All Questions

1
vote
2answers
118 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
389 views

Should I put colons with second-level titles?

I'm writing a documentation for an eGovernment project, so the document I'm writing is a scientific document. It contains some big ideas, each having some subideas, with each subidea having a number ...
1
vote
3answers
156 views

Is it a bad idea to have all the action in the beginning and all the dialogue in the end?

I wrote a short story. All the action happens mainly at the beginning of the story. You can see part of the beginning in this question, and the full story here). This is the dialogue and ending (just ...
1
vote
1answer
563 views

Tips for describing features of unusual place that I often visit

I'm having problems describing certain parts of a place that I usually visit. Here are some pictures: For instance, I have no idea how I should refer to the wooden platform on the left (so I just ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

APA Formatting - Changing Adjectives in a quote

Should I change "our" to "their" in this quote? If so, how? As stated in their 2011 Annual Report, Siemens’ identity and corporate culture is defined by their vision to be a pioneer, which is based ...
4
votes
1answer
443 views

When to use the character's name and when to use she/he?

This is the first short story where I'm using actual names for the characters. Here is a sample: "Sorry for the question," Jun said. "But why don' you have friends?" Ling glanced at him, then ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

What's the difference between academic and journalistic writing?

I'm not talking about "boring" academic papers that are 99% science and 0% interesting. But in comments on a draft of my senior thesis, my teacher made the comment that my writing style was quite ...
15
votes
3answers
373 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

A tricky serial semi-colon

A serial comma is used to separate a list of items: For breakfast, we had ham, eggs, and toast. A serial semi-colon is used when items in the list have commas: For breakfast, we had ham, ...
13
votes
5answers
370 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What would sections of a book that are larger than a chapter be called?

I'm writing a technical book, and I want to split my book up into about 3 to 6 very broad sections, each of which would have several chapters in it. Is there a standard name for these broad pieces ...
0
votes
2answers
208 views

How to improve the ending of my short novel (mostly dialogue)? [closed]

In a previous question, I asked about how to improve the opening of my short novel. The following is the ending: "Can I talk about something that makes me feel strange?" he asked while searching ...
2
votes
1answer
313 views

When to use single quotes in narrative writing?

I understand there's a certain element of stylistic freedom in using quotes, double quotes, or neither. But what are the specific cases when single quotes are generally recommended?
27
votes
16answers
3k views

How can I catch more errors when I proofread?

I have a problem where I often proof my own writing and I don't catch all the errors while I am reading through it. I often miss entire words out of sentences or find myself repeating words. I can ...
1
vote
2answers
344 views

Will this opening and dialogue grab the reader's attention? And how can I improve it?

Disclaimer: I'm not an native English speaker Here is the first part of a short novel I'm writing. For the description I wanted the reader to have an idea of the place first and then let him know ...
1
vote
3answers
6k views

How to write polite deadline email?

I'm trying to collect feedback from my colleagues and the deadline is on 10-April-2012, 2.00pm. So in my mail I write: Please email your feedback to me before 2.00pm, 10-April-2012(Tuesday). ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Cite the article title (from a book or website) in the text

How do I cite both the author and article title of a website or book in the text? Here is an example reference: Smith, A. (2012). How to cite an article title. Available: ...
0
votes
4answers
363 views

How to use “I think, therefore I am” in a more fluent manner?

I want to allude an experience that feels almost like Descartes' idea of "I think, therefore I am". Because the phrase is a proposition, I find it very difficult to fit in the statement in because I ...
3
votes
1answer
334 views

How Important are essay writing conventions in the university level and above?

I go to a CEGEP, which is basically pre-university in Montreal. In my Introduction to English class, I had a teacher who allowed us to go around the typical essay writing conventions. Conventions like ...
1
vote
3answers
277 views

Self-contained software environment for authoring research papers

Does a self-contained environment for authoring research papers exist? Clearly, the concept might be a little unclear, so here's an attempt to better define what I mean: All sources used would be ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

How to write a powerful but uncomplicated conference biography?

I am working on a bio for a development conference I am presenting at. My writing style causes my Flesch Reading Ease score to trend high. While I like what I have below I'd like to simplify it a bit ...
0
votes
1answer
504 views

What are the names of the different levels of English?

In a recent discussion regarding software manuals, we came across the issue of different styles of writing / speaking in English. I am having a hard time finding a list of the different styles, such ...
5
votes
1answer
154 views

How to do literature review

We often hear that literature review (LR) is not mere summarizing the writings of other, rather it is scrutinizing finding the material relevant to one's own research and the gaps to be filled. Can ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Is Patent text copyrighted?

When using text from articles published in journals and magazine, we need to obtain copyright permission from the copyright owner (publisher or author). I wonder if we need copyright permission when ...
2
votes
3answers
142 views

Would it be weird if I write “a simple sample something”?

Not getting too technical, I am writing a configuration file for a piece of software I have developed. This software allows others to write "services" and attach them to my software. I have written a ...
2
votes
2answers
785 views

how to cite CD-ROM resources (Turabian)

I have the PC Study Bible, which is a collection of resources (Bible versions, commentaries, &c.) bundled together and accessed via a special software program. How do I cite one of the resources ...
7
votes
3answers
696 views

What should be put on scene notecards? (for novel writing)

Once, a while back, I tried to use notecards when noveling to organize and develop my novel. The idea (a fairly common one, I believe) was that each scene is noted on a notecard, and you can then ...
3
votes
6answers
848 views

Is it overkill to follow style-guides for technical writing?

I currently work for an engineering company as an electrical engineer. A good chunk of my time is spent writing testing reports or instruction documents. Currently my company doesn't have any sort of ...
5
votes
1answer
566 views

How can one write about illegal deeds without getting into trouble?

What is some good advice for writing about things done, in an autobiographical sense, that may have been or still are illegal? For example, smoking or buying marijuana is illegal in many countries, ...
1
vote
3answers
110 views

Is calling this process a “convergence” accurate and clear?

I planning to write about the convergence of our real world and the computer reality world. My plan to develop on this idea is to describe this convergence as a "merger" between our real world and the ...
4
votes
3answers
101 views

Floating vs Float

I was writing a short story piece where one person drops something in the water. I got puzzled by the following two choices. Google books seem to be using both of them. Jena and Mike went outside ...
4
votes
2answers
847 views

What is the best way to learn technical writing?

I have a moderate level of skills in technical writing (TW) having gone through graduation in engineering. I was wondering what would be the best way to sharpen my knowledge. I am also interested in ...
-1
votes
1answer
73 views

College Application Essay Opening and Help [closed]

I currently have to write an application for college that I wish to go to over the summer. I have no idea where to turn and what to write. The prompt is to explain my interest in technology. Two ...
2
votes
4answers
152 views

Where to find authors for highly technical articles?

I've looked at some of the largest outsourcing sites. These have huge amounts of software developers, and huge amounts of casual writers. I'm having enormous difficulty finding authors that would be ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How to convert DOI to citation information

The DOI website will redirect to the article webpage on the journal official website. Is there is a public automated system to translate DOI to citation information? This can be beneficial for ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are some words in screenplays set in all caps?

I believe I understand this and I'm looking for confirmation. Examples: It has become a tugging match with the Weird Man shouting, "I'll take you to a taxi... I'll take you." Ahead, a group is ...
3
votes
2answers
239 views

How do you estimate the length of your screenplay in screentime?

The title says it all. I'm talking about a feature-length film here, although I'm sure the techniques are universal.
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there any syllable-counting applications for poety writing?

What software tools, if any, which can count the number of syllables on each line, to aid in the writing of English-language poetry? What features and pros and cons exist for each?
3
votes
3answers
352 views

Color Scheme for Print and eBook

I am currently writing a book intended for print (POD) and eBook (PDF/ePub displayed on different devices, including iPads). I use InDesign (CS4) to create the book. The book uses colors for the ...
5
votes
3answers
269 views

Is there a name for this kind of sentence structure?

I've seen this construction quite a bit, although only in the last five years or so. It's a transcription of a way of speaking, where the speaker is emphasizing something by using a verbal full stop ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

How do you get into screenwriting?

If you want to publish short fiction, you send it out to magazines. If you want to publish a novel, you send it to literary agencies. But what if you want to sell a screenplay? Who do you talk to?
5
votes
1answer
173 views

What printing methods and quality can I expect of POD companies?

Due to the growing popularity of POD, many small companies are coming to the market, and makes this business very competitive. However, I hardly see comments on the quality of printing (paper, ...
3
votes
4answers
552 views

How best to handle revealing a main character's name midway through a long story in close-third person?

I'm writing a novel, and it's written in close third person perspective, very much sitting on the shoulder of one main character and privy to their thoughts. There is another very important character ...
1
vote
3answers
113 views

Avoiding “and” as a sentence structure

I have a horrific habit I'm finding it very difficult to break. A disturbingly large portion of my sentences consist of the same structure-- two parts separated by "and." I don't know how to break the ...
4
votes
3answers
131 views

What's the appropriate way to write numbers in educational contexts like papers?

I want to know if numbers should be written alphabetically in educational contexts, for instance: 10 plasma samples out of 1016 cannot be ignored. Or Ten plasma samples out of one thousand ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

Can I use my own previously published magazine article in my own book

I had an article published for 1st rights in a magazine. Can I use an excerpt or all of the article in my own ebook? I now own the copyright and am unsure about the rules of fair use pertaining to my ...
2
votes
2answers
390 views

Petty Character

As a part of one assignment, I need to create of a character who is petty. His pettiness causes him (or her) conflicts with other characters around him (or her). I am not quite familiar with this ...
4
votes
2answers
145 views

Can I write reference books about a fictional universe from an existing franchise?

I want to write some reference books containing details about the fictional universe of some popular franchises, such as Tintin, or Star Trek. This would contain short plot summaries (1-paragraph in ...
4
votes
6answers
574 views

Need help to rephrase this sentence to prevent a run-on

I'm writing a narrative and am having a problem structuring the order of events. Here is what I have: Jamie had an 8 am flight so she was out of the house just after 6. Leaving me to wake up, ...
9
votes
4answers
346 views

Balancing loads of equally-important characters

If you have a dozen good guys, but four of them are the protagonists and the other six are more in the background, it's not that hard to skew the pagetime of each character towards those that are more ...

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