1
vote
1answer
21 views

Customising book titles in references/sources

Some book use lower case titles while others use upper and lower case. Should I stick to authors choice or customise upper and lower case (as per correct usage of caps in titles). When re checking ...
9
votes
6answers
473 views

World Building vs Story Writing

Note, this might be off topic and belong on World Building SE? I have always been far more interested with building the world my stories take place in than the stories themselves. I will spend large ...
4
votes
5answers
139 views

Is mathematical poetry a form of poetry?

One author considers this mathematical statement by LeRoy Gorman entitled “The Birth of Tragedy” as a form of minimalist poetry: (!+?)^2 Is this ...
11
votes
7answers
7k views

Effective techniques for describing pain

I've noticed something in writing: it's difficult to convey pain, and even specific types of pain, to an audience who's comfortably sitting at home in an easy chair. I can hardly imagine pain until ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

What are the elements of a good blurb?

I'm writing a blurb. To do so, I'm using my favorite novels as examples. Here's one: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

Writing Style Changed [closed]

After the death of my cousin I have stopped writing for quite some time. However the stories ideas would persist in my mind. So I decided to try and write again, but whatever ideas I have. Turn into ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Are position titles capitalized when the subject is dropped

Deputy is not capitalized when referred to as a position. “The sheriff had many deputies.” “A deputy, a sheriff, and a judge walked into a bar...” John is capitalized because it is a name. “The ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Stuck at outlining a script

I have an idea, and it seemed like I had a somewhat clear understanding of the story, it's theme and most of the major plot points, but no matter how long I sit there and how drastically I tweak the ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Lists of description appropriate for formal writing?

In a formal piece, is it appropriate to write a list, especially one of descriptions? It's the easiest way to get information across sometimes, especially on a tight word limit. For example, if I had ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

How to approach an “Imagine and Describe” creative essay prompt?

I have this prompt for a creative essay as part of my application into a summer program: Participants in the Summer Programs for High School Students come from approximately 75 different countries ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Words vs minutes goals

Under which of the following goal structures are writers more prolific (prolific in terms of quality content): words-per-day minutes-per-day (Presuming agony is not quantifiable.) I doubt there's ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Should a long flashback be written in first or third person?

In my novel there will be a chapter-length flashback as one character relates a story from his past. The rest of the novel is written in limited third-person, seeing into one person's mind at a time. ...
3
votes
3answers
14k views

Minimum (realistic) word count of non-fiction book

What is a reasonable estimate for the minimum length, in word count, for a non-fiction book? I'd guesstimate that non-fiction books "generally" (yes, this is very rough) run perhaps 150-450 pages, ...
7
votes
4answers
555 views

Skipping details in a scene

I often struggle with details in a scene, and thought maybe I could just skip some of them while trying to keep the scene seamless, but I'm not sure how. This is an example from the scene I'm writing ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

How detailed should the description of the POV character be?

I have close to no experience of writing, but I have an idea that I would like to make into a short story (if for nothing else, for the sake of the exercise). It is a fantasy story seen from one of ...
6
votes
1answer
78 views

What are the poetry/quotes at the start of a chapter/book called?

For instance, "A Rasin in the Sun" starts with the poem "Harlem." I've noticed many (mostly contemporary) novels will start chapters with pieces of Poetry or quotes that are completely separate from ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Should “plot” or storyline be the main determinant of what goes into a story?

In writing a screenplay, I created a bunch of scenes, with about twice as much material in total as I needed. So the job was to cut things down to size. In so doing, I found that a number of scenes ...
2
votes
3answers
32 views

Essay Structure - Introduction

Every teacher at school seems to have a different way that they like to set up an introduction for an essay. For a persuasive essay, what exactly should be included in the introduction? What ...
2
votes
3answers
53 views

General copyright - How much is actually copyrighted?

I find myself seeking a lot of ideas for my alternate universes, novels, short stories, and so forth. Exactly what can be considered copyrighted, and what isn't? Let me give you some examples. Star ...
3
votes
4answers
73 views

How can I learn to think and interpret things more critically?

As a freelance journalist, I spend a lot of time reading the media. Often I'll come across an article that I admire, and feel is leaps and bounds above my own work. Naturally, I want to learn from ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

How can I implement more show less tell in my writing? [closed]

I wrote this piece, but have had quite a lot of problems with showing, not telling. I am wondering how I can add More SHOW and less TELL in this piece of writing. The morning was warm. Just like ...
7
votes
2answers
747 views

Is there some guideline that I can point to about the overuse of bold and underline?

I am getting really tired of getting emails and PowerPoint presentations in which half of the words are bold and underlined. There is also excessive use of exclamation points, all caps, and overly ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

What's a nice title for a persuasive essay arguing that affirmative action is not helpful? [closed]

What is a good clever title for a persuasive essay against affirmative action? In general, how do you come up with clever titles?
4
votes
5answers
73 views

Writing many entries/articles, storing them, and browsing them

I'm looking for software that will permit me to write articles of various sizes, with a title and tags for each article. The program should store the content, and then allow me to browse (whether from ...
5
votes
3answers
929 views

Why Use Excessively Short Chapters?

Some of my favorite Frank Herbert books go 70 pages between chapters. All the James Patterson books go 2-3 pages between chapters. I know non=fiction uses chapters to help navigate, which means ...
54
votes
20answers
3k views

How to overcome the fact that I can't write?

My problem is that I basically suck at writing. Especially prose. Part of it is basically because I don't practice as much as I could. Part of it is because I'm just not talented in that way. ...
11
votes
7answers
489 views

The polymath's dilemma…?

The main character of a YA story I am working on is fast becoming a polymath, i.e. someone with a broad base of skills and interests across unrelated areas of endeavor. I really like how this ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

How much character description is considered necessary in a “plot driven” story?"

Some stories begin with a rather full description of say, the main character. Here is a clip from Hello Dolly that describes in (for me) excruciating detail not only about what she does (matchmaking) ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Studies of when to kill a character

I have a pretty simple question: Are there any studies/surveys that show the appropriate time to kill a main character earliest? I am talking about studies among readers/viewers of ...
4
votes
4answers
99 views

Should word choice be varied or consistent?

I've heard from some English teachers that word choice should be varied because consistent word choice is boring, but I've heard from a different English teacher that word choice should be consistent. ...
1
vote
4answers
153 views

Multiple POV novel - introducing rules of magic

I have an urban fantasy story that is told from multiple view points. I'm wondering on the best way to introduce the rules of magic within this piece of work? I have about 10 points of view total ...
8
votes
5answers
403 views

Methods for creating slang

I am interested in creating slang or a vernacular for a particular group in my story. I want it to be distinctive and a definite marker for in-group/out-group, but not incomprehensible. I'm not ...
1
vote
1answer
16 views

APA style in-text citations

How would one differentiate between two different sources (websites) that both: Have the same title Have an unknown author Do not list a publishing date/year
2
votes
2answers
31 views

What are the psychological ramifications if my protagonist is injured by accident or via an attack?

I am currently working on a super hero short story in which a hockey player (the protagonist) suffers a brain injury in the first scene which leaves him in eternal pain. In the quickest explanation ...
1
vote
6answers
203 views

Referring to characters that are too familiar for a name

This question is very similar to this one. However, I felt it was different enough, and I also did not find an answer. In the tale I am currently writing, a girl, whose parents have both been long ...
1
vote
5answers
160 views

What's the best text editor for a technical reference manual?

It is my first time writing tech manuals and I don't know what to use. Some people recommend me LATEX but I think it's too complex. I basically need a text editor that let me: Type latin characters ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Non native writers who learned English late

Does there exist example of non native English writer who learned the language late in life?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Is CreateSpace 100% free for self-publishing?

I looked all over CreateSpace, but cannot find anything to tell me if the service is 100% free to use. I wonder if there are hidden costs. I read that some people paid for a printed copy to make sure ...
5
votes
3answers
369 views

The backstory's overwhelming the actual story

I have a character with a grim past (forced to watch torture). I need him to have that grim past in order to explain his behaviour in the story I am writing now: characters who did not know his past ...
3
votes
4answers
355 views

Anyone has any super intense software for plot outlining?

Now, at the get go, I fully acknowledge that I have gone way over the top as far a story plotting goes, but I'm trying for something on the extreme end of epic and I have a legit obsessive compulsive ...
1
vote
5answers
37 views

How to avoid switching between formal and informal in an essay?

I recently wrote an essay for a history class and the teaching assistant commented that he found my switch between formal and informal style "jarring." I think he was specifically referring to for ...
6
votes
9answers
388 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. ...
36
votes
8answers
5k views

“All of a sudden…” ?

I am writing a manuscript for a novel. It's my first attempt, and often I find myself wanting to write "suddenly" or "all of a sudden". I do this when I want the scene to change in an instant, or ...
8
votes
6answers
878 views

The opposite sex in first person?

I have been writing about not just one, but two females; sisters. I've toyed with different methods/persons in this, but it seems I've come to an obvious roadblock. I wouldn't call it "writer's block" ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

Degree of symmetry in lists

For example, is the flow disrupted or does it sound weird if only one of the items has an adjective? My understanding of zoology was poor, but I knew animals would do everything to survive; ...
5
votes
8answers
232 views

How can I make believable motivations for antagonists?

I am writing a book. However, I can't quite wrap my head around making my character do bad things, while still making their actions and/or motivations for their actions believable. Here is an ...
1
vote
4answers
275 views

Novels with usage of whip

I'm writing a character who is going to be using a whip. while the scenario is clear in my mind, whenever I try to describe the characters usage of the whip while fighting, the only thing I can come ...
2
votes
4answers
237 views

How to deal with cliche dialogue?

The following is from a story I'm writing: "Goodbye Choco," my mother said, to end the prayer, “may your soul rest in peace,” and crossed herself. “Sorry I couldn’t come earlier,” I said. ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

How fast do traditionally-published books sell after they have been published?

Of course there are many answers to the question of how fast major publishers move their books after publication, but I am looking for something like the truism I once heard on the radio and cannot ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

I want to reference TV shows and other media in my story. how do I avoid copyright issues?

It's still early yet, but I'm working on fantasy novel. To cut a long story short, it features characters from Earth in a fresh fantasy setting, and one of the cast is a bit of nerdy and inclined to ...

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