1
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3answers
38 views

Pieces missing from my narrative

I have this (IMHO) cool idea for a general storyline I want to write about, and one or two ideas for characters. However, I'm really struggling to go about fleshing it out. It's like having a string ...
1
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2answers
68 views

Alternating names

Example: The cat was lying on a cat bed, barely visible under the blankets, an IV wrapped around one of her front legs. Judging by the triangular shape of her head, her black nose ears and ...
1
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2answers
156 views

“That's when” vs “That was when.”

Should I use the former or the latter in a story written in first-person past tense? Example: My heart started to race, my adrenaline to spike, and that's when the thought hit me: I had to find ...
1
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2answers
110 views

Should embedded figures/images be placed before or after they are referred to in text?

As the title question asks: Should embedded figures/images be placed before or after they are referred to in text? Which is more appropriate? Or does it depend on the setting/context?
1
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3answers
277 views

What are frequently used arguments for recognizing bad writing styles in fiction?

I ve heard randomly of remarks used to explain why a writing style is bad. for instance by the argument that a writing style is bad because of the usage of adjectives. Could you provide further ...
1
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2answers
83 views

When does repetition start becoming tedious (especially metaphors)?

I always find myself using CTRL + F to remove the words/phrases I think I'm repeating too much (most of the time they are metaphors). In the following passage, however, I'm not very sure whether the ...
1
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1answer
92 views

Story length and the term used

At what page number would a short story become a novella and at what point does a novella become a book manuscript? Is there a specific length that the story has to be to achieve to use those terms?
1
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2answers
222 views

Can I use general short stories to publish on my site, blog, etc.?

I want to post some short stories on my blog. But I am not sure about the copyrights of those stories. Because those stories were available in many places online. Can I publish them on my site or ...
1
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2answers
86 views

X and Y vs Y and X

This always confuses me. Example: Louise and Jizanthapus were sitting on the floor of her room. Louise is the main character, so I assume she should go first? Or should I put her after ...
1
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1answer
80 views

Listing items in fiction

What sort of criteria should I consider when listing items in fiction? For example: He was wearing a knit cap, a flower-patterned shirt, and faded jeans. I ordered the items from top to bottom. ...
1
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2answers
140 views

Writing in between dream sequences

I am writing a story in which a set of events occurred that the main character cannot remember, but they come back to him in his dreams. Basically the entire actual story takes place in his dreams, ...
1
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4answers
553 views

Cutting down the length of a short story

I'm writing a short story for an assignment at school - but I'm having trouble keep it short. I have a habit to go off on a tangent quite a bit, and this ends up making it a lot longer than it should ...
1
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1answer
85 views

Rhythm in a list

I think I don't have problems establishing a rhythm in a "normal" paragraph. I usually just go: short, long, long, long, short, long or something like that. But when it comes to lists, I always get ...
1
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2answers
359 views

Ways to refers to two people who were about to marry or just married

I wrote the following: A bright red carpet ran all the way from the entrance to right beneath the altar. Enclosing it on both sides, were two rows of long benches—each of them with a tiny ...
1
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3answers
577 views

Making a female character sound more boyish/masculine

There are two characters in the following dialogue. One of them (Yuki) is a tomboy. She has short hair, dresses like a man, and like girls. I want to make her sound more masculine (but not exactly ...
1
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3answers
194 views

Is it necessary to make clear “when” an event occur in a flashback?

Few examples: Saki first became aware of her sixth finger at the age of five. Her aunt had come to visit the house that afternoon, bringing Rika (Saki's favorite cousin). (...) ...
1
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3answers
351 views

How to avoid repetition

How do you avoid too much repetition both in writing and speech? I feel like I'm repeating the same word over and over again when I'm writing or talking to people. The price of this tablet is X ...
1
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3answers
490 views

How likely is the “five consecutive word rule” to detect “random,” as opposed to intentional plagiarism?

I refer to the old fable that if you set enough monkeys at enough keyboards for a long enough period of time, they will (through random typing), reproduce the "Complete Works of Shakespeare," or any ...
1
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3answers
586 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 ...
1
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3answers
250 views

Looking for a verb that means “making something looks very simple by ignoring its complexity or details” [closed]

I'm looking for a verb that means "making something looks very simple by ignoring its complexity or details". Here is the text that I'm composing: "Reducing" complicated social problems to bad ...
1
vote
1answer
661 views

Quotes inside of Quotes inside of Quotes

For an essay I am using Mother Lois' quote on page 104 of the Washington Square Press paperback edition of Warrior's Don't Cry. In particular, the line goes like this: "Look," Mother said, ...
1
vote
1answer
308 views

What is the name for the literary technique where the author writes him/herself into a book?

In a number of novels by Clive Cussler, the characters are sometimes offered help by a person whose surname is Cussler, same as the author. I believe this also happens in Sahara and Dragon, and ...
1
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3answers
7k views

How to write a powerful but uncomplicated conference biography?

I am working on a bio for a development conference I am presenting at. My writing style causes my Flesch Reading Ease score to trend high. While I like what I have below I'd like to simplify it a bit ...
1
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3answers
153 views

How do I use my blog as a platform for practice and improvement?

I've recently followed the advice of our very own Jeff Atwood and started a blog site in order to become a better writer and communicator. My goal is to improve my skill at technical writing and ...
1
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3answers
3k views

Quality examples of 'in medias res' starting sequences in SF literature

You can find my initial trials here, and, based on feedback, version two here. I was trying to create a sort of 'flashforward' opening (please don't cite Sawyer) for a novel. That is: of the 45 ...
1
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4answers
140 views

Scientific Citation

Is there a standard for the fields which are required to be included for a reference in scientific journal/conference papers? For instance BibTeX has a lot of fields for an @article entry, but which ...
1
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3answers
3k views

Are there alternatives to 'in such a way'? [closed]

Considering the sentence: I'd like to do ... in such a way that ... is achieved. Does this sound wordy? If so, is there a way to streamline it?
1
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2answers
237 views

Avoiding legal issues with plot similarities between my book and a movie in production

I am writing a novel whose plot that I just learned is going to be made into a movie---how can I protect myself if similar plot points are used so that I don't get sued and vice versa?
1
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2answers
909 views

Is my essay on group learning clear and well-organized?

I'm looking for all-around advice on this essay (I'm a foreign student, and learning English), but primarily, I wanted to ask is whether my essay is well-organized and clear enough. I mean, the first ...
1
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3answers
75 views

How much effort should I spend explaining plot device?

I think it is good Idea to start by example: Main hero is given briefcase and informed, that such briefcase contains very powerful bomb. The goal is to assassinate Prime Minister of given country. ...
1
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2answers
305 views

Purchasing copies of my own book with my own ISBN from Amazon prohibited?

Someone told me that if I use my own ISBN on books I publish through Createspace that I would not be allowed to purchase copies of my own book. Though I think this is ludicrous, I would like to know, ...
1
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4answers
114 views

How can I improve my writing's pacing and sophistication?

How can I improve my creative writing skills? I have many ideas for short stories but I feel as if my writing is very slow paced and not sophisticated enough. How can I integrate literary techniques ...
1
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3answers
160 views

Is a novel with 50K words more likely to sell than one with 40K?

I'm asking this because I wrote a novel with 40K words, but somehow I feel it would sell more, or at least be more like a "novel" if I add stuff until it's 50K (I checked on Amazon and most ...
1
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3answers
117 views

What is the story or format called when the protagonist is not the “hero?”

For instance, in "Silence of the Lambs," the "hero is Clarice Starling, the FBI agent, and the protagonist is the villain, Hannibal Lecter. What is this kind of story format called? What happens if ...
1
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4answers
111 views

Should I prefer writing a Hard diary or Soft diary?

I have never seriously written a diary before(not even tried casually). I am required to write a diary for my work as Intern and later report it. I think they would prefer a soft version but I can ...
1
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3answers
72 views

Are essays supposed to be formal?

After reading a prompt to one of essays, and then looking at this link, I realized how little I know about the actual meaning of an essay. Here is how my definition of "essay" has become muddied over ...
1
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3answers
86 views

Is breaking the fourth wall to the point of nonexistence appropriate for a comedy book?

After considering the style and setting for my first book, I've decided on writing a comedy treasure hunt set in a not too distant alternate future. I still have some final things to figure out before ...
1
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1answer
78 views

Nonlinear novels [closed]

If you are writing a nonlinear novel, say the narrative from Chapter 1 continues to Chapter 6, and Chapter 2's narrative continues to Chapter 9, etc, what is your opinion, to write Chapter 2 after you ...
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; ...
1
vote
3answers
58 views

Is using “gonna” in first-person narrative acceptable?

From what i understand, an author is supposed to conform to proper grammatical convention both when writing in third-person and first-person narrative. Is a sentence like this considered "acceptable" ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Documenting Agile Sprints

I'm responsible for documenting a huge ERP - its being changed from an old language to .NET. I'm the only one responsible for documenting ( and I'm doing it off-site - the developers' office is an ...
1
vote
5answers
577 views

I can't figure out to come up with a good plot! [duplicate]

The one major problem I feel that I have as a writer is coming up with a plot that has any substance at all. I can write believable characters (most of the time), build a unique but not far fetched ...
1
vote
3answers
199 views

Offline Tool for finding identical/similar phrases in a text?

I'm searching for a tool which finds and lists identical phrases in a long text like a dissertation. The goal is to find repeating texts which have been created accidentally by copy/paste. It ...
1
vote
5answers
291 views

Why write in a different genre than what you read?

This question is somewhat linked with Should you read your own genre?, but I believe it is distinct or at least approached in a different way. I am a sucker for sci-fi/fantasy and read nearly ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Need A Way To Avoid Excessive Use Of Subject When Refering To Character

I'm writing a short story, and need to avoid excessive use of a subject. Using he, his, or the man will get very repetitive over time since the character has no name. I'm hoping to find some way to ...
1
vote
5answers
112 views

Non-fictional ideology in a fictional culture

One of the themes in my book is Good vs Evil. I have chosen to portray the south African Idealogy of Ubuntu in a fictional culture in my book. Actual text from my book: Ubuntu literally means ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Should I have some restraint when submitting to the more prestigious journals?

I'm an amateur writer who's never been published. I think my stuff is good, I've had others tell me it's good, but I truly don't know where I stand. I love the fiction that get published in popular ...
1
vote
4answers
114 views

Are there copyright issues with a novella title if it's a famous line?

If you use a line or phrase from a really famous poem that most can recite as a title for a novella, is it stealing? What can be done to give proper credit?
1
vote
4answers
183 views

Can a plagiarist sue one who plagiarized them?

I sometimes write rather vicious satirical pieces that heavily reference (arguably - but possibly beyond the point of plagiarism; definitely the same setting, the same characters, strong references to ...
1
vote
3answers
112 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 ...

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