3
votes
2answers
209 views

What can I do to make my writing less choppy?

Recently and in the past I have been practicing writing as a hobby. I enjoy the creative pleasure it provides, but am hitting major road blocks in the process. My trouble is in seeing the big ...
3
votes
4answers
226 views

What is the best way to use your favorite authors as inspiration without plagiarism?

I am a big fan of certain authors' writing styles and stories and I am convinced that when I sit down to start writing my first book, I'm bound to copy an idea or theme from an author. How do I create ...
3
votes
3answers
272 views

How to become a productive/accomplished writer?

I prefer writing short stories. Over the years, I have learnt many essential skills that I employ in my work. I believe (and this is my personal assessment) that my stories are of good quality (i.e ...
3
votes
3answers
98 views

Are contests an effective way to gauge the quality of your writing?

I'm gearing up to start writing after a bit of a hiatus. But rather than just jump in and start on a novel (which will take several months, at best, to create and even then it might not be very good) ...
3
votes
3answers
243 views

A tricky sentence to construct

I'm writing a blog post, and with one of the sentences I want to say that I'm not judging anyone differently to how I judge myself. So I thought I'd go with the "hold someone to account" metaphor. ...
3
votes
3answers
505 views

How would one use punctuation to indicate tone changes?

I'm imagining this sort of statement: He's a... different... sort of person, I suppose. Some people would pronounce 'different' in that sentence as though it was followed by a question mark, but ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Using “Ends.” to indicate the end of a document

I recall seeing the word "Ends." placed at the end of documents to indicate that, obviously, nothing else follows. Is this acceptable standard usage? It feels rather archaic (not that that's ...
3
votes
2answers
125 views

Is this sentence ambiguous?

I'm trying to write something sort of poetic sounding. Instead of memories let's discover the present that we wanted to search for. I'm thinking that maybe I should write the word "moment" ...
3
votes
5answers
166 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
3answers
1k views

Which edition of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style?

I'm interesting in picking up a copy of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style. Unfortunately I'm a little overwhelmed by the minor variations. Amazon lists 12 different paperback formats, plus a ...
3
votes
3answers
73 views

Where can one go to find police procedures

I'm writing a novel that involves a crime (in the USA) and need to know the proper police procedure and timeline for the events. Where can I find accurate information to help me? More specifics--A ...
3
votes
4answers
62 views

Writing many entries/articles, storing them, and browsing them

I'm looking for software that will permit me to write articles of various sizes, with a title and tags for each article. The program should store the content, and then allow me to browse (whether from ...
3
votes
3answers
175 views

Writing an Ending: how to prune away the Wrong ones?

My protagonist introduced herself to me through a sequence of set-pieces. She has a very specific altruistic goal, and the conflicts she enters are with other characters who have well-defined ...
3
votes
4answers
595 views

Does it confuse readers if a character name is similar to the name of an object?

It has been said that you should avoid similar sounding character names. One recommendation is to let character names begin with different letters of the alphabet, and not having them rhyme or ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

How do you know if you have too many words for the amount of pages you have written?

I'm writing my first serious novel and I have 155 pages with 60,000 words. I'm wondering whether this is normal. I still want to write at least another 100 pages or more, but I don't want to write too ...
3
votes
2answers
302 views

Do published authors have rights to use their own book cover images?

With the caveat that I'm sure it varies based on publisher, genre, etc., but -- generally, if you were an author who was published and the book cover was designed by the publisher, but you wanted to ...
3
votes
3answers
143 views

Is the following passage confusing?

They following is from a short story I'm writing. The main character and his friend are sitting in a bar while discussing about the the former's wife: “I see,” he said, thinking this over, as if ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

tinyURL seen as risky by readers?

I see tinyURL recommended for news or magazine-style writing where AP style prevails--but then I see online warnings that clicking a tinyURL may take readers to sites they do not (at all) want to ...
3
votes
2answers
228 views

Conversation with Multiple Characters

I'm writing a dialogue heavy scene. The protagonist has met with a group of mercenaries that he spent a great deal of his younger days with. He doesn't come to them for a catch-up however, he has ...
3
votes
3answers
321 views

Is the following extended metaphor/group of metaphors too overwhelming?

I bought a box of sushi, and sat at the round table beside me. Opening the plastic container made me feel as though I was unlocking a treasure chest. I peeked inside to admired its content. ...
3
votes
3answers
166 views

Elmore Leonard said Avoid Prologues… Why?

I've just spent the better half of a month writing and perfecting my prologue. It sets the tone for the rest of the story with an event which kickstarts the main narrative of the book. Why should I ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Where to put counter-examples within a 5-paragraph essay?

I am tutoring some students in the very basics of writing a 5-paragraph essay to present an argument, in preparation for more advanced academic writing. I am instructing them to include: An ...
3
votes
1answer
482 views

What factors to consider when choosing an e-book platform?

Some students that I mentor have written a number of short stories that they want to publish now. I am totally new in this area. I did preliminary research which indicates that there are now a ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

Critique wanted for a fantasy prologue

I'm working on a series of short fantasy books (target audience mid-teens to 30-ish). I'd like to know whether or not the short pre-story before the first chapter of the first book works as an intro, ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Anybody know anything about examiner.com?

Apparently it's some sort of "pro-am" site. I applied to be a travel writer and they, uh, picked me. I'm curious if anybody knows where examiner.com is on a 1 to 10 scale where "1" is "Application ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

Do we need a gap of time between drafts?

Stephen King, in his book 'On writing' (and other writers), says one should put some gap of time between drafts. So for example, wait a month after finishing the 1st draft, before starting work on the ...
3
votes
2answers
161 views

Character with extreme manners

My objective is victorian style tea-drinking "upper class" lady characters. (it's more of a writing challenge) Does anyone have any useful resources or tips for creating such a character? ...
3
votes
3answers
543 views

Is pantsless writing practical for NaNoWriMo?

Those of you who like to just sit down and write what comes out, you all are known as pantsless writers. — KitFox We have a question on preparing for NaNoWriMo, but what if you start a NaNoWriMo ...
3
votes
3answers
710 views

If I get a free ISBN through Amazon's CreateSpace now, will that impact any decisions about getting my own ISBN later?

I am preparing my book for print-on-demand through Amazon's CreateSpace service, and I am trying to understand the options for getting an ISBN. I am a little confused. CreateSpace offers a "free" ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

What do “p” and “pp” mean in the context of an index?

I am creating an index for a non-fiction book, and I am using LibreOffice writer. It has functions that help generate an index. When it does so, some of my entries look like this: stuff..... 9, ...
3
votes
2answers
84 views

Hiding information

I have often noticed this in many books and movies (mostly mysteries) that information is kept hidden from the reader. Like the character goes to some place and returns but what happens in between ...
3
votes
3answers
133 views

Alternate universe vs. historicity: how to set the threshold/expectations?

I'm working on a novel which is set in the late 1920s, and the protagonist is a minor Lord in England. I wrote the first four chapters and handed it to an American friend, whose criticism largely ...
3
votes
5answers
196 views

Typical Fairy-tale Story Especially Princess Stories

I have a question. I am planing to write to a fairy-tale like a Brother Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson type of fairy-tale set in the modern time but after conducting research(reading fairy-tales of ...
3
votes
3answers
132 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
1k 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
54 views

Should the word “The” be included in a label when labelling a character?

If I reference a character, whom, for the current context is given a label, such as "The Skull", should I include the word "The"? The following snippet should clarify my question: Our mission is to ...
3
votes
5answers
356 views

How to make a intellectually disabled character believable?

I want to use a 12yo girl with down syndrome as main character. Trisomy 21 people has a low IQ, normally around 50, at least according to Wikipedia. I've known a few people with such syndrome over ...
3
votes
3answers
314 views

Critique a short essay

So There I was in the scorching, afternoon, summer heat of Cairo. It was a huge change from the UK’s mild weather, and together with the fact that I had been fasting - as in no food or drink- for ...
3
votes
3answers
237 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How to publish public domain books?

It is known that the copyright permission is not needed for old books (usually 70 years after the author's death), because the copyright has been expired. However, I am not sure how easy a public ...
3
votes
3answers
201 views

Can you reprint screen shots of a game application or program without permission?

It seems pretty normal to see screenshots of MS Word, steps for "this is how you generate a template". I don't think Microsoft would object. But I'm not sure about reprinting images from in-game ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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
2answers
195 views

Is it a bad idea to turn a short story into a full-length novel?

I've written a couple of short stories. I'm really satisfied with some of them, and I would like to turn them into full-length novels. They were meant to be short stories from the beginning, but I ...
3
votes
4answers
249 views

Attributives in dialogue

I normally stick with "he said" and "she said" to keep things simple and transparent to the reader but wondering about questions. Is "she asked" and "he asked" appropriate when a character asks a ...
3
votes
2answers
320 views

How do you manage all the different aspects of writing poetry?

Every time I try to write a poem I find myself incredibly stuck. It feels to me like poetry has so many different aspects- meter, structure, rhyming, lingual aesthetics (not to mention semantics), all ...
3
votes
3answers
669 views

A letter of recommendation

I am a programmer/engineer who has been asked to write a letter of recommendation for a colleague, who wishes it to help him pursue higher education. Since I feel it necessary, to be very ...
3
votes
3answers
224 views

Writing a bibliography

In the formats I've seen for writing a bibliography, the author is always put first, and then the title. Are there some bibliographies where the title is put before the author?
3
votes
3answers
177 views

Do writers use highlighting to clarify ideas in their work in progress?

In programming we often use syntax highlight in order to have a better picture of what the role of particular bits of code is (using different colours). I wonder if writers do something similar - ...
3
votes
3answers
272 views

Put text between section and subsection headings?

Are there rules about whether or not to put text between section and subsection headings (in scholarly works)? 1 section heading text / no text here? 1.1 subsection heading more ...
3
votes
3answers
351 views

How to improve this introductory paragraph (to fit writting standards and grab the reader's attention)?

A clock is striking 4:00am at a psychiatric clinic. The darkness, the silence, and absence of people makes it look like a morgue. A young mental health professional is sitting in a chair ...

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