2
votes
3answers
333 views

How credible is wikipedia?

I understand that this question relates more to wikipedia than it does writing but... If I was going to use wikipedia for a source for a research project (for example) would the information be ...
2
votes
4answers
207 views

Really Stuck: Writing Dialogue

I am currently working on my first novel so forgive me for making what is probably considered the mistake of a 'novice'. My novel is set in the present, however my antagonist has a history dating back ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it a bad writing practice to start sentences with a verb?

I realized I start sentences with the, he, she, it, after and then all the time. So I'm starting to use verbs instead. Here is an example of something I wrote: Erin left out a sigh. "Why am I ...
2
votes
6answers
237 views

What can I use instead of “but” and “however”?

I just noticed I tend to use "but" and 'however" in almost every paragraph. Examples (all of them are from the same story): I almost let everything out. But, funny, I didn't. I didn't want him ...
2
votes
3answers
402 views

How to cover different perspectives/levels of thinking in one story?

I was reasoning with a friend about why movies/novels often get highly successful while others, despite having an interesting story/topic, don't get much attention. We came to speak about Matrix, Pulp ...
2
votes
6answers
437 views

How should I phrase “requests” to a higher-ranked individual in another department?

At work, I lead a small team of programmers. I often have to request equipment and services from our I.T. department, and all of those requests have to go directly to the C.I.O., which is an ...
2
votes
3answers
278 views

Please help me polish this paragraph.

I'm learning English as a foreign language. In one of my writings, one paragraph goes: But it's not saying we just indulge ourselves and turn into wild beasts. We train our brain hard so that we ...
2
votes
5answers
593 views

What does “Exposition and Ammunition – back story” mean in screenwriting?

I am just starting my first screen writing class and I got an assignment that says: Exposition and Ammunition – back story. I have been searching online but I don't get it. Can someone explain it for ...
2
votes
7answers
827 views

Verb tense for technical document titles

I'm writing a technical manual about creating database systems, and wondered what is the best verb tense for title names. My ideas are: Continuous (-ing) form: (e.g. "Creating a Cluster", "Creating ...
2
votes
3answers
151 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
167 views

How much should I reveal about my book idea to a publishing house representative?

I am a faculty member at a small liberal arts college and a colleague and I are working on a textbook that is still basically in outline stage. The idea is not completely novel but there are not a ...
2
votes
5answers
311 views

Do all main characters require equal development?

I have been doing some work on character development for my novel. I found that though I can write pages about the main character, other characters, who have an important role and will be there for ...
2
votes
6answers
296 views

How can I get myself writing again?

I have authored a particular fanfiction, which has garnered a moderate following on the fanfiction website I published it to. As of now, the story has 279 users following it for updates, as well as 45 ...
2
votes
5answers
91 views

Where should I put a minor action within a piece of dialogue?

Which is more appropriate: The air carried a bitter chill, but was clear and unpolluted. “Oh wow,” I said. “I know how Black Friday has a reputation for crowds, but this takes it to a new ...
2
votes
9answers
578 views

How to assure your plot isn't a carbon copy of another story?

In what case is it justifiable for your own story to differentiate its plot from another, similar plot? For instance, I'm writing a story with a serial killer who whose motive sounds akin to the ...
2
votes
3answers
270 views

Is “sparkle” the correct word?

Is sparkle correct in this context? Is "Sparkle" used for positive thoughts or is it also possible to use it for negative thoughts? What is better alternative? (If any) What will happen if we ...
2
votes
3answers
395 views

Organization for epic fantasy writing [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Organizing your Universe? I have some issues on the organization of my fantasy story. For instance there are many factions that come into play during the story and I ...
2
votes
2answers
252 views

How much outlining should I use in writing my book?

In my writing style, I make an outline of what I'm going to write, and I have fun in between. I was kidding myself in thinking outlining contrasted with "stream of consciousness" in which thoughts ...
2
votes
5answers
410 views

Why should I try to create realistic fantasy characters?

One use for fantasy is wish-fulfillment. With that in mind, why is there a need for realism in creating a character in a fantasy novel?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

A more specific type of “nervous laughter”

A handful of my friends have an odd trait where they say something and immediately laugh after it in an attempt to judge its success. The topic is usually a rant along the lines of, "These people have ...
2
votes
2answers
401 views

Is character driven fiction more successful than plot driven fiction?

I have heard that editors and publishers prefer character driven fiction, where the characters grow and learn, rather than plot driven ones. Is there any truth to this? Edit: In response to comments: ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

First conversation scenes I've written (looking for errors, conventions, and improvements according to writting standards).

Basically, I would like to know if I'm doing something wrong (according to witting standards) in the following conversation and how to improve it to help readability, quality and feeling (making it ...
2
votes
2answers
124 views

Do novels that are set in not-so-famous countries sell less?

By not-so-famous countries I mean those you don't usually find in novels, movies, TV, magazines, etc. One example is Chile (the place I was born). I'm not sure about America/Europe but if you go to ...
2
votes
3answers
189 views

How can I make a person sound sick?

How do you distort words into sounding sick, as in with the cold? I want it to be a really comical scene, but I'm not sure how to write it. Do I replace some letters with others or remove certain ...
2
votes
6answers
197 views

How do I evaluate an unwritten plot/story?

I'm working on a full, detailed outline of my planned book series before I have much of it written down. I'm not a pantser, I must have a clear idea where I'm going before I can get far. In the ...
2
votes
5answers
374 views

Techniques for creating variety in prose

When I write my short stories, I usually end up using a direct style as follows: Tim remembered the day he had to say goodbye to Cathy. He did not really have a choice. He had to let go of Cathy, ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Which language to use when writing a multinational story

I'm Brazilian and I'm writing a book in portuguese. However the story takes place first in Europe, i.e. Italy, Portugal, and London. Of course this requires of me some research about the culture of ...
2
votes
2answers
208 views

How to know if the events in my novel are 'realistic enough'?

Sometimes I find my self wondering if the events in my novels are 'realistic enough.' I aware that they don't need to happen in real life, but I want the reader to think: oh yeah, this could happen in ...
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Is this blog post clear and coherent?

I wrote a pseudo-technical blog post trying to apply some game theory concepts to s/w startup industry. This is my first serious attempt at tech blog writing. Iwas left feeling disappointed by the ...
2
votes
6answers
262 views

Is it acceptable for a book to not have a dominant lead character?

I saw this question posted in another forum, and it didn't have any responses, so naturally I decided to bring it over here. :) I realized, 80% of the way through my first draft, that I don't have ...
2
votes
2answers
305 views

How could my friend publish his Steve Jobs biography?

A friend of mine (no, really!) is well on his way of writing a unofficial/unauthorized biography of Steve Jobs. In my opinion it is a fantastic read and he did a lot of research and has a long list of ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Author's notes: yay or nay?

Should a writer include author's notes in their book that either express thanks to the reader or provides background information on the book itself? If so, should these be at the front of the book or ...
2
votes
4answers
771 views

Software recommendations for magazine layout?

I use Word now but I would like to find a better software for laying out a magazine. In this magazine, I would like to create columns (2 or 3 depending on the page), insert image on 1, 2 or 3 columns ...
2
votes
3answers
225 views

Feedback on sign-up email announcement

This post is continued at How can I make this sound better? ( part 2 ) Thanks for signing up for the Tip for Tip beta. We’re really excited about the launch and we wanted to let you know ...
2
votes
3answers
118 views

Best way to write an article professionally

Is there any widely accepted step by step method for writing a creative article in a professional manner. I want to improve my English writing skills in relation to creative article writing. I read ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Procrastination on a Crucial Scene in my Book

I'm in the process of writing a book and through my plans I know I have a fairly crucial, game-changing scene coming up. I can't help but put it off! I don't want to force myself to sit and write it ...
2
votes
3answers
200 views

How to decide whether or not to accept publishing offer for short story?

I am an unpublished writer straight out of college. After graduation, I sent out a few stories to a handful of places-- no more than five or six. It is now about 1.5 months later and I just received a ...
2
votes
5answers
233 views

Writing exercises to practice the art of giving unique voice to characters?

I've read many blogs which teach you how to give a unique voice to each of your characters. I feel I understand how to do it, but I think I'm a little stuck in the voice I've been using since I ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Is it worth reading book to learn more about topic of my story

The story I am writing involves the 10 steps of turning a democracy into a police state. And to make it more real, I thught the people who are doing it should explain it to the main character ...
2
votes
3answers
126 views

How do you connect a non sequitur hook to a novel?

A pineapple is walking down a street, but here’s the kicker: he’s completely naked. That was a non sequitur hook I thought of. I figured that it would raise a bunch of really interesting ...
2
votes
6answers
257 views

How do I keep up with current written English language?

I am a speaker of English as a foreign language. I appreciate that English is a living language and that different regions in the world use English differently. I wanted to know how I can keep up with ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

How do you write a formal email?

What is the web equivalent of formal letters? In this day and age, formal correspondence have all become digital, and it would be helpful to know the proper way. Oh, and please do highlight if there ...
2
votes
2answers
256 views

Correct format when talking about money $$

I'm writing a formal research paper (Highschool) I have lots of statistics involving money (In fact, my whole essay is about the economy). So a question arises about the format of writing money. ...
2
votes
3answers
151 views

How to tell if my story is finished, or needs more?

Slightly obtuse title, let me elaborate. I'm writing my first screenplay, and I'm trying to keep it simple while making it simultaneously wonderful. It's just a rom-com. But as I write and modify ...
2
votes
2answers
161 views

Where can I find lists of commonly used words to avoid?

I have a theory that good prose style comes in part from avoiding complicated, abstract, and pretentious words. Are there any good lists of words to avoid, preferably with suggested alternatives? I'm ...
2
votes
5answers
173 views

Best way to emphasise the greenness of the fields in spring in comparison with summer

The question arises from this sentence in my story, which was originally written in Hebrew and later translated by me to English. In Hebrew I say: קמתי בבוקר והלכתי למוצב. היה זה יום בהיר של תחילת ...
2
votes
4answers
131 views

How about a story as a series of anecdotes?

I have a concept for a story I'd like to do where my purpose for writing the story is simply to explore a hypothetical society by means of anecdotes about the members of the society. But this sounds ...
2
votes
3answers
77 views

What is best way to accentuate the positive in an endorsement?

I want to write an endorsement for someone. I have one line that begins like this: "I have no doubt that ..." But I don't like the negative connotation of 'no doubt'. My best alternative of ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

How should this ‘be going to’ be revised?

I don't know if I can ask about this in this site. But anyway I'll give it a shot. (This question is a spin-off from EL&U.) Here is a skit from a radio English conversation program, dealing with ...
2
votes
3answers
59 views

Spelling style in academic papers

When an article is submitted to a conference or journal, is it better to use British or American spelling? Does it have to be according to the conference or journal's style (based on where it is being ...

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