4
votes
3answers
139 views

Analogies, pitfalls and guidelines

Analogies can be powerful tools in both explaining and misrepresenting a complex topic. What methodology works well for finding good analogies and how does one figure out whether an analogy is well ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Referencing a website using Harvard style

How can I reference a website using the Harvard style? How would this be different if no author was listed?
7
votes
10answers
783 views

Do fullscreen writing environments help for writing? Why?

I recently found out about full-screen writing applications like OmniWriter and DarkRoom and I'm interested in using them, but I'm skeptical as to whether or not these are actually useful for ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Personal Page - review request

I have created my personal about page, based on "The Personal Page" template. As a non-native English speaker I worry, that my attempt at telegraphic style is riddled with questionable use of ...
9
votes
5answers
809 views

When should a chapter end?

When writing a novel, when should I end a chapter? Note that I'm not talking about chapter word-count (that topic was discussed here). I'm interested to know when should I end my chapters ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Good Outlining Solutions For OSX?

I write technical non-fiction and find that I cannot write well without first constructing a detailed (10-20 page) outline. Are there any good outlining solutions for OSX? Apps? Templates in Microsoft ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

Character with extreme manners

My objective is victorian style tea-drinking "upper class" lady characters. (it's more of a writing challenge) Does anyone have any useful resources or tips for creating such a character? ...
6
votes
2answers
102 views

Other than find a publisher for your work, what do agents do?

A lot of people recommend agents. I've heard advice that an agent's job involves a lot more than just finding a publisher for your novel, but no one really says what else their job entails. What else ...
8
votes
5answers
811 views

How should dialog be formatted?

Is there any "official" rule that I should keep in mind when formatting character dialog? Line breaks, placement of quotes, mixing dialog with action descriptions etc. For example, I want to build a ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

How does one go about writing “official” fanfiction?

There are tons of "official" fanifction books out there for a lot of popular TV shows and movies. I've seen Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Criminal Minds, The Unit, and probably a ...
20
votes
10answers
762 views

How do I construct a plot out of my many setting/character details?

In my creative writing, I typically am inspired by short interactions between things: An overheard conversation. A person's jealousy of a friend's talent. A humorous misinterpretation... I tend to ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How to make a letter interesting?

I have a question regarding the art of letter writing. I believe in the old-fashioned way of maintaining pen friendships (not necessarily a relationship, but could be) through hand-written letters, ...
1
vote
4answers
399 views

How can I write poems in an attractable manner?

I have written several poems, but only very few won prices. Those poems impressed people very much, so I want you to share your thoughts, what are the key things I have to focus on or I have to keep ...
7
votes
2answers
242 views

Which free licence to choose for my book (manual)?

I wrote a 50 page manual that I plan to release for free. I do not mind if the book is copied, translated, printed, shared, ... I just want two things: I am the only person who can sell a copy of ...
5
votes
3answers
770 views

Different kinds of editors

I've noticed references to different kinds of editors such as copy editor, line editor and development editor. I'd like to know the different categories of editors and their job descriptions.
5
votes
3answers
232 views

Writing a math exercise book

I am in the process of compiling a collection of exercises in Linear Algebra, (freshman course). This is mainly just a series of examples, with a short theoretical introduction to each chapter with a ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Keeping track of multiple plot lines

How do you track several plot lines woven together? I usually run 2 or 3 plot-lines in parallel, so I detail those plots each in a separate document. But as the book goes on, it is sometimes ...
7
votes
6answers
341 views

Unquestionable Taboos and Self-censorship

In the community/nation/country I am to be living, mentioning some themes is the best way to be ostracised for life (or for a very long time). Talking about not being published or read, not being ...
2
votes
5answers
622 views

What does “Exposition and Ammunition – back story” mean in screenwriting?

I am just starting my first screen writing class and I got an assignment that says: Exposition and Ammunition – back story. I have been searching online but I don't get it. Can someone explain it for ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the best way to show a foreign language in a manuscript?

What's the best way to show a character speaking a foreign language in fiction manuscript? Should the foreign words be italicized and include a translation? Should it just be included in the sentence ...
5
votes
4answers
110 views

Should one blog in a few languages?

Greetings. I've been blogging for a while now and I do it in Russian. But, some of my English-speaking... AHEM "Internet-friends" are unable to read my personal blog, 'cause they're just not familiar ...
2
votes
0answers
208 views

Is Strunk and White's “The Elements” full of “stupid grammar advice?” [closed]

In a previous question I asked about The Elements, RegDwight posted a comment containing a link to this article by Geoffrey K. Pullum: 50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice. There is also a lengthier ...
5
votes
5answers
786 views

Do episodes of the show House follow a constant structural pattern?

I've seen a few episodes of House M.D., and I wonder, are the episodes written according to a fixed structural pattern? If so, what are the details, and why does such a structure make the show ...
15
votes
11answers
991 views

Which techniques can I use to become a better editor when editing my own writing?

I'm looking to improve my ability to edit and correct my own writing. What are some techniques I can use to help me with this?
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Why does an author need an editor?

I'm firmly in the camp of "your novel needs an editor, and that editor better not be yourself." But recently I was asked why that was, and I couldn't articulate an answer that was passable. Young ...
24
votes
4answers
446 views

Editors: Edit on first read, or read and edit on second round?

I edit novels (among other works). I was having a discussion with someone (not an editor) who didn't understand my technique. What I do is read through the document, and the moment something occurs ...
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
285 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
539 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
483 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
292 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
451 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
480 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
675 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
250 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
722 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
421 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
948 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
3k 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
944 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 ...

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