1
vote
1answer
377 views

What are best practices when writing technical descriptions?

Occasionally, in my job as an engineer, I write process descriptions of the technology we are selling. Those are part of commercial offers, intended to win the customer. Those are bundled with ...
4
votes
3answers
409 views

How to indicate emphasis in plain text manuscripts

Some short story markets (e.g. Daily Science Fiction) request manuscripts in plain text. How do you indicate emphasis in a plain text manuscript?
8
votes
2answers
149 views

What are First Drafts, Second Drafts, etc.?

I've been reading a few questions on this site, and I've seen the terms First, Second or Third Drafts. What does this refer to actually? And could someone give a clear detail of what they are, and why ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

How to format and where to place the “thanks” section for websites in a book?

I just finished a "long" short story. And I want to include a section where I thanks Writers SE for the writing advice and Scribophile for the critiques and feedback. How is that properly done? ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Would this be considered abstract writing?

I have been toying around with the idea of writing an abstract Novel. I was thinking about what it would be like if I were to write a book that did not follow standard plot devices, nor the norm in ...
5
votes
1answer
21k views

Using P.S. in a formal email

I had a quick question in regards to using P.S. I just finished writing up a formal follow-up email for an interview. I touched over a lot of information and brought up some new topics. Anyway, I ...
2
votes
3answers
144 views

Worried that my opening is not gripping enough

This is the beginning of a novel I'm writing (not the final draft): The hiking trail consisted of pairs of uneven stone steps. On both sides, tall coniferous trees extended tall into the sky, ...
5
votes
2answers
280 views

Outlining Structures for Romance Novels

I'm familiar with the 12 step outline process for heroic fantasy novels, but is there an equivalent outline structure for Romance novels? By this I mean novels like those produced by Nicholas Sparks, ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Can I use real presidents (past and present) and real companies in a fictional story?

I'm not sure if I want to use real people and companies or make up an entirely different world with different people, presidents, and companies than our real world. If I did the latter I would offer ...
1
vote
3answers
120 views

Is it a bad practice to end sentences with phrases like: “…and went over to it” or “…and did X to it?”

I often find myself writing stuff like this: Eri's eyes scanned the room, stopping at the bookshelf. She went over to it and, as if she were searching for a secret passage, she examined each ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

What does one call author blurbs at the bottom of journalistic articles?

Sometimes journalistic articles have a brief about-the-author sort of blurb at the end, frequently italicized, of a general form resembling: J. Random Hacker is a dog groomer for the United States ...
5
votes
5answers
452 views

What are the pros and cons of building the setting before the characters and story

I have a science-fiction setting I have been kicking around for sometime, but I am not sure how to go about fleshing out events or characters that would make for stories within this setting. What are ...
1
vote
4answers
532 views

Cutting down the length of a short story

I'm writing a short story for an assignment at school - but I'm having trouble keep it short. I have a habit to go off on a tangent quite a bit, and this ends up making it a lot longer than it should ...
1
vote
1answer
841 views

Writing simple short sentences first and connecting them later

Recently, I've been experimenting with new ways to write sentences, and I came out with the following: I'll write very short and simple ones describing what's happening in the scene. After I'm done, ...
6
votes
1answer
207 views

Is it acceptable to use many footnotes to share additional ideas?

I teach a course in remedial academic writing. The students should learn to write at the graduate level. Some of the students are ELLs. They tend to include many extraneous thoughts and ideas in ...
5
votes
2answers
201 views

Publishing an illustrated book- Self-Publishing or Corporate Publishing?

My friend and I have fully-fleshed out a comedic idea for a book, in a similar format to Jack Handy's "Deep Thoughts" (in that each page is a sentence or two). We would like accompanying ...
3
votes
4answers
203 views

Should I edit the first draft until I'm totally satisfied or should I leave that to the third draft?

After having waited for three months for the first draft of my novel to "cool off," I've finally decided to work on the second one. But now I'm presented with who options: 1) edit the this first ...
5
votes
2answers
322 views

How can I prevent, or work around, unfortunate hyphenation in critical words?

In technical documentation, sometimes the tool's automatic hyphenation makes a bad break in the middle of a term, like the name of an environment variable or function. In these cases I would rather ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

Visualizing multiple word-based changes among many text files

I've written a piece of fiction with GitHub, which means I have access to many version of my writing. I'm curious to see how my writing adapted over time. Did I keep eliminating then re-adding a word? ...
6
votes
3answers
204 views

What steps to follow in thinking through the writing of a conclusion?

I am teaching some students how to write a 5-paragraph essay. Their writing is coming together, but when it comes to conclusions, they get lost. They have difficulty assembling the ideas for a ...
3
votes
1answer
459 views

Structure of a good summary

OK, I admit I suck at writing summaries, but based on those I've checked on Amazon, I've realized the following pattern: The first part starts with a brief introduction of the plot The second part ...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

Assessing what writing skills are missing

I recently wrote an answer on Parenting.SE about the process of learning how to read. There are distinct sets of skills that need to be mastered before people become proficient readers, and often ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Removing an allocated task from someone [closed]

In the software we're developing, the user can 'allocate' a task to a person or group. Correspondingly he may also take a task away from them. What word should we use: unallocate the task or ...
1
vote
3answers
198 views

How can I avoid word repetition in the following paragraph?

Eri knelt down slowly and thought about her world. The one with the solid ground in which she had stood all her life. Would that surface break apart one day? And when it did, what would happen ...
1
vote
1answer
125 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
126 views

Standards for representing user interaction

I am responsible for developing internal IT documentation but have only begun my scratching the surface on technical documentation. Is there a standard or best practice for the following: Example ...
6
votes
6answers
340 views

Is it possible to write a novel completely devoid of dialogue?

I am in the process of writing a novel, and I'm just trying to get some ideas and thought on this. I am not sure yet if I want to completely remove all dialogue, but at this point I feel that dialogue ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Rhythm in a list

I think I don't have problems establishing a rhythm in a "normal" paragraph. I usually just go: short, long, long, long, short, long or something like that. But when it comes to lists, I always get ...
5
votes
1answer
491 views

Mixing dialogue and action tags

In my case, I never use dialogue and action tags in the same unit of dialogue (sorry, I just call them units because I had no idea what they are called). So I would never write something like this: ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

How should I organize my journal as plain-text files?

I want to keep a digital journal on my computer. I keep a physical journal in notebooks and on pieces of sheets, but I now want to back up my journal on the computer and if needed maintain the journal ...
9
votes
4answers
167 views

When is it acceptable to refer to an undefined group of people in academic writing?

Within my students' college writing, I found much writing referring to essentially imaginary, or not well-defined groups of people. Here are some examples: These days, more and more people carpool ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Trouble with punctuation and style of a sentence [closed]

I'm having so much trouble figuring this out for some reason: He raised his hands in mock surrender, warranting a raised eyebrow from Simon who proceeded to bid again anyway, setting off another ...
1
vote
3answers
229 views

Am I adding too many unnecessary “actions/descriptions”?

I common critique I receive is that I add too many unnecessary actions/descriptions to a scene. Most of the time I just add them to make things "flow" more smoothly. This is a piece from a short ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How to depict Australian characters

In my working novel, a character encounters an Aussie. Having nigh-zero knowledge of how to make dialogues in an Australian accent, I just opted to describe that he talks without any hints of an ...
5
votes
1answer
107 views

For Sci-Fi books, what is the purchasing split between regular and ebooks?

I can get the data for ALL books. But can anyone direct me to regular/ebook purchasing data broken down by genre (specifically sci-fi)?
5
votes
5answers
507 views

How to make a debate/discussion between characters less dry?

I've asked questions in the past about dialogue and I've read some questions about balancing dialogue with plot, however I have discovered yet another corner case in my writing. In my story Cured, the ...
3
votes
5answers
506 views

Are collection of short stories more likely to sell than single short stories?

I'm about to finish a short story (9000 words). But since I already have another two (7000 words and 6000 words), I was wondering whether I should publish the work as a mini collection of short ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

In script writing, how to denote laughter in unison

I'm writing a TV spec script for fun, and was just wondering how I would denote laughter in unison from a bunch of sailors on a boat. Would it just be something like: SAILORS IN BOAT (in unison) ...
1
vote
0answers
138 views

Traditional Publishing vs Ebooks [closed]

I attended a writers' workshop recently and was amazed at the contempt some participants had towards ebook publishing (such as Amazon KDP) or independent publishing in general. I suspect many of ...
3
votes
1answer
199 views

How do I find a ghostwriter for a series of books?

Where do I find ghost writers? It's for a series I am developing for the Kindle singles series, also to be combined and sold as novels. Word count will be 5k - 20k - I am interested in splitting ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

Should subsection headings sometimes repeat section headings?

In a technical or scientific text, such as a PhD thesis, should headings for (sub)sections be complete and sometimes repeat information from the headings of the levels above, or is it sufficient to ...
13
votes
8answers
2k views

Writing Multiple Novels Simultaneously

I am, at present, 50% of the way through my first novel (17 chapters (and counting), ~55,000 words, ~100 A4 pages) and yet I also had many other (what I think are) wonderful ideas pop into my head for ...
3
votes
1answer
540 views

Space Between Stanzas: Line Beaks or Paragraph Style?

Nearly all the information I can find about Standard Manuscript Format for poetry is described in terms of the visual appearance of the page. For stanzas, a space equal to the size of one line of text ...
6
votes
5answers
709 views

Is there enough money in writing for me to quit my dead end job?

I am currently working full time hours in a dead end job, I began writing a novel with a friend about five months ago now. It began really as a sort of 'bucket list' idea, something we had both always ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

From Markdown to .odt and vice-versa: a possible distraction-free writing workflow?

I'm writing a master thesis (Sociology) and I'm really penalized by distractions. I would happily shift to a markdown full-screen environment but I wrote an half of the thesis in .odt via LibreOffice, ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Writing a punchy paragraph opening / beginning

I am writing a paper and always want to find ways to write a punch opening for my paragraph. I'm not sure how to take an informative paragraph and find an exciting lead-in that will encourage the ...
5
votes
2answers
308 views

Pricing your Kindle ebooks at Amazon

Basically, I would like to know what's the optimal price for ebooks published at Amazon (via Kindle Direct Publishing.) By "optimal" I mean the price that is more likely to generate sales. I'll try ...
5
votes
5answers
346 views

Do publishers take the time to look at works from writers who have no qualifications or experience in the industry?

We are currently in the process of writing a debut novel. Although we are still in the early stages of writing, we both feel we have the creativity and perseverance to see this through. What we ...
1
vote
2answers
191 views

What is the best marketing strategy for a novel and two short stories?

We are currently in the process of writing our debut novel which is set to be released some time next year. On top of this we are writing two short stories which I guess you could call an extended ...
5
votes
1answer
222 views

Outlining for white papers

I used to write technical white papers on different technologies. There should be some rules for writing professionals, some home work that needs to be done. I have never gone through any professional ...

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