4
votes
5answers
159 views

Naming my character

I am a beginner, would like to know if I can start a short story calling my main character "he" and then introduce his name later. If so when is a good time to do this?
4
votes
1answer
366 views

Word Clouds and Phrase Clouds

I'm familiar with word clouds (or tag clouds) as used on blogs or on sites like Delicious. It seems to me that a tool similar to that could be of use to writers like me, who don't have an editor, when ...
4
votes
2answers
599 views

Is it legal to use a parental advisory on a book?

I am a motivational speaker and am self publishing a nonfiction book about child abuse. i ahve some inappropriate language in the book and want to know if my designer by law can use a parental ...
4
votes
2answers
74 views

Plain translation or cultural adaptation?

I've written my first novel in Spanish, my native language. The main character is Spanish and starts in Madrid, then goes to Zürich and ends up in the Alps. I've tried to get it published with no ...
4
votes
1answer
993 views

Promoting your books when you've written under a pseudonym/pen name

I know this question could be considered a "list" question, or "subjective", but I think that it is a valid question and can be quite helpful for a lot of authors. My question is, as a self-published ...
4
votes
2answers
210 views

Visualizing multiple word-based changes among many text files

I've written a piece of fiction with GitHub, which means I have access to many version of my writing. I'm curious to see how my writing adapted over time. Did I keep eliminating then re-adding a word? ...
4
votes
3answers
221 views

What symbols are used after difficult words in a text to refer a reader to a glossary for a definition?

What symbols used after difficult words in a text to refer a reader to a glossary for a definition? I'm really looking for the most commonly used / accepted symbols and I am wondering whether ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Using ACM style, how do I cite an article without a specific author's name?

I'm using Mendeley, and trying to cite this article using ACM citation style: Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus American Diabetes Association Should the author be "N/A" or ...
4
votes
1answer
346 views

singular or plural for index entries

I am in the final stages of writing a book and currently I am preparing the index. Are there any rules whether index entries should be listed in singular or plural? Currently I have Markov chains, ...
4
votes
1answer
195 views

How can I prepare for a career in instruction writing and editing?

To technical background authors (e.g. Isaac Rabinovitch) who would possibly work in teams with non-technically trained writers: How can I prepare myself to be able to do what you do? How can I ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I change a novel from first person to limited third person?

For various reasons (increased clarity, and an interested agent), I'm rewriting what was once two first-person POVs into a third person limited POV. Other answers have previously established the ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How to write time duration correctly

Within a user manual, I need to convey the maximum time period allowed as "365 days 23 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds" - are commas expected between each component? Is the word "and" expected before the ...
4
votes
1answer
43 views

What are some good methods for framing the theme of a writing contest?

I am designing a writing contest for 13 and 14-year old EFL students. The students have very limited experience with creative writing and I will not have any time to give them practice on ...
4
votes
1answer
226 views

What tense to use in an academic paper when speaking about correspondence?

What is the correct tense to use in an academic paper when speaking about correspondence? Say one of my source materials is a letter written by someone named William, in which he says he went to the ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
103 views

ePublishing Conference Proceedings

We have an annual conference, and as part of this conference we have a curated collection of papers published. Circulation is pretty minimal, so we are working on getting out of dead tree land and ...
4
votes
1answer
36 views

How to Write a Pitch Letter?

I've recently accepted a job working for a publicist who is linked to a well renowned celebrity chef. My first assignment is to compose an email that can be used to pitch blog post sales. What ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

Where can I find literary agents that publish books by minors?

I'm writing a book and I would like to know about some literary agents that publish books by a child. I write many stories (I'm writing as I get ideas) but this is my first book, and I would love to ...
4
votes
3answers
607 views

“Works” in Works Cited when there is only one source?

I am currently writing an essay on Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and I only have one source. Do I still call it a "Works Cited" page? I read this following website, but it didn't seem to help: ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

How to cite literary (fiction) fragments in a naturals sciences journal?

I'm writing a grant in psychology/cognitive neuroscience. I am considering including a fragment of a book at the beginning, to illustrate the question. Regardless of whether this is a good idea, is ...
4
votes
3answers
119 views

What is a ballad?

I've always wanted to write poetry, and I tried my hand at a ballad today. However, I know very little about the technicalities of poetry, and the explanations of iambic meter and structure of the ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

Chicago- Paraphrasing a whole page from Author into 1 paragraph- what is the citation?

In a technical paper I am writing, I am taking a whole page of information and condensing it into a paragraph. I am using a mix of the authors words and my own. My question is can I cite the end of ...
4
votes
5answers
239 views

Past tense vs present tense

I’m writing a short story. I am using the past tense, but I have sections where I describe people and places that are supposed to still be in existence. Should I continue to refer to them in the ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

Capitalizing “The” in Title Case - Increases Engagement?

I regularly write advertisements for a client who insists that capitalizing "the" improves conversion rates (the number of people that click or buy). I know that it's technically wrong and it drives ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

Does a writing medium exist which preserves reading order but also allows commenting and editing?

I'm looking for a medium or a type of live book that's somewhat like a wiki or a blog, but with linear order, like a book. What I mean by this is, paper books and ebooks are arranged by the author so ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Where can I find examples of nonfiction book proposals?

I am looking for complete examples of nonfiction book proposals. Preferably, these would be proposals that resulted in actual published works. I've already read Larsen's book, and it does have some ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

How to retrieve the number of copies sold for a specific book?

I'm doing a research and I'm would like to know actually how many copies of a specific book has been sold until now. I really don't know where can I find this number and what is the more accurate way ...
4
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Should I use present or past tense when the narrator talks about an universal/most-often-true statement?

Eri raised her eyes to the screen again. What a terrible thing it must be for an earthquake to hit right on your birthday. She wondered how often that happened. Maybe earthquakes are completely ...
4
votes
2answers
67 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
108 views

Referring to people in a book

I'm writing a book (travelogue) about Japan, comparing it to Sweden, where I'm from. During my travels I communicated mostly in Japanese but occasionally in English and Swedish. The book is in English ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How are citations formatted in serious non-fiction (proposals)?

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about scholarly work of the sort that might be published by a university press. I'm talking about work by people like Goodwin, McCullough, or Larson. These kinds of ...
4
votes
1answer
171 views

How long has the “scene” method been used for writing a novel?

I've noticed that many authors discuss "building" their novels using scenes as the fundamental building block. Be it by software or notecard, the scenes are identified, arranged and written, then ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

Can the same book appear in a different series?

A book series is a sequence of books having certain characteristics in common that are formally identified together as a group. Book series can be organized in different ways, such as written by ...
4
votes
3answers
328 views

Can a mock-magazine with fictitious content count legally as fan fiction?

I contribute to a motoring website, well, one that's got Photoshop of cars, motoring history etc. - it's a small obscure site with only a few users. Recently I've been learning InDesign and Quark ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Preventing the symbolic conflict of “Hunger Games” from overshadowing widespread social plight [closed]

SPOILER ALERT: Questions and answers may contain spoilers for all three books in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Symbolic Conflict as the Climax of Social Conflict I noticed an ...
3
votes
8answers
1k views

My Hero is captured, now what?

I'm trying to write an escape scene in a fantasy novel. My problem is that I've spent a fair amount of effort explaining what a dire predicament my hero is in, and now I don't know how to get him out. ...
3
votes
5answers
346 views

My first act is lengthy. And I cannot shorten it. Any Suggestions?

After the great amount of encouragement that you all gave me here, you'd be happy to know that I finally started writing my novel and I'm writing whenever I get time. Special thanks goes to Lauren for ...
3
votes
3answers
165 views

How do I keep a journey sequence going?

In my story, my characters have to go on a journey, plus it's medieval. (So original right?) Anywho, they've already been captured by road robbers once and escaped. Also, they've stumbled upon a town ...
3
votes
4answers
991 views

How do you convince your publisher that your story is good?

Any suggestions on how to convince your publisher that your story is good, and that it would be a good idea to publish it?
3
votes
6answers
303 views

Should I describe my characters going to the toilet?

Should I let the narrator (third person) describe that my characters are going to the bathroom (for a sense of realism and accuracy) or should I simply omit it as it as it adds no value to the ...
3
votes
8answers
267 views

Is it possible that my short novel will be boring to my readers because it only has two characters and the location doesn't change?

In my story, there are two characters: a schoolgirl and a strange person with a creepy mask who gives her a tour in an art museum at night. Well, actually there is a third character; the boyfriend of ...
3
votes
5answers
112 views

Should you publish or share poetry that was written simply in an angry or sad rant?

I've written a poem exploring my conflicting emotions of anger and the joy that the anger keeps supressing. Is it appropriate to publish a literary work based on such intense negative emotions?
3
votes
7answers
1k views

Verb tense for technical document titles

I'm writing a technical manual about creating database systems, and wondered what is the best verb tense for title names. My ideas are: Continuous (-ing) form: (e.g. "Creating a Cluster", "Creating ...
3
votes
7answers
323 views

Beginners can break rules too?

I came across several disciplines of writing which one must know while writing (especially beginners), concerning narrative conventions and the rules of story logic. Some of the sources for this ...
3
votes
5answers
4k views

How can this technical message be made clearer?

How could this technical sentenced be improved for better clarity? Cannot translate the ‘name1’ concept1 to the ‘name2’ concept2 because the higher precedence ‘name3’ concept3 also exists, which ...
3
votes
3answers
293 views

What techniques do you use to invent snappy turns of phrase?

We all know clichés are bad[1] and that fresh, inventive and "fitting" phrases will delight and entertain our readers. What techniques can be used to invent such phrases? Sometimes they just "...
3
votes
8answers
569 views

Constructed Language - how to spell words that will be mispronounced in English

I wasn't sure how to phrase the title, so it may be a bit confusing. Feel free to edit it if you can phrase it better. This question may be better suited for Worldbuilding SE. However, it is about ...
3
votes
8answers
594 views

Is it OK to invent as I write, or should I plan the entire story first?

I have read Harry Potter and am a big fan of J.K. Rowling's writing and I had always had this urge to blog and to write. So, I started a blog - 2200 Common Era. I've the basic idea of writing a ...
3
votes
7answers
403 views

my first comedy plot draft is very bland. how far can I go on calling this out?

I'm currently working on my first book, a sci-fi comedy set on an alternate history Earth which has progressed at twice the rate of our own planet (they were at our current tech when William the ...

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