All Questions

5
votes
2answers
1k views

When should I use punctuation with bullets?

When writing bulleted items, what are the rules for placing periods? Presumably bulleted items that aren't sentences wouldn't require punctuation: Orange Apple Banana But how about sentence ...
9
votes
1answer
265 views

Royalties - how to calculate author's take from the end-price?

Supposedly I'm offered 16% royalty rate and the book store-price is 15$. How much would that be in royalty amount per sold copy? Would that be just 16% out of 15$, or is 16% out of (15$ - reseller ...
3
votes
2answers
276 views

Does this sign-up email announcement sound friendly and conversational?

This is version 2 of this post The intended audience is from 16-45 m/f, they have given me their email address and will recieve this email because they signed up for a mystery service I'm creating. ...
4
votes
2answers
305 views

Third person POV

Can writing in the third-person limited omniscient POV include internal monologue and character thoughts?
6
votes
1answer
167 views

What are tips / techniques to manage the consistency of a plot encompassing several subplots ?

When I lay out a plot consisting of interwoven threads, one of the most annoying things is to manage effectively the factual, logical consistency of the whole. In order to be more effective and ...
2
votes
3answers
358 views

How credible is wikipedia?

I understand that this question relates more to wikipedia than it does writing but... If I was going to use wikipedia for a source for a research project (for example) would the information be ...
2
votes
3answers
232 views

Feedback on sign-up email announcement

This post is continued at How can I make this sound better? ( part 2 ) Thanks for signing up for the Tip for Tip beta. We’re really excited about the launch and we wanted to let you know ...
6
votes
2answers
170 views

Do you use a pop-up dictionary/thesaurus on Windows? What are your criteria?

I used to use WordWeb as a pop-up dictionary/thesaurus while I wrote, but I found it lacking, particularly in its inability to let me define my own terms per context (for example, when writing about ...
4
votes
7answers
2k views

Books to improve writing skills

Could you Please recommend me interesting non-technical books i could read which will help me improve my writing skills?
8
votes
4answers
12k views

How many pages would my manuscript be in paperback?

Say I have a 100 page manuscript in Courier, 11pt, double-spaced. How many paperback pages is this roughly equivalent to? Is there a better font/spacing to use?
2
votes
6answers
3k views

Should I write an abstract for a formal essay?

Should I write an abstract for a formal essay? I've heard from different sources that I should, although my instructor didn't specify. And if I should, where are some resources that I could use to ...
7
votes
3answers
561 views

How to practice location descriptions

When trying to strengthen my writing on how to correctly describe a location I try to write a small text on each location I am. (These are then saved in Evernote so that I can search for them) I found ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Where can I find paying markets for flash fiction?

I've written a great deal of flash fiction, < 1000 word stories. I know I can send them out to literary journals and online literary journals, but are there paying markets for this sort of thing?
6
votes
2answers
298 views

How to obtain a thoughtful critique of a job application cover letter?

Sometimes, not always, when searching for my next position or project, I make an effort to write an interesting cover letter, one intended to convey images and passion, a story. I want it to be a ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

Looking for story that deliberately overused “get” [closed]

It was in Writer's Digest, probably the early 1980s, when I saw this. One of the regular columnists (or was it an irregular columnist?) went on a brief rant about careless writers overusing the word ...
14
votes
5answers
914 views

Can I shop an unfinished novel?

I've been writing a novel that addresses some very current themes. My belief is that if I can get it out there quickly, it will succeed well. I'm working on it frantically, but will agents consider ...
5
votes
3answers
132 views

requesting a review/critique of an outro narrative

Here's an outro narrative I wrote for our movie we're working on and I was wondering whether someone could provide a critique. Anything what would help improve it before we pass it to the recording ...
8
votes
3answers
464 views

When *should* I use passive voice?

Is there ever a good time to use passive voice in nonfiction?
13
votes
5answers
746 views

How do you make a story succeed in spite of an unsympathetic main character?

I'm looking for techniques specific to a story with an unsympathetic main character. Confederacy of Dunces, for example. Why does that work, and why wouldn't that work with a likable hero?
4
votes
9answers
250 views

Trying to indicate that the frequency is annoying

I am trying to state that a particular question is not annoying, but its frequency is. I have come up with the below sentence, but I feel like it could be worded better. It is an annoying question ...
9
votes
5answers
11k views

How many words/hour should you aim for when writing your first draft?

A couple of axioms here. Firstly, most people agree that you should write your first draft quickly, without too much care on quality, and get something down on paper first. The real writing begins ...
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Is this sentence ambiguous?

I'm trying to write something sort of poetic sounding. Instead of memories let's discover the present that we wanted to search for. I'm thinking that maybe I should write the word "moment" ...
7
votes
4answers
977 views

Common words to avoid when writing formally

I am rather useless at writing formal English and sometimes find that I can come across informal with my choice of words. So I wondered what common words and phrases should be avoided when writing an ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

What is a good OCR program?

I keep a writing journal that I enjoy writing in. I also have a lot of old journal with writing that I'd love to digitize but am too lazy to retype. What is a good, accurate, OCR program that would ...
8
votes
5answers
440 views

Avoiding cultural differences

I'm not a native English speaker, but I write in English. I'm now visiting the US, and I have made some very interesting observation regarding the way ordinary life goes on here. It made me think of ...
12
votes
0answers
291 views

Where should I start if I'm feeling the urge to write something? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Help! I've got Writer's Block For the past few weeks I have had this "itch" to write something - anything. As soon as I try to put pen to paper, though, my mind ...
1
vote
4answers
235 views

“…and the fire from the stove engulfed him” or “jumped on him” or “covered him” or “devoured him” or what?

Which verb should I use here? He opened the stove and the fire from the stove [engulfed/jumped on/covered/devoured] him. "Help! Help!" - he shouted at once. "I'm on fire!"
1
vote
5answers
612 views

What's your favorite keyboard? [closed]

After using a Logitech Internet Pro keyboard for the past several years, as well as an Acer OEM keyboard occasionally, I'm seriously thinking about getting a new keyboard. I write upwards of 7,000 ...
2
votes
4answers
114 views

How could this paragraph of writing be improved [closed]

I wrote this but it really doesn't read nicely. How could the following paragraph be improved? With the increasing green movement, subsidies for energy produced by solar panels installed on ...
4
votes
2answers
88 views

What are effective ways of working with a nonfiction editor?

How do you defend the integrity of your work while maintaining a cooperative and friendly rapport? Specifically, how can one work with an editor who is perhaps a bit overzealous?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the most effective way to deal with flashbacks in a novel structure ?

In writing a novel, often flashbacks are difficult to manage: if too long and detailed, they can appear as second class (at worst, aborted) plots whose only task is to sustain the main plot line; if ...
15
votes
9answers
862 views

What methods can I use to revise my writing?

Background I am finding it challenging to transform an early draft into a finished product. My biggest challenges are putting the prose in the proper order and using topic sentences and transitions ...
3
votes
3answers
263 views

Put text between section and subsection headings?

Are there rules about whether or not to put text between section and subsection headings (in scholarly works)? 1 section heading text / no text here? 1.1 subsection heading more ...
3
votes
3answers
724 views

What is a systematic way of using Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases?

I'm new to the book, and not sure where to start. Please share some ideas on how you as a writer use Roget's. I love that the book has so many different words and I would like to know how you use ...
6
votes
3answers
309 views

How explicit should a YA novel be?

For a romance YA novel, how explicit can it be? Are there certain descriptions or words that shouldn't be used?
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Taking notes while reading

I read books for fun and to help my writing. I want to remember the cool things I read, but I don't want to distract from the enjoyment of reading. Any suggestions on how to take notes or better ...
4
votes
5answers
859 views

How many writers use fountain pens/dip pens today?

How often are fountain pens and dip pens are used today by writers, and why do they use them? Or, if applicable, why not?
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Little did he know

In the movie "Stranger Than Fiction" the professor of literature makes quite a big deal about the phrase "little did he know." I've written papers on "Little did he know." I've taught classes on ...
15
votes
5answers
6k views

Submitting a novel for publication: do editors still expect Courier font?

About ten years ago an agent told me not to submit manuscripts in fonts other than Courier (or Courier New) and to double-space lines. He said editors were prejudiced against manuscripts that looked ...
2
votes
3answers
294 views

Please help me polish this paragraph.

I'm learning English as a foreign language. In one of my writings, one paragraph goes: But it's not saying we just indulge ourselves and turn into wild beasts. We train our brain hard so that we ...
7
votes
5answers
768 views

“multiple personalities” for character development in writing?

How can I train myself to think in "multiple personalities" so I can use these personalities for character development in writing?
12
votes
7answers
370 views

Should you read your own genre?

In terms of novel writing, I tend to avoid my own genre, at least for the most part. Some of the reasons why: Genre Blindness / Genre Trap: Too much reading of your own genre blinds you to the ...
7
votes
2answers
285 views

How to emphasize a quote is written, not spoken?

In a similar question on EL&U, I asked about suggestions for indicating that a quote is written instead of spoken. Robusto's answer suggested several possible approaches: For longer quotes of ...
6
votes
2answers
650 views

Guideline on turning points in a novel?

What are some popular guides regarding structuring a novel, specifically what turning points the story should hit and approximately at what point in the manuscript? I'm looking for something more ...
9
votes
4answers
592 views

How do I avoid a “mid-story info dump?”

I am revising the manuscript for a novel. About a third into the story, a major turning point occurs when the main character (through whom the reader follows the story) realizes that things are not at ...
11
votes
2answers
222 views

What exactly is an editor?

I recently read the assertion that many great works of fiction were chiefly down the contribution of a good editor. I must admit I was a little taken aback by this statement. I had never really ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What is a good methodology for researching a historical novel?

I'm having difficulty with the research aspect of my historical novel. This question was originally going to be "how much research should one do to write a historical novel?" to which, answering my ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Why is “It was a dark and stormy night..” not a good opening?

Also, why has it spawned an award for bad writing?
6
votes
2answers
169 views

Is there a legitimate step by step guide to getting your book published?

I want to write on a computer topic which isn't covered by many existing books out there. What is the process of getting your book published?
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Using the real world in writing

To what extent can you use locations, businesses, etc. from the real world in fiction? I know someone cannot copyright a city, but what about a particular location in the city that's private. Can I ...

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