3
votes
2answers
103 views

How/When to include twists when developing plot.

Disclaimer: This is a new question, not an extension of my other questions concerning twists. When I develop fiction, I start with a premise and a theme. I have a general idea of where I'm headed, ...
6
votes
5answers
114 views

How do sci-fi stories hold up if their premise or details become discredited?

I've been playing with the idea of trying to write a sci-fi story that would resemble those written roughly 50-100 years back: things we normally would laugh out of court today, like Jules Verne's ...
3
votes
1answer
173 views

Book Title Generator that takes input?

There are a couple book title generators out there (Google will find them for you). Unfortunately, none of them seem to take any input. That is, they all generate titles by assembling words from a ...
0
votes
1answer
12 views

Cite Multiple sources Chicago manual style

I have cited the same source multiple times on one page of my essay. In my footnotes do I have to list the source each time, or is there a technique to list footnote numbers before the source like "1, ...
2
votes
1answer
12 views

MLA: citing indirect sources w/o quoting

I am working on a paper. In this paper, I'm talking about how poverty affects African-Americans. I found this great article in which the author talks about poverty and how it is related to mental ...
2
votes
4answers
148 views

Fantasy - chapter length

I'm currently writing a fantasy novel and its my first piece of work. My chapters currently range from 500 to 3350 words. Is this too much of a dramatic change? Should I go back and pad out some of ...
3
votes
2answers
174 views

What is the difference between a complication/twist and a situation?

I have recently read an article (The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, chapter 7) concerning plot twists, or complications. It discusses the difference between twists and mere situations. The ...
9
votes
3answers
859 views

Using a pen-name: possible legal issues

My question is about publishing under a pen-name. Does it have to be registered as a trademark? If it's not registered as a trademark, can someone sue a writer for using it? Because every name you ...
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

Formatting for fading between a radio broadcast and the protagonist

Is it Ok to fade out the commentator’s voice before he’s finished his broadcast…? I’m trying to illustrate to the readers that the broadcast continues, whilst Jack and Richard go on with their ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Overabundance of punctuation, too many pauses, like this title

I have a writing style which relies heavily on pauses, specifically commas and periods. I like to put them everywhere but I am quit sure I overdo it significantly. I was wondering if there are known ...
2
votes
1answer
24 views

Citation anniversary editions

How do I do MLA citations for an anniversary edition, e.g. 30th anniversary Selfish Gene. Do I treat it as a normal edition or just ignore that it is a new edition?
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Omitting pronouns and possessive adjectives in fiction

When is OK to omitting pronouns and possessive adjectives in fiction? Examples: She called me that weekend while I was cleaning my apartment. She called me that weekend while cleaning my ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

How to stay motivated and focused while writing [duplicate]

Every now and then, I start writing something, which I at first consider a master piece but after a while I leave it unfinished thinking that it isn't that great. This has started happening quite too ...
24
votes
9answers
610 views

What are the first things I should do with an idea?

I have a lot of ideas for things I want to write, but I usually end up getting lost in a stream-of-consciousness and either lose interest in the idea, or suddenly feel overwhelmed by the breadth of ...
1
vote
3answers
69 views

At what point in editing / revising does one poem become another poem?

Many writing journals say they will not publish previously published poems. But if I revise a previously published poem, can I safely say the edited poem has not been published? If so, would a ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Tips for writing sentences like a native speaker

English isn't my native tongue, but I've been writing novels in English for a while. Most of the time, I can be aware of what's grammatically correct and what's not. But making sure that a sentence ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

When should headers be used in writing?

When I ask the Should I use hypophoras at the beginning of every paragraphs? question, Lauren Ipsum suggests me to organize things with headers while Kristina Adams advises me to avoid headers in ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Avoiding passing time by switching PoV - Viable method?

I once wrote a short story that was around ninety pages. It encompassed approximately a month. Since it was a short story, there were necessarily parts of it where days, weeks even, went by without ...
8
votes
4answers
135 views

How to stay motivated while rewriting?

This related question made me think. I love writing. I am never bored. I never have writer's block. I just enjoy exploring my imagination and following the unexpected turns of my creativity. It is one ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Are the tenses of the following piece correct? [closed]

I almost drowned in the this ocean of tenses. Anyhow, did I make any mistake? It was almost two, so I said goodnight to Mom and went back to my room. Once on my bed, I took the gold tooth out of ...
2
votes
1answer
345 views

Am I correctly punctuating this pause?

I want to convey the pause between the "then" and the rest of the sentence. But I'm not sure a comma is the correct punctuation to use. Then, when the smoke had cleared Jane Or is an ellipsis ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Technical writer degree with an english BA?

I'm desperately trying to get out of my dead end Federal job. I have a BA in English and a love of a lot of different topics, including several science fields. I would have Majored in science if I ...
26
votes
8answers
955 views

When is it okay to tell?

One of the major mantras of writing fiction is "show, don't tell". Is it ever okay to tell? When?
2
votes
2answers
48 views

Do I have to pay royalties when I use research information?

I'm in the process of writing my very first book and I'd like to use the internet for research information. However, I don't want to do anything wrong. I realize I need to list the source of my info ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

What science fiction sub-genre is my novel?

I've written a science fiction book that has a strong feel of "fantasy." Three quarters of the story is in a medieval/primitive kingdom type settings (think Game of Thrones or Wheel of Time), there ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

What does being “heavy handed” mean? And how does one avoid it?

I've come across the term "heavy handed" before, and it seems to be one of the more egregious mistakes that one can make while writing - at least that's the impression I get from critics. What does ...
2
votes
3answers
55 views

Quoting Song Lyrics or Naming a Song, Or Possibly Group/Singer

Can you quote music lyrics in a book? Like this: Stuck in traffic, main character is blasting Rage Against the Machine, Testify [insert song lyrics excerpt here] Or is that a legal issue? What ...
1
vote
3answers
343 views

Is sending your characters back to a different century a good way to disguise them?

In one of my novels, I took two "contemporary" real life people, and sent them back to the 18th century to fight the American Revolution. (Yours truly is one of them.) My current understanding of the ...
2
votes
4answers
104 views

How do I start using my heart over my head?

A little bit of background: I am trained as a electrical engineer and the more analytical stuff comes very easily to me. I've become way too analytical in my everyday life, always searching for ...
2
votes
6answers
69 views

How to keep going after a failed project?

I just came here from a link on a Tumblr and I thought it was the perfect place to ask my questions since I didn't have to sign up. I'm terribly sorry if I mess this up, but here goes: I was posting ...
2
votes
4answers
361 views

How much repetition is too much repetition?

This is a question that'd been bothering me for a while. Here's an example: My heart racing, I wriggled to the edge of the bed and fumbled for Travis' hand. Just make sure to hold onto it, he'd ...
3
votes
5answers
6k views

Which tense to use when writing a diary?

For writing diary content every day, which English tense is appropriate to use? Things have all happened already. I usually write late at night (end of the day) or the next day. Should I use ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

When should one use a section sign (§)?

When I asked this on English.SE, the question was closed; it was suggested that I ask on Writers.SE instead. To be clear, I mean the section sign § (utf-8: 0xC2 0xA7), which is available via \S in ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Should I use hypophoras at the beginning of every paragraphs?

Hypophora is a figure of speech in which a writer raises a question and then immediately provides an answer to that question. I am about to write a Statement of Purpose. In the SOP, I need to ...
1
vote
3answers
121 views

Should I “spanglish” a Mexican character's dialogue?

I am working on a novel based in Mexico, and I am wondering if there are any strong opinions on whether or not I should put common phrases of speech in spanish even though all characters are speaking ...
3
votes
1answer
387 views

in English, is it necessary to capitalize after a colon?

I've seen that each language has its own rules when using the colon. In Spanish, it's not needed to capitalize: Los elementos incluyen: secado, lavado, etc. In French is the same, and even they put ...
7
votes
4answers
420 views

What factors in fiction arouse readers' expectations?

Feedback from my writer's group tells me that my recent stories leave promises unfulfilled and important questions unanswered. So I've become interested in how stories make promises and raise ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

References or tips for book editing (self-published books)

Disclaimer: English isn't my native language and I haven't studied writing, book editing or poetry at all. According to my meta question about asking questions about sources or references for help ...
7
votes
4answers
329 views

How to stay motivated while writing a story, after the initial burst of enthusiasm?

TL;DR: How do you approach to writing? What part of the work do you enjoy the most? And how do you keep the motivation up? I often ask myself if I really like to write. I mean, I have a lot of ...
4
votes
2answers
119 views

How would my work being available online affect my chances of a book deal?

Preferring to peddle my Science Fiction manuscript to a Literary agent, may well be an impossible dream. In which case I feel that whilst I’m considering that option, however remote it may be, I ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

How do I convince readers to keep reading poems with fixed rhyme?

Disclaimer: English isn't my native language and I haven't studied writing or poetry at all. I released my first poetry book called "Bella Poesía / Beatiful Poetry" in February last year, and until ...
2
votes
4answers
258 views

Software to change American punctuation to British

My apologies if this is off topic. American and British writing have different punctuation styles. Is there any software that can change American style punctuation to British? I am referring to ...
-2
votes
2answers
32 views

What is the meaning of a cancelled publication in conference? [closed]

In this this link, I see a cancelled publication (there is a horizontal line on its name): Methods for Mining and Summarizing Text Conversations. What does it mean? I would like to find this article. ...
20
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
107 views

Originality of Writing

I have been writing a book, and often times I feel like a lot of the elements in my story are just Freudian slips. I'm not plagiarizing or anything, but sometimes I will go back and read through my ...
4
votes
5answers
132 views

Naming my character

I am a beginner, would like to know if I can start a short story calling my main character "he" and then introduce his name later. If so when is a good time to do this?
1
vote
4answers
76 views

Getting help and/or mentoring, later in life

For context, I am a forty-something male from the Great Lakes region of the United States. I work full-time as something other than a writer. About 25 years ago in high school, I was an ...
2
votes
3answers
43 views

Name and Nickname

Is it acceptable to use both name and nickname when referring to my character? Example: Vindici waited for Eustachio to make his way up the hill towards him. "What news?" Vindici asked. "Well," ...
4
votes
4answers
281 views

Children's Dialogue

I'm having some trouble writing dialogue (and emotive responses) for children in the age bracket of roughly 10-13. They end up reading more like adults with limited vocabularies and simple grammar ...
9
votes
1answer
129 views

Getting My Rights Back

Back in the late 90's I wrote a picture book which eventually was published in 2002 by a big name publishing house. The book was critically acclaimed, won an award, and went through a couple of ...

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