12
votes
4answers
2k views

avoiding making all your characters sound the same

We surely all have little quirks to our speech. Like my daughter once criticized my writing for using the word "surely" too much. (See, I used it on this post.) So how do you keep all your characters ...
2
votes
1answer
174 views

Dealing with lackluster plot failure

So, I wrote the beginning of something about novel-sized. I drafted totally sweet, lovable protagonists in an interesting, original relationship, I placed them in a solid world, I painted the ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

Characters time spending: Are there any good limits for time spending on characters of secondary list?

Are there any good limits or rules of proportion between time (or pages) spending on characters of primary list and secondary list? I mean, that if character of secondary list appears only at the ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Is it a bad idea to vary the voice of the narrator in third person (limited omniscient)?

I did some thorough searching for duplicates of this question, but I don't think they really cover the same spirit of the issue I'm having. (here are some examples of similar but different questions) ...
3
votes
5answers
163 views

Combatting Excessive Familiarity Of Writing

Since writing my last question, I've been able to write a handful more items and have tried to nail down some more specific items I can ask about improving my writing. This issue became readily ...
9
votes
6answers
29k views

How many commas is too many?

I find myself often in writing using too many commas, but then going through and editing many of them back out again or restructuring to use full-stops. Is there a rule of thumb I've forgotten from ...
4
votes
2answers
139 views

What does a typical creative writing course look like?

Many universities offer degrees in creative writing with courses such as “Short Story Writing” or “Fiction Writing”. I would imagine that such courses are quite unlike other subjects, such as math or ...
7
votes
4answers
326 views

Is it a bad practice to occasionally add first-person narrative to third-person narrative?

This is a sample of something I wrote: Erin watched Ruth as she disappeared between the cars and the multitude of people crossing the street. She stood there for a moment, staring at the city ...
6
votes
3answers
210 views

How can I keep my characters' identities a mystery successfully?

There was a similar post about keeping a character nameless in order to contribute to his closed off personality. My concern is is keeping all my characters nameless, only describing their actions ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

alternatives to “he said” in dialog

I'm working on my first fiction story. And one mechanical thing I struggle with is how to identify the speakers in dialog without constantly saying "Bob said", "Mary said", etc. Any ideas? That is, I ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

More concise words for “Ask for help & learn from others”

I’m looking to summarize an idea into as few words as possible — to make it as concise as possible. The idea is to ask others for help (putting ego aside), value others’ input, listen to others, learn ...
1
vote
4answers
587 views

Intellectual Property Rights & Reuse of the Written Material

I started freelance writing in the January of 2012 and I am providing services for SEO, Blog Articles, User Manuals, Travel Sites and Technical Documentation. Since then I have this question in mind. ...
8
votes
3answers
897 views

Switching from past to present tense?

I'm thinking of writing a novel where my character narrates flashbacks through the hardest times of his life written in past tense, leading up to the present tense. I was considering switching to ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Too much exposition in my full-length play: how to fix it?

Dear Writers & Playwrights; I'm working on my first full-length play. In workshops, the feedback is consistently, "Too much exposition." I agree with the criticism. What I'm struggling with is . ...
0
votes
5answers
109 views

Correct word for “Pulling some one into work, with continuous effort”?

Please consider the below excerpt. 'How long is your break?' I shouted. A group of labourers sat under the banyan tree near the main campus building. 'It's two-thirty, lunch ended an hour ago' ...
7
votes
2answers
266 views

Learning storywriting for videogames - Handling deep nonlinearities

A recent question asked for pointers for writing for games, and the gist of the answers was that it's not very unlike writing books. The underlined differences were only superficial. There's a ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Which fantasy worlds can be freely used in new work without a license? [closed]

There are lots of different fantasy worlds depicted in fiction. In general, due to copyright, a license is required from the original creator of the fiction to publish a new story set in that universe ...
3
votes
4answers
205 views

Various flavors for the action “irritate someone”?

I would like to get help to apply different flavors to the action "annoy someone". Please consider the below excerpt. Her mother spoke again, Aarii looked irritated, "Why should I get engaged ...
9
votes
9answers
3k views

Inventing names for Sci-Fi characters

How can I invent names for fictional characters in a future-setting Sci-Fi story so they won't be connected to any existing culture? I considered the following options: Invent some random names. ...
12
votes
9answers
1k views

Text Editors. Suggesting & Tracking Changes to Plain-Text Documents

Many word processors are capable to tracking and displaying changes made to a document. Those changes are typically displayed in special markup supported by the editor. E.g. But when using a plain ...
4
votes
2answers
85 views

Creative Commons and / or Public Domain library

Does anyone know an online library with free books (I mean not "free of charge" but free as a concept) that provides access to e-books published by Creative Commons, Public Domain, etc? (I'm not sure ...
8
votes
6answers
227 views

A cross-[What] kind of romance?

In the scientific taxonomy of Living Things, you have: Life Domain Kingdom Phylum Class etc. down to Species, and maybe thence to Breed. If I were talking about my neighbor's dog who is half ...
6
votes
4answers
303 views

Peeking through character's mask

Normally, I specialize in strong, determined, uncompromising, extroverted protagonists, "If the laws of physics are against us, too bad, they need to be changed." I'm pretty good in getting them ...
-1
votes
4answers
253 views

Please help me re-word this sentence [closed]

I'm having a hard time formulating a sentence with the following meaning Please note that not all eBooks support all the different platforms and devices. I think the sentence conveys the idea ...
10
votes
5answers
7k views

Characters with no names

I've got a few short stories going, and I've foregone naming any of my characters. It started because I just didn't have any good names in my head and I was going to take care of it later, but now I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

How to publish public domain books?

It is known that the copyright permission is not needed for old books (usually 70 years after the author's death), because the copyright has been expired. However, I am not sure how easy a public ...
2
votes
5answers
207 views

Where to find editors to hire for tech blog?

Recently, I secured a job with big MNC. Now, I want to concentrate on it and appoint 2-3 editors to look after mildly popular tech blog. Can you guys suggest where should I search or post to hire ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Looking for some tips on how to improve writing [closed]

I have just completed my first draft of a novel. Now the story is completed it's time to capture the style so the reader can engage in the story. I want to make sure the story style is easy enough for ...
1
vote
3answers
277 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
8k views

Is it a bad writing practice to start sentences with a verb?

I realized I start sentences with the, he, she, it, after and then all the time. So I'm starting to use verbs instead. Here is an example of something I wrote: Erin left out a sigh. "Why am I ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Are music lyrics copyrighted?

I tried to find copyright information about music lyrics, but it is too confusing, because it is related to the usage. There are lots of websites providing lyrics, but it seems they are somehow ...
6
votes
4answers
544 views

Non-cheap ways to make villains evil?

Do you have any tried and true techniques to make villains of your stories truly hated by the audience? I mean, frequently it's "eh, sure, that's bad, he's got to be stopped" but the audience would ...
-3
votes
1answer
76 views

Using Documentary For Inspiration [closed]

I am using a documentary as inspiration for a fiction story I am writing. Some elements of fiction are stated Here and Here, although there's all kinds of stuff like archetypes etc.. Some of the ...
-3
votes
2answers
101 views

Turning Checkered Squares into Settings [closed]

I love to play chess. After studying the game, you really get familiar with each square. You kind of create a story for e4, for example. If I wanted to turn a game into a story, how would I make each ...
3
votes
1answer
281 views

Differences in personal statements between American and UK universities?

A friend has asked me to review a personal statement she's written for acceptance into a UK university. I have experience in assisting others with their writing, but as an American I want to ensure ...
5
votes
7answers
41k views

Converting Word pages to book pages, for novels?

The title says it all. How can I gauge how long my novel would be, if for example I've written 400 single-spaced pages of size 12 Times New Romans in Microsoft Word?
-2
votes
1answer
242 views

Critique My Poem Please! [closed]

I really need someone to critique this poem for me. It's for a Poem Portfolio in my Creative Writing Class. I just need some help on where to include things like imagery, sensory details, similes, ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

How do I quote a graphic novel?

I am writing a paper for a Canadian Literature class, and want to quote portions of one of the graphic novels we studied. Do I quote the written portions as I would any other written work? I am using ...
4
votes
3answers
281 views

Can you reprint screen shots of a game application or program without permission?

It seems pretty normal to see screenshots of MS Word, steps for "this is how you generate a template". I don't think Microsoft would object. But I'm not sure about reprinting images from in-game ...
7
votes
4answers
667 views

How can I help a writing-phobic but competent student develop their writing?

I am a professor in a science department and I am working with a student that has significant anxiety about writing, such that they have opted to receive a lower final grade rather than turn in ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How many errors per page volume is typically “okay” in a book?

Suppose I'm in charge of getting a three hundred pages book published. I'll do all reasonable things to get it proofread, but still there is chance that some errors will persist. Now the book goes to ...
2
votes
3answers
115 views

Can a section have the same name as the chapter?

I am writing a proposal for my PhD. In the proposal I have included a chapter titled “Actuator Design”. Within that same chapter, can I include a section with the same name as that chapter, meaning ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

combining sentences

I want to say couple of this within one sentence. so my sub sentences would be: We removed the vertical features from the classification process. The removal of vertical features enhances ...
0
votes
3answers
247 views

figures and tables always on top of the page?

I have to write a scientific paper for a university course. As far as I know, and as far as I have ever seen, tables and figures are always inserted at the top of a page, instead of at the exact ...
0
votes
1answer
186 views

Is it good style in fiction to write sentences as a flow of (disjointed) thoughts? [closed]

I was wondering whether it is okay to write like this or not: I never went for the grooves. But I did take a seat near the bar table and checked out the pretty ladies. Drinking was not my cup of ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

Using dashes in writing dialogue

Does anyone use em dashes (or two hyphens) to denote speakers in dialogue passages? Joyce does this as does William Gaddis. Many others. I practice it, but my only "conceptual understanding" is that ...
6
votes
2answers
340 views

What exactly is wrong with 'It was a dark and stormy night'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is “It was a dark and stormy night..” not a good opening? The phrase in question is derided everywhere. Wikipedia calls it infamous and purple prose, the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How many short stories make a collection

I would like to know, from someone who has marketed a collection of short stories (or is otherwise knowledgeable in these affairs), about how many short stories a publisher is looking for to ...
5
votes
8answers
5k views

Effective ways to enrich your active vocabulary?

I come across words like rectitude, like laudatory, like indigent, and being an experienced reader with a strong grasp on my native language, I know what they mean. They're words that I know. But ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

How many errors should I expect from a proofreader?

I hired a proofreader (typos, commonly confused words, minor grammar issues etc) to look at my work, which I plan to self publish. She found most typos, but from a 66,000 word novel, missed about 10. ...

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