2
votes
4answers
146 views

Is there a complete guideline for which tense to use?

There are questions here about specific use of tenses, but I wonder if there is a more complete guide on what tense to use when? For a fictional novel, Past Tense is the accepted choice. But which ...
5
votes
5answers
278 views

Choosing between your Mother Tongue and other language

Ok, I know I was warned, but what to do, I had this question since very long. I have decided where to write(platform like computer or notepad). I am in process of deciding my way of writing, but the ...
2
votes
4answers
108 views

Switching from past to present tense to increase narrative speed?

In German, traditionally narrative texts are written in the past tense. When the pace of the action picks up, the narrator can increase immediacy and urgency by switching into the present tense. Is ...
2
votes
5answers
340 views

How can we have foreshadowing in a story that takes place in a universe where the future can't be known beforehand?

In a (non-comedic) story where the philosophical implications of the existence of any way of predicting the future (except by accident) happen to be unacceptable or incompatible with the laws or the ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Alien checking, by making questions [closed]

I'm writing a story with a character from another planet, but also human. At the beginning, people will not believe he comes from another planet, so they will check it out, by asking questions or ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

Can a textbook contain heavy reference to other materials?

I find that nearly all college textbooks are self-contained. All of the readings, exercises, and multimedia (e.g. videos on a provided CD) are provided in a single package. I think textbooks suffer ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

Getting short fiction published

I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of what to use flash/micro fiction for. I've had several flash fiction works published, and the process was quite illuminating. I'm ready to start ...
2
votes
3answers
163 views

Is there such a thing as a “setting sketch” for a science fiction writing?

I took a look tonight at the post titled What are the pros and cons of building the setting before the characters and story? It answered questions that I had concerning setting being more important ...
2
votes
3answers
71 views

Craft group exercises or chapters in critique groups?

I am an aspiring writer who feels blocked in terms of writing a novel because I am lacking knowledge of craft. I have taken two continuing education type writing courses in the past five years: ...
3
votes
2answers
59 views

Referring to sign language in conversations

I am writing a story in which one of the main characters is deaf and dumb, and therefore communicates with other lead using sign language. Being not a native speaker of English, I am having trouble ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

How to write a prophecy?

No, I'm not actually asking you to tell me how to predict the future! Several pieces of fiction I've read/watched recently have prophecies. One of my favourites is On the fields of Trenzalore, at ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

How Many Poems Does a Chapbook Typically Contain?

I'm sure it varies a bit (both in length and in number) but, on average, how many poems does a chapbook contain?
5
votes
2answers
104 views

RDF vocabularly for storytelling

Can anyone point me to an RDF vocabulary used for story-telling? A Resource Description Framework is a technique for structuring data in a way that computers can easily process it and connect simple ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Outliner (software) with annotations for OS X or browser based (but offline!)

Okay, there are like a billion outliners out there but I'm not sure if there is one that does what I want. Maybe you can help. I want to write chunks of text without headline, numbering, bullets. ...
4
votes
3answers
128 views

Is it acceptable to reuse chapters across multiple books?

I am writing a college textbook/workbook to correspond with some courses I teach. Once finished, I'll have about 30 chapters. Rather than publish just one 30-chapter, generic book, I want to create ...
1
vote
3answers
64 views

Improving my English

I'm keen in writing stories of my imagination. However, my Grammar is not up to the mark. Even I use very simple words and not complicated words like the ones who use in Novels. I read many great ...
5
votes
4answers
103 views

Methods for writing from an alternate gender/age/cultural viewpoint?

While many aspects of a culture, etc, can be researched - there are intrinsic difficulties to writing from the PoV of a woman as a male author and vice versa, and I'd argue even harder for an adult to ...
2
votes
2answers
238 views

Parenthesis Types in Fiction

What's the general approach to using parenthesis (the grammatical construct, not the punctuation mark) in fiction? I have an internal "ranking" of them: Comma-delineated parenthesis, like this, is ...
1
vote
2answers
122 views

Is it a bad writing practice to end a paragraph with question?

I'm not sure where I picked up this habit. Here are two examples: I pictured An-Mei’s slim fingers running across their smooth surface, her hand, and then the body connected to it. But try as I ...
2
votes
3answers
53 views

Delaying narrative/actions

I tend do this a lot: A straight curve appeared after a moment. I slowed my pace and circled around. Once I came out of it, I caught sight of something. It was a girl. Probably a sixteen ...
4
votes
5answers
157 views

Is it considered faulty language to use Spivak pronouns in an essay?

High school level essay to be exact, but I'd like to also know if Spivak pronouns could be used in papers or publications. Should I just eliminate this option all together, never think about it again ...
5
votes
2answers
220 views

Best Tool to Create User Guides

We are planning to create a user guide for internal use only. It's 150-page document in Word for a self-developed SW tool. The user guide will require constant update. No translation is needed. We ...
2
votes
3answers
106 views

Am I using too many adjectives/adverbs in the following piece?

As I made my way uphill, I understood why An-Mei chose this place for her spiritual healing. I glanced around. Gorgeous conifers stretched up endlessly, like pillars connecting the earth with ...
12
votes
3answers
272 views

Meeting with a respected publisher, what questions should I ask?

At a writing conference I've managed to snag a 15 minute appointment with a publisher (who published Terry Pratchett, my favourite author). I'm a debut fantasy novelist. She will have received a ...
2
votes
3answers
134 views

Writing dialogue for a non-English speaker in English?

I am writing a story that features an illiterate Indian woman. Of course, while there are things only Hindi can satisfactorily express, I was wondering what would be a good way to construct dialogues ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

I would like to illustrate a poem

I am an artist and want to illustrate a poem and self publish it for my family. The poem was written in the early 1900's and is on LibraVox as a work in the public domain. Can I do this legally? I ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

I want my coauthor to feel comfortable making changes to my work

I'm sending a draft to my coauthor (senior and more experienced). I'm new to the world of coauthoring and was wondering what would be a good way to suggest that he has absolute liberty to change ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Is this story worth publishing? [closed]

A Nightmare A horrifying scream from his daughter’s room woke him up, he rushed to her room seeing her being raped by two masked men. Suddenly, he was hit ...
1
vote
4answers
127 views

Beginning an article/essay with a one word sentence, cliché?

I am currently starting a college essay off with "Google-esque. Google-esque is...." Is it appropriate to use a sentence that only contains one word with the following sentence describing the first? ...
12
votes
6answers
248 views

How to deal with common Earth references in a non-Earth setting?

Until now, I have mostly written in settings similar enough to Earth, mostly with human beings. For the first time, I am writing a short story set on a different planet, where the protagonists are not ...
2
votes
4answers
251 views

Fiction Novels & Active vs. Passive Voice

Before I launch into this, I've perused these threads and they don't quite answer the specific question I have in mind: When to keep the passive voice and when to remove it When *should* I use ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

conversation language translation [duplicate]

If two characters have a conversation one in a foreign tongue the other in english should there ba an asterisk and a translation of foreign language some where else or from the english speaking ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Is there a standard - tab versus blank line?

I was taught to leave a blank line between two paragraphs but not indent the first line of the next paragraph. I noticed that many people seem to not leave the line and choose to indent instead. Is ...
2
votes
3answers
98 views

How to sift through all those illustrators?

I'm writing a book series and have 1-3 out of 4 written. So now I'm looking to publish, and I need cover illustrations. (At least. I'd actually like small B&W pen-and-ink illustrations for each ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Flashbacks as chapters ordered (almost) chronologically

I just finished the first draft of my novel. From my previous question: Sushi Break A story about a girl who travels 3 hours every weekend to see her boyfriend (the boyfriend is doing an ...
5
votes
3answers
101 views

What concrete steps do you take to write for a specific reading level?

People throw around reading levels when it comes to writing: "5th grade level," "10th grade level," "college level," etc. What concrete steps do you take to write for a specific reading level? Is ...
4
votes
1answer
794 views

Sex: How much is too much?

Regardless of genre, at what point does sex stop becoming art and become the erotic blubbering of a perverse mind? Ever since middleschool my writing has had a sensual twist, and it has become more ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Is it plagiarism if you use the same, or similar expression with different meanings or contexts?

Some years ago, I wrote "alternative lyrics to the song, "Laura." It basically diverged from the original except for the third and fourth lines: (Original lyrics) A laugh, that floats on a summer ...
7
votes
2answers
720 views

What does “OFF” mean in a script?

Could anybody, please, enlighten me as to what "off" means in the following excerpts taken from the script for the TV show "Breaking Bad"? (I've also come across the same use of "off" in other ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

How should you format short speech by consecutive speakers?

I understand that you should have a new paragraph for a new speaker however what should the indentation be with subsequent speakers like this? I have this case in my writing, each is currently ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Hyphen or en-dash

What is the correct dash usage when naming a title? I have an essay with the title: The success factors for successful e-commerce - A Linux-based e-commerce platform from an economic perspective ...
5
votes
2answers
391 views

Are there more character alignment grids (like D&D)

One thing that I find helpful when trying to create a character is some sort of grid stereotypes. For example, Dungeons & Dragons (before they broke it in 4e, but that's another story) has a 3x3 ...
4
votes
2answers
113 views

How do you visualize plot structure?

I want to visualize the internal structure of my plot. I noticed several contradictions, and want to better understand what's going on in my tale. I'm not talking about differnt characters doing ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

How can I create better suspense in this passage?

How can I create suspense in this writing? The Enigmax Stars… I look at them, dream of them… They are so close, and yet, so far… They sparkle like tiny fireflies on the dark canvas of ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

How to make the first lines of my novel attractive and hooking?

I am currently writing a FICTION-FANTASY-HORROR novel, and I have only written some pages. I have published the first part of the novel especially for this question. How can I make my first lines ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

insecurity with a short story about mountains and love

This is printed on very nice paper. The letters are detailed, elegant and pitch black with slightly blurred edges. You can feel the ink soaking gently in the fibres, right after it was punched by ...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

What are PoD options for a 5M Bible?

I have a question, essentially about how to best format and make a PoD-appropriate version of a large manuscript. In this case it is a Bible version, but other people might have other large volumes ...
6
votes
1answer
323 views

How to show that something is different than in real life?

I'm writing fiction set in the near future (~15-20 years). The world is still mostly the same and thus familiar to the reader, but an important part of the story is that a few things are radically ...
4
votes
2answers
240 views

How do I write a gory scene?

I'm trying to write some gory scenes. I'm having a few problems, though. I asked around online and determined that I need to really highlight the senses when I'm writing something like this. Mostly ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Using pictures in my memoir

I have written a memoir through a workshop taught by a known writer. A friend now in book publishing made a mock up prototype and added my pictures without my knowledge - I loved it - what legal ...

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