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The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — it's the difference between a lightning bug and the lightning. — Mark Twain

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2d
comment Should my query lead with the detective, or with the crime?
I would trip over "his eyes rolled down the front of her blouse" and the "MEANWHILE" transitions too, so I don't think this is a "it only appears when you're looking too closely" problem.
Nov
23
comment How to indicate that a single letter was removed from a quotation
I have to say that putting "desire" in brackets makes me think that desire was not the actual word, so if I were to look it up and find out that it was "desires," I would wonder why the writer bothered to bracket the entire word. It would seem unnecessary to my eyes.
Nov
23
comment How to indicate that a single letter was removed from a quotation
@TimS. I don't have any references to back up that guess, but my instinct is to agree that it's uncommon. I haven't seen it often. I think people just drop the single letter or find a way to reword it.
Nov
21
comment A “scientific” word for probably
Hi, and welcome to Writers. Requests for single-word rephrasings are off-topic for us, but I believe they are okay on English. I've asked the mods to migrate this question there.
Nov
20
comment Can't write more than the beginning of a story
Possible duplicate of writers.stackexchange.com/questions/2100/…. Closely related: writers.stackexchange.com/questions/4705/… Search for other posts in the writers-block tag for suggestions as well.
Nov
19
comment Is pantsless writing practical for NaNoWriMo?
This is sometimes called a slush file, and it's also a great place to put things which aren't quite working in the main document but have some element you don't want to delete, like a nice turn of phrase or an event which reveals character background.
Nov
19
comment Spaces within abbreviations, acronyms, and initials
The last period should never be omitted from U.S.A. That's a mistake.
Nov
19
comment Is pantsless writing practical for NaNoWriMo?
@SaberWriter It's pantser from "flying by the seat of your pants," meaning that you have no plan. "Pantsless" means to me that you're writing either with no trousers or no underwear, or both. The practicality of that depends on the comfort level of your chair.
Nov
19
comment How to structure paragraphs of dialogue properly?
Yes, the two formats are for different kinds of work. The first one is for prose. The second is for performance. You really can't mix them. It's nothing to do with grammar.
Nov
18
comment Non-dialogue sections: single quotes or double quotes?
@what I did not know that about German books. Fascinating.
Nov
17
comment Non-dialogue sections: single quotes or double quotes?
@what Actually I think his example is a good use of sarcastic or scare quotes. It succinctly indicates that the meeting was meant to be friendly, or was pretending to be friendly, but in reality wasn't.
Nov
17
comment Non-dialogue sections: single quotes or double quotes?
And to clarify: In American English you use double quotes for quotations; in British English you use single quotes. So use whatever the convention is for whatever flavor of English you're writing in.
Nov
11
comment What effect does the gender of the narrator have on a story?
Hi, and welcome to Writers. Stack Exchange is not like other sites. We are not a discussion board. We require practical, answerable questions which have the potential to help others. There's the kernel of a good question here, in your last two sentences. Can you rewrite to focus on that and make it less of a discussion?
Nov
11
comment Use of punctuation within quotes with single words or letters
@Jay True. You could have put the characters in some kind of highlight as well, or even on their own line.
Nov
10
comment Use of punctuation within quotes with single words or letters
@dmm As a proud American and a typesetter, I find the white space of the British version visually irritating. :)
Nov
10
comment Use of punctuation within quotes with single words or letters
@AmitSchandillia Yes, you have it exactly right in your comment. (In the American system.) I find the American style more visually pleasing than the British, but not everyone does. Whichever way you choose, do it consistently.
Nov
10
comment Use of punctuation within quotes with single words or letters
@Jay That would have been a good place for different formatting, like bold or italics.
Nov
8
comment Referring to fictional version of an author in essay
Hi, and welcome to Writers. Your additional paragraph about your account is a meta issue which can be brought up in the meta for Stack Exchange as a whole, or the meta for any SE board you're on. meta.stackexchange.com I've removed it here.
Nov
7
comment What's the difference between purple prose and vividly descriptive writing?
Related, not a duplicate: writers.stackexchange.com/questions/1152/how-do-you-avoid-purple-prose/1159
Nov
6
comment Can prologues and epilogues change POV from the main text?
@AE Yes, I suppose you could, as a stylistic device, make it difficult for the reader to tell who the narrator is, if it served the purpose of the story. In this case, the OP isn't trying to be deliberately obscure, so being vague about the narrator wouldn't help. Everything has to act in service of the story being told.