All Questions

5
votes
6answers
464 views

Does this feel like natural English?

Although I'm pretty confident in my English, I'm not a native English speaker. I need to write a short introduction for a symposium; I'd like to know if you think this paragraph feels like 'natural' ...
2
votes
3answers
598 views

Help me rewrite this sentence [closed]

I would like help re-writing this sentence. I would like the overall tone of the language kept intact, and I would like it to be as concise, eloquent and well written as possible. In the event ...
3
votes
3answers
545 views

What are the ingredients for a good book review?

I've recently started writing book reviews. I am doing this for numerous reasons, most importantly perhaps is to be able to express in a clear and concise manner. English is not my first language and ...
-2
votes
1answer
180 views

How many words (or lines) are long enough to make someone think about his life but short enough to hook lazy readers? [closed]

OK, I know that it depends of what it is written. But I believe that human brain responds to a certain amount of words in different ways. Based on that, how many words (or lines) you think are long ...
7
votes
6answers
545 views

How to attract the average reader to an “intellectual” novel?

For instance, If I write a novel which has the following: “The universe goes through a gradual transition from one condition, to a different condition, without any abrupt changes.” ...
9
votes
9answers
255 views

Will my readers feel like they are reading a children's storybook if there are illustrations in my novel?

I'm writing a novel. I also have good drawing skills. I would like to add illustrations of the setting, locations and characters. I may include 8 or 10 illustrations (the novel is approximately 200 ...
6
votes
2answers
254 views

Should the Voice of the Author change with the Point-Of-View Character in a Non-Literary Fiction?

I have been writing an action/adventure novel and am having a tough time deciding whether the voice of the writer should undergo a slight/moderate but not a complete change with the point of view ...
4
votes
6answers
3k views

In what order should I describe a setting?

For instance I'm describing the park of an art museum in a foggy day. I'm not sure if I should start with the fog, wind, grass, threes, walking paths, buildings, stairs or something else. Is there a ...
7
votes
3answers
225 views

Can I ePublish my out-of-print history book?

Can I assume that the rights to my history book Frontier Theatre (Sono Nis 1983) reverted wholly back to me when the book went out of print around 1992? The contract was a standard pre-digital ...
9
votes
4answers
493 views

New digital ways of presenting a novel in 2011?

The traditional way of presenting a novel is in a book. I know about e-books too. Do you know another digital ways of presenting a novel? For instance, a blog, a twitter novel or something like the ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What needs to be included in a corporate style guide?

What kinds of things need to be included in a corporate style guide that can't already be found in S&W, AP, Chicago Style, etc?
3
votes
3answers
214 views

Writing a bibliography

In the formats I've seen for writing a bibliography, the author is always put first, and then the title. Are there some bibliographies where the title is put before the author?
5
votes
5answers
405 views

Is a novel less credible if the dialogues are too perfect?

I always find myself trying to make dialogues perfect. For example, the perfect advice, the perfect punch line, the perfect joke or irony. OR maybe if the characters talk continuously without ...
9
votes
3answers
554 views

How can I create my own deadline?

I'm very responsible when I'm writing a tech book or article under contract. I have a deadline, my editor is expecting my work, and I turn it in on time. Sometimes I put it off a bit, but I pride ...
27
votes
3answers
771 views

Explicitly correcting yourself while writing - how appropriate is it ?

Like so: He worries – well, not worries, but laments a little – that he senses people don't read Henry James anymore (sentence source: Monkey See, NPR Blogs ) I've used this style myself ...
3
votes
2answers
512 views

LaTex + version control writing package

This should be probably cross-posted to tex.stackexchange.com. However, since my question is more oriented towards writers who also have a firm grasp of technology, I'm posting it here in hopes of ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I avoid legal repercussions for writing a story based on events in my life?

How do I avoid legal repercussions for writing a story based on events in my life? Mainly, I have experienced events that I would like to share with the world. These events are somewhat disturbing ...
3
votes
8answers
234 views

Is it possible that my short novel will be boring to my readers because it only has two characters and the location doesn't change?

In my story, there are two characters: a schoolgirl and a strange person with a creepy mask who gives her a tour in an art museum at night. Well, actually there is a third character; the boyfriend of ...
11
votes
6answers
202 views

Avoiding foot&note disease

In his answer to Our note in footnote of a book, Malvolio writes: I hate numbered foot-notes personally, they're very distracting Which I agree with, but his recommendation, to use endnotes, I ...
5
votes
1answer
257 views

How to avoid getting confused while adding symbols within symbols (novel writing)?

For instance, I'm writing a novel where the main character is wandering in a city which represents his wife (symbol number one), but then the places he visits within the city also represent the bad ...
5
votes
2answers
343 views

What can I earn as a technical writer or technical editor?

I've been a computer programmer for thirty years and an expert in some niches. I was a technical editor before that. I'd like to be a free-lance editor again if the pay is right. How does a ...
7
votes
2answers
378 views

Has this dialogue enough suspense to engage the reader?

I still have to make some grammar and writing corrections but I would like to know if this dialogue Has this has enough suspense to engage the reader (so that he or she wants to read more)? “Excuse ...
8
votes
1answer
609 views

How do I find an affordable editor?

I wrote a few chapters of a book several years ago. How do I find an affordable editor?
3
votes
3answers
176 views

Do writers use highlighting to clarify ideas in their work in progress?

In programming we often use syntax highlight in order to have a better picture of what the role of particular bits of code is (using different colours). I wonder if writers do something similar - ...
0
votes
4answers
182 views

“In the” vs “At the” [closed]

I am not sure which one is correct: In the beginning of the book or At the beginning of the book As in the sentence: In the beginning of the book Marco describes his early life.
5
votes
5answers
753 views

How to refer to character of focus in a story

I find that when I write, I'm not always sure how to refer to the character of focus. You can only say "he/she" so many times before it feels choppy and repetitive. Constantly referring to character ...
1
vote
4answers
153 views

How to convey the fact that the person that I'm talking to, is “she” but from the past?

I wrote the following: I think about cheating on you...with a girl who I used to have random romantic moments with, a girl who no longer exist, a girl which was you, the first days we met. ...
5
votes
2answers
145 views

What's the proper way of formatting writing from a character in a novel?

I'm writing a story that constantly shows what the characters are writing. I would like to know how to format that. Right now I'm doing it like this (please ignore the grammar, it is a rough draft): ...
4
votes
2answers
121 views

Help write a book review, please

Edited to incorporate @Craig Sefton's suggestions. About a book that I admire, I wrote in an SE computer-programming group: The material seems old -- well, it is old -- because it's been around ...
8
votes
5answers
393 views

Our note in footnote of a book

How do I designate the footnotes that are mine inside a quote? I tried "our note", "note ours" and "remark is ours". Which one is the correct one and most commonly used? Or is there some other way? ...
2
votes
2answers
216 views

Indirect Narration Style

Does the indirect narration style (as in: 'Surely she was going to ask him out tomorrow.') directly fall into the classification of Narration?
4
votes
2answers
90 views

What are some ways to denote presentation style outside of written text.

I would like my document as I am writing it to be independent of software layouts as I think it would be a better decision to make at the end of the process. What would be good ways to denote ...
1
vote
2answers
735 views

Is my essay on group learning clear and well-organized?

I'm looking for all-around advice on this essay (I'm a foreign student, and learning English), but primarily, I wanted to ask is whether my essay is well-organized and clear enough. I mean, the first ...
8
votes
7answers
424 views

Potential confusion: referring to home planet as “Earth”

I'm writing a science fiction story and it's based in another galaxy, colonised by humans originally on a geographically equivalent "Earth". My current usage refers to it as "Earth" and provides a ...
9
votes
10answers
285 views

An alternative to saying 'users' when describing features

I'm creating some copy describing new web-app features for a number of different audiences (users, managers of sections of the site, owners of sub-sites which use our platform etc.). I'm finding ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How could I share my lyrics?

I've been writing lyrics for quite sometime now (at-least five years). Although there have been several of those moments when I've thought I'd have an act for music making.. I'm just not sure I'll ...
5
votes
4answers
260 views

What is the Priority in an Action/Adventure Novel: Dialogues or Conflict?

I am currently working on a novel and I was having some trouble finding the best solution for this question. I understand that both dialogues and conflicts are needed in a good proportion to cook a ...
5
votes
4answers
414 views

What makes a good action scene?

Action, in any storytelling medium, is the relationship between build up and pay off. While cinema may emphasize the payoff (pyrotechnics play well to theater-going crowds) it seems that the written ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Where to look for ESL writers and copyeditors? [closed]

I often work on lessons for ESL students - texts, dialogues, etc. I'm not a native speaker and I don't have any friends abroad. I often need copyeditors for my lessons, but I seem to have trouble ...
1
vote
7answers
3k views

Write a resume objective that expresses my desire to hone and sharpen my skills

I wish to convey to prospective employers that I not only want to use my skills, but hone and sharpen them as well. Does the below paragraph do justice to it? Do you have any suggestions? Does the ...
9
votes
2answers
333 views

How do critics review an author's first and second and maybe third novel differently?

Do critics review first, second, and third novels differently? And if so, how? What do critics think is the significance of the birth order of novels?
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Why does using this “-ing” verb construction make my writing weaker?

I had to write a scholarship essay, wherein I wrote this sentence: Over the ensuing years I read as much as I could, trying to increase my knowledge and understanding of my own language. I sent ...
17
votes
10answers
7k views

Tools for science-based world building?

I tend to lean towards science-fiction and fantasy, so world building matters a lot to me. A while ago, there was a question which asked how to go about organizing your universe, which was ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Translation as the starting point of a new work of fiction

In the past, there has been famous cases of translations becoming works on their own. Many dramatic plots were copied from country to country (Elisabethan dramatists used to translate spanish plays ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the best practice for displaying a personal website url in a resume?

Like most veteran coders in the IT industry, I have an out-of-date website that I use to link to different activities I'm involved with online, like Twitter and Stack Overflow. Up until now, I haven't ...
7
votes
4answers
227 views

What's a clear way to simulate web text in a story?

My novel includes excerpts of things like text from websites, tweets, and internet chats. I'm using Courier for the main novel font. Does switching to a san serif font make sense to represent the web ...
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
268 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
306 views

Third person POV

Can writing in the third-person limited omniscient POV include internal monologue and character thoughts?

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