3
votes
4answers
254 views

What is the best way to use your favorite authors as inspiration without plagiarism?

I am a big fan of certain authors' writing styles and stories and I am convinced that when I sit down to start writing my first book, I'm bound to copy an idea or theme from an author. How do I create ...
3
votes
3answers
295 views

How to become a productive/accomplished writer?

I prefer writing short stories. Over the years, I have learnt many essential skills that I employ in my work. I believe (and this is my personal assessment) that my stories are of good quality (i.e ...
3
votes
3answers
100 views

Are contests an effective way to gauge the quality of your writing?

I'm gearing up to start writing after a bit of a hiatus. But rather than just jump in and start on a novel (which will take several months, at best, to create and even then it might not be very good) ...
3
votes
3answers
244 views

A tricky sentence to construct

I'm writing a blog post, and with one of the sentences I want to say that I'm not judging anyone differently to how I judge myself. So I thought I'd go with the "hold someone to account" metaphor. ...
3
votes
3answers
565 views

How would one use punctuation to indicate tone changes?

I'm imagining this sort of statement: He's a... different... sort of person, I suppose. Some people would pronounce 'different' in that sentence as though it was followed by a question mark, but ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Using “Ends.” to indicate the end of a document

I recall seeing the word "Ends." placed at the end of documents to indicate that, obviously, nothing else follows. Is this acceptable standard usage? It feels rather archaic (not that that's ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

Is this sentence ambiguous?

I'm trying to write something sort of poetic sounding. Instead of memories let's discover the present that we wanted to search for. I'm thinking that maybe I should write the word "moment" ...
3
votes
5answers
168 views

Which version of these three lines is more likely to attract the interest of the reader ? (character's viewpoint vs omnicient narrator)

The first one is a suggestion I got from my previous question. The second one is a version based on the character's viewpoint. Which version is more likely to attract the interest of the reader (and ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Which edition of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style?

I'm interesting in picking up a copy of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style. Unfortunately I'm a little overwhelmed by the minor variations. Amazon lists 12 different paperback formats, plus a ...
3
votes
5answers
160 views

How do I create the rest of the story when I only know the ending?

I know the ending of the first book I want to write but, I'm not sure how to start it or what will happen in the middle. I know I am completely working backwards on writing a story but, every time I ...
3
votes
3answers
70 views

How can I write in a way that encourages discussion?

I have a nice sideline as a freelance journalist. Obviously editors consider my work good enough on the whole to be worth commissioning, although I'm sure I could do better in many respects. But it ...
3
votes
3answers
89 views

Where can one go to find police procedures

I'm writing a novel that involves a crime (in the USA) and need to know the proper police procedure and timeline for the events. Where can I find accurate information to help me? More specifics--A ...
3
votes
3answers
550 views

Is pantsless writing practical for NaNoWriMo?

Those of you who like to just sit down and write what comes out, you all are known as pantsless writers. — KitFox We have a question on preparing for NaNoWriMo, but what if you start a NaNoWriMo ...
3
votes
4answers
66 views

Writing many entries/articles, storing them, and browsing them

I'm looking for software that will permit me to write articles of various sizes, with a title and tags for each article. The program should store the content, and then allow me to browse (whether from ...
3
votes
3answers
198 views

Writing an Ending: how to prune away the Wrong ones?

My protagonist introduced herself to me through a sequence of set-pieces. She has a very specific altruistic goal, and the conflicts she enters are with other characters who have well-defined ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

How do you know if you have too many words for the amount of pages you have written?

I'm writing my first serious novel and I have 155 pages with 60,000 words. I'm wondering whether this is normal. I still want to write at least another 100 pages or more, but I don't want to write too ...
3
votes
2answers
353 views

Do published authors have rights to use their own book cover images?

With the caveat that I'm sure it varies based on publisher, genre, etc., but -- generally, if you were an author who was published and the book cover was designed by the publisher, but you wanted to ...
3
votes
2answers
25k views

Difference between an 'Abstract' and an 'Introduction' in a feature article?

I have to write a feature article for school. However, I'm confused how an abstract [a summary of my points] is different to an intro [Where you outline the points you're going to be elaborating in ...
3
votes
3answers
145 views

Is the following passage confusing?

They following is from a short story I'm writing. The main character and his friend are sitting in a bar while discussing about the the former's wife: “I see,” he said, thinking this over, as if ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

tinyURL seen as risky by readers?

I see tinyURL recommended for news or magazine-style writing where AP style prevails--but then I see online warnings that clicking a tinyURL may take readers to sites they do not (at all) want to ...
3
votes
2answers
288 views

Conversation with Multiple Characters

I'm writing a dialogue heavy scene. The protagonist has met with a group of mercenaries that he spent a great deal of his younger days with. He doesn't come to them for a catch-up however, he has ...
3
votes
3answers
396 views

Is the following extended metaphor/group of metaphors too overwhelming?

I bought a box of sushi, and sat at the round table beside me. Opening the plastic container made me feel as though I was unlocking a treasure chest. I peeked inside to admired its content. ...
3
votes
3answers
180 views

Elmore Leonard said Avoid Prologues… Why?

I've just spent the better half of a month writing and perfecting my prologue. It sets the tone for the rest of the story with an event which kickstarts the main narrative of the book. Why should I ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Where to put counter-examples within a 5-paragraph essay?

I am tutoring some students in the very basics of writing a 5-paragraph essay to present an argument, in preparation for more advanced academic writing. I am instructing them to include: An ...
3
votes
1answer
519 views

What factors to consider when choosing an e-book platform?

Some students that I mentor have written a number of short stories that they want to publish now. I am totally new in this area. I did preliminary research which indicates that there are now a ...
3
votes
2answers
157 views

Critique wanted for a fantasy prologue

I'm working on a series of short fantasy books (target audience mid-teens to 30-ish). I'd like to know whether or not the short pre-story before the first chapter of the first book works as an intro, ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Anybody know anything about examiner.com?

Apparently it's some sort of "pro-am" site. I applied to be a travel writer and they, uh, picked me. I'm curious if anybody knows where examiner.com is on a 1 to 10 scale where "1" is "Application ...
3
votes
2answers
192 views

Do we need a gap of time between drafts?

Stephen King, in his book 'On writing' (and other writers), says one should put some gap of time between drafts. So for example, wait a month after finishing the 1st draft, before starting work on the ...
3
votes
2answers
172 views

Character with extreme manners

My objective is victorian style tea-drinking "upper class" lady characters. (it's more of a writing challenge) Does anyone have any useful resources or tips for creating such a character? ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

What science fiction sub-genre is my novel?

I've written a science fiction book that has a strong feel of "fantasy." Three quarters of the story is in a medieval/primitive kingdom type settings (think Game of Thrones or Wheel of Time), there ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

What do “p” and “pp” mean in the context of an index?

I am creating an index for a non-fiction book, and I am using LibreOffice writer. It has functions that help generate an index. When it does so, some of my entries look like this: stuff..... 9, ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

Hiding information

I have often noticed this in many books and movies (mostly mysteries) that information is kept hidden from the reader. Like the character goes to some place and returns but what happens in between ...
3
votes
4answers
160 views

How can I capture the voice of an insane person?

In a story I am writing an insane character speaks to another. Unfortunately, I don't know how I can convey a person's insanity through their speech. What in their verbal behavior makes a person ...
3
votes
3answers
141 views

Alternate universe vs. historicity: how to set the threshold/expectations?

I'm working on a novel which is set in the late 1920s, and the protagonist is a minor Lord in England. I wrote the first four chapters and handed it to an American friend, whose criticism largely ...
3
votes
5answers
250 views

Typical Fairy-tale Story Especially Princess Stories

I have a question. I am planing to write to a fairy-tale like a Brother Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson type of fairy-tale set in the modern time but after conducting research(reading fairy-tales of ...
3
votes
3answers
136 views

If not in the prologue/intro, where would a hook be?

For many stories I have seen, written or otherwise, a fight or some intimate moment is used to hook the reader. It is done A LOT, if not every time. Does a hook have to be in the beginning? Are ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you write a character's internal monologue?

I've seen two main methods of writing a character's inner monologue One is to use italics Dean is being silly thought Sam Another is to quote the text "Dean is being silly" thought Sam Or you could ...
3
votes
2answers
55 views

Should the word “The” be included in a label when labelling a character?

If I reference a character, whom, for the current context is given a label, such as "The Skull", should I include the word "The"? The following snippet should clarify my question: Our mission is to ...
3
votes
3answers
143 views

Writing a short documentary about a medical clinic

I'm new to documentary writing and would like to write a script for a short film. The subject is a local free medical clinic for folks who don't have medical insurance. It's run by a local ER doctor, ...
3
votes
5answers
409 views

How to make a intellectually disabled character believable?

I want to use a 12yo girl with down syndrome as main character. Trisomy 21 people has a low IQ, normally around 50, at least according to Wikipedia. I've known a few people with such syndrome over ...
3
votes
3answers
341 views

Critique a short essay

So There I was in the scorching, afternoon, summer heat of Cairo. It was a huge change from the UK’s mild weather, and together with the fact that I had been fasting - as in no food or drink- for ...
3
votes
3answers
252 views

Troubles with unfamiliar locations and settings based in the real world

I have a question: is it hard to write about a foreign country/place? I know that Dostoevsky was Russian, his themes and settings were inspired or entirely based by Russia/the Russian culture. But I ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How to publish public domain books?

It is known that the copyright permission is not needed for old books (usually 70 years after the author's death), because the copyright has been expired. However, I am not sure how easy a public ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
204 views

Is it a bad idea to turn a short story into a full-length novel?

I've written a couple of short stories. I'm really satisfied with some of them, and I would like to turn them into full-length novels. They were meant to be short stories from the beginning, but I ...
3
votes
3answers
65 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
272 views

Attributives in dialogue

I normally stick with "he said" and "she said" to keep things simple and transparent to the reader but wondering about questions. Is "she asked" and "he asked" appropriate when a character asks a ...
3
votes
2answers
345 views

How do you manage all the different aspects of writing poetry?

Every time I try to write a poem I find myself incredibly stuck. It feels to me like poetry has so many different aspects- meter, structure, rhyming, lingual aesthetics (not to mention semantics), all ...
3
votes
3answers
772 views

A letter of recommendation

I am a programmer/engineer who has been asked to write a letter of recommendation for a colleague, who wishes it to help him pursue higher education. Since I feel it necessary, to be very ...
3
votes
3answers
233 views

Writing a bibliography

In the formats I've seen for writing a bibliography, the author is always put first, and then the title. Are there some bibliographies where the title is put before the author?

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