9
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the process for turning a story into a “movie” script?

This is probably a slightly vague sounding question, but I'm curious as to how "stories" go to the point of becoming a film production (at least to the point of becoming a script).
5
votes
3answers
127 views

Audio version of copyrighted written material

I want to do a free daily podcast of the Bible. Would I need permission of the copyright holder of the translation I am reading or would this be considered fair use? Would I need to state the source ...
2
votes
2answers
264 views

Using a town to symbolize/represent a character within a story (fiction)?

I'm not sure if this has been done before. In my story, the main character's wife takes the form of a town. The town represents how he feels towards his wife (mostly sad feelings and repulsion). It ...
6
votes
2answers
324 views

Shots in a spec script?

I'm writing a feature-length movie screenplay - well it's still at the story stage, so I haven't started to write the screenplay itself yet. I have been reading wordplayer and a few scripts to see the ...
2
votes
3answers
8k views

When I'm replying to emails, what's the best way to acknowledge that I appreciated each point of someone's email?

In many cases, I understand and appreciate what the person is writing (in each sentence), but have little to say in response, even if I really like what the person is saying. So when I have little to ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

How often do writers develop characters before plot, and why?

As someone who writes a little as a hobby, this is something that I haven't really thought about until just recently, but... Is it common for a writer to develop characters before actually coming up ...
3
votes
1answer
349 views

Can I ask CreateSpace to *not* add a barcode to my cover?

I'm about to publish a book via CreateSpace. For graphical reasons, I prefer to add the ISBN barcode myself at the size and position of my choice. How can I set it up on CS so that they don't add a ...
4
votes
4answers
227 views

How can I improve this description which includes actions?

This is the beginning of a short story I'm writing (I'm not a native English speaker): I was lying in the dark, looking at the ceiling, counting spider webs. She was lying right beside me. I ...
2
votes
2answers
511 views

Is there a typical structure for non-fiction popular science books? If so, what is it?

Is there an accepted or suggested structure for writing non-fiction (specifically, popular science) books? As an example of the type of book I mean, there's Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational: a ...
0
votes
2answers
133 views

Is there such a thing as talent in writing? [closed]

One of the answers to my last question, got a lot of comments. My question based on that is: Is there such a thing as talent in writing? Are some people naturally gifted in writing, which means ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Use of past vs. present tense in works of fiction

I have recently picked up several works of fiction and begun to read them. I have found that some are written using past tense while others use the present tense. What is the significance of using ...
29
votes
12answers
3k views

How does the 10,000 hour rule apply to writing?

The 10,000 hour rule, popularised by Malcolm Gladwell, says that: the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours ...
5
votes
3answers
322 views

What makes for interesting travel writing/blogging?

I wanted to hear a few words about travel writing. What qualities make for the most engrossing stories, especially for readers who are just sort of gauging their interest? I've read a number of ...
2
votes
3answers
128 views

How should this ‘be going to’ be revised?

I don't know if I can ask about this in this site. But anyway I'll give it a shot. (This question is a spin-off from EL&U.) Here is a skit from a radio English conversation program, dealing with ...
12
votes
8answers
5k views

How should I break up chapters in a novel?

Is it acceptable to pace my chapters in terms of an event? Can I get away with a 4 page chapter here, and a 30 page chapter there? Are there any reason why I should or should not be sticking to a ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Do Fantasy novels have less readership than a Realistic Fiction novel?

Am I right in assuming that a fantasy book will garner much less interest than a realistic fiction novel? On one hand, fantasy has its own market of readers that are always looking for new, great ...
13
votes
3answers
567 views

When publishing a Fantasy novel, do I look for a specific Fantasy-only publisher, editor, and/or agent?

When attempting to publish a fantasy book, how will I go about selecting a publisher? Is it possible to find a list of publishers that publish specifically fantasy books? Similar to publishers being ...
4
votes
2answers
237 views

Style of writing as told from the point of view of the main character

What would be a good style for writing a story from one point of view while keeping the narration interesting? I mean you can't go into too much detail as what a person does during the day is fine for ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Writing character cards?

I read somewhere that authors sometimes use cards to write down information about the characters in their stories. I assume these were small cards so what was written them had to be concise. What sort ...
1
vote
0answers
335 views

Publishing Fantasy versus Realistic Fiction (multiple questions) [closed]

So, I have a few questions that I'll address in a short little list. I figure it's best to include them all in one rather than dumping several questions on you guys, since they all relate. Here goes: ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it okay to quote a saying, even if i don't know who said it?

If it is okay to quote then how should i quote it. For example, "Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions." - Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959) Now if i don't ...
2
votes
2answers
16k views

MLA format for a book summary

I am to write a book "review" as an assignment, but really it's just a book summary. Our professor wants us to use the MLA format in this book review. Of course, the format includes rules on how to do ...
3
votes
3answers
139 views

Formatting blog posts like the pros

I am new to writing. I have seen Jeff Atwood's blog and I am really impressed how he writes. I have seen a similar manner on wordpress docs too. I am still confused with some issues while writing. ...
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Where can I publicize a website I have developed for writers?

I am not a writer, but I have developed a website for them. Where can I advertise and publicize it?
2
votes
2answers
13k views

How do you write a formal email?

What is the web equivalent of formal letters? In this day and age, formal correspondence have all become digital, and it would be helpful to know the proper way. Oh, and please do highlight if there ...
7
votes
7answers
5k views

No English degree, what are my chances on successfully publishing a novel?

I don't have an English or Writing-related degree in any way. As of right now, I have no degree, but what I mean is that I'm not even pursuing a degree in writing. How does this hurt my chances? Do ...
14
votes
2answers
10k views

What are widely-used UK-English style guides?

In the UK, what are the equivalents to Chicago Manual of Style, the Associated Press style guide, Yahoo, APA, MLA, etc? Most importantly, what are their intended audiences? (AP is used for journalists,...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Can I release material related to a work and maintain my rights before publishing?

I don't know how many writers here are into the techy side of life, but I am wondering, if say. someone is writing the next star trek, is it safe to go ahead and release related material under a (...
9
votes
5answers
946 views

Is it really so “impossible” to get published by a traditional publisher?

I was an avid reader in my early years (as in hard copy - books), and I still am (just now via computer)... and I never got wind of such difficulties in publishing, until now. Is it like going up ...
7
votes
3answers
839 views

Is it wise to publish a novel as an e-book, and how would I do it?

I'm considering publishing my novel as an e-book (since I'm very techy) before I take the usual "paperback" route. Is this a wise choice? Also what would I need to do? (steps).
17
votes
5answers
2k views

I'm getting tired of “he said” “she said” in dialogue; how do I get around it?

I get tired of "he said", "she said", "they replied". Is there a better, but still reasonable way, to indicate dialogue?
17
votes
8answers
35k views

Should I indent the first line of the first paragraph in a chapter?

I was reading a thesis report of a friend and I noticed that he didn't indent the first line of the first paragraph in each chapter. I don't remember noticing it anywhere before until I saw it there ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

A more specific type of “nervous laughter”

A handful of my friends have an odd trait where they say something and immediately laugh after it in an attempt to judge its success. The topic is usually a rant along the lines of, "These people have ...
-2
votes
1answer
154 views

How to write an academic paper?

I'm looking for resources on how to write an academic paper. The Web really lacks of those. Edit: Standback's and A. Martin's answers perfectly illustrates what I expect.
2
votes
4answers
220 views

Will the word “seek” be associated with the word “sick” if it is present in the title of my book?

I'm planning to title a book "Taiwan Seek." The book is about starting a classified ads website in Taiwan. So I thought about short words that are related to classified ads: want, seek, looking for ...
2
votes
4answers
211 views

Is there any tool which points out the common mistakes in a piece of writing?

It will point out mistakes like: Use of bad constructs. Use of repeated words. etc. (On a side note: if you happen to be a C programmer, I am looking for lint for writing).
1
vote
1answer
164 views

Please advise on this comma among semi-colons and provide a more concise sentence

I created this question for two reasons: I want to know if it is proper to place a comma after the word and (in bold) below. This sentence is kind of clunky, like many of my sentences, and it helps ...
1
vote
2answers
282 views

What literary techniques are evident in this quote?

What literary techniques are evident in the following quote? I read each bullet scar in the Quai stonework With an eerie familiar feeling, And started at the stricken, sunny exposure of ...
3
votes
3answers
157 views

Disclaimer when writing about governmental entities

I've read many novels involving characters working at the NASA, Vatican, Secret Police, high government officers (Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson for example) and doing stuff that I wouldn't like being made ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

Can I sell a blog content database in a Creative Commons Attribution license?

I have a blog online under a Creative Commons Attribution license. I would like to monetize it by offering monthly content database of the blog content for sale to developers at a low price of 1 USD. ...
12
votes
10answers
665 views

Why do writers use pseudonyms?

It's common enough -- recently I was looking for Seanan McGuire's newer book only to find it was published as "Mira Grant". Why would an author do this?
7
votes
5answers
244 views

About using authentic historical name for teenager material

I am writing a (short) story set in Ancient Egypt, and the intended audience are junior high-senior high school students in the US. I am trying to use authentic Ancient Egyptian names for the ...
9
votes
4answers
393 views

How can I strike a balance between setting and plot?

I'm not a fan of Tolkien's work, but it's relevant to my question, so take it as a reference point. I love linguistics, culture, and worldbuilding, but sometimes have difficulty focusing on specific ...
15
votes
6answers
818 views

How can I make a story bigger?

I have written a first draft of what I want to be a novel -- aiming for 50-70K words. When the ending arrived I was at about 30K. So I essentially have to double the length. My list of notes scattered ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

How it's better to format links to Internet in a text written on paper?

Links are useful to add additional information or second meaning or special flavour to certain words. This is especially useful for informal texts. Example: [Some programs](wiki://Metasploit_Project) ...
8
votes
6answers
331 views

Is it safe to create a wiki for a book (or something featured in it) before the book is published?

I'm working on a sci-fi novel, and it contains a lot of fictional creatures, which are in some ways separate from the novel because I came up with them a while before I actually got the idea to write ...
5
votes
2answers
331 views

How do you come up with a fictional character name in a historical era/region?

How do you research to find character names? Especially when it's long ago, not European, and the culture was totally different from what the region has now. For example, how would you generate names ...
3
votes
1answer
451 views

What is the style used in ISO/IEC publications?

I'm in the process of preparing a document to be sent to ISO/IEC WG14. What is the official style used in ISO/IEC publications (if there is one)? If there is no official style guide, is there a ...
4
votes
6answers
322 views

Is it worth spending money on a subsidy publisher?

The boss owes me about $10 000, and is going to pay me in the coming months. I can live without this money for now, but I'm wondering if it is worth spending $5000 or $8000 with a subsidy publisher to ...
5
votes
5answers
661 views

How Much Exposition is Too Much Exposition

I am in the process of figuring out how to write a mostly autobiographical piece (maybe, eventually, novel) about my experiences related to dancing (Swing, Blues, and a little Hip-Hop, in case you ...

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