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11

There is a slight difference, if you capitalize the job titles. You can easily tell a story about a grocer, a cleaner and an officer without capitalizing their job titles. There won't be any confusion, if you always refer to these persons by the same handle. Readers will think that those are the jobs of these people, but that they have a life and ...


6

Writing a word in ALL CAPS might be frowned upon because it is considered a visual equivalent of shouting, but shouting is a spoken form of emphasis, so ALL CAPS might be just what you need. Internet tradition (dating back to list serves, etc.) has used the underbar as a signal for italics: I will _never_ eat another steak. The underbar harkens back to ...


5

Just keep writing. Writing is something you have to (and can) learn. So allow yourself the time (and many failures) to do so. Think of writing as being similar to learning a language or learning a craft. Practise makes perfect. Write what you care about. If you are not emotionally involved in what you write about, it will not touch your readers either. ...


5

If you are just referring to them by titles instead of names, you don't need to capitalize, but the narrative will seem impersonal. If the titles are being used in place of names, do capitalize them. Be aware, however, that this will change the entire feel of the book --it will make it seem more stylized and allegorical. If that's what you want, then go ...


5

You can use semi-colons when you want to use commas as well. For example: He had three ties: a red one, which he hated; a striped one, which he loved; and a green one that had been given to him by his aunt. Sometimes you can enclose extra information in parentheses. For example: I like several different dishes: lasagne (only if it is made with ...


3

Maybe you already have a voice. It is difficult for writers to judge their own voices. You live with your voice all day long, in your head, so it seems normal to you, and boring. Other people (most of whom exist outside your head to some extent) don't live with your voice all day long. What do other people say about your voice? That said, I think there are ...


3

Your sentences are exactly right, Alexandro. In each case what follows the comma is a list of sentence elements in apposition to each other, one that is appropriately punctuated with commas. In the first example, you have noun phrase appositives, and in the second, absolute phrases in apposition. One item in each list has a comma within it : hair, almost ...


3

You will probably come to find that different writing styles suit different purposes. This is taught in most writing classes, usually with discussion of "audience" or "target" or "purpose". So you've already found one style (formal academic writing) that works for one audience and purpose. That doesn't mean it's the only way you can write. Your post here ...


3

Repetition gives emphasis whatever is repeated. Repetition calls attention to whatever is repeated, especially if the repeated thing is unusual or interesting. Repetition can create rhythms. Repeated patterns can provoke expectations in the reader. For an extreme, haunting, brilliant example of repetition, see Rick Moody's story "Boys" (PDF).


2

You could get away with drastically different tones if you had two different POV narrators. If one is Tina Fey and the other is Sylvia Plath, they will of course see the world differently. The contrast will probably make your book lean more towards humor/dark humor/satire, so as long as you're okay with that, give it a shot. This is not the same as a ...


2

Words or phrases should not be repeated within the space of a couple of lines (except for small common words like 'the') unless you are doing it for effect, for example: "No. No. No. A thousand times no." The difficulty is judging when it works and when it doesn't. One way to see is to read it out loud.


2

Excessive concission always seems affected. Feel free to increase the words to idea ratio. Ignore the unimportant ideas as a way to cut verbosity. If you want your words to have a greater impact, say less and only say what matters. My greatest asset in limiting my vocabulary choice is to remember which words my little sister uses. If you are an only child ...


2

I'm not the best at writing, but I do know a couple of things for you to remember if you still can't find your "voice". Here is a quote: This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s ...


2

I always considered "finding your voice" something vague and meaningless, like "finding your inner you" or "finding your true self". What happens in reality is this: you copy your favorite writers, and then, gradually, their style starts merging with yours (that is to say, your own feelings, your own thoughts). Personal example: I started by writing like ...


1

I have two tips. 1. Read. This probably sounds strange at first. But I find some similarities between writing and speaking. You learned your speaking habits from those around you--your parents and caretakers when you were younger, your teachers (hopefully, at least as far as grammar and vocabulary goes), and nowadays more likely your friends and ...


1

I've attempted to address this problem before, and I double-checked both Google help files and Google Add-Ons in hope of finding a solution for you (and me), but I've had no luck. Google Docs does not distinguish between odd and even pages that, in a book, would become the recto and verso pages. Without recto and verso, one cannot place a gutter margin on ...


1

In Winnie-the-Pooh (or something of a similar genre) there was a Habit of capitalising important words to emphasis its importance to the narrator. e.g. After all he really was A Very Important Bear. I think this works a lot more subtlety than all caps, which tend to jolt you out of the flow of reading. Capitalised words can be absorbed as part of the ...


1

Yes, there's a general rule against repeating a word, but like many rules, it must be applied reasonably. If you're writing about Norway and the Norwegian language, it's likely you'll have to repeat "Norway" and "Norwegian" a fair number of times. While common words can often be replaced with synonyms, proper nouns usually cannot. I would definitely NOT ...


1

It's hard for me to give advice on word repetitions without seeing the whole piece. Just knowing how many times the word "Norwegian" is used isn't enough to allow me to comment.


1

It's a judgement call. You can certainly combine dialogue and actions in the same paragraph, and it's generally a good idea to do so when writing about someone giving a speech. But as you said, the "wall of text" is also a potential problem. The speech your character is giving will probably have separate ideas in it, times when you would make a paragraph ...


1

It seems you're using the term setting in a non-standard way to mean genre conventions. Given that, I would say that a mastery of genre, including the fulfillment of the expectations of the core audience, can bring short-term popularity, but that only good writing will endure over the long term. It's also worth noting that the most popular works typically ...


1

If I had a formula for what makes a book a bestseller, then I'd have a bunch of bestselling books to my name instead of the lame few hundred copies my books sell. I think the biggest factor in making a best-selling book is that the author is already famous. If a big-time Hollywood actor or a well-known politician or a champion athlete writes a book, it will ...


1

As Alexandro said: Neither of those. Many bestsellers are amazingly badly written, and bestsellers come from all genres and settings. What makes a bestseller is marketability and the marketing that are based on this. Every current bestseller has a clearly defined target audience and contains what that audience craves most. (For example, Fifty Shades of Grey ...


1

Neither of those. They can certainly make a novel enjoyable. But make it a best-seller...I'm not sure. For instance, I've never heard people say that they want to read a novel because it's set in New York or Paris or Narnia. As for the writing...okay maybe this one is more important. However, the term is a little ambiguous. What do you mean by writing? The ...


1

English word order can vary (up to a point) and you create emphasis by where you place words. Usually something is seen as more important if it occurs first. For example, placing 'the library' first in the sentence you are giving it prominence. If you started with 'my search' that would be the most salient object.


1

Circumlocution. Locution that circles around a specific idea with multiple words rather than directly evoking it with fewer and apter words. Check the wiki article here.


1

I don't honestly see a problem with the two later examples. You have repeated words ("mind" and "pissed off") because you're talking about the same things/emotions multiple times. The only problem with the birthday example is that nobody talks like that. If you wrote "You forgot my birthday!" I said. "I did not! I would never forget your birthday!" ...


1

You don't want to break the reader's immersion. With your writing, you build the reader's identification with your characters and his expectations about the future progress of the story. If your characters suddenly act out of character, they become unbelievable. If you story progresses in a random fashion, your readers will be confused. Sure, life isn't ...


1

I believe there are two different kinds of repetition, though they can appear as each other. In the first case, for example, you have an inadvertent use of the same non-trivial word in two consecutive or nearby sentences. It can have a dull repetitive sound to it, which can translate into boring. In the second case, you have a deliberate use of ...



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