Hot answers tagged

10

I highly suggest you do nothing. A) is a very bad idea - it will tarnish your reputation as argumentative and rude. C) could easily be construed as doing A) -- even with the best intentions, someone could take it out of context -- so it's also best to avoid that. As for if my answer would change for a different type of novel, definitely no. This is good ...


5

Instead of "fiction" (made up) and "non-fiction" (facts) I'll use the terms "novel" and "textbook". We expect a novel, both fiction and non-fiction, to be about experience and possibly ideas, and textbooks to be about detailed information. But there are countless counter examples. For example the scholarly field of ethnology often employs first person ...


5

No. The familiar information should be placed first, and the important new information should be placed last. These two positions are the most prominent places in a sentence. And placing familiar information first creates a connection from one sentence to another that greatly improves the readability of prose. This article, The Science of Scientific Writing ...


4

You're using inspiration from a real-life character in a fictitious world, which has been done by every writer ever. Utilizing a mindset you notice in real life in your work isn't plagiarism any more than setting your story in a location that actually exists. Of course, that doesn't mean you should copy the guy's words verbatim from the previous article, ...


3

You have travel stories that sound like they could be interesting, but it doesn't follow that seeing or doing interesting things will make interesting stories unless you tell them as a story, with beginnings, middles, endings, etc. A lot of this depends on who your audience is. If you're giving an after action report to an Incident Commander after spending ...


3

This technique is called meta-fiction and there are those, including myself, who really enjoy it when done well. I think it defeats the purpose, however, if you try to make it too realistic. Then that's just deception. You'll also want your "trimmings" to be considerably more entertaining and engaging than the real versions typically are, otherwise ...


3

My favorite example of presenting a very technical subject in an informal manner is Designing an Authentication System: a Dialogue in Four Scenes. When you read it you will be able to see that there is no limit on how technical a subject you can cover in light prose, and that in some cases it is better than formal styles. So we know it can be done, the ...


3

I would say write what you are capable of. If your talents are non-fiction, straight to the point works then definitely write it that way. But if you are very skilled at writing fiction stories detailing adventures or thought-provoking ideas, then do that. Personally, I would write a fiction novel detailing all the technical experience of advanced diving ...


2

I wanted to write what Nicole wrote, but she already did (+1), so I'm going to write something else. A productive – as in facilitating – response to a negative review is to try your best and forget for a moment that you are in love with your own work (because it is the materialization of what a beautiful and wonderful person you are), and instead take your ...


2

Like lots of style questions, I don't think there's an absolute rule. It's not like you can say, Use rhetorical questions when discussing questions of type 147-B subparagraph 4. In general, I'd say don't overuse them. I read an editorial not long ago that consisted almost entirely of rhetorical questions, one after the other. "Is it acceptable for a ...


2

Maintaining three pen names means three different brands, with three different marketing efforts. It takes a lot of work. Before you decide, you would want to consider the following: Will any of your audiences react negatively if they find out you also write for the other audiences? For example, will some people devalue your business advice if they ...


2

It depends on what your purpose for writing the article is or the intended outcome. (If you don't have one yet, then consider creating one, so your article is more powerful.) Are you: trying to highlight problems so that people rally around creating solutions, or are you trying to make someone look bad (e.g. a mud slinging campaign against a politician), ...


2

It depends on a lot on what you're trying to say; what structure and focus you give your article. Basically, if your article prompts the question "why isn't anybody fixing this?" or "can't anything be done," then by omitting solutions you'll be giving an incomplete picture - possibly an actually misleading one, if e.g. the city is actively working on ...


2

I like to use a lot of dialogue. It allows you to avoid narrative information dumps and will prevent you from being too opinionated compared to simply being selective about presented material. Narrative: Ben-Yaden relaxed his grip on the trigger. He couldn't be sure if the man within his sites was Jew or Palestinian. He knew his orders, but he was a human ...


2

Plagiarism is an academic violation that applies to scholarly papers. It doesn't apply to works of fiction. The whole point of a scholarly paper is that you're presenting something that you claim is a new and original idea or discovery. If you copied it from someone else, then your paper is a fraud. Of course you may use ideas from others and build on ...


2

There are many types of non-fiction, but for a book like this, you probably want to structure it something like a novel. Even though you'll be recounting events from real life, you still need the same elements of storytelling as in fiction to keep people interested. You might, however, want to intersperse the narrative chapters with more informational ...


1

No, that's not a valid rule. Real life is more complicated than that. Sometimes we deliberately leave the most important element in the sentence until the end to build tension. Like the classic style of line in a mystery novel, "And so, the murderers is the man who had the most to gain by the victim's death, the only man who could have entered the room that ...


1

I would say it's dependent on context. There are times when you cannot "bury the lede," to borrow a term from journalism (and that is the correct spelling), and there are times when it's okay to put certain items later in the sentence for the sake of readability. For your example 2, you could arrange those items in any order. If item 3 is your most ...


1

I don't want to embellish, and it would go against my ethics to stray into creative writing in a non-fiction account I think you're off-base here. Memoirs (which is what you're writing) are not transcripts of history. Yes, they are recitations of actual facts and events which occurred to the writer, but nobody remembers every detail of first grade with ...


1

The actual document's title is: COMPTES RENDUS DES SÉANCES DE LA TREIZIÈME CONFERENCE GENERALE DES POIDS ET Officially the 13th Conference took place over both years. The actual paper's publication date is actually in May 1969. That's why they cite it as: Comptes Rendus de la 13e CGPM (1967/68), 1969, p.105 on http://www.bipm.org/en/CGPM/db/13/7/


1

I'd say that splitting it by chapter would be the most logical approach. However I think that only works if you are telling a story in your own right. So the reader reads a chapter from her on one aspect, then gets another chapter on your views on that event. You would need to be quite careful how you choreographed them, you wouldn't want to bore the ...


1

Intriguing. You could write it as almost like a screenplay with the speaker listed flush left--but then also do paragraphs of prose, probably from your daughter's perspective, outside of the dialogue. No immediate examples come to mind so I'm probably way out on a limb with this one.


1

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco provides a classic example of exactly what you're describing. You know that whole thing at the beginning where he discovers the medieval manuscript and all that stuff? Fiction. If you skip it, you don't lose much. Same with Nabokov, who is constantly playing with the nature of fiction. In fact, what you describe -- ...


1

You're talking about two very different kinds of book. In a way this is like asking, "I'm going to college. Should I major in chemistry or poetry?" That all depends on what you like, what you're good at, and what you expect to do with the degree. Someone could list the pros and cons of each, but without knowing your wants and needs and aptitudes, there's no ...


1

There's no need to choose. Write both.


1

Is it better to write that as a non-fiction book or develop a novel on the subject? With one huge exception, my general answer would be that you should write a straightforward instructional book. Most novels I have read that simply wrapped a story round a lesson read like books for children. That annoys me. I'm a grown up. I don't need the pill sugared. Now ...


1

I just popped into my office and pulled a few books off the shelf. It's easy to estimate: Count up the total number of words on 10 random (full) lines from different places and divide by 10 to get the average words-per-line. Count the number of lines on each page to get the lines-per-page. Check that the book actually starts on page 1 - sometimes the stuff ...


1

Folks here might be able to give you more helpful advice if you can be more specific than "non-fiction". Is it a history book? Astronomy? How to fix plumbing? Etc. That said: I think you always have to consider your audience. What level background do your readers bring to the subject? A book on astronomy intended for 10 year olds would surely be very ...


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 ...


1

In my experience, a response always legitimizes a critique, so unless a) you have a policy of responding to all reviews, b) you yourself actually think the criticisms are legitimate, or c) the reviewer already has a position of legitimacy higher than yours (i.e. "Top Reviewer" status), responding is intrinsically counterproductive.



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