8
votes
7answers
390 views

Potential confusion: referring to home planet as “Earth”

I'm writing a science fiction story and it's based in another galaxy, colonised by humans originally on a geographically equivalent "Earth". My current usage refers to it as "Earth" and provides a ...
3
votes
3answers
94 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) ...
2
votes
3answers
185 views

When to start a new paragraph and when to start a new “scene”

This is an extract of a short story I'm writing. Sometimes I get confused about when to start a new paragraph and when to start a new "scene." So I would like to know if I'm doing it properly here ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Where in a CV should I mention a relevant but unpaid (volunteer) project?

I'm writing up a CV (my secret identity is a mild-mannered software engineer); there's a volunteer project I did (related to my undergrad studies) that I want to describe, and I'm not sure where to ...
8
votes
2answers
196 views

In writing a cover letter accompanying a submission to a literary journal, is listing publications in less well-regarded journals detrimental?

Mostly, I've heard that having previous publication credits to your name is beneficial, but I wonder if listing many publications in journals that aren't particularly well-known or impressive might ...
1
vote
2answers
117 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
361 views

What are the advantages to setting a word limit for a short story?

In the past when I've written short stories, I've found that setting a word limit tends to make my writing more focused and concise (generally, the limits have been imposed by a course I was taking). ...
9
votes
2answers
236 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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
116 views

Help write a book review, please

Edited to incorporate @Craig Sefton's suggestions. About a book that I admire, I wrote in an SE computer-programming group: The material seems old -- well, it is old -- because it's been around ...
7
votes
2answers
339 views

Has this dialogue enough suspense to engage the reader?

I still have to make some grammar and writing corrections but I would like to know if this dialogue Has this has enough suspense to engage the reader (so that he or she wants to read more)? “Excuse ...
1
vote
2answers
559 views

Is my essay on group learning clear and well-organized?

I'm looking for all-around advice on this essay (I'm a foreign student, and learning English), but primarily, I wanted to ask is whether my essay is well-organized and clear enough. I mean, the first ...
1
vote
7answers
2k views

Write a resume objective that expresses my desire to hone and sharpen my skills

I wish to convey to prospective employers that I not only want to use my skills, but hone and sharpen them as well. Does the below paragraph do justice to it? Do you have any suggestions? Does the ...
3
votes
2answers
263 views

Does this sign-up email announcement sound friendly and conversational?

This is version 2 of this post The intended audience is from 16-45 m/f, they have given me their email address and will recieve this email because they signed up for a mystery service I'm creating. ...
6
votes
2answers
272 views

How to obtain a thoughtful critique of a job application cover letter?

Sometimes, not always, when searching for my next position or project, I make an effort to write an interesting cover letter, one intended to convey images and passion, a story. I want it to be a ...
4
votes
9answers
246 views

Trying to indicate that the frequency is annoying

I am trying to state that a particular question is not annoying, but its frequency is. I have come up with the below sentence, but I feel like it could be worded better. It is an annoying question ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

First conversation scenes I've written (looking for errors, conventions, and improvements according to writting standards).

Basically, I would like to know if I'm doing something wrong (according to witting standards) in the following conversation and how to improve it to help readability, quality and feeling (making it ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Personal Page - review request

I have created my personal about page, based on "The Personal Page" template. As a non-native English speaker I worry, that my attempt at telegraphic style is riddled with questionable use of ...
4
votes
3answers
137 views

Feedback on technical blog post

I've recently composed a blog post about World of Warcraft Authenticators and would love for some feedback as per the quality of writing. Obviously no matter how many times I read it there's no ...
3
votes
3answers
321 views

How to improve this introductory paragraph (to fit writting standards and grab the reader's attention)?

A clock is striking 4:00am at a psychiatric clinic. The darkness, the silence, and absence of people makes it look like a morgue. A young mental health professional is sitting in a chair ...
4
votes
4answers
555 views

Can my paragraph use better adjectives and descriptions?

I feel my punctuation is all over the place, and the adjectives are not as charming as I think they are. If anyone has watched the beginning of the first Lord of the Rings, where the hobbit is lying ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Asking for exam results

How can I ask my English teacher for the results of an exam? I came up with the following text, but I am not satisfied with the result. The more polite the better. Are the commas placed correctly? Do ...
3
votes
5answers
159 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
188 views

Critique of short essay

Basically I need some critics regarding the following points: Does this description essay archive its goal (a creepy story with a 'sappy' ending)? How is the 'rhythm' of the story (is there ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Critical review of blog post

I wrote a blog post a long time back. For this post I chose a writing style very different from what I'd read or what I'd seen before. Some guys did criticize me and others did acknowledge me for the ...
2
votes
3answers
277 views

Please help me polish this paragraph.

I'm learning English as a foreign language. In one of my writings, one paragraph goes: But it's not saying we just indulge ourselves and turn into wild beasts. We train our brain hard so that we ...
2
votes
4answers
112 views

How could this paragraph of writing be improved [closed]

I wrote this but it really doesn't read nicely. How could the following paragraph be improved? With the increasing green movement, subsidies for energy produced by solar panels installed on ...
1
vote
4answers
229 views

“…and the fire from the stove engulfed him” or “jumped on him” or “covered him” or “devoured him” or what?

Which verb should I use here? He opened the stove and the fire from the stove [engulfed/jumped on/covered/devoured] him. "Help! Help!" - he shouted at once. "I'm on fire!"
3
votes
2answers
123 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" ...
4
votes
3answers
197 views

What revisions for this draft would be more readable and/or more humorous?

Notes: My audience knows that adrenaline and epinephrine are synonyms. I'm new! I'm sorry if I abuse the site by posting this! Please critique ruthlessly. I would send by Facebook message to a ...
7
votes
4answers
227 views

Critique: Intro/Prologue to my Novel-in-Progress

all. Please forgive me, for I'm afraid I'm a novice when it comes to writing fiction. I wanted to get the community's thoughts and recommendations for improving the below passage. I realize it ...
1
vote
1answer
134 views

The Prophet: Part 1, Awakening .. Question about being “Too condensed”

As per Jeff's answer here on meta, I'm posting a Critique Question. Let me know if I'm not following the process correctly. My story for critique is found here (pdf, or you could go to my story ...
7
votes
4answers
486 views

Does my first paragraph grab your attention?

I'm working on a new M/M romance novel about a guy who's trying out nudism and an experience nudist. Does my opening paragraph succeed in drawing in the readers attention and making them curious? Does ...
5
votes
3answers
156 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
441 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
138 views

How do I use my blog as a platform for practice and improvement?

I've recently followed the advice of our very own Jeff Atwood and started a blog site in order to become a better writer and communicator. My goal is to improve my skill at technical writing and ...
5
votes
3answers
696 views

Different kinds of editors

I've noticed references to different kinds of editors such as copy editor, line editor and development editor. I'd like to know the different categories of editors and their job descriptions.
5
votes
2answers
757 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
3answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
245 views

How to get feedback about the quality of one's fictional writing from friends unbiased by the friendship?

It is a little strange to ask, but are there ways to get feedback from friends about the quality of fictional writing (whether they liked it, not more objective aspects like spelling/grammar/etc.) ...
13
votes
5answers
360 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
136 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
26
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do hardcover books retail for more than three times the cost of softcover books?

One thing I've noticed while browsing bookstores is that hardcover books tend to cost more than softcover ones. Oftentimes a hardcover book that's five times the price of a paperback doesn't have ...
12
votes
2answers
67 views

Notes Placement

Why is it standard for a book's notes to be placed at the very end of the book—book endnotes—while only a small minority of books place each chapter's notes at the end of each respective ...
3
votes
1answer
318 views

Literary criticism term for character espousing author's ideas?

Is there a term in literary criticism for a character who espouses the points of view of the author? Especially, but not necessarily, if that character has no other role in the work. (This is ...
4
votes
2answers
41 views

Source for literary terms?

The other day my wife, who went to quite a good school, told me that her literature teacher had taught her class abbreviations of terms which they were then asked to write in the margins of their ...
7
votes
1answer
113 views

Rhetoric vs Figure of Speech

From Wikipedia, I learned that figure of speech is change of general usage of words. When it's a change of the ordinary or expected pattern of words, it is called "scheme", while when it's a change ...
5
votes
1answer
41 views

How do limited edition book pre-orders work?

Publishers occasionally publish a special limited edition. How do they ensure that the number of pre-orders do not exceed the quantity that will be limited? It seems a nightmare logistically, as ...

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