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6

It is like writing English. Obviously people in a fantasy world or the far future won't speak English, yet you present their dialogue in English (or whatever language you write in). Does that put readers off? Certainly not. Writing in a fantasy language is what would put readers off! Terms are the same. If you use the current (in your language) general term ...


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 ...


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

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

An excellent question, and a permanent source of controversy and disagreement in fantasy and science fiction. Let's try to break this down: Basics of worldbuilding. You cannot construct an entire world out of whole cloth. It's simply not possible, primarily because the world is much larger than most of us tend to notice on a day-to-day basis. If your ...


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 ...


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.


2

Personally, if it's to be satirical, I'd forfeit all "may, might, could" etc. I'd go with Simple Present, then augment every single claim with "or not." In the year 3000 all religions are recognized as highly infective memetic diseases. Or not. All "infected/believers" are quarantined in closed "holy cities". Or not.


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

I would see the double entendre. As an editor, I would change it to something else. Assemble or install, probably. "Install" to me means "Start with all the pieces, put it together, test to make sure it does what it's supposed to do, and clean up the site afterwards." Installing an exhibition would involve putting it into place, and if that required tools, ...


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 ...


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

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

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


1

While I agree with the technical points that Nathaniel and Dale make, in that it does soften the tone of what is said, I don't think it is something that should immediately be avoided. To me that is akin to telling a carpenter to avoid using a chisel. I imagine a carpenter spends a good deal of time learning how to efficiently use a chisel. I'm sure they ...


1

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 ...


1

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 ...


1

The word 'obvious' doesn't really have degrees; something is generally obvious or it's not. What you might be looking for: flagrant: shockingly noticeable or evident ostentatious: intended to attract notice glaring: very conspicuous or obvious


1

In some cases, "corresponding" could be replaced by noun or adjective which helps identify the context. For example: If the context relies on a single anchor (Self, Parent, Following), the nodes within that scope are treated according to this context and an anchoring node is created in the output XML file. In this example, "that scope" refers back to ...


1

There is a three part solution to your problem: Format -- there are some standard forms for business communication. A lot of what makes any communication seem more polite is just the inclusion of some standard niceties (please, thank you, etc) that can basically be cut and pasted from one email to the next. You should easily be able to find some books or ...


1

You could try "in a trance": trance: a half-conscious state, seemingly between sleeping and waking, in which ability to function voluntarily may be suspended.


1

Sure. There's a very famous book: Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. e.g. http://www.amazon.com/Bartletts-Familiar-Quotations-Geoffrey-OBrien/dp/0316017590/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430161531&sr=8-1&keywords=bartlets+familiar+quotations I've seen quite a few websites of clever quips and quotes. For example, brainyquote.com, quotationspage.com, etc. ...


1

In the given context the word "erection" does not have any sexual connotations for me. Outside of your question, I would not have thought of erect penises at all. If you feel you must avoid this word, use verbs: "We deliver and erect stands." Or: "The delivery and erecting of stands." Many sexual slang words have non-sexual base meanings and are commonly ...


1

I see your problem. This is something that I run into all the time. When you can't figure out the right word. just use a free online dictionary and go through the synonym list for the word you decided doesn't sound right.


1

Idiom is defined as: an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as in "kick the bucket";; OR -- a construction or expression of one language whose parts correspond to elements in another language but whose total structure or meaning is not matched in the same way in the second language. Not sure if ...


1

If you use obscure terms most readers never heard of, you're bound to alienate the readers. For me quipao doesn't elicit any connotations; I don't know this word, so it will be entirely alien to me. If the world has no connection to Earth whatsoever, you'd better have a very good excuse for them developing a copy of Chinese culture. A dimensional gate? A ...



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