4
votes
4answers
198 views

Struggling to define a character without giving him viewpoint status

I am a novice working on a historical novel with four viewpoint characters. Three of them will be involved in subplots connected to the main plot, and each character will have a character arc and will ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

Reasonable income expectations from fiction book sales only

I have been considering writing as a fiction novelist. However, the impression of difficulty in making a reasonable living as a fiction author is quite pervasive. So much so, that I am constantly ...
4
votes
3answers
98 views

Why would an agent request an exclusive submission?

I understand why publishers often ask for exclusive submissions. They're counting on a story that has been submitted to them to be available for them to purchase if they decide they like it and it ...
4
votes
5answers
307 views

Why do news articles and press releases start with date and location?

Here's what I'm talking about: PALO ALTO, Calif., January 5, 2016 — Example Inc. today delivered on the promise to reinvent the PC by bringing premium consumer design into a commercial-grade ...
4
votes
4answers
272 views

How to determine if a story would benefit from multiple first-person POVs?

Originally I asked this question: What is a "methodology" I can I use/follow to determine the ideal set of protagonists for my story?, but found that it was too vague. Specifically, I'm ...
4
votes
3answers
280 views

Will changing a protagonist into an antagonist alienate readers?

It's really hard for me to write questions here without giving a complete info dump on my story. Every time I start to explain my problem, I find myself writing an entire synopsis. This is my third ...
4
votes
2answers
55 views

How can I include my own words within the quotation?

How can I include my own words (of an extra information) within the quotation? Can I do it in the following way, with the words in bracket being my own? To quote the words of the Buddha: “Here, ...
4
votes
2answers
157 views

In fiction, is the use of old-fashioned verbage or voice (ex. Tolkien, Le Guin) advisable?

If my genre lies somewhere in the fantasy-fiction spectrum, is the use of a more "dated" narrative style/vocabulary going to narrow my audience to a harmful extent? I've always been drawn to the ...
4
votes
2answers
661 views

In a dialogue, how do you write that a character says a letter?

Since I don't know how to make the title less ambiguous, I will explain myself with examples. Example 1: imagine that in a dialogue between two mathematicians, one reads aloud the following sentence ...
4
votes
1answer
409 views

in English, is it necessary to capitalize after a colon?

I've seen that each language has its own rules when using the colon. In Spanish, it's not needed to capitalize: Los elementos incluyen: secado, lavado, etc. In French is the same, and even they put ...
4
votes
3answers
229 views

What are some strategies for surprising the reader?

I'm writing an action scene and I'd like for the POV and the readers to realize something at around the same time. Specifically, why another character is physically stuck and unable to escape an ...
4
votes
1answer
653 views

Is my writing 'disjointed', and if so how can I fix it?

First page of my fantasy novel. I'm told my writing is disjointed and jerky, but have no idea in what way! And it's driving me crazy that I don't know where the holes in my boat are so I can't really ...
4
votes
4answers
282 views

Are there straightforward instructions for MS WORD 2013 for numbering in different formats, yet maintaining a chronological count?

I have a master's thesis in the humanities undergoing its final throes before readers' examinations. The university's formatting rules are, understandably, very strict and, unfortunately, demand a ...
4
votes
2answers
522 views

What are good examples of backstory in natural dialogue?

Does anyone have good examples from modern day fiction where backstory is given to the reader in a "good" way? I'm trying to get a feel for what sounds natural in writing. In real life there are ...
4
votes
2answers
287 views

Offer to publish - should you accept or wait?

We have received an offer from a US-based publisher (new company, good concept, good marketing strategy, good royalties, no fees) to publish a novel in print, eBook, and audio format. We (the author ...
4
votes
1answer
159 views

Must one have a book cover designed before to publisher?

I have finished a fantasy novel I have been writing for the past few years and I am now in the process of meeting with representatives from publishing companies toward the goal of publishing my book. ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Can I improve my beta reading skills to aid a close person's writings?

Finding beta readers were suggested to get unbiased feedback for a writer. Can one work on oneself to be able to give a more unbiased feedback to a close relative, friend, wife/husband, etc.? Can one ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

When to use the em dash (—) in fiction writing?

I always see the em dash (—) in fiction writing. Here are some example from Haruki Murakami's After Dark: Komugi comes in and takes something from one of the cartons piled against the wall—a ...
4
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
818 views

Using latin words in fantasy

While i have seen at least a few cases if Latin being used in both fantasy and sifi i still wonder how it is perceived and how much is tolerated. Being primarily a gamer the first that come to mind ...
4
votes
2answers
48 views

Source for literary terms?

The other day my wife, who went to quite a good school, told me that her literature teacher had taught her class abbreviations of terms which they were then asked to write in the margins of their ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

What would sections of a book that are larger than a chapter be called?

I'm writing a technical book, and I want to split my book up into about 3 to 6 very broad sections, each of which would have several chapters in it. Is there a standard name for these broad pieces ...
4
votes
2answers
601 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
307 views

Best text procesor— keyboard focussed UI

I am a programmer by profession and am looking for good text processors to help me with my blog writing. Word(MS/OpenOffice) has felt too clunky, because of the interruptions(corrections,formatting ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Use of present-tense for memory-related shenanigans in a past-tense story

I'm writing a story in past tense, in first person. The character is discussing the vagaries of his memory of events in the further past. "I remembered" seems to have the wrong connotation here - he ...
4
votes
3answers
547 views

How do you decide whether to dictate, type out or hand-write a piece of writing?

How do you decide whether to dictate, type out or hand-write a piece of writing? I have always had a minor passion for writing, and I enjoy the process of settings ideas out and slowly filling them ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

The best publishing platform for a business “vanity” book?

I have a client who has written a (well done) synopsis of his core business proposition that reads like a great little book, but is only 15,000 words. Is this a good candidate for Amazon's Singles? ...
4
votes
2answers
598 views

Citing speech and interviews in biographies

I am currently writing a biography of a band, and have a question regarding citing quotes, such as from interviews. Is it necessary to cite everything a person (for example a band member or manager) ...
4
votes
3answers
83 views

Is it acceptable to mix how you address the reader in an instructional Wiki?

I'm working on a Wiki article that explains to new developers how our product life-cycle works. Originally, my goal was to completely avoid the word "you" and use a more general description like "the ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Writing character cards?

I read somewhere that authors sometimes use cards to write down information about the characters in their stories. I assume these were small cards so what was written them had to be concise. What sort ...
4
votes
3answers
155 views

Analogies, pitfalls and guidelines

Analogies can be powerful tools in both explaining and misrepresenting a complex topic. What methodology works well for finding good analogies and how does one figure out whether an analogy is well ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Referencing a website using Harvard style

How can I reference a website using the Harvard style? How would this be different if no author was listed?
4
votes
1answer
154 views

How does one go about writing “official” fanfiction?

There are tons of "official" fanifction books out there for a lot of popular TV shows and movies. I've seen Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Criminal Minds, The Unit, and probably a ...
4
votes
2answers
496 views

original story climaxes - rules / guidelines for this?

I always get stuck trying to work out what the high-point of the story should be, especially when writing sci-fi/fantasy. There seem to be just a few climaxes that get recycled through this genre - ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

Different Points of View

What are the different points of view one can write from? I understand the basic first person (I) and third person (he/she), but I hear the term "limited" and "omniscient" a lot in point of view ...
4
votes
2answers
27 views

For Nonfiction Books, Do You Translate or Transliterate Names, Brands, etc. that aren't in a Romanized Language?

For nonfiction book translations where the target language does not use the Roman alphabet (e.g. Russian, Indonesian, Mandarin Chinese, etc.), if a particular name, brand, band or song title is ...
4
votes
2answers
160 views

Writing a Platonic Relationship

I'm writing a story, however I just can't seem to form a platonic relationship between my characters. Whenever I am writing my characters (Eric and Abigail), it feels they should just kiss and make ...
4
votes
2answers
241 views

How to write about an emotion you never experienced?

Is it possible for a writer to describe realistically a never felt emotion? For example I have never experienced faith, or being truly in love. I've never physically hurt anyone and have no idea of ...
4
votes
2answers
506 views

Should I Kill My Main Character?

I'm an aspiring writer who has been writing stories since Kindergarten (None released). Obviously I have a lot of experience, but I'm still unsure with extremely important things. As all of my Novels ...
4
votes
3answers
192 views

How to deal with online comments to published pieces?

I mainly write for academic journals (and creative writing for my own amusement), but from time to time, I publish opinion pieces in various mainstream magazines and newspapers, for which I am ...
4
votes
2answers
123 views

Compiling Articles in an ebook format

I write a regular column (of about 800 words) for an industry publication that specialises in management matters. The columns deal with workplace matters and give insights on operational matters such ...
4
votes
5answers
193 views

Is replacing “this” with “a” allowed in fiction?

Example: "Exploding whales?" My date stared at me as if I had given him some bad news. He'd taken me to this fancy Italian restaurant. "That's what your thesis is about?" I'm not sure why, ...
4
votes
3answers
309 views

there are considered to be only seven or so actual plots anyway?

I saw this in another answer there are considered to be only seven or so actual plots anyway Is this true? Is it like plots are generalized into a couple of types or forms? Where can I read more ...
4
votes
2answers
113 views

What is a reasonable amount of time to spend writing a product overview?

I have plenty of writing experience as an academic and as a technician but am new to technical writing per se. A retailer of engineering equipment wants me to write unique, user-friendly content for ...
4
votes
6answers
230 views

On the role of “accidents” in “realistic” stories

Accidents are a part of our real life. It is possible to see an old friend accidentally. It is possible to find a fallen comet accidentally. It is possible to kill someone by an accident, etc. Many ...
4
votes
3answers
193 views

Techniques for creating a bridge between protagonists from different generations

I'm working on a short novel that has two main stories. These stories belong to relatives from different generations, but of the same age. So, although the book spans through 20-30 years, I'm more ...
4
votes
2answers
229 views

Stupid Villain rather than Dark Lord

In many high fantasy settings, there is a "Dark Lord" that is undoubtedly evil and will cause doom to the world if he is not stopped. However, when I read "The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity", I ...
4
votes
2answers
163 views

ISBN codes for privately sold books?

We are starting a community site for budding authors. Here the young writers send a pdf files of there writing and we get them printed at a lower prices than other publishers. And these books are only ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Co-authoring, brainstorming but not writing

I'm the brainstorming phase of a new manuscript. Normally I do that on my own, but this time I I want to ask a few friends to help me with ideas. I'm sure you all know how the brainstorming process ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How best to format a novel written in Markdown

I want to use a text editor (Emacs) to write a novel because I don't want to consider page layout and other similar issues. I want to use the Markdown format so that I can convert it to the docx ...

15 30 50 per page