4
votes
3answers
120 views

General copyright - How much is actually copyrighted?

I find myself seeking a lot of ideas for my alternate universes, novels, short stories, and so forth. Exactly what can be considered copyrighted, and what isn't? Let me give you some examples. Star ...
4
votes
4answers
137 views

Should word choice be varied or consistent?

I've heard from some English teachers that word choice should be varied because consistent word choice is boring, but I've heard from a different English teacher that word choice should be consistent. ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Anyone has any super intense software for plot outlining?

Now, at the get go, I fully acknowledge that I have gone way over the top as far a story plotting goes, but I'm trying for something on the extreme end of epic and I have a legit obsessive compulsive ...
4
votes
2answers
64 views

The etiquette of updating News Posts - Help please!

I do updates on our UK Charity's website ~ Our "Latest News" Posts show the wrong tense for events that are now past. I want to update the tense in those articles butI I'm told (by Ms B) this is not ...
4
votes
3answers
137 views

Software for keeping track of book edits?

So I'm writing a new edition of an old textbook, and I need some way of keeping track of what needs to be done, and what I have done. I could use paper - but I tend to lose that. Or even a plain text ...
4
votes
1answer
170 views

What is this 'pretend dialogue' technique called

There's a style that is popular on blogs, and takes the form of a dialogue between the reader and the author, where the author provides both sides of the argument, like a ventriloquist. Often there's ...
4
votes
1answer
666 views

What techniques can be used to describe a character's terror?

I'm trying to write a stressful situation for a character (specifically she's about to be injured) and I'm trying to convey her terror at the situation. My usual trick is to use short snappy ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

How do I approach rewriting an entire user guide in an agile environment?

I'm tasked with rewriting an entire user guide that hasn't been updated for years at a company and I am the only technical writer on the team. Only release notes were sent out all these years. The ...
4
votes
3answers
327 views

How do you visualize plot structure?

I want to visualize the internal structure of my plot. I noticed several contradictions, and want to better understand what's going on in my tale. I'm not talking about differnt characters doing ...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

In a FAQ, should a question header take the form “Why does blah blah?” or “Blah blah happens, Why?” And why?

Whilst writing technical documentation, there is commonly a section on troubleshooting or frequently asked questions. I know a FAQ should be real questions - not ones the publisher thinks might be ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

software to write book with lots of photos

I am writing my first book. It is a book with the history of my village. I have read that most people use MS Word, so did I. The problem is that my book contain lots of pictures. This has made the ...
4
votes
1answer
305 views

Is the following analogy effective and clear?

"Why you so sure the stone doesn't exist?" Yuki asked. I took a sip from my glass, then raised my eyes. A moth was hovering around the wall lamp. Yuki was right: why I was so certain about ...
4
votes
2answers
382 views

Not happy with format of self-published book. How to proceed?

I currently have my book published on Amazon using createspace and Lulu (google weave of the ride). However, I am not happy with the quality of the product. I don't want a glossy cover, bleached ...
4
votes
2answers
274 views

What is the role of editors in news media today?

Back when rocks were soft and the world wide web hadn't yet been invented, I worked on a college newspaper that, I was told, followed the same patterns as professional papers. (That is, the skills we ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Citing in a paper: one citation for two paragraphs?

I'm writing a short paper on macroeconomics; the professor gave us two tries, I submitted the first try, and now got my feedback. The feedback is: "The first paragraph could also deserve a ...
4
votes
2answers
247 views

How do you write a fiction or non-fiction query letter to an editor?

What do you put in the letter? What if you have no experience or very limited experience. Should you write about yourself in the third or first person when explaining your experience?
4
votes
1answer
178 views

Good sites for descriptions/rules of different genres?

I just listenend to an episode of Writing Excuses where they discussed genre blending. I found the topic very inspirational, but as one tend to only read books of certain genres, I was wondering if ...
4
votes
2answers
78 views

Attracting and retaining volunteers to edit technical doc for open source projects

I volunteer as an editor for the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN), an organization that creates free open source software such as the Firefox browser. MDN has a large number of technical topics ...
4
votes
3answers
75 views

How to work on a new software feature that affects different topics

We're working on a software manual with several chapters and topics and, so far, these are mostly self-contained. This means we have a dedicated chapter for "connectivity" and do not mention ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

What do I need to know about publishing a book which I have illustrated, not written?

I recently went to the market to buy books for my 2 year old kid and found many expensive books printed on expensive paper had poor drawings. I realized that I can draw far better. I have decided ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

How to write about transgender issues while avoiding cognitive dissonance?

As a writer, it is difficult to help your readers hold two dissonant ideas in their heads. This can occur when the situation you are describing does not match well with the lived experience of your ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Writing a scientific name in an italized phrase?

If I use a scientific name (Python regius) in a phrase that is already in italics, should the scientific name then be written normally or underlined? Does anybody know the rule?
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Writing a PhD thesis. Question about (an informal) introduction

I am preparing scientific thesis for the degree of PhD. It is a mathematical thesis. It is usually very difficult to tell your colleagues and friends what are the things you exactly work on with ...
4
votes
1answer
299 views

simultaneous dialogues in novels and short fiction

Suppose that several individuals are speaking. There are two conversations occurring at once in the same place. Both are heard simultaneously by each person that is present. Each person participates ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Choosing a license for an open-source book

I would like to publish an ebook in open-source format on for example GitHub, and I am stuck with what license should be used for this type of work. It seems like many open-source licenses available ...
4
votes
3answers
79 views

Resource for idioms

I'm not a native English speaker and I have a hard time finding good words sometimes. Sometimes I feel like there should be an idiom for the thing I want to say, but cannot remember it correctly. For ...
4
votes
2answers
324 views

How to deal with two ISBN from two different countries?

Since the book I am working on will be published in two different countries, it has two ISBN. The tricky question here is this: must both the ISBN barcode be placed onto the back cover of the book? ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

Intensity scale for romance novels?

I've been looking about on #MSWL on Twitter, and I see editors using some kind of informal scale for the intensity of the sexual content in a romance novel. For example: "sweet to hot," "erotic," "hot ...
4
votes
3answers
604 views

When is a screen shot really useful in training documentation?

Software products evolve more rapidly each day. Technical documentation for those products must also follow their evolution. One of the biggest challenges is to maintain screen shots when the ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I get permission to translate and republish a book?

I am interested in translating an English book into my native language. How can I get permission to translate the book? Would that also include permission to republish the book in the native ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I calculate wordcount for a manuscript?

When I submit a manuscript, I'm supposed to include a wordcount. I understand that this is not simply the number of words in the document (as calculated by Word or Google Docs wordcount tools), but ...
4
votes
1answer
266 views

Is there a great manual for technical and scientific writing?

I am looking for a reference book that details everything I must keep in mind while writing scientific and technical documents. It should include both practical advice, do's and dont's as well as ...
4
votes
2answers
453 views

How to shorten meandering dialogue?

My story Cured (which I've asked about before, but has undergone major revisions since then), has an extremely large section of dialogue that annoys my beta tester. I agree with her that it should be ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

PDF e-book page size and fonts

I am self-publishing a free e-book which I will make available in several formats: EPUB, online HTML, PDF. What characteristics should the PDF e-book file have? What should the page size, font size, ...
4
votes
2answers
633 views

Automated correction of google translated documents

We have google translated docs which are almost error free and require only minor (about 10%) corrections, and even these corrections are redundant which could be learned by an intelligent machine ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Effect of real world brands and/or places on story tone

This is based on that question, but from a tone point of view. Let's say I have a story taking place in a near-future version of Boston, characters are meeting for coffee. I have no issue saying ...
4
votes
3answers
147 views

How can I express this fragment more clearly and concisely?

For the 'who is this application for' section of an application user guide, I have the following alternatives, I'm not happy with either one. How can I convey both elements more clearly and ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

How applicable are screenwriting ideas to novels?

My current goal is to write a novel (I'm already close to the 35K word mark). However, most of the books I've read about story structure are actually about screenwriting. While stories are stories no ...
4
votes
2answers
183 views

What existing platforms use crowdsourcing to develop creative writing and editing?

What existing platforms use crowdsourcing to develop creative writing and editing? What are the barriers in developing an active community? Why would this not work? Has it been tried? Was it ...
4
votes
1answer
335 views

How to determine if a freelance writing website is reputable and provides assignments that are worthwhile?

I know of the sites Elance, guru and Odesk for finding freelance writing work. I am interested in finding others. How can I search for them? Is there a list or resource anywhere? When I find sites ...
4
votes
1answer
627 views

How can a Russian writer get his work translated into English?

There is a famous Russian writer named Yuriy Mukhin. He writes books about Stalin and about alternative economic system. All his books are in Russian and have never been translated into other ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Creating Shared Worlds

I have a world (well universe since the main focus of the shared world has the ability for space travel) that I am working on some books on however I believe its really large enough that I can open it ...
4
votes
4answers
158 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
183 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
1answer
1k 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
2answers
56 views

citation for source from which a list of references was drawn?

I'm writing a paper in which I have reviewed a list of reports and have summarized data from each. I have cited each of those original reports. However, I originally located some of those reports ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Help Formatting for Kindle Direct Publishing on Mac?

I'm taking up the task of publishing some content to Kindle. I've been reading up on their documentation and been trying to get something to show up in the Kindle Previewer App, using a combination of ...
4
votes
1answer
673 views

Length of non-fiction article and what to do about it

I have been working on a non-fiction (mostly biographical) article that currently is about 9,000 words and I have perhaps 30% more to go, so perhaps the final article would be 12-14k words or so. I ...
4
votes
2answers
125 views

Help write a book review, please

Edited to incorporate @Craig Sefton's suggestions. About a book that I admire, I wrote in an SE computer-programming group: The material seems old -- well, it is old -- because it's been around ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

What are some helpful blogs for memoir writing?

I am interested in finding more online resources for memoir writing. Any ideas?

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