6
votes
1answer
595 views

Steven Johnson's DevonThink writing workflow: is creating & accumulating 50-500 word snippets worth the effort?

Steven Berlin Johnson talks in this much cited article about his research workflow using DevonThink. In short, he advocates for creating 50-500 word focused text snippets from your research readings ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I create a book on iBookstore without having a Mac?

I use Linux, and I'd like to format a book for the iBookstore. When I go to signup to iTunes Connect to upload my books, it says: 3. Download iTunes Producer Download our delivery ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Does this excerpt strike a balance between the formality of steampunk and accessible writing?

I'm having a bit of trouble, since I'm writing in a semi-new genre. I ordinarily write fantasy with a modern-day setting, but my latest experiment is steampunk set in not-exactly-Earth, so it has a ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Multiple tasks and a step by step tutorial

To my knowledge step-by-step tutorials should have the form of a ladder, where you describe how to get to a place step by step– accomplishing a single task at the end. Is it possible to accomplish ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Best practice for stories based on other writers' stories

I want to rewrite someone else's novel in a different way. Just to show the other side of his characters. My story will be based on these characters, but they will have more "realistic" sides. What ...
5
votes
2answers
179 views

How to advertise a free e-book?

I've created a free e-book in online HTML, EPUB, MOBI, and PDF formats. I've created a small site to advertise this book and an other site (currently supports forums) for the community of readers of ...
2
votes
2answers
188 views

Essay critique: flow and how compelling it is

I dragged myself sluggishly out of bed and instinctively reached for my phone, then I remembered: there was no cell coverage or wifi. I wasn’t used to waking up this early. I didn’t think ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

What is the correct word/term that needs to be before the names of the maker of the project?

I am doing a project with one other person, we have finished the project and we are working on a cover page. We are not sure what to write out before our names, we have thought of a couple of ...
0
votes
2answers
701 views

How to describe the dissipation of tension between two people?

I'd like to describe the sense of two people, one who is angry (call him Joe) at another (call him Bob), but upon hearing Bob's retort, Joe reconsiders his position and changes his mind about being ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the advantages of different date formats in resumes and CVs?

I've seen a somewhat related question, but it doesn't answer my question quite right. Say you're writing an event that happened on a single day, and you need to put it in your resume or CV. So how ...
2
votes
2answers
193 views

Where can I find lists of commonly used words to avoid?

I have a theory that good prose style comes in part from avoiding complicated, abstract, and pretentious words. Are there any good lists of words to avoid, preferably with suggested alternatives? I'm ...
2
votes
3answers
98 views

Improving techniques independently: Description

How can I improve my technique in description? Which things I should avoid in description? How can I know, that I put "enough" description and will go to narration? My description technique is bad ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

Does DRM affect copyright or the restrictions on distribution by the author?

I hear how it is easier for the user to select DRM (digital rights management) free options so that they can use more software packages to read the book, but does that affect in anyway the authors ...
3
votes
4answers
163 views

Which e-book formats to use to get a larger readership?

I am self-publishing a free e-book which I make available in several formats: EPUB, online HTML, PDF. I create (using my own programming scripts) EPUB and online HTML from XHTML sources which I write ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

PDF e-book page size and fonts

I am self-publishing a free e-book which I will make available in several formats: EPUB, online HTML, PDF. What characteristics should the PDF e-book file have? What should the page size, font size, ...
1
vote
2answers
476 views

What is the smallest amount of text that can be plagiarized?

Can the following be considered plagiarized? I am interested in finding out the limit of words one is allowed to use. Java is a programming platform that's used for developing computer ...
3
votes
3answers
375 views

Critique a short essay

So There I was in the scorching, afternoon, summer heat of Cairo. It was a huge change from the UK’s mild weather, and together with the fact that I had been fasting - as in no food or drink- for ...
0
votes
1answer
246 views

Comma between the following clauses in AP Style?

The AP style says that a comma is not needed between two clauses that have the same subject. However, it would become ambiguous if I removed the comma fromt the following: When you walk straight ...
2
votes
5answers
235 views

Hooking the reader by omitting a piece of information

I'm writing a short story. I decided to opening it in the following way: We were in Y, doing Z when she mentioned X. I wasn't sure whether she had misheard X's name or had gotten the wrong ...
13
votes
5answers
11k views

Can a self publishing author use a Pen name/Pseudonym?

I know that an author can use a Pen name/Pseudonym instead of a true name when publishing the traditional way. This is done by signing contracts with the publisher/agent using the real name ...
4
votes
2answers
525 views

Automated correction of google translated documents

We have google translated docs which are almost error free and require only minor (about 10%) corrections, and even these corrections are redundant which could be learned by an intelligent machine ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

1st person story, but the main character will die in the end and some of the story needs to be told after his death. How to solve this problem?

I personally like to read stories told by the the main character, it's more "alive" to me. But the problem is that my character will die and some of the story will need to be told afterwards. Maybe 1 ...
5
votes
1answer
591 views

How can I improve my analytical writing for a standardized test?

I will be taking the GRE test, which is an exam for students from non-English speaking countries who want to go to the US for graduate study. The test basically tests your English ability and your ...
-2
votes
1answer
104 views

Writing in second language [closed]

I am an Indonesian but mostly write in English. Most of my poems are written in English. What terms and rules should I notice? considering that my idea comes to mind in English not my native ...
2
votes
3answers
510 views

Is it unusual for a flashback to have a very long dialogue?

This flashback is from a short story I'm writing (unedited first draft): I met Limei last summer. Our class had organized a graduation trip to Green Island, where we stayed for fourteen days and ...
-2
votes
1answer
432 views

Ideas for nicknames of characters in a story

I'm translating a short story into English. 1). The protagonist is a woman in her mid-forties. There was a time when she used to copy out verses from poems and paste them on her wall. The people in ...
1
vote
2answers
428 views

Tenses I should use in a translated-novel

I have been translating a novel that is originally written in my native language into English. Considering that the book's plot is the author's experience of a life that has happened in the past, I've ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Ways to improve your writing skills

As a CS major I've learned that knowing how to write is critically important, but, I'm not really sure how to improve my writing skills. I'm currently trying to write a tech blog in English, but, ...
0
votes
1answer
126 views

A more effective way of writing this dialogue:

I'm translating a story, and there is scene in it where an ex-colleague asks the man who had slapped the female protagonist the reason for his doing so. In reply, all he says is something like, “What ...
2
votes
3answers
252 views

Is a glossary needed in a novel?

Is a glossary needed in a translated-novel? or I would only need to put the translation of the native words under the brackets?
1
vote
2answers
259 views

To translate a novel with Westerner's point of view

I am an Easterner. I have been translating a novel, that is originally written in my native language, into English. During the process, I have also been learning about cultural things, meant to ...
1
vote
3answers
170 views

The value of labeling book sections

My wife is beginning a novel, and she's written four chapters in under six pages. I suggested that she consider using page breaks or lowercase Roman numeraled sections instead of chapters because a ...
1
vote
1answer
804 views

Using senses and similes in descriptions

I'm trying to make my descriptions to look less like a bunch of bullet points. So I decided to use more senses and similes. This is something I wrote: The sun hung in the cloudless sky, like a ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

What is an envelope line?

We're putting together a physical direct mailer advertising leaflet. I'm embarrassed to ask my colleague who asked me to include this request in addition to my headline.
6
votes
4answers
450 views

How to avoid specifying the gender in English when the original text does not specify it?

I'm translating a short story from Korean into English. One problem I frequently face is the 'antecedent pronoun agreement' when the original text leaves the 'gender' of the subject unspecified (and ...
1
vote
3answers
476 views

How likely is the “five consecutive word rule” to detect “random,” as opposed to intentional plagiarism?

I refer to the old fable that if you set enough monkeys at enough keyboards for a long enough period of time, they will (through random typing), reproduce the "Complete Works of Shakespeare," or any ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

How is parallel construction viewed in literature?

I wrote a "take-off" on a French song using a technique that I believe is called "parallel construction." ...
0
votes
2answers
213 views

Strange ungooglable symbol. What does it mean? What is it called? § [closed]

I'm not sure if this symbol will show up in everyone's browser, so I'll describe it also; It looks like an S with a o in the centre vertically. Here it is: § I've seen this symbol used as a bullet ...
4
votes
2answers
193 views

Dealing with potential copyright issues: manga

I have been spinning yarn around Kuchiyose Edo Tensei, a reincarnation technique I came across in the popular anime/manga series Naruto. Further developing on that, the concept of bloodlines (or ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Ways to speed up my writing to 15 - 20 pages a day

I am currently at 5 - 10 pages (250 words/page) a day. How to increase my speed to be able to write 15 - 20 a day?
2
votes
3answers
8k views

What exactly is the “five (consecutive) word” plagiarism rule?

My understanding is that the toughest standard regarding plagiarism is the "five (consecutive) word" rule, which holds that, if there are five consecutive words identical to someone else's writing, ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

how to cite a dubbed TV series? APA 6th edition

I'm quoting lines from a dubbed TV series and I'm not sure how to reference it? I have looked everywhere and I only found how would you cite an original version. Help please :)
0
votes
3answers
201 views

Words in author's native language?

Why in some essays or articles there are words in author's native language? (In other words, the essay is in English and there are some Spanish word spread out in whole essay) Does it necessarily ...
8
votes
5answers
343 views

How should I introduce new and complex technologies or tools?

I'm writing a Science Fiction book. While this book doesn't push reality very far, there are some new technologies and tools that I have added. One tool is used more frequently than all the others, ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Must one have a book cover designed before to publisher?

I have finished a fantasy novel I have been writing for the past few years and I am now in the process of meeting with representatives from publishing companies toward the goal of publishing my book. ...
2
votes
1answer
325 views

For Kindle, are hard paragraph breaks that serious?

I'm starting with an existing .doc MS. Kindle warns to not use hard para breaks, i.e., don't hit return, but I can't get rid of any of them. Driving me nuts.
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Tips for writing sentences like a native speaker

English isn't my native tongue, but I've been writing novels in English for a while. Most of the time, I can be aware of what's grammatically correct and what's not. But making sure that a sentence ...
7
votes
1answer
101 views

How are multilingual scenes handled when the story's main language is translated into that of its minor one?

Say you have an English book in which a dialogue does at one point take place, and in this particular dialogue one of a handful of participating characters is speaking French, and the fact that he's ...
6
votes
4answers
727 views

How can I translate my poems in English that it doesn't sound odd/non poetic for English speaker audiences?

There are many translated Persian/Farsi poems in English like The Rubaiyat, by Omar Khayyam, the famous Iranian poet, philosopher, and mathematician, translated by Edward FitzGerald. Unfortunately ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it acceptable practice to use contractions in a fictional first person narrative for children?

I am writing a children's story in first person, present tense. Aside from the quotes from characters, all of the text is meant to represent the narrator's own thoughts, and either describes what they ...

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