Tag Info

New answers tagged

0

Some authors do their best to worm some semicolons and colons into a character's dialogue; however, since you can't see how someone talks in reality, it is more common to use the predictable punctuation like periods, commas, question marks and exclamation marks. See what I did there?


2

Symmetry is not important, but rhythm is. Considering rhythm I would change your example to: My understanding of zoology was poor, but I knew animals would do anything to survive: birds would use their wings to fly from snakes, buffaloes their legs to run from lions. I alwasy read my texts aloud. They must have rhythm like a poem. Try it with your ...


0

This is decent advice everyone is giving. However, not knowing how to use active vs. passive is the mark of an amateur. Someone who over uses passive is new to the writing game. Why use passive voice when you can get straight to the action? Passive voice can be confusing, and dull. Active voice gets it over with. Use active when the scene is fast paced, if ...


1

A novel idea (pun WAY intended) would be to release 2 books at the same time. One being his story and one being her story (assuming there is a her). Each book then would be completely from their point of view until the point where they both die together. There would be no specific order they could be read in. You would simply just be reading the story from a ...


0

Live "Presidents" should be "minor characters" (in your fiction), performing a "public" act. For instance, in one screenplay, I featured a film clip of President George H.W. Bush (father) declaring war on Iraq in order to set a "backdrop" for early 1991. On the other hand, you should not feature a real President e.g. seducing the heroine (and thus playing a ...


1

One of the most important things for you to consider is the quantity and quality of key moments in each section of the entire story. If there aren't enough and/or those which are there don't feel potent enough, then you're story could very well seem stretched in places. A few risks to remember: Can your supporting cast be fleshed out substantially without ...


1

Write two outlines. Give them to a few people to read. Get their feedback. Decide. The outlines need to be detailed enough and contain all the important plot points, I'd guess maybe about three to five pages each. Think of the tv series episode synopses on Wikipedia (e.g. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Under_the_Dome_episodes) and each episode corresponding ...


1

On the question of companies (ex-leaders of countries are open season) it comes down to if you are suggesting that the company itself is bad. Max Barry has John Nike (who works for Nike) commit a number of acts of terrorism for the benefit of Nike in his book "Jennifer Government". Despite all the bad things (and morally dubious actions) of the employees of ...


-2

In scientific writing, usage of and/or is not preferred. Consider the following example: The equation uses A and/or B. (not preferred) The equation uses A, B, or both. (preferred)


1

These are both prepositional phrases. Number 1 should be included. Number 2 does not have to be. Below I explain why. A prepositional phrase must consist of a preposition (behind, on, in, under, around, etc.) and an object (i.e. what the object of the sentence is behind, on, in, etc.) Sentence number 1 omits the prepositional object 'us.' You need that ...


1

These are purely my opinion, but I would say (1) no, I wouldn't omit; and (2) yes, that's fine. (1) "...we sat on the rest chairs behind." Behind what? Behind your necks? That's what "behind" is referring to right now, and it doesn't make sense. (2) "I wasn't an expert." This sounds natural to me. "Expert" right now is referring to ...


2

Imagine you are travelling to a foreign country with different laws, customs, traditions and so on. You (the reader) travel in the company of someone who is familiar with that country (the narrator). That companion will warn you of the most deadly pitfalls (such as the death sentence for drug trafficking or that you get your hand hacked off for shop ...


3

I'm not sure what multiple points of view would have to do with how you introduce the laws of magic in your world. In general, I think a narrative flows better if you can introduce the rules spread out through early sections of the book. Otherwise, you have a long dry intro. If you can summarize your rules fairly quickly, like a page or so, you could simply ...


1

Not my mother tongue, so bear with me :) In my eyes, 'writing' consists of (at least) three areas of abilities and knowledge. The creative (what does happen in my, for instance, novel?) The structural (When/ in what order should it happen for the most effect and to satisfy readers expectations?) The craft (how do I physically act to transfer the ...


5

I would not recommend using and/or. There are a number of style guides and English references that severely criticize it. For example: Chicago Manual of Style ("Avoid this Janus-faced term. It can often be replaced by and or or with no loss in meaning.") Strunk and White ("damages a sentence and often leads to confusion or ambiguity") Fowler's English ...


4

Unlike Steven Drennon, I feel that in general "and/or" is not good writing, both in fiction and non-fiction. While writing is not spoken language, it is generally intended to be read – by a "silent" reader, who, as studies have shown, will nevertheless usually subvocalize and stumble over "unspeakable", purely written constructs; by the author in a public ...


5

I don't generally see anything wrong with using "and/or" in fiction, but you need to make sure that it is used in an appropriate way. You need to look at your writing as two separate sentences and make sure that they each come across the way you intended. He planned to let Fields take the lead and try not to slow him down and get killed. He ...


0

If this is classified information and you only know about it because you have a high-level security clearance, than publishing the information in any form could put you in danger of criminal charges. But assuming that this is publicly available information, so that there's no issue of espionage or treason charges, and you're just thinking about copyright or ...


0

I grew up in London and live within commuting distance. These are just my impressions - I haven't done a survey! Between spouses or couples I would say the most common pet names used in London and the surrounding area are "Darling" and "Love". "Love" is more working class, "Darling" more middle class. However there is a lot of overlap. Both terms could be ...


4

It would be hard to answer this question without being an agent or an editor. I'm sure each individual agent, editor, and publisher has his or her own criteria in evaluating a manuscript and considering either taking on the writer as a client or publishing the manuscript. Regardless of the individual's personal criteria or preferences, the one common thread ...


1

In both of the examples you gave, I would assume that there is some level of public knowledge or information that has already been shared publicly. As a result, there would be no reason for you to not be able to write about it. One way to help you answer your own question is to ask yourself how you came to know about it. If you read about it online or ...


9

Ellipses are used differently in academic or non-fiction writing and narrative fiction. In academic non-fiction, ellipses indicate that the author has omitted part of the citation. In narrative fiction an ellipsis indicates a pause in spoken language. (I'll come back to that.) Other options for indicating pauses or breaks in spoken language in narrative ...


0

75000 word to 100000 for most novels. Fantasy is about 85000 to 125000 words. I would say aim towards the 125000 for your first daft. Then on tour second edit try to cut 5000 word from each part if you have 3 parts to your story. So example first edit I have over 40000 words or 160 pages. Then I would try to cut 20 pages from that. So by the second edit you ...


0

Filler is just like metadiscourse. Don't use them, just get straight to your point.


0

I could be wrong, but I wonder what you could possibly know, unless you worked for them, that a government, etc. would get upset about you publishing. If it is public knowledge it is exactly that. Anthony Horowitz published a book where everyone given a particular injection would be killed when a radio transmitter was turned on activating the ingredients of ...


4

You (usually) should put the thing first that you want to emphasize. But speech can be different, since it is also characterization. A hesitant or unsure character might habitually tack qualifiers to the ends of his statements. "A dog is a mammal, I think." "People should be nice to children, I suppose." "If you take one step closer I'll ...


1

If the item is a legitimate experiment from the military and it's not public knowledge (e.g. you have security clearances with access to that info), I would most definitely ask a lawyer, but my gut says no. If it is public knowledge, then pretty much anything is fair game, especially if you're writing fiction. Though to ease your mind, you may still want to ...


3

Think about what fillers are used for. They can be habitual. For example, some people start every utterance with 'well'. Mostly, they are used to give the person a little bit more time to think. Work out when your character most needs that time (at the beginning because they don't know what to say or half way through because they don't know what to say next) ...


3

I'm not able to find a sample of the book, but, from what you've posted above, it looks like the author decided to capitalize the first three words of each section, as noted in the comments above. That first one is different because "Fear of Music" needs to be set apart from the artist. I've seen many big authors use this capitalization technique; it's just ...


3

Looking at a sample of the book it seems obvious to me that the use of capital letters is rather arbitrary. It doesn't enhance the text, in my opinion. Actually, it looks like rather lazy editing to me.


1

The author of "Kick Ass" said that every major character in the story was partially autobiographical, including the hero and villain, in that either at some point in his life he wanted to be that character or felt that he had a lot in common with that character. Every major character in his story is distinct. None are Mary Sue. Why not? he took a ridiculous ...


0

In my own fiction, I'm "autobiographical" with ONE of the main characters. That's the best way for me to keep track of everything that's going on. Sometimes, my character is the protagonist, and he speaks for me. Sometimes my character is the antagonist, with the protagonist being my "date." (Trying to see yourself through the eyes of your dates is quite ...


0

If you have "too few chapters," it's probably a sign that your story doesn't have enough complexity. Here's an example of how to re-work it. Act I, Scene I: The heroine needs some information to solve a problem. Act I, Scene II: The heroine looks for, and fails to find the information. Act I, Scene III: The heroine finds the information but it ...


2

The best strategy would be to let the reader come to the conclusion: Tom swallowed at the maid's sudden appearance.


4

First person narrators can't know what's going on inside someone else. But they can think they know. And can narrate as if they know. That's a key advantage of first person narrators. They can be unreliable. Mindreading. I like your first example better... with some caveats. The narrator presumes to know what is going on inside Tom. That kind of ...


0

Terms of endearment are, by their very nature, quite individual. You may want one that is common and doesn't draw attention to itself. In that case go for something like 'darling'. However, if you want to give your character uniqueness, have them use individual terms, such as 'lotus blossom'. Pick something that will reveal something about him or her. You ...


3

Try looking up "British terms of endearment" instead. You should find several links. This one looks good in particular.


3

I think you're trying to hard to find a formula. I think "my heart started to race" is pretty clear. It wasn't racing before; it is racing now. The other two, yes, as isolated sentences, they are ambiguous. But you could say that about a lot of perfectly good sentences. To take a silly example, suppose I told you that a story includes the sentence, "She ...


1

Using these kinds of phrases makes me feel like you are telling more than showing. For instance, I don't care that your heart started to race, I care about why that's happening. I think it's because using start/realize/decide makes the action intentional instead of simply describing the action. It gives too much focus to something that should be peripheral. ...


2

Outside of scholarly of scholarly work the norm would be to transliterate. Now I am all for violating norms, but it is riskier, more work and you have to know what you are doing. if you can pull it off It would be praiseworthy, but it is not appropriate to all situations, particularly in that violating norms draws attention so one question is do you want to ...


0

Echoing what Dale said, politics will alienate your readers. However, if your political statement (that you wish to address in the author's note) is central to the book, then the book description should do enough to deter readers who would be put off by the note. You mentioned that it will be at the back of the book (which is where I've seen most author's ...


9

Rules? No, not beyond any that your publisher or editor might have. But one factor to consider is that, assuming you're not publishing in a specialized or foreign market, your readers probably won't know how to pronounce the words in a different alphabet -- you can't sound things out if you don't know the pronunciation rules. This means that the words you ...


1

When writing a novel of any manner (but particularly a romance) there is a danger of falling into a cliche. In fact I can boil every romance i've ever read into 1 of 2 stories: Main Character (mc) meets Romantic Interest (ri). There is some plot reason or another that keeps them apart. Together (or separately) they over said reason and execute the ...


1

Romances are far more clichéd then you say. As Mike Ford points out, almost all romances can be sketched as: 1. Boy meets girl. 2. They fall in love. 3. Something keeps them apart. 4. They overcome and are together forever. I don't read romance novels, but I see them on TV now and then. I've noticed that these days the obstacle that keeps them apart is ...


0

The thing about romance is that it is aspirational, just like most fiction. To make a good romance, the reader needs to want to have the relationship in the book. They want to believe that the person falling in love could easily be them, and they will find the love of their life through similar means. The way most romance writers do this is exactly the ...


5

Romance follows the same basic plot structure as any other genre: We meet the protagonist. An "inciting incident" disrupts the protagonist's life (in romance: (s)he encounters "the right one"). The protagonist now has a goal (a relationship with the right one). Obstacles keep the protanogist from his/her goal (for example, the right one loves another ...


3

Lyrical refers to song-like qualities. Songs are inherently emotive and use rhythm and sound to convey a sense beyond the literal. The rhythmic aspect includes not merely higher-level structure but also accentuation, syllabic pacing, repetition of sound patterns, and other mechanisms. Songs generally have a compression and a subtlety of expression that is ...


1

What Dale said. And: I think that your novel should contain a short, biographical author's note including the URL of your webpage. On your webpage you can have either a page dedicated to your political views, or a blog where, besides other writerly blog posts, you voice your political opinion. I would keep the book as the book and not water it down with ...


1

Politics will limit your audience. If your novel is highly political, your author's note will fit right in. The author's note may even be a draw for people who agree with the politics. A political author's note up front will annoy many readers. Annoyed readers may close the book and not open it again. They may be annoyed with themselves for having spent ...


1

I am not a lawyer, so this is from a writer's, not legal point of view. As it were, anyone can sue anybody for anything at any time. So the issue is, how have people minimized the possibility of this happening (and worse, losing) One form of "protection" that has been used by some authors and publishers is to slightly "misspell" the place in question. For ...



Top 50 recent answers are included