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9

Linguists have found that semicolons, colons, and even commas, are on the wane in everyday usage, and that many speakers no longer understand the use of a semicolon. Non-writers – and you will see this in emails, forum posts, and other written messages – often do not use punctuation at all, but rather let all "sentences" flow into each other, only putting ...


9

"The point of a Horcrux is, as Professor Slughorn explained, to keep part of the self hidden and safe, not to fling it into somebody else's path and run the risk that they might destroy it — as indeed happened: That particular fragment of soul is no more; you saw to that." "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", J. K. Rowling "Lord Voldemort liked ...


5

Determining how much, and what information you pass through your sentences is a very important subliminal channel of information about the speaker, their character, current situation and mood. If you merely use it to optimize readability, you will crop a lot of flavour of the text just in order to pass verbatim data. It's like you took a painting and tried ...


5

A good primer on stylistic conventions is Strunk and White's Elements of Style, at least for writing in US English. It follows a prescriptive convention, which may be helpful to beginning writers. It can apply to many different types of writing, including essays, stories and letters. At its base, it helps to develop a clear and concise style, which I believe ...


5

If it's important enough to mention the hour then it's important enough to be clear which one you mean, but using "AM" and "PM" in fiction may not be the best way. If the scene already makes it clear which one is being talked about -- on the beach you talk about the sunlight dancing off the waves, for instance -- then you don't need to say anything and "PM" ...


3

Probably, the real answer is as simple (complicated?) as Charles Bukowski's, So You Wanna Be A Writer http://allpoetry.com/So-You-Want-To-Be-A-Writer Here's an excerpt: So You Want To Be A Writer if it doesn't come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don't do it. unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, ...


3

If this were a question about usage in a technical paper or an essay, I'd suggest referring to a style manual for guidance. However, outside of formatting and punctuation rules, I don't think there are any absolute rules for fiction. Narrative writing is meant to show people in real world believably, and people don't always use exactly the same terms for ...


3

You are allowed to have the prologue narrated by a different character as long as it is absolutely clear who the narrator is. You do not have to change the whole book. In fact, every chapter can be a different viewpoint narrator; George R.R. Martin does this throughout his Song of Ice and Fire books. You can also have the prologue written in third person ...


2

"How much information" does not lend itself to quantification. That aside, readability is not a function only of the amount of information compressed into a given sentence. Factors include the writing style, the particular scene, the pace of the story at the time the sentence is written, the surrounding text, the nature of the event (brief or elongated), ...


2

Written dialogue is a good indicator of the overall quality of the story. Each character should have their own unique voice. For example, a poorly educated laborer is going to have a much different speaking style than a college educated banker. A child is going to also be much more naïve than an adult. It is more difficult to have believable dialogue coming ...


2

My rule of thumb comes from Elmore Leonard: "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it." To me, this means that, as a reader, I'm experiencing the story, and not the writing. This might seem vague, but it helps me avoid writerly cliches and too much incidental blah-blah that distracts from the story.


2

Well, of course this is a bit subjective, because there is always someone who likes a particular style. Although, it may only be the author's mother. :D However, if you are interested in common expectations in the publication world, then you most likely want to check out a book like the wonderful The First 5 Pages, by Noah Lukeman -- amazon.com link. ...


2

There are some criteria for assessing the readability of texts, which give you a result corresponding to the school grade at which a child could easily comprehend the text - I.e. the most 'readable' text is the one which can be understood by the youngest children (limited vocabulary, simple structure). If you want your text to be maximally readable then go ...


2

I disagree that a colon does not simulate normal speech. A classic example would be when I enumerate something to my dialog partner: "Hey Joe, we offer the following colours: Gray Blue Yellow." There, maybe even with semicola in a single line: "Hey Joe, we offer the following colours: Light Gray, Dark Gray and Eternal Gray; ...


2

Obviously you cannot give the whole impression of the object you want to describe all at once, but have to start somewhere. Where you start and how you proceed from there will depend on what you want to convey to your reader and might be influenced by the following aspects, among others: the character of the narrator the atmosphere of the place the events ...


2

Mercy, yes. If the story is burning to be told, yes. If you enjoy the craft of writing, yes. If you love reading over what you've written, yes. If you like the world you've created and the people you've put in it, yes. "Later" you'll still have a job and your daughter will be demanding in a different way and life will always, always suck up your available ...


2

Yes. I didn't even have to read your question (but I did). The answer is yes. Write 25K words in half a year. That's perfectly respectable. I work full-time, and often 2-3 hours a week is optimistic for me. Maybe you'll crawl along, maybe you won't be fully satisfied with your work. Hell, maybe you'll end up tossing everything you've written before your ...


1

This is a question with no one right answer, but if I were doing this, I might consider starting the second season with Character B and continuing up to the point where he meets Character A, and then backtracking to fill in on Character A. The advantage is that Character B gets a strong solid uninterrupted block of narrative to establish himself. The ...


1

A google search for 'fiction genre sales' includes these results on the first page: http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/which-5-book-genres-make-the-most-money/?view=all http://www.thegeekgirlproject.com/2012/06/06/the-basic-facts/ http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/19321b10-2a20-11de-9d01-00144feabdc0.html which answer your question for the USA, and go some way ...


1

I suppose my answer might sound old school, but I greatly enjoy when the author describes the physical features of the characters in their story. I prefer knowing just how the author envisioned the character. From there I can build around the character and their corresponding thoughts and actions. I don't lack imagination but I do like the author's ...


1

The sad truth is that semicolons are slowly dying. NGrams However as one of the few people who still attempt to use semicolons in writing (and a programmer) I sincerely hope they don't die out. Ultimately a lot of it boils down to a lack of proper teaching; teachers these days do not often teach students the correct use of semicolons. In an attempt to stop ...


1

The real answer here is: Whatever makes your message the most clear to your readers. Learn to use punctuation as properly as possible, because this is what people learn at schools. Since they learn it there they tend to understand it as common usage and it's easier for them to gather meaning. And since most people learn to read at school, a common ...



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