
141 views

How about a story as a series of anecdotes?

I have a concept for a story I'd like to do where my purpose for writing the story is simply to explore a hypothetical society by means of anecdotes about the members of the society. But this sounds ...
4
votes
3answers
302 views

Can a mock-magazine with fictitious content count legally as fan fiction?

I contribute to a motoring website, well, one that's got Photoshop of cars, motoring history etc. - it's a small obscure site with only a few users. Recently I've been learning InDesign and Quark ...
1
vote
2answers
146 views

How much influence does blogging have on learning to write better?

I have 100 blogs and have written for 10 years in my language (Persian), but I'm not focused on increasing my ability to write better. What exercises should a writer focus on when blogging to be a ...
1
vote
4answers
175 views

Unsure of how to interpret this prompt

I'm practicing some essay writing and I've come across a few prompts that are like this one: In any field—business, politics, education, government—those in power should be required to step down ...
2
votes
3answers
800 views

How many different words are in the average novel?

I realize there's going to be a bit of variation here from one author to the next and depending on length of the novel, but the range shouldn't really be too large. The thing is, I really have no ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Requesting A Writing Critique, Hopefully More Focused

In light of the questions I've been asking here and the questions I've had about my writing, I thought of a good candidate to try and be more specific about. This is a small paper I had to write for ...
1
vote
2answers
172 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
649 views

Very long sentences: personal style or just bad writing?

I'm writing a story targeted towards children in which the protagonist is a young girl. I find that in writing her dialog and the narrative, I'm producing a lot of very long sentences, to the point ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

Must every piece of speech get its own paragraph?

I've had a few people read pieces of narrative writing I've done, and they seem to take issue with the fact that I sometimes put a piece of speech inline with the rest of a non-dialogue paragraph, ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

Researching sensitive subjects

How do you research subjects for a novel that might be sensitive? Both cultural and jurisdictional. Example: I usually try to "research" the setting and characters for my texts from real life. When I ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

avoiding making all your characters sound the same

We surely all have little quirks to our speech. Like my daughter once criticized my writing for using the word "surely" too much. (See, I used it on this post.) So how do you keep all your characters ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Dealing with lackluster plot failure

So, I wrote the beginning of something about novel-sized. I drafted totally sweet, lovable protagonists in an interesting, original relationship, I placed them in a solid world, I painted the ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

Characters time spending: Are there any good limits for time spending on characters of secondary list?

Are there any good limits or rules of proportion between time (or pages) spending on characters of primary list and secondary list? I mean, that if character of secondary list appears only at the ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Is it a bad idea to vary the voice of the narrator in third person (limited omniscient)?

I did some thorough searching for duplicates of this question, but I don't think they really cover the same spirit of the issue I'm having. (here are some examples of similar but different questions) ...
3
votes
5answers
156 views

Combatting Excessive Familiarity Of Writing

Since writing my last question, I've been able to write a handful more items and have tried to nail down some more specific items I can ask about improving my writing. This issue became readily ...
7
votes
4answers
10k views

How many commas is too many?

I find myself often in writing using too many commas, but then going through and editing many of them back out again or restructuring to use full-stops. Is there a rule of thumb I've forgotten from ...
4
votes
2answers
122 views

What does a typical creative writing course look like?

Many universities offer degrees in creative writing with courses such as “Short Story Writing” or “Fiction Writing”. I would imagine that such courses are quite unlike other subjects, such as math or ...
7
votes
4answers
237 views

Is it a bad practice to occasionally add first-person narrative to third-person narrative?

This is a sample of something I wrote: Erin watched Ruth as she disappeared between the cars and the multitude of people crossing the street. She stood there for a moment, staring at the city ...
6
votes
3answers
153 views

How can I keep my characters' identities a mystery successfully?

There was a similar post about keeping a character nameless in order to contribute to his closed off personality. My concern is is keeping all my characters nameless, only describing their actions ...
10
votes
6answers
761 views

alternatives to “he said” in dialog

I'm working on my first fiction story. And one mechanical thing I struggle with is how to identify the speakers in dialog without constantly saying "Bob said", "Mary said", etc. Any ideas? That is, I ...
1
vote
2answers
66 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
398 views

Intellectual Property Rights & Reuse of the Written Material

I started freelance writing in the January of 2012 and I am providing services for SEO, Blog Articles, User Manuals, Travel Sites and Technical Documentation. Since then I have this question in mind. ...
8
votes
3answers
307 views

Switching from past to present tense?

I'm thinking of writing a novel where my character narrates flashbacks through the hardest times of his life written in past tense, leading up to the present tense. I was considering switching to ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Too much exposition in my full-length play: how to fix it?

Dear Writers & Playwrights; I'm working on my first full-length play. In workshops, the feedback is consistently, "Too much exposition." I agree with the criticism. What I'm struggling with is . ...
0
votes
5answers
95 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' ...
7
votes
2answers
240 views

Learning storywriting for videogames - Handling deep nonlinearities

A recent question asked for pointers for writing for games, and the gist of the answers was that it's not very unlike writing books. The underlined differences were only superficial. There's a ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Which fantasy worlds can be freely used in new work without a license? [closed]

There are lots of different fantasy worlds depicted in fiction. In general, due to copyright, a license is required from the original creator of the fiction to publish a new story set in that universe ...

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