3
votes
3answers
182 views

My story portrays a process, not a conflict - how do I make the process my focus?

My current WiP is a science-fiction piece which is less about characters coping with a particular problem, and more about the process they go through in reaction to the SF-nal catalyst. My story is ...
5
votes
3answers
187 views

How to plan dialog and keep it on track?

When I'm writing a plotline, it often works out that I know two characters will be meeting each other in a particular scene, and that they will converse. And I oftentimes know the central idea of what ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How should I use phrases such as “uh huh”?

I have seen various combinations of interjections (or "grunt words", as they are sometimes called) used in fictional dialogue, such as: uh huh (which I take for a yes) uh uh (for no) nuh uh (also saw ...
4
votes
2answers
516 views

How to objectively judge the storytelling in a writing contest?

I am designing a fiction writing contest for 13 and 14-year old EFL students. The students have very limited experience writing English and writing fiction. I am developing the scoring sheet, on ...
9
votes
2answers
266 views

Are online critique groups a good substitute for editors?

I'm thinking of self publishing. Now what all the blogs tell me I have to do is hire a professional editor, who will see any plot / character holes, other story problems etc. (For the moment, I'm not ...
0
votes
1answer
290 views

Adding related work to an academic project report

In an academic project report, what phrasing should I use to introduce and explain related work? I have to explain several previous projects; I would like to be clear but also avoid repetition. I ...
5
votes
2answers
945 views

The ethics of multiple contest submissions

So I'm gearing up to write an actual full-length novel and I've decided that the best way to test the mettle of my writing (and make a couple of bucks in the process) is to enter a few writing ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How critical is selecting an imprint for a self-published book?

I'm about to self-publish a book through CreateSpace and they want me to give them an imprint. (I know, I know, "you're not likely to make any money by self-publishing" and all that, but for the ...
4
votes
2answers
147 views

How does one break into the field of professional writing?

First, some background that may help explain the question. I have recently realized that most of my life has been spent pursuing technical-creative hybrid projects. As a professional software ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Critique: three person dialogue

Up until now, I'd only written dialogues between two persons. I'm not very sure if this dialogue is flowing smoothly. Is there anything I can do to improve its flow? Specifically, I'm wondering ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I write a believable romance subplot?

Sexuality is a large part of who we are as persons and it influences many decisions we make. Sadly, I don't know how to make a romance subplot believable. Are there any good guidelines to creating ...
5
votes
3answers
423 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
43 views

What are some good methods for framing the theme of a writing contest?

I am designing a writing contest for 13 and 14-year old EFL students. The students have very limited experience with creative writing and I will not have any time to give them practice on ...
5
votes
3answers
724 views

How do I organize a massive collection of personal files and writing?

Note: This is a vague question, so I welcome help in improving it. I have a large amount of writing on my computer, some thousands of RTF files that sometimes start as taking notes in class lectures, ...
5
votes
4answers
426 views

Creating a compelling story from a prebuilt world

I have during the last couple of years developed a fantasy world. It's a hobby project I work on when I have the time. Every now and again I get some idea of a scene or an event and I place it on the ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

How can a practical learner get up to speed on APA quickly?

I'd like to learn the APA style guide, so that, in addition to the fiction and general non-fiction I work on currently, I can start accepting academic editing jobs. However, I know very little about ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Referencing figure in text - capitalize the word “Figure” or not? Why?

I see it quite a lot. It looks a bit like this: It can be seen in Figure 3 that... My gut feeling is that there is no reason to scream in the middle of a perfectly calm sentence. I would like to ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I cleanly show the passage of time, with multiple, varying time scales?

Semi-complex idea, more easily seen than explained, but here we go. I was re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone recently (notice I bring those books up a lot...I think they're brilliant) ...
7
votes
3answers
183 views

“Lacking meat”, “Content-free”, and poor defense-development. Please critique my work

After releasing my first blogging article I received some less-than-stellar reviews citing that I "managed to write a blog post that hypes up your proposed solution to "hacking" TV...then don't even ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Do I correctly utilize my naming adjective concept in this book?

In my story THE GOSPEL OF THE RETURN OF A CHRIST THAT WANTS ANSWERS I wanted to evoke a sense of the middle ages in a modern book. So I utilized a technique where whenever I referred to a character, I ...
2
votes
1answer
213 views

Will 9/11 fiction get a writer into trouble with the US Government?

I want to write about the very interesting topic of 'what really happened' on 9/11. How close can I possibly get to real characters and facts without getting sued? Facts I might include in my work: ...
11
votes
3answers
627 views

How/When to create deliberately boring characters?

Among a million other ambitions under the general heading of "Writing," I have this fantasy where I write a major series, several books long with a giant cast. But I started thinking. In giant series ...
1
vote
2answers
118 views

Title Choice: “The Girl [Without/Who Didn't Have] A Soul”

I titled a short story "The Girl without a Soul". But recently I've been thinking on naming it "The Girl who didn't have a Soul." Do they mean exactly the same thing? Is there an advantage to using ...
1
vote
2answers
374 views

Should I put colons with second-level titles?

I'm writing a documentation for an eGovernment project, so the document I'm writing is a scientific document. It contains some big ideas, each having some subideas, with each subidea having a number ...
1
vote
3answers
156 views

Is it a bad idea to have all the action in the beginning and all the dialogue in the end?

I wrote a short story. All the action happens mainly at the beginning of the story. You can see part of the beginning in this question, and the full story here). This is the dialogue and ending (just ...
1
vote
1answer
534 views

Tips for describing features of unusual place that I often visit

I'm having problems describing certain parts of a place that I usually visit. Here are some pictures: For instance, I have no idea how I should refer to the wooden platform on the left (so I just ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

APA Formatting - Changing Adjectives in a quote

Should I change "our" to "their" in this quote? If so, how? As stated in their 2011 Annual Report, Siemens’ identity and corporate culture is defined by their vision to be a pioneer, which is based ...
4
votes
1answer
423 views

When to use the character's name and when to use she/he?

This is the first short story where I'm using actual names for the characters. Here is a sample: "Sorry for the question," Jun said. "But why don' you have friends?" Ling glanced at him, then ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

What's the difference between academic and journalistic writing?

I'm not talking about "boring" academic papers that are 99% science and 0% interesting. But in comments on a draft of my senior thesis, my teacher made the comment that my writing style was quite ...
15
votes
3answers
368 views

Are agents too busy for new clients? What should I do next?

Most publishers insist that first-time writers approach via a literary agent. However, all the literary agents I have contacted claim to be too busy to take on new clients, as they receive hundreds or ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

A tricky serial semi-colon

A serial comma is used to separate a list of items: For breakfast, we had ham, eggs, and toast. A serial semi-colon is used when items in the list have commas: For breakfast, we had ham, ...
13
votes
5answers
370 views

How do you find your unique style?

Let me preface this by saying I am quite young as writers go, only 20. Oftentimes as I am writing, I find myself simulating the style of whatever I most recently read-- sometimes the clipped and ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What would sections of a book that are larger than a chapter be called?

I'm writing a technical book, and I want to split my book up into about 3 to 6 very broad sections, each of which would have several chapters in it. Is there a standard name for these broad pieces ...
0
votes
2answers
205 views

How to improve the ending of my short novel (mostly dialogue)? [closed]

In a previous question, I asked about how to improve the opening of my short novel. The following is the ending: "Can I talk about something that makes me feel strange?" he asked while searching ...
2
votes
1answer
303 views

When to use single quotes in narrative writing?

I understand there's a certain element of stylistic freedom in using quotes, double quotes, or neither. But what are the specific cases when single quotes are generally recommended?
26
votes
16answers
3k views

How can I catch more errors when I proofread?

I have a problem where I often proof my own writing and I don't catch all the errors while I am reading through it. I often miss entire words out of sentences or find myself repeating words. I can ...
1
vote
2answers
340 views

Will this opening and dialogue grab the reader's attention? And how can I improve it?

Disclaimer: I'm not an native English speaker Here is the first part of a short novel I'm writing. For the description I wanted the reader to have an idea of the place first and then let him know ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

How to write polite deadline email?

I'm trying to collect feedback from my colleagues and the deadline is on 10-April-2012, 2.00pm. So in my mail I write: Please email your feedback to me before 2.00pm, 10-April-2012(Tuesday). ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Cite the article title (from a book or website) in the text

How do I cite both the author and article title of a website or book in the text? Here is an example reference: Smith, A. (2012). How to cite an article title. Available: ...
0
votes
4answers
355 views

How to use “I think, therefore I am” in a more fluent manner?

I want to allude an experience that feels almost like Descartes' idea of "I think, therefore I am". Because the phrase is a proposition, I find it very difficult to fit in the statement in because I ...
3
votes
1answer
325 views

How Important are essay writing conventions in the university level and above?

I go to a CEGEP, which is basically pre-university in Montreal. In my Introduction to English class, I had a teacher who allowed us to go around the typical essay writing conventions. Conventions like ...
1
vote
3answers
275 views

Self-contained software environment for authoring research papers

Does a self-contained environment for authoring research papers exist? Clearly, the concept might be a little unclear, so here's an attempt to better define what I mean: All sources used would be ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

How to write a powerful but uncomplicated conference biography?

I am working on a bio for a development conference I am presenting at. My writing style causes my Flesch Reading Ease score to trend high. While I like what I have below I'd like to simplify it a bit ...
0
votes
1answer
493 views

What are the names of the different levels of English?

In a recent discussion regarding software manuals, we came across the issue of different styles of writing / speaking in English. I am having a hard time finding a list of the different styles, such ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

How to do literature review

We often hear that literature review (LR) is not mere summarizing the writings of other, rather it is scrutinizing finding the material relevant to one's own research and the gaps to be filled. Can ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Is Patent text copyrighted?

When using text from articles published in journals and magazine, we need to obtain copyright permission from the copyright owner (publisher or author). I wonder if we need copyright permission when ...
2
votes
3answers
142 views

Would it be weird if I write “a simple sample something”?

Not getting too technical, I am writing a configuration file for a piece of software I have developed. This software allows others to write "services" and attach them to my software. I have written a ...
2
votes
2answers
739 views

how to cite CD-ROM resources (Turabian)

I have the PC Study Bible, which is a collection of resources (Bible versions, commentaries, &c.) bundled together and accessed via a special software program. How do I cite one of the resources ...
7
votes
3answers
647 views

What should be put on scene notecards? (for novel writing)

Once, a while back, I tried to use notecards when noveling to organize and develop my novel. The idea (a fairly common one, I believe) was that each scene is noted on a notecard, and you can then ...
3
votes
6answers
802 views

Is it overkill to follow style-guides for technical writing?

I currently work for an engineering company as an electrical engineer. A good chunk of my time is spent writing testing reports or instruction documents. Currently my company doesn't have any sort of ...

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