6
votes
5answers
213 views

How important is being well read for a writer

Back in the mists of time, I would put a lot of time into reading, and would read pretty much anything I could lay my hands on. Then I started writing, and it is very very rare that I read any ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Abbreviation for “figures” in scientific papers

In scientific papers, the term "Figure" -- referring to an illustration in the text -- is often abbreviated as "Fig." But is "Figures" abbreviated as "Figs", "Fig.s" or "Figs."? I am proofreading a ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

is there a “standard” plot structure where the protagonist has a “bird in hand” at the end of Act II?

In most plays I've studied, e.g. Erin Brockovich, the end of the second Act II is the "darkest moment" for the protagonist. It's the time when one (at least yours truly) asks, "Why did the hero come ...
1
vote
7answers
113 views

Three Act Structure - How do I include it?

I've been writing for four years without knowledge of the three act structure. When I discovered it about a year ago, I therefore had no room for it in my writing process, mainly because I had ...
0
votes
2answers
784 views

Hollywood script vs Bollywood script

I was comparing between the formats of scripts from both Hollywood and Bollywood. Following is the first page of the script of Pulp Fiction. And following is the first page of a Bollywood film, Jab ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

No English degree, what are my chances on successfully publishing a novel?

I don't have an English or Writing-related degree in any way. As of right now, I have no degree, but what I mean is that I'm not even pursuing a degree in writing. How does this hurt my chances? Do ...
7
votes
8answers
438 views

Are there good tips on being a better *creative* writer?

I'm a student at Case, and while we of course have an English department, it seems the only kind of writing classes/courses available are for learning to be either a "literary" writer, or a ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

I need a good title [closed]

I need a good title (well actually 2 titles) for some books. One has a girl who is a princess, she doesn't know, and she ends up fight the dark with a group of pirates, the leader she falls in love ...
1
vote
3answers
96 views

What is the story or format called when the protagonist is not the “hero?”

For instance, in "Silence of the Lambs," the "hero is Clarice Starling, the FBI agent, and the protagonist is the villain, Hannibal Lecter. What is this kind of story format called? What happens if ...
1
vote
4answers
99 views

Should I prefer writing a Hard diary or Soft diary?

I have never seriously written a diary before(not even tried casually). I am required to write a diary for my work as Intern and later report it. I think they would prefer a soft version but I can ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

How do I best help the reader understand the contextual meaning meaning of a particular phrase? [closed]

In The Things They Carried, the soldiers “carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing - these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and ...
3
votes
2answers
59 views

Can I publish excerpts from a letter without permission?

It will be my pleasure to cite the author of the letter. I'm looking at perhaps ten sentences out of a four page letter. I have the actual letter, so the quotes will be accurate. The letter is from ...
2
votes
2answers
80 views

What is the correct formatting for actions taken before dialogue?

What would be the correct way to format the following exchange in narrative prose? Is it: Alice sits on the bench, silent. Eventually, I speak. "What are we going to do?" After a long pause, she ...
9
votes
5answers
537 views

How to start writing a book?

I'm new to writing and I'm still young (preteen young). I want some advice on writing and help. How am I gonna start my book? What is the best way to begin writing a book?
11
votes
4answers
16k views

Must every piece of speech get its own paragraph?

I've had a few people read pieces of narrative writing I've done, and they seem to take issue with the fact that I sometimes put a piece of speech inline with the rest of a non-dialogue paragraph, ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

How to change Microsoft Word Heading style [closed]

For example, Heading 1 is automatically typeset as Chapter 1: Chapter 1 Title. I would like to change this to Chapter 1 - Chapter 1 Title however. How can I achieve this? I'm using Word 2013.
6
votes
2answers
92 views

Use Pen Name after Blunder?

Three years ago I published a novel on Kindle. 10K free copies went out before I realized the text was vertical! It is still quite painful to recall. I unpublished it, got a new cover, waited 6 ...
1
vote
4answers
172 views

Can a plagiarist sue one who plagiarized them?

I sometimes write rather vicious satirical pieces that heavily reference (arguably - but possibly beyond the point of plagiarism; definitely the same setting, the same characters, strong references to ...
7
votes
5answers
766 views

Constructed Language - spelled like it sounds?

Note: This may be more suited to Worldbuilding SE. I believe it belongs here, because it is about how to write a conlang, but if not, please feel free to move it. I am constructing Elvish. In my ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Where can I get/generate a custom font? [closed]

One reading Harry Potter (and I'm sure they are in other books as well) will notice that J. K. Rowling utilizes several custom fonts, most commonly in letters and handwriting. There is the Hagrid ...
0
votes
0answers
11 views

How often do I need to footnote a paragraph based on the same source

If I'm writing a paragraph that discusses a topic and the entire paragraph is based on the same source (assume the same page too). Do I need to footnote every sentence or would the first sentence be ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

Does the first sale doctrine invalidate non commercial licences?

I found this great question on wikipedia that I thought deserved an answer: If I understand this correctly, this could be used to circumvent the non-commercial clause in certain Creative Common ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Renting my book?

I recently discovered that a bookstore is offering my book for rental. Is it legal for the store to rent out my book? Is the store infringing on my copyright? What the store is charging people who ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

How Can I Effectively Develop Fictional Characters

So, I'm trying my own attempt at writing and I keep having trouble with developing my characters. Are there any effective methods of developing fictional characters? It can just be a small idea or ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Advice on writing a research paper [closed]

I am a math major who hasn't written a research paper in 6 years, and I need some help. I have to write two thesis statements, and have both written, but I'm not sure they're right. I also must state ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

Should I write “what do the data show” or “what does the data show”? [closed]

I wonder what the proper way of writing this question is: What do the data show? What does the data show?
1
vote
3answers
47 views

Are essays supposed to be formal?

After reading a prompt to one of essays, and then looking at this link, I realized how little I know about the actual meaning of an essay. Here is how my definition of "essay" has become muddied over ...
10
votes
6answers
680 views

Time management for part-time writing

I'm currently writing a book, and would eventually hope to be a writer as a career. However, at the moment I'm struggling to find the time and the discipline to actually sit down and write ...
5
votes
1answer
18 views

How do I cite this page?

I am trying to cite this page in MLA: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/obscenity Since it lists no authors, what should I put as the in-text citation. Should I use the Legal Information Institute or ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Would the Following be Correctly Formated? [closed]

Cass’s body arched violently off of the bed, his mouth open and shrieking, arms flailing outward to protect from unseen invaders. The doctors, still dressed in pajamas, are stunned, jaws loose. ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Is it ok to “reprise” a scene from an earlier screenplay in a sequel?

In my screenplay, there is a the so-called "receptionist scene" where the (female) receptionist warns the heroine that the company she just joined at a high level isn't very woman friendly. The ...
2
votes
2answers
46 views

How to write for a certain audience?

I'm busy writing a book that I've been putting off for years. In this book the main character starts off as an 18 year old but grows up to be a young adult, sometimes she will think about when she was ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Quoting lyrics in a book of film criticism

I hope someone can help. I'm writing a book of film criticism, in which I refer to lyrics from the soundtrack as a way to empathise the narrative. Am I required to obtain permission for use of these ...
1
vote
1answer
21 views

Customising book titles in references/sources

Some book use lower case titles while others use upper and lower case. Should I stick to authors choice or customise upper and lower case (as per correct usage of caps in titles). When re checking ...
9
votes
6answers
464 views

World Building vs Story Writing

Note, this might be off topic and belong on World Building SE? I have always been far more interested with building the world my stories take place in than the stories themselves. I will spend large ...
4
votes
5answers
135 views

Is mathematical poetry a form of poetry?

One author considers this mathematical statement by LeRoy Gorman entitled “The Birth of Tragedy” as a form of minimalist poetry: (!+?)^2 Is this ...
11
votes
7answers
7k views

Effective techniques for describing pain

I've noticed something in writing: it's difficult to convey pain, and even specific types of pain, to an audience who's comfortably sitting at home in an easy chair. I can hardly imagine pain until ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

What are the elements of a good blurb?

I'm writing a blurb. To do so, I'm using my favorite novels as examples. Here's one: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

Writing Style Changed [closed]

After the death of my cousin I have stopped writing for quite some time. However the stories ideas would persist in my mind. So I decided to try and write again, but whatever ideas I have. Turn into ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Are position titles capitalized when the subject is dropped

Deputy is not capitalized when referred to as a position. “The sheriff had many deputies.” “A deputy, a sheriff, and a judge walked into a bar...” John is capitalized because it is a name. “The ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Stuck at outlining a script

I have an idea, and it seemed like I had a somewhat clear understanding of the story, it's theme and most of the major plot points, but no matter how long I sit there and how drastically I tweak the ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Lists of description appropriate for formal writing?

In a formal piece, is it appropriate to write a list, especially one of descriptions? It's the easiest way to get information across sometimes, especially on a tight word limit. For example, if I had ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

How to approach an “Imagine and Describe” creative essay prompt?

I have this prompt for a creative essay as part of my application into a summer program: Participants in the Summer Programs for High School Students come from approximately 75 different countries ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Words vs minutes goals

Under which of the following goal structures are writers more prolific (prolific in terms of quality content): words-per-day minutes-per-day (Presuming agony is not quantifiable.) I doubt there's ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Should a long flashback be written in first or third person?

In my novel there will be a chapter-length flashback as one character relates a story from his past. The rest of the novel is written in limited third-person, seeing into one person's mind at a time. ...
3
votes
3answers
14k views

Minimum (realistic) word count of non-fiction book

What is a reasonable estimate for the minimum length, in word count, for a non-fiction book? I'd guesstimate that non-fiction books "generally" (yes, this is very rough) run perhaps 150-450 pages, ...
7
votes
4answers
553 views

Skipping details in a scene

I often struggle with details in a scene, and thought maybe I could just skip some of them while trying to keep the scene seamless, but I'm not sure how. This is an example from the scene I'm writing ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

How detailed should the description of the POV character be?

I have close to no experience of writing, but I have an idea that I would like to make into a short story (if for nothing else, for the sake of the exercise). It is a fantasy story seen from one of ...
6
votes
1answer
75 views

What are the poetry/quotes at the start of a chapter/book called?

For instance, "A Rasin in the Sun" starts with the poem "Harlem." I've noticed many (mostly contemporary) novels will start chapters with pieces of Poetry or quotes that are completely separate from ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Should “plot” or storyline be the main determinant of what goes into a story?

In writing a screenplay, I created a bunch of scenes, with about twice as much material in total as I needed. So the job was to cut things down to size. In so doing, I found that a number of scenes ...

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