5
votes
3answers
1k views

Does reading books help writing skills?

Just what the title says. I decided to improve my writing skills only for blogging purposes (for starters and no, it's not a part of new year's resolution). I am also not really good at writing (i.e. ...
1
vote
3answers
140 views

What did Norman Mailer mean?

I read this quote recently, attributed to Norman Mailer, that has had my brain itching: Alimony is the curse of the writing class. What did he mean by it?
4
votes
5answers
380 views

What software can handle both revision control and layout?

I'm desperately looking for a book publishing solution that can handle revision control and layouts. My issues/requirements are as follows: Typists are extremely non-technical and I would like to ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

What is the business model for Creative Commons books?

I notice that a lot of computer and programming books are now licensed under various permutations of the creative commons license. Half of the books published by No Starch Press and Apress (at least ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How to create varying, yet realistic, speech patterns

Different characters speak differently. If someone reads me a letter written by an immediate relative, I can tell right away who wrote it. I believe --and correct me if I'm wrong-- that giving each ...
7
votes
4answers
621 views

Using poetry in novels a good option?

I write fiction as well as poetry. And many a times I use poetry as a tool to bring out that acute feeling of pain or love (as required) in my explanations. What if I use poetry to introduce or end a ...
2
votes
3answers
132 views

How do you connect a non sequitur hook to a novel?

A pineapple is walking down a street, but here’s the kicker: he’s completely naked. That was a non sequitur hook I thought of. I figured that it would raise a bunch of really interesting ...
1
vote
3answers
176 views

Is writing a light read or “chick lit” a good option for an aspiring literary fiction author?

I live in India and here light reads and "chick lit" have made a great impression. The youth are picking up such books like petrol on fire. Even non-readers are giving reading these genres a try. ...
4
votes
4answers
519 views

I suck at plots. Is there a way to sort of train oneself to think of creative plots, specifically in scifi?

I'm pretty good in the writing department as far as prose, it's just that I'll sit down and have no idea what to write. Perhaps it's a creative problem, I just don't know. I cannot figure out any ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Is it okay to attempt to write in the style of another person, and how is that done well?

I want to write like Neal Stephenson- I read Snow Crash and absolutely fell in love with the style. I'm trying to write a cyberpunk style book myself, and I have a good plot (I think), but I want to ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Quality examples of 'in medias res' starting sequences in SF literature

You can find my initial trials here, and, based on feedback, version two here. I was trying to create a sort of 'flashforward' opening (please don't cite Sawyer) for a novel. That is: of the 45 ...
7
votes
5answers
667 views

How to develop a story for a novel?

I am looking for some inspiration on where to start writing a novel. I have a general idea for a plot and characters, but I don't feel it's enough for sitting down and starting to write. It needs a ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How to explain a war scene?

In my novel, I have a part where there is a war scene, and I need to explain it precisely from the king's point of view. How can I explain the war graphics vividly?
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Clarity: What supports it? What hinders it? [closed]

A friend recently challenged me on communicating an idea clearly, and we ended up discussing clear thinking. I explained that in the idea communication process, concepts sometimes get tangled amidst ...
4
votes
2answers
49 views

citation for source from which a list of references was drawn?

I'm writing a paper in which I have reviewed a list of reports and have summarized data from each. I have cited each of those original reports. However, I originally located some of those reports ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Is emphasizing a point by underlining still appropriate?

Instinctively I find underlining for emphasis distracting and much prefer bold or italic. From my research it seems underlining is a carryover from typewriters that were incapable of italicizing or ...
0
votes
3answers
370 views

American English: Is it acceptable sentence structure to write, “May God have compassion on your family, in whole.”? [closed]

Does it make sense to write, "... May God have compassion on your family, in whole." I am attempting to rhyme the last word with the last word of the sentence prior to it. Thus, the odd--but hopefully ...
1
vote
3answers
403 views

Do these starting paragraphs make you want to keep reading?

OK, first, I'm not a native. So, what you do by instinct and a bit of research, I do by extensive research, including accents and dialog style. I’m dead. ‘But you have a chance,’ I was told, ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

How to write realistic female dialogue

I just can't make my dialogue sound like it's being said by a woman. As a friend of mine pointed out, "This woman talks just like you, Jack." I tried imitating the speech patterns of various females ...
2
votes
3answers
674 views

Any good side-by-side editor for script translation?

I am in the process of translating a script and am constantly struggling with the side-by-side vertical scrolling of the document. Does anyone know of an editor which is capable of "locking" two ...
1
vote
3answers
179 views

copy right issue with using exact Text from a text book

Here is a question related to a website providing mathematics solutions for students. Here are details: Students will enter the page number and problem number on the website, and the site will show ...
4
votes
2answers
274 views

State of the art proof reading tools/methods

While my skills of expression are okay, being able to observe errors within my own writing is truly lacking. The only methods I've found to be of real use are long-time periods in between reviews, if ...
1
vote
2answers
430 views

Best dictaphone/transcription workflow?

I've decided that the best way for me to get my ideas on paper is to dictate them, because I find that typing/writing 'gets in the way' and prevents me from properly expressing my ideas as they arise. ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Return to section context after a subsection

There is a coherency problem in the following text (its typesetting). The last paragraph must not be considered as a part of subsect02. For instance it is a kind of conclusion of two approaches ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

Where can I find information about how to cite a web address using MLA?

Say I was trying to cite this question and properly format my works cited section using MLA. Where would I look to find information on how to format it?
1
vote
4answers
130 views

Scientific Citation

Is there a standard for the fields which are required to be included for a reference in scientific journal/conference papers? For instance BibTeX has a lot of fields for an @article entry, but which ...
8
votes
4answers
254 views

What to do when characters disagree with the plot?

I'm writing a romance novel and have hit a brick wall. The problem is every way I think the future lovebirds could meet and become friends is totally cliché. After thinking about it, I've realized ...
19
votes
2answers
6k views

Which words should not be capitalized in Title Case?

I would need a list of all words that are not capitalized in English titles. I would also like to make sure if it's true, that all first and last words of a title are capitalized no matter what. I'd ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

Dealing with personal trauma in writing

Often, I develop mythos that are based on extensions (sometimes fantasy-based) of personal trauma. There are times when it becomes too personal and I literally feel like hitting the shift-delete on ...
3
votes
3answers
210 views

Picture-based Identification Dictionary

A long time ago, I dropped by a session of a creative writing course where the teacher brought a lot of reference books. One of them was a lovely picture/sketch-based identification dictionary. There ...
0
votes
1answer
550 views

How to further improve the flow and crispness in the essay?

I am writing an essay in which I used a simple chronological flow. Setting first the background, then the circumstances I was involved in and the decision I took, and finally my conclusion after the ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

APA (sixth edition) citation for the Fourth Assessment Report

I'm trying to cite a source from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml I'm fairly new to APA in general and I'm struggling to ...
6
votes
3answers
161 views

Front-matter or back-matter?

I'm re-releasing a novella of mine as a self-published ebook shortly, and I'm wondering what to do with the traditional "front matter" of the book: copyright information, dedications, ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Can a book be published by more than one publisher?

1) Some books are published by more than one publisher. For example, if you go to Amazon or Flipkart and search for 'The Interpretation of Dreams' by Sigmund Freud, you will see many of them from ...
0
votes
1answer
228 views

Statement of Purpose writing style

I cannot decide which style is better in writing Statement of Purpose for graduate school application. I am asked a few questions in writing the SOP, such as purpose in applying for graduate study, ...
-1
votes
1answer
302 views

Write about academic plans [closed]

A graduate school application form asks me to write about my academic plans. What I can think of is only the course arrangement in graduate study. So am I missing something ?
-2
votes
1answer
85 views

Write about why XX is an intellectual fit for you [closed]

It comes to me when a graduate school application form asks me why do you think XX university is an intellectual fit for you How should I write about it? Thanks
3
votes
3answers
318 views

How to discover clichés

What is the best way to find out if a certain phrase is considered a cliché? Is there an online resource, a specialized dictionary-like lookup? EDIT I found these so far: Cliché Finder Movie ...
1
vote
4answers
937 views

Using “the reader” or “the readers”

When discussing books in a formal essay, is it more appropriate to use "the reader" or "the readers"? For example: Like a true anthropologist, Bill Bryson takes [readers / the reader] on a highly ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Is it ok to begin an essay/report with a quote? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it ok to begin an essay/report with a quote? I am writing an essay on project management within IT and in my introduction I will give a brief description of project ...
3
votes
6answers
356 views

What is this form of poetry called?

I am poet and a blogger, and was writing a poem today for my blog. It went something like: So, are you missing me? Missing me so much that you crave, crave to meet me right now... Does anybody know ...
2
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it ok to begin an essay/report with a quote?

I am writing an essay on project management within IT and in my introduction I will give a brief description of project management, to being my essay I was looking at using one of these: ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Are there alternatives to 'in such a way'? [closed]

Considering the sentence: I'd like to do ... in such a way that ... is achieved. Does this sound wordy? If so, is there a way to streamline it?
3
votes
6answers
1k views

Replacing actually with a more formal alternative [closed]

I have a sentence that reads as follows, "This study shows that performance of method X and method Y are almost identical in ranking task and method X actually outperforms method Y in user ...
5
votes
5answers
144 views

Interesting and easier-to-read alternatives to the scientific academic article

Short version: What is an equally informative, but more interesting alternative to typical academic-article-style scientific writing? Longer version: I love writing, I do a lot of it – fiction and ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

emacs for creative writing

Does anyone know a good emacs configuration for creative writing? I'd be looking for the ability to write, edit, and export to libre office or word (so the less technical people get edit/view). I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
193 views

How to associate my screenname with my books?

I've got a lot of history on the web under my screen name, including my writing blog and various pieces of other work scattered about. I'd love to associate it firmly with the self-published ebook ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

How to focus a “Final Exam Essay”

I have an Psych professor who likes to give essays instead of exams. His final exam is an essay that is supposed to encompass all we learned this semester. He gave us a checklist of what it should ...
2
votes
6answers
270 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

How do I formulate while writing?

I've tried to write without thinking, but that doesn't really worked that well. I need time to formulate my thoughts before I commit them to paper or screen. Since I'm not a native English speaker, my ...

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