All Questions

-1
votes
1answer
90 views

Writing for all ages? [closed]

What writing style should be used if you are attempting to write a book for the general public between the ages 9 through 25?
1
vote
1answer
330 views

Is the order of appendices according to their references fixed?

Is it really necessary to place the appendices in a book in the order in which they are referred to, or is it possible to have a "logical" order, i.e. place them in an order which would be chosen when ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

How to write a book for a given reading level?

I have a son in kindergarten who is interested in reading. He also loves the stores that I tell him each night. These are usually just made up on the spot and are pretty silly. If I wanted to write ...
3
votes
2answers
221 views

How do I express opinion informed by my beliefs without being hamfisted? [closed]

As authors, our influences can come from many places. Religion is definitely one of many influences on people's work. I believe a work should be a reflection of its author, yet religion can be really ...
5
votes
3answers
75 views

Deaf speechmarks? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does one present spoken dialogue as a secondary language to signed speech? I want to write a novel and I was thinking of including a deaf character. I want to know ...
4
votes
5answers
572 views

How can I make a collection of essays / arguments more attractive to publishers?

I've written several essays and am still working on some that I would like to eventually get published. The issues I cover are on a wide range of topics ranging from Scientology to Piracy to ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Is self-publishing a good option? [closed]

Is the self publishing route one that is considered acceptable these days? Specifically, I am writing short stories, and there is no real chance of getting a publisher to look at short stories without ...
1
vote
3answers
146 views

How do I use my blog as a platform for practice and improvement?

I've recently followed the advice of our very own Jeff Atwood and started a blog site in order to become a better writer and communicator. My goal is to improve my skill at technical writing and ...
5
votes
4answers
309 views

How can a new writer make a realistic estimate of his work rate?

This question relates to my earlier question Habits and routines for my first tech writing job which I was told to split into two parts. My first technical writing / translation gig starts soon. A ...
3
votes
2answers
540 views

Do I need an LLC to self-publish a political book in Florida?

Do I need to form an LLC to self-publish a political book out of Florida? Although, I have tried very hard not to break any laws, I am worried about frivolous or spiteful lawsuits. I am trying to do a ...
3
votes
1answer
459 views

Literary criticism term for character espousing author's ideas?

Is there a term in literary criticism for a character who espouses the points of view of the author? Especially, but not necessarily, if that character has no other role in the work. (This is ...
4
votes
1answer
584 views

Is there a style / terminology guide for Android OS application documentation?

This relates to my earlier question: My first professional writing job: any advice? I will be involved with writing documentation for an Android OS business application. Is there an Android style ...
4
votes
1answer
194 views

Habits and routines for my first tech writing job

A Japanese company has offered me a gig helping translate an Android1 business application + documentation into English. Their staff will do a rough translation, and I will polish it into something ...
4
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
546 views

Problems with constructing a complex sentence with many ideas in it

I am trying to write a sentence that tells the reader that the works displayed that they are about to see will bring them back and forth between the real and virtual realms, in a figurative manner. ...
2
votes
1answer
210 views

Does there have to be a difference when writing different genders? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The opposite sex in first person? How to write realistic female dialogue Is there an inherent difference in how man and women speak that would translate to writing ...
5
votes
1answer
754 views

When do I need to obtain permission to photograph and write about a business, work of art, or person?

I am preparing a book which will include lots of short passages, on a variety of subjects, many of which are related to a single area in a city. Each passage will also have a photograph, which I ...
2
votes
1answer
665 views

MLA formatting for multiple in-text citations of the same soure

I am writing an essay and must use MLA formatting. I can format the MLA formatting for the speech on the works cited page but I do not know how to form my in-text citations. The whole speech is done ...
3
votes
3answers
63 views

“The company from Redmond” vs “The Redmond company.”

I'm writing an article about Microsoft for my tech' analysis website and I got into a stylistic roadblock. Which of the following sentences should I use? As I said before, the company from ...
3
votes
4answers
155 views

Not knowing a character's name. Would this be frustrating for the reader?

I have a project I have been working on for many years. It is quite personal and is intended for a small audience. In the story, the protagonist is trying to find/help another character, who for ...
0
votes
1answer
246 views

Describing a machine's world in a metaphorical manner

The actual meaning that I want to convey is sort of like a good design covers up the nitty gritty technical aspects of a machine and provides a smooth experience when using it. I want to describe ...
5
votes
2answers
375 views

Explaining that experience is far greater than official job title implies

Hopefully this meets the FAQ under the 'Non-fiction, technical' section. I work as a Graphic Designer, but I want to apply for a job as an Advertising Account Manager. While my title at my current ...
6
votes
2answers
779 views

Should I prefer long or short sentences in scientific writing?

Currently, I am writing papers with rather short sentences: About half of them contain around 20 words, about 10% to 20% even less. I am doing this for three reasons: I find short sentences easier ...
2
votes
3answers
161 views

Is it acceptable for a tech book to consist of only 2 chapters?

I am interested in writing a book on a particular class of natural products. It would discuss the products' isolation and biological functions - these are the two chapters that I can fit into the ...
5
votes
3answers
244 views

Slow openings: What is it about this Neil Gaiman opening that pulls the reader in?

I was blogging about opening lines the other day, and looking for examples. I came across the opening to American Gods, and realized that it's neither flashy nor something that will grab the reader in ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Could a different structure for “Feast of Crows” have been a better solution to Martin's five-year-gap?

The latest two volumes of Martin's Song of Ice and Fire have been poorly received compared to the series' earlier books. What's interesting here is that Martin's original plan did not include these ...
4
votes
2answers
403 views

What methods does Rowling use to establish Dumbledore as being wise and trustworthy?

In the Harry Potter series, Dumbledore seems to represent ultimate wisdom and authority. Harry (and the readers with him) hold him in awe; many times throughout the series Harry willingly accepts and ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

How could the surprise-villain thread have been less contrived in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone”?

Throughout Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry is certain that Snape is serving Voldemort, and bulling Quirrell into helping him. At the climax, we learn that Snape is protecting Harry, ...
3
votes
1answer
349 views

Is a movie script more like a short story or a novel?

The writing techniques used to develop a short story are probably different from those used in developing a novel. My question is, how should I approach writing a movie script? Given the main ...
16
votes
6answers
845 views

Best practices for maintaining documented code examples?

A good SDK (software development kit) includes plenty of well-documented examples. It also includes good tutorials and developer guides, which introduce concepts in logical progressions, typically ...
11
votes
2answers
218 views

How do you build good per-book *and* global indexes?

For our SDK, we generate individual documents (PDFs) and one big HTML doc set (CHM file) from the same Docbook source. Each book has an index, and the HTML version has an integrated index that is the ...
5
votes
2answers
719 views

How to concentrate when writing?

I looked through the questions and didn't see this one so hopefully it's not a duplicate. I often have ideas of stories I want to write and I work on outlines or write down elements and I know what I ...
1
vote
1answer
246 views

How to improve/fix this short introductory paragraph and dialog?

These are the things that I want for this introductory paragraph: Grab the reader's attention Create a melancholic and dark atmosphere Inside was dark with just enough light to see shapes, and ...
6
votes
1answer
95 views

Are there online research resources that cater to writers?

I tend to run into a bunch of domain-specific questions when I'm writing, such as: What happens to a jet flying at low altitude, at super-sonic speeds, when its cockpit gets breached? What's the ...
4
votes
1answer
987 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
83 views

My “Bio”. Is the language OK? [closed]

I have a personal website and I have an "about me" text. I though I'd post it here for professionals to tell me if it's OK (English is not my primary language). My name is Primož Kralj, I am 22 ...
0
votes
1answer
481 views

How can I make this essay more succinct?

I just finished re-re-reviewing an essay for an application to school. The essay seems to be flowing nicely, but as always I feel it is not succinct or crisp enough. I do not want this to be a ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Citing Myself As a Source

I'm writing an academic paper on ethics in robotics. I have a previous paper that I wrote and would like to use material from it. If I use the material from this paper, that I wrote, do I need to ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Indirect source quotations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Citing speech and interviews in biographies How do you quote an indirect source (source quoted in another source) when there are explanatory words within the indirect ...
4
votes
5answers
415 views

How can I learn to write by hand again?

For a while I moved away from pen and paper, my handwriting was bad, it was sloppy, digital was the future. I barely write anything now, I don't even have notebooks or nice pens. But writing by hand ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

Style signatures and uncommon formatting patterns

Style signatures are bits of words and phrases used consistently throughout the entirety of a work (but not necessarily among my unrelated works). I would like to try using style signatures in a work ...
4
votes
5answers
438 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

How does one avoid bland, generic fantasy while they write?

I have been mulling over the plot and characters for an elaborate fantasy work for a number of years now. The longer I mull things over, the more possessed I am that this story is worth telling. The ...
2
votes
3answers
287 views

Is “sparkle” the correct word?

Is sparkle correct in this context? Is "Sparkle" used for positive thoughts or is it also possible to use it for negative thoughts? What is better alternative? (If any) What will happen if we ...
8
votes
2answers
260 views

How do I decide if writing expository scenes that won't be in my finished novel is useful, or procrastination?

I tend to burn out developing my stories before they even reach the page, so I'm taking some advice to pants a novel. I didn't quite follow the advice to the letter; I used an idea that had been ...
5
votes
1answer
306 views

How can I find short-story spinoffs for my fantasy epic?

I write epic fantasy; I've written two trilogies in a joint setting, and am writing further books in the same setting. I would like to start writing short stories for my setting as well - stories ...
4
votes
3answers
256 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

File specifications for HTML folder --> Kindle? [closed]

OK, so on the Kindle website there's all about how to go from .doc --> HTML --> kindle. But I write primarily in HTML, which is what Kindle uses in the first place, so it seems silly to convert to ...
5
votes
2answers
396 views

What are the advantages to setting a word limit for a short story?

In the past when I've written short stories, I've found that setting a word limit tends to make my writing more focused and concise (generally, the limits have been imposed by a course I was taking). ...
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 ...

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