4
votes
3answers
147 views

How can I express this fragment more clearly and concisely?

For the 'who is this application for' section of an application user guide, I have the following alternatives, I'm not happy with either one. How can I convey both elements more clearly and ...
4
votes
4answers
866 views

Is it true that men (in general) can't write female first-person?

I think I first saw that statement in an answer to this question. Men cannot, in general, write female first-person. I gave it a thought, and realized there was some truth in it; I've read ...
6
votes
2answers
286 views

How to have a character be nameless for the first few paragraphs of a book?

Let me first explain what is going in in the beginning of the story: My main character belongs to a tribal culture that requires their children pass a rite of passage to earn their name. So I'm kind ...
3
votes
2answers
36k views

Multiple authors in MLA header

I'm writing a group paper and I was wondering whether there's a correct way to list multiple authors at the top of the first page in MLA format. Normally the header would look something like: My Name ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Page numbers on colour plates

I need to insert a full-page colour plate into a document I am writing. The plate has been prepared in a different program. As colour plates, which I have seen in books, do not carry page numbers, my ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the best version control system for a book writer?

I'm a writer—no programming, only prose in text files, mostly in Emacs org-mode, some in markdown-mode. I want to implement a version control system for my writing projects. I work with two types of ...
4
votes
2answers
274 views

What is the role of editors in news media today?

Back when rocks were soft and the world wide web hadn't yet been invented, I worked on a college newspaper that, I was told, followed the same patterns as professional papers. (That is, the skills we ...
6
votes
3answers
187 views

Tracing dependencies and emergent plotholes during edits

The fiction I write currently hit a major snag and needs a big overhaul of a major part of the story. A whole, large thread is being injected, a second conflict running in parallel with the main one ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Describe all corrections as clearly and unambiguously as possible

I have a paper that will be published. The editor sent me an email to return corrections. The requirement: Please follow one of the following two options for returning proof corrections: 1) ...
5
votes
2answers
237 views

Do script readers start at the beginning?

Script readers-- the people who sift and sort the vast piles of scripts submitted to Hollywood -- do they start at the beginning? The reason I ask is that I know 99% of scripts are awful and just get ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Killing off a character: deciding if, when and how

Killing off a character is a serious issue. Secondary characters or even extras can pass away without too much negative response from the readers but main characters are a whole different matter. It ...
4
votes
5answers
403 views

Putting a dialogue a tag before a quote

Sometimes I see stuff like this: X said, "..." "..." X did this, and then said, "..." Is it used to just vary sentence structure? Or to make dialogue more readable or smoother in certain ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Should paragraphs split over pages in thesis?

I am writing a technical thesis with quite a few figures, tables and equations. These items break up the "flow" of the document. To mitigate this some journals suggest placing such items at the top or ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to quote something twice

If I use a quote and then want to explicitly refer to a small part of that quote again, within the same paragraph, do I need to use quotation marks again? Can I use italics instead? I am writing in ...
6
votes
9answers
416 views

Should dull dialogue be removed completely?

The following dialogue is from a novel I'm writing (first draft): "You're quiet tonight," Erin said to Benjamin, who seemed to be lost in thoughts. He looked up and took a sip of his drink. ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Setting up for writing

I am a work professional and the writer by choice. I have been writing since a long but basically poems, short stories and my reviews on books that I read so far. But since yet I have been writing via ...
5
votes
6answers
555 views

It is a sign of bad writing to have many scenes that are disconnected with the main plot?

So my novel look like this (I took this diagram idea from this site, but I'm not sure exactly from whom): The beginning and end focuses on the mystery that the heroine is trying to solve (main ...
0
votes
3answers
82 views

Should I close this quoted paragraph?

I have a paragraph of dialog which technically continues into the next paragraph, but I want to interject a "she continued" almost immediately into the second paragraph. So should I close the quote on ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

How can I prepare for a career in instruction writing and editing?

To technical background authors (e.g. Isaac Rabinovitch) who would possibly work in teams with non-technically trained writers: How can I prepare myself to be able to do what you do? How can I ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Is anybody aware of a good way I can determine whether or not something is public domain, or royalty free?

I'm writing a textbook and I'd like to include an old paper from Alan Turing as an appendix. Searches on Google turn up copies of the paper, but I cannot seem to find anything explicitly indicating if ...
2
votes
1answer
518 views

In what narrative mode should you explain a process or task?

I want to explain a psychological and behavioural process to someone via email. I start off in first-person and speak to them in second-person, but what do I use when I want to explain a process ...
1
vote
2answers
476 views

Chapter names: The various ways of implementing them and why should I care

I see many times, that authors use various name formats for chapters: "***" "Twenty Four" "Chapter 5" "XIX" "Last Resort" "Ad notam" (or something Latin or any foreign, (!not author!) language) ...
7
votes
2answers
749 views

My Ex husband's wife self published a non fiction book naming my kids in the story

My ex husband's wife self published a non fiction book and put my kids in the story as well. She did not change their names. Neither she nor my ex husband told me about this or asked me (or the ...
6
votes
5answers
246 views

Writing about a subject on which you have no expertise?

So I signed up for a novel workshop, and within a month the first chapter will be due. Problem is I that want to use characters who are well-versed in mathematics, especially group theory or model ...
0
votes
1answer
123 views

Is it a good idea to first write the linear plot when writing a segmented screenplay?

I am working on a segmented screen play, involving three major segments cutting in and out frequently. I was planning to write the entire plot in a linear, unsegmented style, then cut it up per the ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

What are some disadvantages of writing fiction in a diary format?

I find writing in a diary-style is the easiest way to write fiction. The format is the same as a diary, with each entry beginning with the date, then describing the feelings or events of the character ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I change a novel from first person to limited third person?

For various reasons (increased clarity, and an interested agent), I'm rewriting what was once two first-person POVs into a third person limited POV. Other answers have previously established the ...
1
vote
3answers
746 views

How to write to a famous author?

I once knew a famous author, but for complex reasons I lost the privilege of his acquaintance. In trying to begin a writing career concerned with many of the same subjects as his work, it occurs to me ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

How to put on a book launch?

I have written a book (google 'Weave of the Ride') and I have built a community of followers of the past few years. I would like to put on a book launch. Does anyone have any tips and advice? I live ...
3
votes
3answers
789 views

What work better for the following piece of writing? Past or present tense?

I'm writing a short story but I'm not sure whether to write it in the past or the present tense. This is the opening paragraph: Sophia was awakened by the rattling sound of her washing machine. ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

What software do you use for writing and then structuring a book?

I'm looking for good software for overseeing and rearranging the structure of a book. I have used Scrivener before, but found its exporting functionality frustrating and the software itself somewhat ...
1
vote
2answers
192 views

What structure should I use for each article in a technical travel guide?

I am writing a technical guide for travelling and I'd like advice on what kind of structure I should use for each article. I have the articles written, but when I wrote them I didn't use a particular ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How to quote from a foreign journal that has not been translated?

I need to quote from a journal written in Arabic. What should I do? Write it first in Arabic then followed by translation and indicating that it is my own translation (translated by author)? Can I ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Workflow for writing and poetry contests

I'm new to this thing. I've developed an awesome talent for essaywriting and poetics, but I have never entered a contest, gotten paid for it, etc. So this question is simply: What is a typical ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How are citations formatted in serious non-fiction (proposals)?

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about scholarly work of the sort that might be published by a university press. I'm talking about work by people like Goodwin, McCullough, or Larson. These kinds of ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

Software for collaborative writing for a small team

I'm working on a writing project with a friend, and we're looking for some kind of (preferably cloud-based) project management and version control software so each of us can see how far the other has ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

What are my headlines lacking?

I'm writing headlines for a print ad where instead of a 4X4 waiting for a train at a crossing, the train is waiting for it with a boom in front of the train instead of the car. This is to show the ...
1
vote
5answers
593 views

Suggest any good text editor for Mac for writing in multiple languages

I have been using iBook author, for a time and the simple Mac TextEdit along with openOffice TextDocument. And I recently downloaded Evernote in expectation of more (but that's something else and not ...
5
votes
2answers
303 views

Do the characters in the following dialogue sound the same?

The following unedited dialogue is from a novel I'm writing (which is based on a short story I wrote a while ago): "I hope it's not an inappropriate question," Icaro said, after hesitating for a ...
-3
votes
6answers
12k views

How do greetings vary with time of day?

A character in a story meets another and the author is keeping time of day, as in "the clock was indicating 12 noon". How do the characters greet each other? Kindly include salutations for each time ...
5
votes
5answers
606 views

How do authors gain strong familiarity with archaic and extremely rare words?

I keep thinking about this because I've lately been reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, and it's just ridiculous. I have to look up 1-2 words per sentence sometimes, something I'm only used to ...
4
votes
6answers
290 views

How to tell a story with the least amount of writing?

I love to invent stories and come up with ideas, but I don't have the patience to fill out all the details that is usually a part of a novel. (For those of you familiar with Myers-Briggs or Jungian ...
1
vote
5answers
937 views

Are there rules for, or guidelines on, time gaps between a plot's scenes/chapters?

I've been reading a host of old favourites, classics and authors outside of my usual reading pool, in an effort to dissect the writing (from plot, characters and environment to voice, pacing and ...
2
votes
5answers
696 views

Writing exercises to practice the art of giving unique voice to characters?

I've read many blogs which teach you how to give a unique voice to each of your characters. I feel I understand how to do it, but I think I'm a little stuck in the voice I've been using since I ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “creative writing” and “fiction writing”?

My college offers many writing courses. I notice, one course is called "Creative Writing" and another is called "Fiction Writing". What is the difference between creative writing and fiction writing?
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Is it worth reading book to learn more about topic of my story

The story I am writing involves the 10 steps of turning a democracy into a police state. And to make it more real, I thught the people who are doing it should explain it to the main character ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

Parts, books, volumes, etc

Is there any standard (or at least common) heirarchical arrangement for major divisions of a fiction book? For instance, I occassionally see some large novels divided into "parts", and sometimes I see ...
4
votes
5answers
347 views

What is the proper way to use the pronoun “I” without too much repetition?

I found a new job in London and while emailing with my soon-to-be boss, I noticed something that drove me off: the constant repetition of the pronoun I. This is very different from my native language ...
0
votes
5answers
349 views

How to number the equations in an academic paper?

I know that the figures and tables are numbered consecutively throughout the while paper. What about the equation numbering? Suppose I have four equations in the paper, but I want to number only two ...
3
votes
3answers
286 views

Gadgets that make the world/story broken

Every so often I see a nice piece of fiction where its author adds something (to save the plot, or to make it interesting, whatever) that makes the story broken (usually it makes the world, setting or ...

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