6
votes
2answers
770 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
243 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
399 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
173 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
837 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
712 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
244 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
94 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
471 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
411 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
436 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
286 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
259 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
305 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
254 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
392 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

How to handle taxes for a self-published book

I'm thinking of publishing a book on kindle, but I don't currently have a business set up. Do you need a business to publish a book? I'm curious as to how to handle US taxes for the royalties. I ...
6
votes
2answers
224 views

I want to explore the psychology of a ruthless, macho killer. What mistakes should I avoid?

This is a follow-up to another question. I asked "Should my readers be able to identify with the bad guy?" and got an excellent answer which explains the continuum of "identifiability" for bad guys. ...
5
votes
4answers
451 views

Do I need to know anything to write a short story that I wouldn't know by studying how to write novels?

For a long time now, I've been reading books on how to get the first draft of a novel written. I've finally begun putting the knowledge I've gathered to practice and look forward to the results. In ...
0
votes
0answers
62 views

How can I find good venues for publishing my work? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where to publish poems I used to write poems and stories. They were published in local newspapers many times, but I did not get any benefit besides this limited ...
3
votes
2answers
247 views

How can I describe the effect of building up a mental exposures? [closed]

The idea that I wanted to convey is that a certain constant exposure to an object would build up a mental library of experiences with the object inside our minds. So, my intention is to write this ...
12
votes
5answers
870 views

What marketing techniques are effective for short story eBook collections?

I have a collection of short stories that I'm currently selling in the Amazon Kindle marketplace, and one of the biggest hurdles to actually getting my works read is lack of exposure. My passive plan ...
3
votes
2answers
723 views

How can I put something in book format without “publishing” it?

I have a friend who has written a series of great nursery rhymes. I would like to put these rhymes into a book as a gift for my friend, but I don't want to give up my friend's first publication ...
13
votes
2answers
882 views

Is Scrivener involved in the editorial process, or is it strictly a writer's development tool?

Is there any reason that an editor should know how to use Scrivener? I generally see manuscripts after they're out of draft but before proofreading. (I'm an editor.) However, I see a lot of talk ...
5
votes
2answers
146 views

What exercises will help me write my co-author's character?

I'm working on a novel together with my co-author, K. K's come up with this great character - a sassy were-cat name Garlic. Unfortunately, I'm having a really tough time writing for Garlic - K has a ...
11
votes
3answers
141 views

How can I keep up with my co-author's detail creation?

Keeping track of details invented for a work of fiction is never simple, often requiring writing bibles and continuity editors. But when two people are working on the same book simultaneously, then ...
8
votes
3answers
454 views

Should my readers be able to identify with the bad guy?

I'm in the process of defining the characters for a novel. It is a crime fiction, with a really strong focus on the characters. I hope to construct really rich, complex and clearly defined characters. ...
13
votes
6answers
744 views

Will blogging my fiction limit its ability to be traditionally published later?

Somewhere, don't ask me where, I picked up the idea that publishers don't like works that the public has already been able to access. When a family member suggested I post short pieces of fiction to a ...
12
votes
4answers
281 views

How to get feedback about the quality of one's fictional writing from friends unbiased by the friendship?

It is a little strange to ask, but are there ways to get feedback from friends about the quality of fictional writing (whether they liked it, not more objective aspects like spelling/grammar/etc.) ...
5
votes
2answers
120 views

How does collaboration affect a publishing contract?

A publishing contract is generally a contract between a publisher and an author; a collaboration seems to add an additional party to the agreement. I would like to know what kind of complications this ...
6
votes
2answers
481 views

How do co-authors' rights to a manuscript work?

When an individual writes a novel, he owns all rights over the manuscript until he starts selling those rights to others. What is the situation when the novel is a collaborative work? How are such ...
9
votes
3answers
180 views

What do publishers do for me?

I'm writing a book, and it's my first one. It seems to me that the following things need to happen to publish my book: Finish the book Design cover (a friend is helping) Edit manuscript (help of ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Kindle self-publishing, automatically update

I have a couple of small ebooks available on Amazon via Kindle direct publishing - I've just found a mistake in one of them so I fixed it and have reuploaded the file. I'm assuming that everyone who ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Are there good writing exercises for compressing expression?

I recently sat down and wrote a poem after a long hiatus. It was a narrative poem with a formal rhyme scheme. I'm pretty dissatisfied with my initial draft, as it was far too wordy. Besides editing ...
13
votes
2answers
182 views

How do you avoid the problem of a collaborative work having separate voices?

I've not done collaborative writing before, but I've read several works, and sometimes the text strikes me as having a split personality: some parts were clearly written by one author, while others ...
9
votes
2answers
131 views

How do collaborating authors choose an agent?

If two authors collaborate, and each of them already has an agent - then who handles the collaborative work? Do the authors decide to be jointly represented under one of their two agents? If that's ...
5
votes
4answers
591 views

How can I make description more natural to me?

Description is a weakness in my fiction. My understanding is that the first priority in fiction is to tell the story. Setting does this by providing props and indicating character mindsets, either ...
1
vote
1answer
311 views

ESL Writing How to quote article sentence?

I am studying English as my second language. I was thinking about following situation. In a writing class, I wanted to say "the author's argument" but the author name showed up the first time. so I ...

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