0
votes
0answers
71 views

According to Bakhtin, why is poetry monologue, and a novel dialogue? [closed]

Addressing the idea of heteroglossia, why is poetry generally unable to exhibit heteroglossia? What specifically is the "other speech" in a novel that shows heteroglossia?
7
votes
5answers
206 views

Variation in humor among ethnic/cultural groups

Back when Bill Clinton was President of the United States, Al Franken (formerly a Saturday Night Live comedian, now a US Senator) gave him lessons in comedy. He needed these lessons because the press ...
102
votes
20answers
5k views

The “Rules” of Writing

There are a lot of axioms that get tossed around in creative writing courses, books on writing, and of course, the internet. Often, these little gems are explained to new writers as though they were ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Do characters sound too similar if they use the same words/expressions?

This is the draft of a story I'm writing (I removed the descriptions): “Sure they allow visitors?” I asked An-Mei as we headed to the pond. “It's OK,” she said. “It's not solitary ...
3
votes
4answers
260 views

Should I switch to present tense when the narrator is talking about one of his habits?

Example: Without lifting my head from the pillow, I glanced at my watch. Two in the morning. Sleep still seemed faraway. I'd been staring at the maze pattern on the ceiling for hours, ...
1
vote
2answers
143 views

How much time does it take to write a professional book?

I was considering writing a professional book like, say, The Percy Jackson series or something like that. I'd like to know how much time it takes to write and plan one. I have been wondering this for ...
12
votes
3answers
313 views

When do I explain my created world scenario in a prologue vs. letting it unfold in the story?

Let's say I'm creating a unique world for my book. New planet, maybe new species, complex society with complex rules, history, government, and so on. Some of these details are absolutely necessary to ...
25
votes
4answers
477 views

Editors: Edit on first read, or read and edit on second round?

I edit novels (among other works). I was having a discussion with someone (not an editor) who didn't understand my technique. What I do is read through the document, and the moment something occurs ...
3
votes
4answers
742 views

Is it a bad idea to ground a fantasy world in earthy culture(s)?

I am deeply fascinated by Japanese culture and the medieval era; so naturally, when I began the development of my fantasy world it became solidly rooted in this ground. Also with the animals that ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

When to use pronouns, and when to repeat yourself?

This is a quote from one of my favorite movies: "There are nearly thirteen million people in the world. None of those people is an extra. They're all the leads of their own stories." - Synecdoche, ...
6
votes
5answers
439 views

Can we enable readers to connect to far future humanity, without pretending they wouldn’t be different?

Everything about our culture has changed so dramatically over the course of the last hundred years that it’s very hard to believe that we’d be the same as we are now in five hundred years. This is an ...
4
votes
3answers
99 views

tools for writing scripts

It has been a long time since I last tried to write a play, and I hated it, not the play (which became a short story), but writing one. The word processors made working with script layout a pain, and ...
5
votes
5answers
425 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
464 views

Exercises for improving 3rd person perspective writing

Recently I started writing a story. Two equally important protagonists, omniscient 3rd person narrator, a rather sweet romance. And it was not good. The interactions felt shallow. Despite the ...
1
vote
3answers
83 views

Writing Across Multiple Genres

My current novel is of the satire/humour genre. Another novel that is currently in the works is still humorous, but is more of a fantasy novel. A third novel that I am currently working on - I like ...
4
votes
2answers
161 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
4answers
2k views

How to format dialogue with an embedded long monologue

I use the following formats for dialogues: dialogue dialogue - describing action (if any) dialogue - describing action (if any) - more dialogue (if any) There is a chapter in my book that is ...
4
votes
3answers
110 views

How do I write for webcomics?

I want to start a webcomic. For this, I expect I'll be doing a lot of writing. I once had someone draw a webcomic based on my writing and it was a nonsensical mess. The art was good, but nobody knew ...
11
votes
4answers
256 views

How do I avoid tech/social errors in near-future fiction?

Not long ago I read a novel set in the near future (mid-21st century). My suspension of disbelief was totally fine with time travel, an implanted "universal translator" of sorts, major medical ...
2
votes
3answers
128 views

In a thriller, should my famous cities be familiar, or fresh?

The bigger, and more famous, a city, the more it tends to show up in thrillers. The biggest ones - New York, London, Paris, Tokyo - have been set-pieces in any number of thrillers, and I can assume ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

What are the 3 all-time best-sellers in each genre?

NOT your personal favorites (subjective)! The best-sellers (objective). Group book series together. Anyone know? Educated guesses are OK, but documented answers are preferred. For example, I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
104 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)?
0
votes
1answer
146 views

Should I indent when I write just a short sentence?

I'm writing a curriculum vitae and in Special skills section I wrote as the following: 8- Special skills I have the following skills: C++ Objective-C Should I indent "I have the following ...
0
votes
3answers
86 views

How do I do literary research on an unresearched topic?

I asked this question earlier: What are the stages of The Guardian's Journey? In constructing a story, I plan on following the following patterns: The Hero's Journey: The Hero's Journey ...
3
votes
1answer
639 views

Promoting your books when you've written under a pseudonym/pen name

I know this question could be considered a "list" question, or "subjective", but I think that it is a valid question and can be quite helpful for a lot of authors. My question is, as a self-published ...
5
votes
5answers
397 views

How can I write a tragedy for children?

In direction of one of the most famous stories of Hans Christian Andersen "The Little Match Girl", I want to write a tragedy for children; a story dealing with children who are suffering and who may ...
1
vote
3answers
126 views

Can you use a company's name as title for a short story?

I'm writing a short story about a girl whose boyfriend is doing in internship in another city. She goes to visit him every week. But the guy always call at the last minute, saying he can't come and ...
2
votes
2answers
112 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
205 views

Who is the perfect rival to the right-person-wrong-time character in a love triangle?

I'm looking for a well balanced love triangle. The thought of a wrong-person-right-time rival seems to be weak because readers are most likely not to root for the him/her if the wrongness is obvious.
5
votes
3answers
197 views

Best way to convey an immediate change of scenery

Okay, bear with me. Think of it like this: My character is stuck in an situation whereby every time he sleeps, he wakes up at a different time (as in the past/future, not 8:00am), in a different ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

What does “MC” in section break mean?

I saw - I think at least a few times now - authors separating sections of a story with ~MC~MC~MC~ or something similar. What does that mean? Is it an acronym for something, or just some odd ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

Problem: Scenes that are unavoidable, but boring

More specifically: Two of my book series' main characters are (temporarily) diplomats. It's unavoidable to the progress of the plot. But diplomacy is inherently slow and boring. So, the general ...
8
votes
5answers
319 views

How should I introduce new and complex technologies or tools?

I'm writing a Science Fiction book. While this book doesn't push reality very far, there are some new technologies and tools that I have added. One tool is used more frequently than all the others, ...
4
votes
3answers
291 views

Does anyone know the average number of times a new author has to submit before acceptance?

I can't find any authoritative citation for this. As an example, I know that the average entrepreneur has to be involved in 12 new businesses before he has a successful enterprise. That is the ...
15
votes
7answers
5k views

What is the difference between writing in the first and the third person?

What kind of story is better suited for each one? Are there advantages or disadvantages inherent to each form? For example, writing in the first person you are always following a character, while in ...
2
votes
1answer
331 views

Are there any contests for teenage writers?

Are there writing competitions/awards for novel length works by authors under 18? There are certainly prizes for professional novelists, and amateur novelists, but I'm looking for something for ...
4
votes
5answers
238 views

How to handle a character when she is lying about her name

I am in the midst of writing my second NaNo novel, and I have encountered a problem I didn't anticipate. It is similar to this question, about changing a character's name in the middle of a story, but ...
2
votes
6answers
376 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
203 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

When it's forgivable to use “suddenly” and “all of a sudden?” [duplicate]

Unless the answer is never, when is it excusable to use those two? I think someone told me it was a sin for a writer to use them. I wonder this because one of my favorite writer used it in one of his ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I determine if a paper has been plagiarized?

Is there a service which allows you to check if a paper/article was plagiarized? At this moment, I use Google to check if some papers are plagiarized or not, but I think that are other smarter ...
6
votes
4answers
236 views

Is my serial-killer novel horror or crime?

I'm writing a novel which centers around a serial killer and his victims. I'm having a lot of trouble deciding whether it belongs in the horror genre (it's a disturbing, horrific slasher, and a lot of ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Who can help me to describe the text line from my story in slow motion?

This here is a line of my story: As we were in the middle of our conversation, I saw a blinding light heading straight for us, followed by an abrupt honk. Mom screamed as if she saw a ghost, and ...
3
votes
1answer
263 views

What are good books on writing romance/erotica?

I've seen writing books on characterization, plot, world-building, conflict and probably 1000 other topics. But are there any good books that focus on how to write good erotica or romance? If it's a ...
2
votes
3answers
143 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, ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

Is it bad to have sentences that are too long? [closed]

The sentence in question is: As players move around the board, they buy, rent and sell properties from and to each other with each player trying to maximize his or her own wealth in a zero-sum ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Correcting common personal errors/typos [duplicate]

I know the best way is to hire an editor. And I know you become aware of them over time. I just want to know if there are any tips or techniques to spot/correct them? For example these are my common ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

Should I italicise when the protagonist quote other character's words?

For example in a story I'm writing a character says the following: “Be careful,” An-Mei said, ignoring my question. “No matter what, don't get close to her.” Later on the protagonist thinks ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

When mentioning two people in a sentence, what's the proper way to use a pronoun to reference the first?

Example: A fighter is someone who fights for the pleasure of the spectator, against his or her own safety. How can I clearly show that his or her refers to the fighter and not the master?
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Citing in a Magazine Article

I write a ton of magazine articles online. My editor tells me you do not need a works cited as you do in academic work. I am wondering what kind of citing you do need and what I should be doing for ...

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