1
vote
3answers
170 views

When to use contractions and when to use complete words?

These are some passages from Man-Eating Cats by Haruki Murakami. He'd been dead set against out marriage from the start, and his tone of voice said he'd finally been proved right. He had ...
1
vote
3answers
292 views

Is it possible to establish a relation between word count and page count?

I found some nice replies dealing with word counting, but my question is slightly different. I want to know if it's possible to establish a relation between word count and the number of pages in an ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a “light novel” and how does it differ from a novella?

My friend has sent me a work to critique which he hopes to make into a light novel. I've never heard of this type of story before and a quick Google didn't give me much context about how it differs ...
1
vote
1answer
724 views

Should I use the words “My grandma” repetitively to start sentences in an essay?

I am a Sophmore making a simple essay about my grandmother. English is my third language, but I live in the US. I am writing an essay but as I re-read it, I just always read "My grandma"..."My ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Finding before/after examples where writing has been improved, to learn from

I'd like to see a series of example paragraphs, showing before/after a rewrite, to give me specific examples of how writing can be improved. Is there anywhere that shows such things? I once read the ...
1
vote
6answers
465 views

Is muteness appearing without explicit reason acceptable?

In one of my stories, my main character was once able to speak, but after being alone for 3 or 4 years in his early 20's without speaking a word, he became mute, unable to speak at all. Is this ...
2
votes
5answers
198 views

Where to find editors to hire for tech blog?

Recently, I secured a job with big MNC. Now, I want to concentrate on it and appoint 2-3 editors to look after mildly popular tech blog. Can you guys suggest where should I search or post to hire ...
5
votes
3answers
440 views

How can I search for words by meaning/definition?

Where can I search for words using descriptive sentences? For example, now I'm looking for a word meaning "to purify (by hand) a quantity of grain and take away anything that isn't good grain." How ...
3
votes
3answers
699 views

Is there anything like 99designs for text writing?

I'm not a writer, but a technical oriented entrepreneur.. One of the barriers I always run into is that I'm also the lead guy for providing the content for marketing gigs, speaker bio's and website ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Omitting “that” in fiction writing

Is it always better to omit "that" when it's not neccesary in a sentence? Example: Erin realized she'd been so busy with work that she'd forgotten to check if her parents were OK. Would that ...
2
votes
3answers
302 views

“Variation” and “symmetry” in a sentence

I always find myself wondering whether to add add "variation" or "symmetry" to a sentence. Most of the time I can't make out my mind. Few examples: With the moon still illuminating my way, I ...
-1
votes
2answers
126 views

Writing, my first attempt [closed]

I would like to undertake a project and write a novel, but I'm not sure how should I start. I have the idea, I just don't know the best way to write it down. Should I just open "Word" and write ...
4
votes
1answer
404 views

Is Sherlock Holmes public domain for use in a story?

I am writing a short story and would like to name check Sherlock Holmes as a character; according to the ever reliable (?) Wikipedia the stories of Holmes are UK Public Domain. Does this mean I can ...
2
votes
3answers
441 views

Can several related short-stories make a good base to write a novel?

I've been writing related short-stories for years, but around 10 months ago, I started to think about a novel based on these stories. The same universe, the same main characters but a longer story ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Where to publish Edgar Allan Poe style fiction short story?

Does anyone know of any reputable literary magazines which publish this type of short story? I would prefer a magazine that takes free submissions.
-1
votes
1answer
88 views

Could you please suggest a very dense book? [closed]

I'm getting ready for the GRE and am looking for some highly challenging books. Any new bombastic dense context with long weird complex sentences would work for me. I would like to see who dense a ...
2
votes
2answers
227 views

Concept map software that concentrates on ease of use?

...and scales well? I'm in the process of writing a text game / "Make your own adventure" novel, with a fairly convoluted, non-linear plot. Getting that plot under control has proven to be a rather ...
1
vote
4answers
189 views

Visual methods of plot development?

My 9 to 5 job is in an office, which has made me very adept at using flow charts and graphs to plan out my projects. Are there any writing methods which employ charts, graphs, or other visual ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Pros ans cons of writing a plot based on the present and past tense (character's point of view)?

I'm not sure if I should write my first book in the present or past tense. The book is about a doctor in a clinic who is analysing his patients. e.g. I said, VS I say. I thought for a while ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

how many books by new authors get published every year?

I have heard figures like 100,000 - 250,000 books are published every year, but this probably includes already established authors. Are there any numbers for how many 1st time authors books are ...
6
votes
2answers
274 views

Tips to identify “noise” or “clutter” in your story

I'm a fan of minimalism so I tend to write stories which are as simple as possible. And sometimes I add elements that don't have a concrete explanation. I leave that to interpretation of the reader. ...
2
votes
2answers
159 views

Writer's Notebook

How can I use a writer's notebook to improve my writing?
4
votes
2answers
190 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
223 views

How do you build good per-book *and* global indexes?

For our SDK, we generate individual documents (PDFs) and one big HTML doc set (CHM file) from the same Docbook source. Each book has an index, and the HTML version has an integrated index that is the ...
2
votes
5answers
404 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
137 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

How to use creative commons materials?

Creative commons materials are popular on the web, and people are using these materials for creating new websites, as there is no severe copyright restriction. How does creative commons copyright ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Shift in tense and starting a historical account with the present tense

I was just writing a historical overview of a battle and decided I'd write the introduction in the present tense--the present tense being a narration of a specific event during the war. I just ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Works of fiction containing non-related but constantly alternating narrative streams?

Chapter is set in a particular period in time, having four - at the time - in no way related characters, each of them with their own separate story. My best feeling is these stories should be ...
3
votes
5answers
392 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
460 views

Making a female character sound more boyish/masculine

There are two characters in the following dialogue. One of them (Yuki) is a tomboy. She has short hair, dresses like a man, and like girls. I want to make her sound more masculine (but not exactly ...
6
votes
6answers
238 views

Characters with non-standard names

My characters' names are always easy-to-read and easy-to-remember because they are common western names (like John or Oscar). However, I am writing a story that has a cultural favour. A western ...
5
votes
3answers
411 views

Background speech with foreground dialogue

A few days ago, I stumbled upon an issue of the type; meaning I had two characters talking between themselves and another character talking in the background; actually delivering a speech. What the ...
2
votes
1answer
441 views

Scrivener: marking multiple (non-adjacent) phrases in a manuscript with same footnote

How can I mark multiple different non-adjacent words and/or phrases with the same endnote marker and the same endnote text in Scrivener? For example: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer ...
3
votes
1answer
580 views

Can Articy Draft be used to write a book?

I recently bought Articy Draft to catalog my writing endeavours. It seems good for writing scripts, but what about writing a book? Reference: http://www.nevigo.com/en/articydraft/overview/ I'm ...
21
votes
9answers
548 views

Do I need to register my work to retain copyright?

What are the legal issues when submitting work to publishers? is there a risk of having my work stolen? How can you protect yourself from this? Is there an international "law" for this or is it ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the process for turning a story into a “movie” script?

This is probably a slightly vague sounding question, but I'm curious as to how "stories" go to the point of becoming a film production (at least to the point of becoming a script).
1
vote
2answers
99 views

Would it be annoying for the reader if the all the scenes alternate between “present” and flashback?

I'm writing a short story with the following structure: B tells A she is gravely sick and wants to be alone (present) A talks about how he met B in a hospital (flashback) A talks with ...
1
vote
3answers
457 views

Ways of presenting a metaphor/simile/analogy

This is something I wrote (adult content—and very bad description of sex): Strangely, it didn't feel much like sex. I felt we were just exchanging feelings that we couldn't be put into words. ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

From short fiction to a novel

I write short stories. However, the more I research, the more I find that people prefer novels over short stories (irrespective of the quality of the work). This may be partly due to the pricing ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

How to write in past tense?

This is one of those questions much like when you suddenly forget someone's name who you see every day. But, say I write this: Anne fidgeted with her hands and looked towards the door, although ...
1
vote
4answers
333 views

Is it common for flashbacks to not to follow a chronological order?

I'm writing a short story with the following structure: Scene 1: Deshi and Yuqi are in a mountain searching for an abandoned amusement park (Present) Scene 2: Deshi talks about how he felt ...
2
votes
3answers
169 views

Does a character have to define himself to be engaging?

I have a short story named Cured (which asks the question "What if you could take a pill to increase your empathy?"), in which the main character (Tony) doesn't talk or show much about himself until ...
9
votes
4answers
370 views

Balancing loads of equally-important characters

If you have a dozen good guys, but four of them are the protagonists and the other six are more in the background, it's not that hard to skew the pagetime of each character towards those that are more ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Publisher field in Book Review when the book is obtained for free from the internet

I'm writing a book review as part of my English Holiday Homework. The book (or rather, prolegomenon) that I'm reviewing is Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift. Due to obvious reasons for my ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How would I find a publisher who is accepting unsolicited manuscripts from authors?

This question on finding an agent has an answer linking to this post which really tears into literary agents. I'm not sure if it is justified or not, but it got me thinking about a the alternate ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

How to show that the current scene is a continuation of an earlier one?

So my book starts in the middle of action, and ends on a cliff hanger. It then goes back a week in time, and builds the story from there. Eg, in the start, the heroine is forced to free a demon, who ...
4
votes
7answers
187 views

Level of description in a story

I have often come across stories where the author has described a particular scene or action of a character in minute details. e.g. If a character has to open a door, the description is about how the ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Figuring out when a book was printed [closed]

I've recently purchased a book from Amazon, and I was curious as to when it was printed. I looked at the copyright page, which looks like this: The biggest year number shown in this page is 1991, ...
50
votes
20answers
2k views

How to overcome the fact that I can't write?

My problem is that I basically suck at writing. Especially prose. Part of it is basically because I don't practice as much as I could. Part of it is because I'm just not talented in that way. ...

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