2
votes
1answer
110 views

How to combine a visual and textual outline

I am a Ph.D. student in engineering, so most of my writing fits into a fairly strict idiom: the IMRaD (Introduction, Methodology, Results, and Discussion). In general, I like to use an outline to help ...
3
votes
2answers
677 views

Writing subjectively or objectively? (IELTS writing)

I'm asking this question in the interest of getting a high score on IELTS writing, specifically Task 2, the 40-minute 250-word one. My primary confusion is whether to write subjectively or objectively ...
-1
votes
3answers
196 views

Which well-established vanity publishers offer publishing for money and how much money is enough?

I know that you need an agent to communicate publishing with big guys like Random House etc. However, I also know that money can buy almost everything and surely can buy publishing of a book. Maybe ...
6
votes
2answers
407 views

Is there some guideline that I can point to about the overuse of bold and underline?

I am getting really tired of getting emails and PowerPoint presentations in which half of the words are bold and underlined. There is also excessive use of exclamation points, all caps, and overly ...
8
votes
1answer
190 views

Tools for exploring and analysing document structure?

I'm currently writing a thesis. Just the introduction is 25 pages/8000 words. The whole document will probably be 70 pages or so. With a document this large, and on such a complex topic, it can be ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

Should this sentence be included in the Executive Summary?

I found some examples of good and poor example of executive summaries here. Everything seems fine but in one of them, they included this sentence - "All calculations can be found in the ...
4
votes
3answers
479 views

Can a literary agent be hired?

I've sent my manuscript to tens of literary agents. Strangely enough, I received no positive response. My question: Can I hire a literary agent? If yes, how much it costs? Are there other ways ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Getting a Manuscript Reviewed

I've had a few friends review my unpublished manuscript, and they were in my target market and quite knowledgeable in English. What are some good ways to get some more reviews, of a decent level in ...
6
votes
8answers
858 views

Correct spelling errors while writing or after you've finished?

With the "write, don't edit" rule in mind, how should one handle mistyping? I usually stop or go back to fix the error as soon as I spot it, but often I feel this breaks the flow of writing. Should ...
8
votes
3answers
394 views

Spiritual elements in a science-fiction novel

Does using unexplained spiritual elements (soul, "spiritual"/non-physical beings, afterlife, God, etc.) in a story with a futuristic setting make it science fantasy rather than science fiction?
5
votes
2answers
102 views

Are there any metrical dictionaries?

There are plenty of rhyming dictionaries; is there such a thing as a metrical dictionary? Sometimes in fixed-form poetry, I need a word to fit a specific position in a line, and it would be really ...
0
votes
2answers
123 views

Am I correctly referencing chapters which belong to the same book?

Looking for some help on how to reference chapters in a book inside of a booking I'm helping with. Should I be capitalizing Chapters 3 and 4 and would referring to chapters simply by capitalized ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
8answers
5k views

Best tool to create ebooks?

What is a recommended tool for turning a completed manuscript (a Word document) into an ebook (specifically, an EPUB file or Kindle-compatible Mobipocket file)? I would prefer something that: ...
5
votes
6answers
463 views

Does this feel like natural English?

Although I'm pretty confident in my English, I'm not a native English speaker. I need to write a short introduction for a symposium; I'd like to know if you think this paragraph feels like 'natural' ...
8
votes
13answers
1k views
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Avoiding unintended rudeness or accusatory tones in reminder emails

I am in one of the newsletter teams of my company. Last week, I had mailed the Vice-President of our company to write an article for our newsletter, to which he replied in affirmative and mailed me ...
4
votes
2answers
245 views

Is it safe to write about a fictional murder in a real-life location?

I am writing a novel, and part of the plot has one character killing another in a specific real-life location. I mean the setting is extremely specific - for example, a particular hotel, or one ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a beat?

I keep hearing the word "beat" in Writers.SE, as in "... break your scene into beats" from this question. What is a beat? How is it different from a scene?
2
votes
1answer
130 views

What resources will teach me about the state of the art in technical writing?

I've been asked to modernize some technical documentation - user manuals in particular. I have some guidelines, but a lot of free rein to take it in whatever direction I think is worthwhile. Where ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

When to use the em dash (—) in fiction writing?

I always see the em dash (—) in fiction writing. Here are some example from Haruki Murakami's After Dark: Komugi comes in and takes something from one of the cartons piled against the wall—a ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

Adding dementia to writing

I am wondering if it is a good idea to include a sense of dementia in my writing. For example, it's a personal narrative where the character is traumatized for a paragraph. I feel like a good way to ...
6
votes
2answers
681 views

What permissions do I need to write a non-fiction book based on personal interviews?

I am writing a non-fiction book based on recorded interviews with several people. I have recorded verbal consent to be interviewed for the book from each person. One of the interviewees has since ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Faith, Hope and Love as the keys to victory in an action-adventure novel?

I'm at the outline stage of my novel writing. It is pretty straightforward to think of an action-adventure novel's victory as attained by physical attributes and/or courage. I'm looking for ...
4
votes
5answers
181 views

How can I reconcile the exposition of the three act scheme vs. starting out with a bang?

I am a few thousand words into my newest draft and starting to question if I picked the right beginning. As usual, when I get back into the habit of writing regularly, I have also gotten back into the ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

It is unprofessional to use double exclamation marks and CAPS in a product or service?

I'm developing a website: http://alexchen.info/brianfunshine/ My customer wrote the following in the front page: Hi, I’m Brian “Funshine” Alexander. I offer professional Music, Voices, and ...
5
votes
3answers
196 views

Is it really necessary to add things like “I thought, I wondered, etc,” in first-person narrative?

Example: The whole thing sounded a bit strange. How had she gotten my number? I wondered. I didn't know anyone called Maria. The whole thing sounded a bit strange. How had she gotten my ...
9
votes
5answers
463 views

How can I learn how to outline, so I can write like an architect?

I've just watched one part of Brandon Sanderson's lecture on writing, the section entitled Gardeners & Architects and I realised I'm a Gardener, almost exclusively. This often ends up with me ...
4
votes
1answer
190 views

Habits and routines for my first tech writing job

A Japanese company has offered me a gig helping translate an Android1 business application + documentation into English. Their staff will do a rough translation, and I will polish it into something ...
5
votes
4answers
299 views

How can a new writer make a realistic estimate of his work rate?

This question relates to my earlier question Habits and routines for my first tech writing job which I was told to split into two parts. My first technical writing / translation gig starts soon. A ...
2
votes
1answer
529 views

In-Text Citations: Author-Date v.s. [Number]?

I was reading a guidance of the APA style and I am now confused with the in-text citation part. According to what I have read, When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

How can I improve the effectiveness of my examples to grab the recruiters attention?

I am in the process of answering the question please indicate any leadership roles you have held for a particular job application but still feel as if my replies lack a certain crispness and flow. So ...
3
votes
1answer
186 views

Path to publishing a technical book

I'm 21 years old female from South India. I would like to publish a book which concentrates on any one latest computer technology. Now, I have completed my BE- Computer Science and Engineering. I'm ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

How do I start a business-presentation?

How do you welcome a business audience to your presentation? I've thought of: Hello, my name is [prename] [surname] and I am going to talk about [...] but it sounds rather like a school ...
1
vote
5answers
388 views

Is the following piece of text comprehensible and written in good style?

I am a PhD candidate and I am having difficulty in communicating effectively in writing. Specifically, this post is a piece of text submitted for critique and, in addition, explains what I am trying ...
7
votes
14answers
2k views

Is the iPad a convenient medium for writing work?

Does anyone here write on an iPad at all? The iPad 2G is due this summer and I have waited since March 2010 already, so I am planning to purchase one. However, I don't really need an iPad at all; ...
4
votes
1answer
282 views

How to determine if a freelance writing website is reputable and provides assignments that are worthwhile?

I know of the sites Elance, guru and Odesk for finding freelance writing work. I am interested in finding others. How can I search for them? Is there a list or resource anywhere? When I find sites ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the best way to show a foreign language in a manuscript?

What's the best way to show a character speaking a foreign language in fiction manuscript? Should the foreign words be italicized and include a translation? Should it just be included in the sentence ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Help Formatting for Kindle Direct Publishing on Mac?

I'm taking up the task of publishing some content to Kindle. I've been reading up on their documentation and been trying to get something to show up in the Kindle Previewer App, using a combination of ...
3
votes
4answers
251 views

How do I approach writing an autobiography?

I have never kept a diary, and some time back I thought it would be fun to work on some sort of autobiography to note down any memorable events etc. I am not famous, and even if completed the ...
11
votes
1answer
99 views

Where to find comparative information about publishers?

Is there any reference for comparing publishers (or at least major ones)? Writers choose a publisher based on fame or by chance, but is there any system for rank of publishers? Or providing ...
3
votes
3answers
198 views

What's the correct vocabulary for a web application tutorial?

I am writing a tutorial on how to use a specific web application and I don't know which verbs to use. Shall I use "click" for buttons? But what if the user doesn't use a mouse? Contrary to "normal" ...
2
votes
2answers
438 views

How do I write a relevant CV for submitting a manuscript to a literary agent?

I am submitting a children's book to a potential agent whose submission process asks me to send this: a covering letter in the body of the email, and a synopsis of the proposed book with the first ...
3
votes
3answers
325 views

Italicizing and adding accents to Spanish words in an English novel.

In my current novel I have a few characters who speak Spanish. The book takes place along the Texico border, so it happens frequently. I know that in more foreign Spanish, or when someone speaks a ...
8
votes
5answers
462 views

How does one present spoken dialogue as a secondary language to signed speech?

I was starting to leave a comment on this excellent question when I realized I had come up with a second question which was equally intriguing. If you're writing a story where 95% of the ...
2
votes
2answers
109 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
163 views

What can an agent do for me if I only write short stories?

Recently, I have been having moderate success with my short stories, being selected to have my work read at several local literary events and winning a competition for a major literary journal. I ...
1
vote
3answers
484 views

Cutting down on paragraph size

As a novice writer of fourteen, I've tried a few attempts at science fiction (military science fiction, to be specific), and of course my writing's got HUGE mistakes and shortcomings. But the most ...
5
votes
2answers
190 views

Breaking the 'cooling down' rule after finishing the first draft

I've read that after finishing the first draft, you should distance yourself from the project at least a month. I just finished the first draft of my novel (10 chapters). I've been trying to not to ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

Translation of my book “Babymoves” into Japanese

I have written and self published the book 'babymoves' in 2002. It is now in its third edition. I sell it through my website. I have been approached by a Japanese woman, wanting to translate the book ...

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