4
votes
1answer
1k views

How would I find a publisher who is accepting unsolicited manuscripts from authors?

This question on finding an agent has an answer linking to this post which really tears into literary agents. I'm not sure if it is justified or not, but it got me thinking about a the alternate ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

How to show that the current scene is a continuation of an earlier one?

So my book starts in the middle of action, and ends on a cliff hanger. It then goes back a week in time, and builds the story from there. Eg, in the start, the heroine is forced to free a demon, who ...
4
votes
7answers
187 views

Level of description in a story

I have often come across stories where the author has described a particular scene or action of a character in minute details. e.g. If a character has to open a door, the description is about how the ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Figuring out when a book was printed [closed]

I've recently purchased a book from Amazon, and I was curious as to when it was printed. I looked at the copyright page, which looks like this: The biggest year number shown in this page is 1991, ...
50
votes
20answers
2k views

How to overcome the fact that I can't write?

My problem is that I basically suck at writing. Especially prose. Part of it is basically because I don't practice as much as I could. Part of it is because I'm just not talented in that way. ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a good project management software for writers?

I would like something in which I can set targets - like write/edit 10,000 words a week, set a final end date for the project, set mini targets, track any lag etc. The only PM software I've used in ...
6
votes
6answers
171 views

How can I dig conflict out of an optimistic SF-nal premise?

I frequently have ideas for what could be called "optimistic" science-fiction premises - imaginary technological or social changes which I think would create an unusual and interesting setting, and ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Hand gestures of “Come on” and other short words

While writing stories how I describe the action of hand gestures that many use instead of saying "Come on". Is there any reference? I found list of hand gestures in wikipedia but it doesn't say how ...
23
votes
10answers
6k views

Is it worth switching to Dvorak?

I've occasionally thought about trying the Dvorak keyboard layout to improve my writing speed. However, I wonder if the speed gain is really worth the initial learning curve. I'm curious if anyone ...
2
votes
5answers
679 views

First person pov with more than one main chars

I really love -- and most of time write in -- first person point of view. The novel I'm writing is somewhat different from what I'm used to. I have four main characters -- I don't see any of them as ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Ebook Formatting for all platforms

My kindle ebook does not display properly on my pc and mac browsers. It appears fine on the kindle app for my android phone. Is it possibe to format an ebook so that it can show up in the same way on ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

How should I introduce my characters?

I'm pretty good at creating compelling characters with decent personalities and motivations. I like the comradery vibe, so they're generally already part of a posse of some sort at the beginning of my ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

Legalities about fictionalizing current events

What are the legalities of taking something currently in the news and writing a story/novel/movie (but not a documentary/biography) about it? Take Snowden, for example. Someone went and made a movie ...
3
votes
2answers
187 views

At what point can a story be considered “erotic”?

I would like to ask for any guidelines that could help to determine when a story can be considered "erotic". Is it based on the words, the number of scenes or on how detailed they are? Shortly, if I ...
2
votes
5answers
504 views

Techniques for creating variety in prose

When I write my short stories, I usually end up using a direct style as follows: Tim remembered the day he had to say goodbye to Cathy. He did not really have a choice. He had to let go of Cathy, ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Using “by” on the book cover

I have seen many books covers with the following format: [Title] by [name of author]. In other instances, the word 'by' is omitted. Is there any convention for using 'by' on the cover page of a ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

Is the following analogy effective and clear?

"Why you so sure the stone doesn't exist?" Yuki asked. I took a sip from my glass, then raised my eyes. A moth was hovering around the wall lamp. Yuki was right: why I was so certain about ...
2
votes
2answers
604 views

When to use semicolons and when to use em dashes?

Sometimes I can't decide whether to use a semicolon or a em dash. Usually, I start with semicolons and once I noticed there are too many of them, I start replacing a few with em dashes (as I read ...
3
votes
3answers
213 views

What's a good program for tracking submissions?

What's a good program or technique for tracking submissions? I need something that'll keep track of who I've submitted to, when, if they've replied, and preferably tell me how long it's been out. Any ...
12
votes
7answers
501 views

How do you track submissions to publishers/markets?

What tools (software or otherwise) or procedures do you use to track the progress of submissions to publishers or other markets? How do you reduce the chance of accidentally (and embarrassingly) ...
13
votes
4answers
187 views

Are there any good magazines about writing?

As in all other fields I'm interested in, I love to have a subscribtion that makes sure some hugely inspirational material gets dropped into my mailbox once in a while. I'm not looking for magazines ...
4
votes
4answers
681 views

Proper attribution of copyrighted lyrics in a story

If I put several lines of a copyrighted song in my text, and mention the band name, how can I be certain that my attribution is sufficient and guarantees against legal action? From what I've been ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Other options for “had had”? [closed]

Although the use of "had had" is grammatically correct, it doesn't read well and seems awkward to me. Take for example the following sentence: I had had enough of this nonsense and was ready to ...
15
votes
3answers
379 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
459 views

Resources on Minimalist Style of Creative Writing

I recently found out (see here) that my writing style can be described as minimalist. I am fascinated by this 'revelation' because it has helped me understand why I write the way I do. (I have no ...
2
votes
2answers
262 views

API reference doc: best practices for describing opaque parameters?

The reference documentation for an application programming interface (API) is, in modern systems, usually generated from the code itself automatically. For example, for Java interfaces a typical tool ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Mashery vs. Apigee

I was wondering if anyone could lend some advice as to the pros and cons between using Mashery versus Apigee for documenting an API? I have do some evaluating and have about 2 weeks to come up with a ...
5
votes
1answer
141 views

Expectation of privacy using a pseudonym?

I'm wondering how possible anonymity is when using a pen name. I have no idea how that works with modern publishers. Your real name must be public information somewhere in that transaction. So is ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Good Outlining Solutions For OSX?

I write technical non-fiction and find that I cannot write well without first constructing a detailed (10-20 page) outline. Are there any good outlining solutions for OSX? Apps? Templates in Microsoft ...
2
votes
3answers
97 views

How much can I talk about other people's works?

Let's say I'm writing a novel set in the future, clearly on Earth, with all the history that has happened through today. Obviously in the real world, there are numerous works of fiction that are ...
1
vote
3answers
183 views

Is it necessary to make clear “when” an event occur in a flashback?

Few examples: Saki first became aware of her sixth finger at the age of five. Her aunt had come to visit the house that afternoon, bringing Rika (Saki's favorite cousin). (...) ...
2
votes
3answers
271 views

How to decide whether or not to accept publishing offer for short story?

I am an unpublished writer straight out of college. After graduation, I sent out a few stories to a handful of places-- no more than five or six. It is now about 1.5 months later and I just received a ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Is it possible to publish stories with experimental spacing technique? (aka, blank pages, etc.)

I've got a few stories that employ experimental stylistics. The piece that is giving me the most trouble, though, is split up into five sections-- each section begins on its own page. It's hard to ...
0
votes
1answer
179 views

Does it sound more natural to use the character's way of speaking while describing his/her inner thoughts?

In the following example, the character is a five-year-old: Saki stared at her side. Her cousin was right: she had indeed an extra digit on one hand. How come she hadn't notice it before? ...
2
votes
6answers
283 views

How do I keep up with current written English language?

I am a speaker of English as a foreign language. I appreciate that English is a living language and that different regions in the world use English differently. I wanted to know how I can keep up with ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

Attributing quotes to fictional characters

Let's say, for example, that I want to post my favourite quote from Babylon 5 somewhere: "I'm not saying what I'm saying. I'm not saying what I'm thinking. As a matter of fact, I'm not thinking ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

Describing a character's panic and confusion

I wrote the following: When I opened my eyes, it was still dark. Half asleep, I got out of bed, and entered the bathroom. As I emptied my bladder, I checked my face in the mirror. For an ...
7
votes
5answers
386 views

Swearing - Censor, allude, or include?

I was reading this thread, but it didn't quite the answer a question I had about creative writing and whether profanity should be used or not, in a way that is best for creative storytelling. Here's ...
4
votes
5answers
480 views

How do I balance reading time with writing time?

It's rare to find a how-to-write book or blog that doesn't have this advice: "Read. Voraciously. In all genres, especially your genre of choice, books both good and bad. You won't develop as a Writer ...
-1
votes
1answer
54 views

Re-phrasing help [closed]

'The glass filled with water slipped from Kekibhoys's hand while he was lost in his thoughts.' This is the opening sentence to a short story that three of us are collaborating on. I feel this ...
3
votes
2answers
221 views

Should a piece of fiction be made of 100% concise writing?

I recently finished reading William Strunk's Elements of Style. The book mostly teaches how to write concise paragraphs (e.g. by removing, changing, and rearranging words). So I decided to apply that ...
-1
votes
0answers
61 views

How can I say “Facebook will not get you anywhere”? [closed]

For a sticker I need to express this idea in the best way possible: Facebook will not get you anywhere. It is in a motivational way, trying to convince people that Facebook will not give ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Metrics for assessing the persuasiveness of a paper?

Are there any known variables to measure, or questions to ask in survey, in order to asses the persuasiveness of a paper? For example, I'm not sure if omitting a section from my paper might actually ...
12
votes
8answers
4k views

How should I break up chapters in a novel?

Is it acceptable to pace my chapters in terms of an event? Can I get away with a 4 page chapter here, and a 30 page chapter there? Are there any reason why I should or should not be sticking to a ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

How to maintain an unchanging tone to the narrative while writing collaborative fiction? [duplicate]

Three of us have just finished the first complete draft of our first attempt at collaborative fiction. While the plot and the story are tightly knit, we have are facing trouble in maintaining the tone ...
3
votes
3answers
109 views

Units to use in travelogue-book (time, weight, temperature, distance, etc)

I'm writing a book (travelogue) about Japan in English, detailing my walk across the country a few years ago. My target audience is English speaking countries, and I'm trying to write in American ...
0
votes
3answers
333 views

Why do authors start a paragraph in an indirect way?

I found that many writers of magazines or novels say something in a way that is not straightforward and to the point. Like this: Dressed like a latter-day Steve Jobs in a tight black long-sleeve ...
2
votes
1answer
240 views

How do I quote a song from Youtube? MLA format

I need to quote a song from Youtube. I don't own the song and the artist who sings it hasn't put an official version on YT. How should I do this? It needs to be in MLA form. This is the song: ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it correct to use verbs like “sighed” and “laughed” as dialogue tags?

In other words, is it correct to write something like this: "Oh," he laughed. "Sorry, I'm not sure what's with me today." (Every time I see something like this, I think: "How is this peson ...
1
vote
2answers
187 views

How does one involve people in writing non-fiction?

I haven't written anything serious in a while, but I would like to get back into writing non-fiction. In particular, I want to write about "big ideas" that interest me; however, I realize that ...

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