1
vote
3answers
89 views

How should I handle this many characters?

I am writing a series of mini-novels based on a group of teenagers who all have different backgrounds and ethnicities. How should I introduce each character? I mean, they are all kind of main ...
1
vote
2answers
144 views

What connotations do these character names confer?

I'm currently brooding over good character names for a novel I want to write. I was looking at some of the books I read recently, trying to understand why the authors picked the names they gave their ...
1
vote
3answers
420 views

Using quotes for sarcastic text

Are quotes only for spoken text? Can I use quotes to emphasize sarcasm, like when somebody physically makes quote symbols with their fingers while reading?
4
votes
4answers
658 views

Is there an accepted (or 'correct') way to write translations/subtitles for different materials (videos, articles, books, etc)?

There are many ways to go about translating various materials. For example, while subtitling videos from a different language into english, is it better to (or more acceptable) to do a literal ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Is there a way to import a script from Celtx into Final Draft?

Is there a way to import a script from Celtx into Final Draft? Going to switch and it seems as though my script is "locked" into Celtx's format. I'm hoping this is possible and that there isn't a huge ...
3
votes
2answers
191 views

Question re asterisks in MS Word using Styles [closed]

I am writing an ebook with MS Word 2007, using Styles, and want to separate sections with 3 asterisks, but every time I type the 3 asterisks (using Centering Style) it proliferates into a row of ...
1
vote
1answer
307 views

What are best practices when writing technical descriptions?

Occasionally, in my job as an engineer, I write process descriptions of the technology we are selling. Those are part of commercial offers, intended to win the customer. Those are bundled with ...
4
votes
3answers
373 views

How to indicate emphasis in plain text manuscripts

Some short story markets (e.g. Daily Science Fiction) request manuscripts in plain text. How do you indicate emphasis in a plain text manuscript?
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Where to put counter-examples within a 5-paragraph essay?

I am tutoring some students in the very basics of writing a 5-paragraph essay to present an argument, in preparation for more advanced academic writing. I am instructing them to include: An ...
42
votes
16answers
5k views

Should you use two spaces after a period, or just a single one?

I had heard some debate on this topic, and I had always learned to use two spaces after a period. But it would seem there is an argument against it. However, I do not understand what the issue is ...
7
votes
1answer
921 views

Is it plausible to get a contract with an US/UK publisher as a foreigner?

Looking for some insight in the publishing industry. Is it even remotely plausible to get published in with an English-language publishing house (UK/US), when you're not a national nor a resident of ...
7
votes
1answer
216 views

As an new author, how important is to have a personal website?

I'm planning to create a Facebook page where I can (hopefully) build a small fan base. I've seen many authors who have a personal websites. I'm not very sure, though, how important this is, and ...
1
vote
0answers
519 views

A* paragraph on narrative writing and descriptive writing [closed]

I am preparing for an English exam and (although I'm not using your paragraph because I will be given my own title in the exam,) I would like to have an example of the 2 different types of paragraphs ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

Short story cover: “a story” or “a short story” or not putting anything at all

I'm confused because it seems like very few people put "a short story" in the cover of their short stories (only one short story.) In fact, they don't seem to put anything at all. Another authors just ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Order of references

Suppose I have the following references to literature: Miller, H. (1999): … Referred to as: Miller (1999) Miller, F., & Smith, J. (2002): … Referred to as: ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

I want to write a Choose Your Own Adventure styled e-book, what's a good approach?

If you don't remember, Choose Your Own Adventure books had bits of a story, then options for the reader to give them more of a feeling of control in their adventure: "If you want to walk through the ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

How would an agent approach a debut piece written by two new authors (co-authors)

This is still all in the realm of the hypothetical, but given that it becomes closer to the reality, I'm very curious... Let's say you have two new, previously unpublished and unrepresented authors ...
8
votes
2answers
138 views

What are First Drafts, Second Drafts, etc.?

I've been reading a few questions on this site, and I've seen the terms First, Second or Third Drafts. What does this refer to actually? And could someone give a clear detail of what they are, and why ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

What kind of rhythm should I use for these settings? [closed]

I am not particularly experienced with using rhythm in creative writing so please note that I am only a beginner. By "rhythm" I am referring to anything along the lines of syllable count, sentence ...
4
votes
2answers
66 views

Can an expanded version of an article be considered an unpublished work?

I submitted an entry to a contest that requires the work not be published. I met that criterion. I have substantially rewritten the article - it's now six pages instead of two. Basically expanded a ...
6
votes
2answers
814 views

How many errors per page volume is typically “okay” in a book?

Suppose I'm in charge of getting a three hundred pages book published. I'll do all reasonable things to get it proofread, but still there is chance that some errors will persist. Now the book goes to ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

How to format and where to place the “thanks” section for websites in a book?

I just finished a "long" short story. And I want to include a section where I thanks Writers SE for the writing advice and Scribophile for the critiques and feedback. How is that properly done? ...
14
votes
4answers
368 views

When to accept an editor's rewrite request?

So there's an editor who has accepted a story of mine for publication... but he wants me to change the ending. Normally I'm pretty open to editorial changes, but in this case the proposed changes ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

On writing an essay, what are some good techniques to teach to schoolchildren?

I am currently teaching the way to write an essay as this: Step 1, write the topic sentence of the whole essay. Then, in the following first paragraph, develop the ideas that you are going to ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Does reading books help writing skills?

Just what the title says. I decided to improve my writing skills only for blogging purposes (for starters and no, it's not a part of new year's resolution). I am also not really good at writing (i.e. ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Would this be considered abstract writing?

I have been toying around with the idea of writing an abstract Novel. I was thinking about what it would be like if I were to write a book that did not follow standard plot devices, nor the norm in ...
1
vote
4answers
472 views

Cutting down the length of a short story

I'm writing a short story for an assignment at school - but I'm having trouble keep it short. I have a habit to go off on a tangent quite a bit, and this ends up making it a lot longer than it should ...
9
votes
4answers
153 views

When is it acceptable to refer to an undefined group of people in academic writing?

Within my students' college writing, I found much writing referring to essentially imaginary, or not well-defined groups of people. Here are some examples: These days, more and more people carpool ...
1
vote
3answers
119 views

Is it a bad practice to end sentences with phrases like: “…and went over to it” or “…and did X to it?”

I often find myself writing stuff like this: Eri's eyes scanned the room, stopping at the bookshelf. She went over to it and, as if she were searching for a secret passage, she examined each ...
4
votes
4answers
137 views

Is extraneous language appropriate in academic writing?

I teach a course in academic writing. My students, who do not have much writing experience, add many phrases, as in What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?, to the ...
2
votes
4answers
240 views

What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?

I find that my students are using a lot of these phrases at the beginning of their sentences: First... First of all... To begin with... All in all... The other reason is that... Above all... At last ...
3
votes
4answers
201 views

Should I edit the first draft until I'm totally satisfied or should I leave that to the third draft?

After having waited for three months for the first draft of my novel to "cool off," I've finally decided to work on the second one. But now I'm presented with who options: 1) edit the this first ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

What does one call author blurbs at the bottom of journalistic articles?

Sometimes journalistic articles have a brief about-the-author sort of blurb at the end, frequently italicized, of a general form resembling: J. Random Hacker is a dog groomer for the United States ...
5
votes
2answers
290 views

How can I prevent, or work around, unfortunate hyphenation in critical words?

In technical documentation, sometimes the tool's automatic hyphenation makes a bad break in the middle of a term, like the name of an environment variable or function. In these cases I would rather ...
3
votes
2answers
778 views

How do I improve my knowledge of English well enough to write in it?

I have a long-term goal to write a non-fiction book: a critical book about the current state of humanity's moral methodologies and how humanity is better off dead. Much like Friedrich Nietzsche but ...
4
votes
3answers
352 views

A friendlier way to write charges or fees to clients?

What is a better way to write in an email to tell my client that I will charge him a fee of say $100? Often, I feel very reluctant to write these ways: I will quote the hosting and development ...
14
votes
6answers
58k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of writing in first person?

A lot of people are either on the side of first person or the side of third person. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of writing in first person for fiction?
6
votes
1answer
194 views

Is it acceptable to use many footnotes to share additional ideas?

I teach a course in remedial academic writing. The students should learn to write at the graduate level. Some of the students are ELLs. They tend to include many extraneous thoughts and ideas in ...
6
votes
2answers
122 views

Standards for representing user interaction

I am responsible for developing internal IT documentation but have only begun my scratching the surface on technical documentation. Is there a standard or best practice for the following: Example ...
4
votes
2answers
92 views

Should subsection headings sometimes repeat section headings?

In a technical or scientific text, such as a PhD thesis, should headings for (sub)sections be complete and sometimes repeat information from the headings of the levels above, or is it sufficient to ...
1
vote
3answers
214 views

Am I adding too many unnecessary “actions/descriptions”?

I common critique I receive is that I add too many unnecessary actions/descriptions to a scene. Most of the time I just add them to make things "flow" more smoothly. This is a piece from a short ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

Assessing what writing skills are missing

I recently wrote an answer on Parenting.SE about the process of learning how to read. There are distinct sets of skills that need to be mastered before people become proficient readers, and often ...
3
votes
1answer
433 views

Structure of a good summary

OK, I admit I suck at writing summaries, but based on those I've checked on Amazon, I've realized the following pattern: The first part starts with a brief introduction of the plot The second part ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Removing an allocated task from someone [closed]

In the software we're developing, the user can 'allocate' a task to a person or group. Correspondingly he may also take a task away from them. What word should we use: unallocate the task or ...
1
vote
3answers
195 views

How can I avoid word repetition in the following paragraph?

Eri knelt down slowly and thought about her world. The one with the solid ground in which she had stood all her life. Would that surface break apart one day? And when it did, what would happen ...
9
votes
14answers
5k views

What do you do if you enjoy writing, but have no ideas?

I've done some writing in the past - mostly short descriptive pieces, although I once wrote 9000+ words of a story idea I had. What I enjoy about it are the technical, intellectual, creative ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How detailed should I be when writing a character bio?

Basically, I have about 7 or 8 characters (excluding the antagonist) who each have important roles in the story. My problem is that my characters tend to develop themselves, so to speak. I have no ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

young age, youthful age? [closed]

It would be great if you could help me phrase this sentence: Many primary schools students also fail to recognise the importance of consuming breakfast due to their age . Any suggestions for the ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Rhythm in a list

I think I don't have problems establishing a rhythm in a "normal" paragraph. I usually just go: short, long, long, long, short, long or something like that. But when it comes to lists, I always get ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How to depict Australian characters

In my working novel, a character encounters an Aussie. Having nigh-zero knowledge of how to make dialogues in an Australian accent, I just opted to describe that he talks without any hints of an ...

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