1
vote
1answer
50 views

Stuck at outlining a script

I have an idea, and it seemed like I had a somewhat clear understanding of the story, it's theme and most of the major plot points, but no matter how long I sit there and how drastically I tweak the ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Lists of description appropriate for formal writing?

In a formal piece, is it appropriate to write a list, especially one of descriptions? It's the easiest way to get information across sometimes, especially on a tight word limit. For example, if I had ...
0
votes
1answer
576 views

How to approach an “Imagine and Describe” creative essay prompt?

I have this prompt for a creative essay as part of my application into a summer program: Participants in the Summer Programs for High School Students come from approximately 75 different countries ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Words vs minutes goals

Under which of the following goal structures are writers more prolific (prolific in terms of quality content): words-per-day minutes-per-day (Presuming agony is not quantifiable.) I doubt there's ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Should a long flashback be written in first or third person?

In my novel there will be a chapter-length flashback as one character relates a story from his past. The rest of the novel is written in limited third-person, seeing into one person's mind at a time. ...
7
votes
4answers
609 views

Skipping details in a scene

I often struggle with details in a scene, and thought maybe I could just skip some of them while trying to keep the scene seamless, but I'm not sure how. This is an example from the scene I'm writing (...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

How detailed should the description of the POV character be?

I have close to no experience of writing, but I have an idea that I would like to make into a short story (if for nothing else, for the sake of the exercise). It is a fantasy story seen from one of ...
6
votes
1answer
433 views

What are the poetry/quotes at the start of a chapter/book called?

For instance, "A Rasin in the Sun" starts with the poem "Harlem." I've noticed many (mostly contemporary) novels will start chapters with pieces of Poetry or quotes that are completely separate from ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

Should “plot” or storyline be the main determinant of what goes into a story?

In writing a screenplay, I created a bunch of scenes, with about twice as much material in total as I needed. So the job was to cut things down to size. In so doing, I found that a number of scenes (...
4
votes
3answers
200 views

General copyright - How much is actually copyrighted?

I find myself seeking a lot of ideas for my alternate universes, novels, short stories, and so forth. Exactly what can be considered copyrighted, and what isn't? Let me give you some examples. Star ...
3
votes
4answers
113 views

How can I learn to think and interpret things more critically?

As a freelance journalist, I spend a lot of time reading the media. Often I'll come across an article that I admire, and feel is leaps and bounds above my own work. Naturally, I want to learn from ...
1
vote
2answers
169 views

How can I implement more show less tell in my writing? [closed]

I wrote this piece, but have had quite a lot of problems with showing, not telling. I am wondering how I can add More SHOW and less TELL in this piece of writing. The morning was warm. Just like ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
381 views

What's a nice title for a persuasive essay arguing that affirmative action is not helpful? [closed]

What is a good clever title for a persuasive essay against affirmative action? In general, how do you come up with clever titles?
4
votes
5answers
99 views

Writing many entries/articles, storing them, and browsing them

I'm looking for software that will permit me to write articles of various sizes, with a title and tags for each article. The program should store the content, and then allow me to browse (whether from ...
11
votes
7answers
572 views

The polymath's dilemma…?

The main character of a YA story I am working on is fast becoming a polymath, i.e. someone with a broad base of skills and interests across unrelated areas of endeavor. I really like how this ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Studies of when to kill a character

I have a pretty simple question: Are there any studies/surveys that show the appropriate time to kill a main character earliest? I am talking about studies among readers/viewers of books/movies/...
5
votes
4answers
145 views

Should word choice be varied or consistent?

I've heard from some English teachers that word choice should be varied because consistent word choice is boring, but I've heard from a different English teacher that word choice should be consistent. ...
1
vote
4answers
256 views

Multiple POV novel - introducing rules of magic

I have an urban fantasy story that is told from multiple view points. I'm wondering on the best way to introduce the rules of magic within this piece of work? I have about 10 points of view total ...
8
votes
5answers
659 views

Methods for creating slang

I am interested in creating slang or a vernacular for a particular group in my story. I want it to be distinctive and a definite marker for in-group/out-group, but not incomprehensible. I'm not ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

APA style in-text citations

How would one differentiate between two different sources (websites) that both: Have the same title Have an unknown author Do not list a publishing date/year
2
votes
2answers
55 views

What are the psychological ramifications if my protagonist is injured by accident or via an attack?

I am currently working on a super hero short story in which a hockey player (the protagonist) suffers a brain injury in the first scene which leaves him in eternal pain. In the quickest explanation ...
1
vote
6answers
279 views

Referring to characters that are too familiar for a name

This question is very similar to this one. However, I felt it was different enough, and I also did not find an answer. In the tale I am currently writing, a girl, whose parents have both been long ...
1
vote
5answers
497 views

What's the best text editor for a technical reference manual?

It is my first time writing tech manuals and I don't know what to use. Some people recommend me LATEX but I think it's too complex. I basically need a text editor that let me: Type latin characters ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Non native writers who learned English late

Does there exist example of non native English writer who learned the language late in life?
1
vote
5answers
121 views

How to avoid switching between formal and informal in an essay?

I recently wrote an essay for a history class and the teaching assistant commented that he found my switch between formal and informal style "jarring." I think he was specifically referring to for ...
6
votes
9answers
435 views

Should dull dialogue be removed completely?

The following dialogue is from a novel I'm writing (first draft): "You're quiet tonight," Erin said to Benjamin, who seemed to be lost in thoughts. He looked up and took a sip of his drink. ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

The opposite sex in first person?

I have been writing about not just one, but two females; sisters. I've toyed with different methods/persons in this, but it seems I've come to an obvious roadblock. I wouldn't call it "writer's block" ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Degree of symmetry in lists

For example, is the flow disrupted or does it sound weird if only one of the items has an adjective? My understanding of zoology was poor, but I knew animals would do everything to survive; ...
2
votes
4answers
314 views

How to deal with cliche dialogue?

The following is from a story I'm writing: "Goodbye Choco," my mother said, to end the prayer, “may your soul rest in peace,” and crossed herself. “Sorry I couldn’t come earlier,” I said. “...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

How fast do traditionally-published books sell after they have been published?

Of course there are many answers to the question of how fast major publishers move their books after publication, but I am looking for something like the truism I once heard on the radio and cannot ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

I want to reference TV shows and other media in my story. how do I avoid copyright issues?

It's still early yet, but I'm working on fantasy novel. To cut a long story short, it features characters from Earth in a fresh fantasy setting, and one of the cast is a bit of nerdy and inclined to ...
3
votes
6answers
287 views

Are there words that are “stronger” than others? If so, why?

By strong I mean causing intense feelings in the reader. I thought about this while I was editing my novel (I consider the second cases to be stronger words): I turned to the left I twisted ...
4
votes
3answers
227 views

Are there times when delayed character development is acceptable in fiction?

In my screenplay, I have my female protagonist wear Prada, and perhaps drop other hints of her character, but not act like Miranda Priestly for the first two acts, until she gets a promotion at the ...
2
votes
4answers
260 views

Clichéd Actions

I sometimes catch myself writing excessively clichéd descriptions - not in the words, but in what the characters do. For example, they always seems to end up pacing up and down the room while waiting ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

How Much $ For Advances?

My friend and I are writing a fly fishing book about the renowned and unknown rivers in Oregon. There is a decent audience from this book and we have had two publishers say they might be interested ...
12
votes
3answers
411 views

Podcasts useful for improving writing skills

Any podcasts that can help with writing skills? (One per answer please, I'll add my own fave to get started.)
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it bad to include subplots that don't push the story forward?

I want to add a few chapters that don't push the story forward; they only explore the background and motivations of the characters. The best example I can think of is the Fly episode in Breaking Bad. ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

How do I tell my short story?

Based on this outline, I'm not sure how to to best re-tell this story. In particular, I'm not sure if I should tell the story as a first person "narrator," or in the third person? What are the ...
3
votes
2answers
219 views

Should I use ideas for my story now, or in a sequel?

I have built a world in which to write my fantasy book, and I'm currently writing my first book about it. I have it all planned out and am in the process of writing it. I have plans for a further book ...
1
vote
2answers
591 views

Can a male writer write from a female perspective? [duplicate]

The question is pretty straightforward. Can a male writer write a first person story of a female protagonist? What limitations might he face in writing about the other gender? Should he just stick to ...
8
votes
7answers
329 views

What are the reasons behind Writer's block?

I read the question Help! I've got Writer's Block which explains solutions to the problem. I was wondering why someone gets writer's block? Is it anxiety? Is it due to the fact that the ...
1
vote
5answers
114 views

Is there an objective way to determine that writing is “stilted and cluttered”? [closed]

For question, see title. For example of supposedly "stilted and cluttered" writing, see below. The Constitutional prohibition against political dynasties cannot be made clearer, but no ...
4
votes
5answers
482 views

Condensing words, to condense or not?

I am doing a lot of writing lately. Novels, short stories, and so forth. I have one person that tells me, Immense improvement from the first version. A great deal of your description is ...
5
votes
3answers
627 views

using ideas posted on social media: is it ok?

I have a question about copyrighting.I was scrolling through tumblr the other day and someone had posted an idea that said something about people seeing in black and white until they meet their soul ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Good style guide on order to list people for non-fiction writing?

I'm looking for a style guide that indicates the proper order to list people in a sentence (given age, rank, etc). In particular, I'm sort of curious as to whether this was really appropriate Gary ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

What's the proper way to cite multiple interviews across a paper in Chicago Style?

My friend is writing a paper in Chicago style and she is citing multiple interviews. The citations keep switching back and forth between different interviewees. What's the correct way to cite them? ...
2
votes
4answers
161 views

Direct thoughts

The most commonly given advice for using direct thoughts seems to be to format them in italics. I am not really satisfied with that, however. I haven't seen this used anywhere (granted, I do not read ...
1
vote
3answers
47 views

How to describe a hypnotized state? [closed]

I'm making a computer game. In one of the dialogs, one of the characters observes some factory workers who have been brainwashed by some alien species and drive forklifts up and down the factory yard ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

How do I punctuate a statement that a character is ordered to say in a future scenario?

How do I punctuate a statement that a character is ordered to say in a future scenario? I don't want to use speech marks because its not a quote or a dialogue. My thinking may be wrong though. It's ...

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