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5

In English, proper names are generally not translated, because usually the meaning is not important --what is important is that it is the name of the character. Many common English names have no definition (at least not one that would be known to the average English speaker) and even when a name has a meaning, the meaning is usually irrelevant. ...


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 ...


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 ...


5

Write "ha ha" if you want those words spoken, but not for laughter. Vera rolled her eyes. "Ha ha. Very funny." Actual laughter is a nonverbal sound and is better described. Vera's eyes widened. "You mean you—" A roar of laughter escaped her mouth. Tears streamed down her cheeks, and her body shook. I wouldn't normally spell it out, just ...


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 ...


4

You can try to "rubber duck". Explain what you need to convey out loud to someone not in the know or even to a rubber ducky from the bathtub. Then write it down. When still unsure, wait a day and read it back to see if the text still makes sense. Keep at it, talk about it, it is a learn-able skill!


4

This is very difficult to answer with any finality so I'll present a few thoughts that come to mind and hope they help you: Your use of such words creates a style to your writing. Every author has a style and readers usually enjoy styles that are not common. So, having a style that integrates the use of outmoded, though perfectly correct, words would bring ...


4

I don't have any techniques to offer, but I can point you to some examples. Thirty-five years ago, I was reading Robert Silverberg's Lord Valentine's Castle. Partway into the story, someone teaches the main character how to juggle. I put the book down and started following the instructions. It worked. I don't think I ever picked up the book again. But now ...


4

Which form you use is entirely writer preference. Neither 'said James' nor 'James said' is wrong. They are both grammatically correct, along with various other similar dialogue tags. Which one you use is determined by how you write, and especially what sounds better in the context of what you are writing. For example, you may determine that 'James said' ...


3

(1) explaining the thoughts of a character other than the protagonist (2) depicting events from which the protagonist is absent (3) depicting the protagonist in non-conscious states (i.e., sleeping, dead… I guess) Those are just a few. You can think of it this way: could your protagonist narrate this prose to his- or herself in the third-person? (Maybe ...


3

If you're writing in 3rd limited, then you should only be sharing information that the POV character knows. I don't think there are any specific words to watch out for - it's more the content than the style. If there are parts of your story that absolutely MUST be shared that your POV character can't know about, you may want to look at what Rowling did in ...


3

What happens in real life in England may be instructive: Sometimes people anglicise their names and sometimes they don't. Additionally, sometimes they just anglicise the pronunciation, leaving the spelling the same. For example, a student I know is called Piotr. He tells everyone to just call him 'Peter'. Usually, if people can make a fair attempt at ...


3

Use the English form. It will increase the sense of dislocation your character is experiencing (if this is what you're going for). You could draw attention to names using an English salutation (Mr, Miss, Mrs, Dr, and so on) which helps convey a sense of being in another place. If your characters don't speak this way, the narrator or voice of your novel ...


3

As with any dialogue choices, you would use the word that the character would be most likely to use. Try to hear them in your mind, or chose an actor to portray them (in your imagination!) and hear how that actor says the words, or write a character diary until you get the character's voice figured out, or do whatever else you need to do until you ...


3

The answer here would depend on the convention in Czech, and not about English. In English, names do not normally have obvious meanings. When a name is also a common word, we usually have a certain amount of mental dissonance to keep the two meanings separate. Like if you told me, "I saw an old-fashioned black smith at the fair", I'd understand "smith" to ...


3

In your example, the word may soften up the sentence and paragraph, but it remains spoken English, and does give the impression you're not entirely sure of what you're saying. Consider the following: So on this point I'll just stress that (...) vs. On this point I'll just stress that (..) In this particular case you can afford to simply remove ...


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

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

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


3

More usual phrases to use in that situation are "until now," "at this point," or "at this time". Using "till" will may the reader think 'til, which is much more conversational.


3

Yes, "vampiric" is a legitimate word. If you don't own a dictionary, you can visit Dictionary.com to research words and usage.


3

I'm a native English speaker, am university educated, have been reading fiction for as long as I can remember, and would consider myself to have a reasonably extensive vocabulary, yet I suffer from the same issue: encountering words in fiction that I have never previously been exposed to. You're always going to come up against it no matter how well prepared ...


2

The phrase "to [name]" is perfectly applicable to persons past, present and future, as it does not contain a finite verb form or any other time reference. Also, there is no reason why a book could not be dedicated to someone who is no longer alive. Many books that I own are dedicated to persons that were part of the authors life but are no longer with us. ...


2

In general (and in your question and example) it makes the text feel friendlier and more conversational. In some contexts, a more conversational tone can make your ideas less persuasive. Whether it works depends on who is reading, and why they're reading. The word "just" in your example has the effect of discounting the thing it modifies. The effect is ...


2

How about, "the sound of something heavy -- perhaps a person -- being dragged across the floor"?


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

Here are two examples of how "e.g." has been used in scientific articles: In the first passage the authors explain who they excluded from their study. "e.g." is used to give examples of medication. Exclusion criteria included psychiatric or neurological conditions that could be associated with secondary bruxism, use of medications that may have an ...


2

Pack of Playing Cards? Some might associate this with Poker and Casinos, but it would receive a lot less heat than a pack of cigarettes I believe. Really though, all you need to do is think of things that fit in your hand. If nothing's coming to you, take a break. Whenever you find yourself holding something in your hand, check to see if it is the proper ...


2

If it's not for radio, greetings don't need to be voiced at all. If it's just two characters, it might very well be non-dialog: Bob saw George coming back from the break room, and caught his eye. They moved into a doorway of an unused office, out of the hallway traffic. "I have an idea for the new product line." Bob said ... I find in real life ...


2

The reader will understand that it's mocking only from the context. Two primary ways to give context: Show events that demonstrate that this world does not exhibit "knowledge at its heights." Give the narrator's or viewpoint character's real opinions about the world and its level of knowledge. If you give this context first, the reader will realize that ...



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