4
votes
3answers
201 views

What revisions for this draft would be more readable and/or more humorous?

Notes: My audience knows that adrenaline and epinephrine are synonyms. I'm new! I'm sorry if I abuse the site by posting this! Please critique ruthlessly. I would send by Facebook message to a ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How difficult is it to break into screenwriting?

Is it difficult to get anyone to buy a screenplay you write? I am thinking about writing a screenplay but am concerned that maybe I shouldn't waste my time; I have no formal training in writing ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Which edition of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style?

I'm interesting in picking up a copy of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style. Unfortunately I'm a little overwhelmed by the minor variations. Amazon lists 12 different paperback formats, plus a ...
24
votes
6answers
2k views

Writing first programming book

I was recently asked if I was interested in writing a book for a pretty reputable publisher, which of course I accepted. I am not a writer by trade, I am a software developer with some technical ...
4
votes
5answers
275 views

Using uncommon abbreviations

Something which I see all the time in (popular) science writing is the use of abbreviations to indicate concepts. For (a made up) example: So when we're dealing with Anachronistic Meta Mechanics ...
11
votes
2answers
504 views

Do authors get paid for quotes and attributions used on book covers?

I think I know the answer to this, and my guess is "No", but I don't have a definitive reason what that guess is. When you see on the cover of a book, not from a newspaper or reviewer, but from ...
8
votes
2answers
460 views

How does one go about successfully getting their movie script, or screen play, into the right hands?

How does one go about successfully getting their movie script, or screen play, into the hands of top level Hollywood producers? Does one need a literary agent? If so where does one find one that ...
8
votes
4answers
286 views

Are there any techniques that make complexity work?

One for the creative writers, although I suppose a lateral shift might put it within reach of journalists/technical writers. As authors we all want to write, I would imagine: Something that many ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What are common attributes of the Steampunk genre?

These attributes could be character archtypes or traits, attributes of the setting, characteristics of plot or pacing, and broader themes. Essentially, I'd like to build a definition of the genre by ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

How To Avoid Using Cliches In Storylines?

How is it possible to avoid cliches in storylines that you are writing? Obviously, there are external sources of influences as you read more and more. It would be possible that we are subconsciously ...
7
votes
14answers
2k views

Is the iPad a convenient medium for writing work?

Does anyone here write on an iPad at all? The iPad 2G is due this summer and I have waited since March 2010 already, so I am planning to purchase one. However, I don't really need an iPad at all; ...
8
votes
4answers
442 views

How common *are* happy endings?

I'm curious. After reading some other questions, I've been pondering about the frequency and reason for happy endings. That is, a positive and/or hopeful ending, even if not everything went right, ...
-1
votes
2answers
126 views

What help is there for a technical reseacher/writer that can't edit?

I've got a personal professional goal - I want to write a thesis, build a system, change the world. That's my way of saying that my thesis needs to be something I can develop into a functional system, ...
7
votes
7answers
390 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 ...
7
votes
13answers
1k views

How do evil protagonists win the reader over in dark fantasy stories? [closed]

I thought about writing fantasy story from the perspective of the evil antagonist (think from Sauron's perspective). So my bad guy will be the protagonist and my good guys will be the antagonist. I ...
14
votes
4answers
453 views

How to avoid hearing “that's me!” from your friends when they read your characters?

I recently asked about getting inside of someone else's head for writing good characters who are noticeably different from myself and received some great answers. One answer suggested that you should ...
7
votes
4answers
234 views

Critique: Intro/Prologue to my Novel-in-Progress

all. Please forgive me, for I'm afraid I'm a novice when it comes to writing fiction. I wanted to get the community's thoughts and recommendations for improving the below passage. I realize it ...
4
votes
3answers
660 views

Best markup language for a little story?

I'm writing a story in plain text using Vim text editor. It doesn't contain big tables, images. However, there will be short listings of source code in several programming languages and syntax ...
3
votes
1answer
240 views

What are good books on writing romance/erotica?

I've seen writing books on characterization, plot, world-building, conflict and probably 1000 other topics. But are there any good books that focus on how to write good erotica or romance? If it's a ...
7
votes
6answers
649 views

What is the most cost effective way for me to get my book printed?

I have written a book that I would like to get printed. I am not looking to have it published at this time but would like to get a limited number of copies (100-200) printed up for family and friends. ...
7
votes
6answers
420 views

Quality of my blog writing [closed]

I came here from Jeff Atwood's blog where he mentions that writing a blog can clear your own internal thought processes and that you should take feedback about your writing so that you can improve. ...
2
votes
7answers
901 views

Verb tense for technical document titles

I'm writing a technical manual about creating database systems, and wondered what is the best verb tense for title names. My ideas are: Continuous (-ing) form: (e.g. "Creating a Cluster", "Creating ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Where can I find a good vocabulary list?

I'd like to expand my vocabulary and already do several of the things recommended in the Tips for expanding my vocabulary question. In addition to that, I've been spending some time with a ...
11
votes
4answers
927 views

Where is a good place to find beta readers?

Beta readers are important to perfecting a novel/novella/short story. They give you a fresh set of eyes, offer opinions, and can be a great moral boost. But where can you find good beta readers? Are ...
1
vote
1answer
136 views

The Prophet: Part 1, Awakening .. Question about being “Too condensed”

As per Jeff's answer here on meta, I'm posting a Critique Question. Let me know if I'm not following the process correctly. My story for critique is found here (pdf, or you could go to my story ...
4
votes
9answers
1k views

How important is typing speed to a successful writing career?

How important is it for a writer to be fast when using a keyboard?
5
votes
3answers
859 views

Character details of male archetypes

In this link about character development, the author describes basic male archetypes that are found in a romance novel. http://www.likesbooks.com/eight.html My question is: although this is very ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

Where can I find sales numbers for books?

I'm a writer, working on a non-fiction book proposal. Finding public, free sales numbers for comparable titles is nearly impossible. BookScan is a subscriber service run by Nielsen. "Above the ...
4
votes
4answers
679 views

Strunk and White vs “Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace” by Williams and Colomb

I'd like to improve my writing and have been considering getting either The Elements of Style by Strunk and White or Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace by Williams and Colomb. What are their ...
9
votes
6answers
829 views

What are the tricks to avoid repetition in writing?

After some time of working on my research, I usually have a structured information of my results, which I can best describe in bullets/numbers. Unfortunately, this is not what academia expects. For ...
3
votes
7answers
3k views

What can I do to improve my concentration when reading? [closed]

(I hope this is sufficiently on-topic - couldn't find anywhere else in Stack Exchange more suitable...) Currently I am having to do a lot of reading of academic papers - some dry stuff but not ...
7
votes
4answers
208 views

How do I find a suitable copywriter?

I am in the process of creating a web application. I will need some copy written for various pages in the site and some of the marketing marketing material. I am contemplating hiring a copywriter to ...
13
votes
8answers
2k views

Resources on plotting mystery stories

I'm looking for books, essays and articles on plotting mystery/detective/investigation stories (and novels). The type of story I'm aiming for is in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, or ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

Is where I live going to have a positive/negative effect on getting a novel published?

I live in Australia (or some place that is not the UK or the USA). I wonder if the same percentage of QUALITY scripts get published in any place, but that in the big places, like the UK and the USA, ...
10
votes
3answers
209 views

What disciplines/habits are used to stay focussed on one novel over a long period of time?

One of my biggest issues is staying focussed on a single novel. My imagination is always creating new and wonderful ideas. I write a few chapters on this story, a few on that story, but never ...
13
votes
9answers
904 views

Tips for humor writing

Are there any techniques you can use while brainstorming to find humor to include in an article?
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Dashes vs. Commas vs. parentheses?

Occasionally I write sentences containing subparts with extra information. I never know how to block off this information from the rest of the sentence. Three ways I have seen are dashes, commas, and ...
5
votes
4answers
327 views

Rules and resources for scientific writing

The writing style in scientific papers in the natural sciences, e.g. chemistry and biology, seems very different from many other kinds of writing. There are usually severe restrictions on the length ...
6
votes
6answers
681 views

Do online writing classes really help?

Almost all online writing workshops/classes/programs websites have scores of testimonials from students. It is very difficult to understand whether these really are students or paid testimonials. So, ...
14
votes
5answers
12k views

How does one go about publishing erotica, and how far is too far?

I write erotica, it started out as an amusement to see how far I could go, but it became a real passion after three or four stories. I have even published a few online and those stories have become ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

What are some appropriate uses of readability tests?

Do you use readability metrics (such as Gunning fog or Flesch-Kincaid) as you're working on a piece? If so, how do you use them, and what benefit do you get from using them?
2
votes
3answers
293 views

Writing your last will and testament

Coming from a background where I've only ever seen readings of a last will and testament in movies, what kind of style would be expected of such a document? Some personal stuff and then legalese ...
6
votes
8answers
477 views

Verbosity: when's enough enough?

In corporate life I've come across two general styles of writing: terse and cryptic or long and complete. In my own writing I tend to go too much in the "explain all possible interpretations" ...
17
votes
7answers
1k views

Finding before/after examples where writing has been improved, to learn from

I'd like to see a series of example paragraphs, showing before/after a rewrite, to give me specific examples of how writing can be improved. Is there anywhere that shows such things? I once read the ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Magazines/Websites Similar To The New Yorker?

As everyone here probably knows, The New Yorker is held in high regard for their editorial process and excellent writing. I really appreciate their content, and I feel that they provide more than just ...
38
votes
16answers
5k views

Should you use two spaces after a period, or just a single one?

I had heard some debate on this topic, and I had always learned to use two spaces after a period. But it would seem there is an argument against it. However, I do not understand what the issue is ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

What to do about noun clusters

A personal frustration of mine is when I see a cluster of nouns sitting together in a sentence. I usually see these in highly technical emails, but not exclusively. Here is a particularly bad ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

Short Story first or skip to Screenplay

I'm planning to shoot and direct my own short, small budget science fiction movie as a long term project to learn more about movie making. However, I'm at the very start where I need to write a draft ...
5
votes
2answers
551 views

How do I find good interview subjects?

I have an idea for a series of science articles, but I don't have a strong background in the particular field. What's a good way to identify experts who I could interview to shore up the details and ...
26
votes
10answers
634k views

How to write a polite reminder email?

What guidelines and language should be used to write a polite reminder email. Ideally I would like it to be: Respectful Not too formal In particular I am thinking in terms of business, and ...

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