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7

Some writers don't know which word to use and so they use a dozen. some writers are convinced that typewriter ribbons are too expensive and agonize over each word. Both of these methods can produce enjoyable reading, but my favorite is when the pace of the words just seem to fit. Not too much, not too few. And the appropriate number of words is not a ...


6

Yes, there are stronger words and while when writing (especially fiction) it is perfectly acceptable to use less strong words but it's better to avoid them if you can. As you say, you're trying to invoke your readers senses. Example: I landed on the floor with a bump I thumped onto the floor Using stronger words can also allow you say the same but ...


4

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 ...


4

A lot of it has to do with context. What type of story is it? What is the genre? hildred has a point in regard to number of words affecting urgency. If you've got a fast-paced action sequence, for example, you don't want to be detailing every single movement of a character as this can easily slow the reader's imagination of the scene. Instead, dropping some ...


4

There are stronger and weaker words, but using weaker words isn't always bad. Using strong words all the time would be as bad as using weaker words all the time, as it wouldn't distinguish when something is less severe. In addition, contrasting strong/weak words shows what the reader should focus on more. Consider the two sentences: John stared at the ...


3

If you write a literary text, vary your words. If you write an academic text, stick to the terminology and repeat it consistently (because very likely a word perceived by the lay public to be synonymous has a fundamentally different meaning to an expert).


3

Words have connotations. Using these overtones and implied meanings to create the effect you want makes them strong words. For example, compare these two versions of essentially the same thing: The man killed the boy. The monster slaughtered the innocent child. The second version is more emotive, and some words do stir the emotions more, but there may be ...


3

When writing in first person limited view you are basically writing in the voice of the character. So you should make what they say authentic. Therefore in the right circumstances this is perfectly acceptable. My advice would be to leave it in and write the story that way. Then when it is done you can get a feel for if it "works" in that context. I have ...


3

Author's preference is, of course, the deciding factor, but one has to take into account readability as well. Using extra space to determine a scene change is not very common and it is possible that the reader could misinterpret it as a formatting error, or perhaps just be confused by it, whereas the three dots send a clear message that this is an ...


3

There's no universal standard for this, or at least not in fiction. Books generally pick one style and stick with it. Larger narrative breaks than a section break can be indicated by starting a new chapter. The exception is in printed books that use extra space between paragraphs to designate the end of a section, and when this happens at the end of a ...


3

Strictly speaking, there is no objective way to determine if a bit of discourse is stilted and/or cluttered. However, this fact does not make the use of such terms arbitrary. In many communities and social groups, people share subjective judgments about a great many things. For example, it is not, strictly speaking, objective to criticize the poor ...


3

Words lead the reader to emotion. Have enough words so the reader feels, but not so many that they stop feeling.


2

The example figure caption in section 5.23 (Figure Legends and Captions) of the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is formatted as follows: Figure 3. Fixation duration as a function of the delay between the duration of eye fixation and the onset of the stimulus in Experiment 1. (American Psychological ...


2

For the most part an author should try to conform to grammatical conventions as that makes it easier for people to read. However, this isn't a set in stone rule. You are free to violate "proper" grammatical conventions in both first-person and third-person narratives. It is best if you have a decent grasp of the conventions you violate—that knowledge ...


2

Other media don't have such qualms to break the forth wall. It's quite common in contemporary theatre, much of which is based on heavy audience involvement, and in plays such as Peter Handke's 1966 Offending the Audience there is no fourth wall at all. Many contemporary movies love to play with the fourth wall (compilation on Youtube), especially parodies ...


2

Here are some reasonably objective features that tend to make a passage feel more stilted: Abstract or inanimate subjects. That is, subjects that are non-human, non-animal, or otherwise unable to take action. In your passage, every subject is an abstraction: prohibition, law, provision, vagueness, legislation, presence, it (to initiate), looking, and ...


2

In general, the "stronger" words in your examples are more specific. Twisting is a kind of turning. Treading is a kind of walking. What makes them "stronger" is that they give you more control of what the reader experiences. If you say, "turn," the reader can conjure many, many images of someone turning. If you say "twist," that eliminates all kinds of ...


2

Of course. As Tave says, some words have stronger emotional connotations, or convey the idea of more extreme action. George was exhausted after toiling for untold hours. George was tired after working for a long time. John was overcome with passion for Sarah, whose beauty filled his dreams. John liked Sarah and thought she was pretty. ...


2

It seems to me that whatever problem you have with writing is not about writing but about how you feel about yourself and your life. You might want to take a break from writing and try to come to terms with the death of your cousin first. Or you can try to take the pressure out of your writing and write without any concerns for quality and just to relax and ...


1

The prompt specifies "an essay" so it would probably be a mistake to turn in a story instead. However, it does also demand some creative writing skills. If it were my essay, I'd style it after a non-fiction profile (such as this one), but with invented details. Joseph is a High School student from Ghana. He was born in a small village outside Accra and ...


1

In general writing, it is good to vary wording to avoid sounding repetitious. "I drove my car to the car lot where the car salesman sold me a new car." That sounds very awkward, almost silly, because of the repeated use of the same word. If I wanted to express that idea, I'd be much more likely to write, perhaps, "I drove my car to the auto dealer where the ...


1

The great thing about 'suddenly' is that it appears at the start of the sentence, so itself appears suddenly to the reader, but you can replace it easily with something stronger... Start a sentence with a jarring word or image instead of a 'suddenly'. Like one, or even all of the below examples: Blood splattered his hands. Glass shattered around ...


1

There's no inherent reason why an author can't write from a perspective that does not exactly match every characteristic of him- or herself. Yes, trying to write from the point of view of a member of the opposite sex creates challenges. But so does writing from the POV of someone of a different nationality, or religion, or political persuasion, or ...


1

To the best of my knowledge, there is no widely-accepted rule of when asterisks are appropriate versus when extra white space is appropriate versus other possible conventions. To my mind, and for what it's worth, a row of asterisks indicates a bigger break than a blank line. One catch to white space: It can get lost when a document is reformatted. Like, I ...


1

We'll call stilt here any disorder in a text making it difficult to read. Clutter would be unnecessary redundancy. There is a long history in mathematics of analysing this. Here is one way to measure the stilt in some writing. Also we easily find how much stilt there is. We do not merely ask whether it's present or absent. Call the text t. Now consider ...


1

Dinkus ( * * * ) Signifies a temporary break. Time has passed between the preceding and following paragraphs, and the narrative picks up at the same place and with the same protagonist. During the break the protaginist may have been asleep, gone to work, or done any other thing that the reader needs to know is being done but whose details are irrelevant or ...


1

There's nothing wrong in principle with "breaking the fourth wall". It's a matter of whether it adds to your particular story or subtracts from it, and how well you do it. It's like asking, "Can I add a romance sub-plot to my adventure story?" Of course you can. But will it make the story better or will it be an annoying distraction? It depends on the ...


1

I have seen a number of silly works break the fourth wall to good effect. For example Earlier today I was reading some User Friendly archives where the artist was trying to get his characters to tell jokes bashing Firefox instead of Internet Explorer, and failing. The whole sequence was completely ridiculous, and very funny. But the reason it worked was that ...


1

It depends how different they are. "Wings" versus "powerful legs"? Having an adjective in one but not the other doesn't break the pattern for me. Consider this example: "I knew animals would do everything to survive; birds would use their wings to fly away from snakes, buffaloes their powerful legs to escape from lions; and the ability to change their skin ...


1

Part of the editing process is determining where to cut the fat. Often, first drafts are just there to get ideas out on paper. There is a happy medium with deciding what should be edited out. If you leave too much in, your reader may think you are rambling. However, you don't want to make your writing too terse, and start omitting important details. One ...



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