4
votes
2answers
808 views

What is the best way to learn technical writing?

I have a moderate level of skills in technical writing (TW) having gone through graduation in engineering. I was wondering what would be the best way to sharpen my knowledge. I am also interested in ...
-1
votes
1answer
73 views

College Application Essay Opening and Help [closed]

I currently have to write an application for college that I wish to go to over the summer. I have no idea where to turn and what to write. The prompt is to explain my interest in technology. Two ...
2
votes
4answers
151 views

Where to find authors for highly technical articles?

I've looked at some of the largest outsourcing sites. These have huge amounts of software developers, and huge amounts of casual writers. I'm having enormous difficulty finding authors that would be ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How to convert DOI to citation information

The DOI website will redirect to the article webpage on the journal official website. Is there is a public automated system to translate DOI to citation information? This can be beneficial for ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are some words in screenplays set in all caps?

I believe I understand this and I'm looking for confirmation. Examples: It has become a tugging match with the Weird Man shouting, "I'll take you to a taxi... I'll take you." Ahead, a group is ...
3
votes
2answers
223 views

How do you estimate the length of your screenplay in screentime?

The title says it all. I'm talking about a feature-length film here, although I'm sure the techniques are universal.
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there any syllable-counting applications for poety writing?

What software tools, if any, which can count the number of syllables on each line, to aid in the writing of English-language poetry? What features and pros and cons exist for each?
3
votes
3answers
345 views

Color Scheme for Print and eBook

I am currently writing a book intended for print (POD) and eBook (PDF/ePub displayed on different devices, including iPads). I use InDesign (CS4) to create the book. The book uses colors for the ...
5
votes
3answers
268 views

Is there a name for this kind of sentence structure?

I've seen this construction quite a bit, although only in the last five years or so. It's a transcription of a way of speaking, where the speaker is emphasizing something by using a verbal full stop ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

How do you get into screenwriting?

If you want to publish short fiction, you send it out to magazines. If you want to publish a novel, you send it to literary agencies. But what if you want to sell a screenplay? Who do you talk to?
5
votes
1answer
169 views

What printing methods and quality can I expect of POD companies?

Due to the growing popularity of POD, many small companies are coming to the market, and makes this business very competitive. However, I hardly see comments on the quality of printing (paper, ...
3
votes
4answers
491 views

How best to handle revealing a main character's name midway through a long story in close-third person?

I'm writing a novel, and it's written in close third person perspective, very much sitting on the shoulder of one main character and privy to their thoughts. There is another very important character ...
1
vote
3answers
111 views

Avoiding “and” as a sentence structure

I have a horrific habit I'm finding it very difficult to break. A disturbingly large portion of my sentences consist of the same structure-- two parts separated by "and." I don't know how to break the ...
4
votes
3answers
130 views

What's the appropriate way to write numbers in educational contexts like papers?

I want to know if numbers should be written alphabetically in educational contexts, for instance: 10 plasma samples out of 1016 cannot be ignored. Or Ten plasma samples out of one thousand ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Can I use my own previously published magazine article in my own book

I had an article published for 1st rights in a magazine. Can I use an excerpt or all of the article in my own ebook? I now own the copyright and am unsure about the rules of fair use pertaining to my ...
2
votes
2answers
342 views

Petty Character

As a part of one assignment, I need to create of a character who is petty. His pettiness causes him (or her) conflicts with other characters around him (or her). I am not quite familiar with this ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

Can I write reference books about a fictional universe from an existing franchise?

I want to write some reference books containing details about the fictional universe of some popular franchises, such as Tintin, or Star Trek. This would contain short plot summaries (1-paragraph in ...
4
votes
6answers
568 views

Need help to rephrase this sentence to prevent a run-on

I'm writing a narrative and am having a problem structuring the order of events. Here is what I have: Jamie had an 8 am flight so she was out of the house just after 6. Leaving me to wake up, ...
9
votes
4answers
278 views

Balancing loads of equally-important characters

If you have a dozen good guys, but four of them are the protagonists and the other six are more in the background, it's not that hard to skew the pagetime of each character towards those that are more ...
-1
votes
1answer
88 views

Writing for all ages? [closed]

What writing style should be used if you are attempting to write a book for the general public between the ages 9 through 25?
1
vote
1answer
286 views

Is the order of appendices according to their references fixed?

Is it really necessary to place the appendices in a book in the order in which they are referred to, or is it possible to have a "logical" order, i.e. place them in an order which would be chosen when ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

How to write a book for a given reading level?

I have a son in kindergarten who is interested in reading. He also loves the stores that I tell him each night. These are usually just made up on the spot and are pretty silly. If I wanted to write ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

How do I express opinion informed by my beliefs without being hamfisted? [closed]

As authors, our influences can come from many places. Religion is definitely one of many influences on people's work. I believe a work should be a reflection of its author, yet religion can be really ...
5
votes
3answers
73 views

Deaf speechmarks? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does one present spoken dialogue as a secondary language to signed speech? I want to write a novel and I was thinking of including a deaf character. I want to know ...
4
votes
5answers
523 views

How can I make a collection of essays / arguments more attractive to publishers?

I've written several essays and am still working on some that I would like to eventually get published. The issues I cover are on a wide range of topics ranging from Scientology to Piracy to ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Is self-publishing a good option? [closed]

Is the self publishing route one that is considered acceptable these days? Specifically, I am writing short stories, and there is no real chance of getting a publisher to look at short stories without ...
1
vote
3answers
143 views

How do I use my blog as a platform for practice and improvement?

I've recently followed the advice of our very own Jeff Atwood and started a blog site in order to become a better writer and communicator. My goal is to improve my skill at technical writing and ...
5
votes
4answers
296 views

How can a new writer make a realistic estimate of his work rate?

This question relates to my earlier question Habits and routines for my first tech writing job which I was told to split into two parts. My first technical writing / translation gig starts soon. A ...
3
votes
2answers
492 views

Do I need an LLC to self-publish a political book in Florida?

Do I need to form an LLC to self-publish a political book out of Florida? Although, I have tried very hard not to break any laws, I am worried about frivolous or spiteful lawsuits. I am trying to do a ...
3
votes
1answer
383 views

Literary criticism term for character espousing author's ideas?

Is there a term in literary criticism for a character who espouses the points of view of the author? Especially, but not necessarily, if that character has no other role in the work. (This is ...
4
votes
1answer
504 views

Is there a style / terminology guide for Android OS application documentation?

This relates to my earlier question: My first professional writing job: any advice? I will be involved with writing documentation for an Android OS business application. Is there an Android style ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

Habits and routines for my first tech writing job

A Japanese company has offered me a gig helping translate an Android1 business application + documentation into English. Their staff will do a rough translation, and I will polish it into something ...
4
votes
1answer
208 views

What tense to use in an academic paper when speaking about correspondence?

What is the correct tense to use in an academic paper when speaking about correspondence? Say one of my source materials is a letter written by someone named William, in which he says he went to the ...
6
votes
3answers
500 views

Problems with constructing a complex sentence with many ideas in it

I am trying to write a sentence that tells the reader that the works displayed that they are about to see will bring them back and forth between the real and virtual realms, in a figurative manner. ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Does there have to be a difference when writing different genders? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The opposite sex in first person? How to write realistic female dialogue Is there an inherent difference in how man and women speak that would translate to writing ...
5
votes
1answer
696 views

When do I need to obtain permission to photograph and write about a business, work of art, or person?

I am preparing a book which will include lots of short passages, on a variety of subjects, many of which are related to a single area in a city. Each passage will also have a photograph, which I ...
2
votes
1answer
626 views

MLA formatting for multiple in-text citations of the same soure

I am writing an essay and must use MLA formatting. I can format the MLA formatting for the speech on the works cited page but I do not know how to form my in-text citations. The whole speech is done ...
3
votes
3answers
63 views

“The company from Redmond” vs “The Redmond company.”

I'm writing an article about Microsoft for my tech' analysis website and I got into a stylistic roadblock. Which of the following sentences should I use? As I said before, the company from ...
3
votes
4answers
146 views

Not knowing a character's name. Would this be frustrating for the reader?

I have a project I have been working on for many years. It is quite personal and is intended for a small audience. In the story, the protagonist is trying to find/help another character, who for ...
0
votes
1answer
208 views

Describing a machine's world in a metaphorical manner

The actual meaning that I want to convey is sort of like a good design covers up the nitty gritty technical aspects of a machine and provides a smooth experience when using it. I want to describe ...
5
votes
2answers
347 views

Explaining that experience is far greater than official job title implies

Hopefully this meets the FAQ under the 'Non-fiction, technical' section. I work as a Graphic Designer, but I want to apply for a job as an Advertising Account Manager. While my title at my current ...
5
votes
2answers
707 views

Should I prefer long or short sentences in scientific writing?

Currently, I am writing papers with rather short sentences: About half of them contain around 20 words, about 10% to 20% even less. I am doing this for three reasons: I find short sentences easier ...
2
votes
3answers
155 views

Is it acceptable for a tech book to consist of only 2 chapters?

I am interested in writing a book on a particular class of natural products. It would discuss the products' isolation and biological functions - these are the two chapters that I can fit into the ...
5
votes
3answers
231 views

Slow openings: What is it about this Neil Gaiman opening that pulls the reader in?

I was blogging about opening lines the other day, and looking for examples. I came across the opening to American Gods, and realized that it's neither flashy nor something that will grab the reader in ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Could a different structure for “Feast of Crows” have been a better solution to Martin's five-year-gap?

The latest two volumes of Martin's Song of Ice and Fire have been poorly received compared to the series' earlier books. What's interesting here is that Martin's original plan did not include these ...
4
votes
2answers
371 views

What methods does Rowling use to establish Dumbledore as being wise and trustworthy?

In the Harry Potter series, Dumbledore seems to represent ultimate wisdom and authority. Harry (and the readers with him) hold him in awe; many times throughout the series Harry willingly accepts and ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

How could the surprise-villain thread have been less contrived in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone”?

Throughout Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry is certain that Snape is serving Voldemort, and bulling Quirrell into helping him. At the climax, we learn that Snape is protecting Harry, ...
3
votes
1answer
347 views

Is a movie script more like a short story or a novel?

The writing techniques used to develop a short story are probably different from those used in developing a novel. My question is, how should I approach writing a movie script? Given the main ...
15
votes
5answers
743 views

Best practices for maintaining documented code examples?

A good SDK (software development kit) includes plenty of well-documented examples. It also includes good tutorials and developer guides, which introduce concepts in logical progressions, typically ...
11
votes
2answers
214 views

How do you build good per-book *and* global indexes?

For our SDK, we generate individual documents (PDFs) and one big HTML doc set (CHM file) from the same Docbook source. Each book has an index, and the HTML version has an integrated index that is the ...

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