Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

What's the difference between Deus Ex Machina and coincidence?

I've read 1, 2, 3 and of course, 4. Then I read 5 and 6 and even 7. I was blissfully ignorant about coincidence, DEM and plot-convenience; but now, I'm just confused about the difference. I feel ...

technique deus-ex-machina  
asked by ewong 17 votes
answered by Kate Gregory 39 votes

A smooth way to make Dialogue

I am an amateur fiction writer and a key feature in most of my pieces is dialogue. There are often 6-12 characters in the exciting scenes and a lot of the content depends on who said what and how the ...

fiction dialogue  
asked by Hardik Rajpal 5 votes
answered by Mary 12 votes

How to write romantic scenes that aren't cringy?

I know this question is inherently subjective, but I'm asking it in the case that there are universal traits of a romantic scene that makes it cringy. Now, I guess this question can be applied to all ...

romance erotica  
asked by A. Kvåle 3 votes
answered by Sciborg 6 votes

Can a writer change the perspective of a story?

Is it a bad thing if someone writes a story in the third point of view, then he changes the whole story into the first point of view where the protagonist himself tells the story?

narrative viewpoint  
asked by Nour Fourti 2 votes
answered by Ken Mohnkern 6 votes

How do you make a complex but unlikable character?

I'm at the point in my story planning where I need to develop all of the characters. I want this character to be just be a complete asshole, but have more than that one trait. I'm not sure how to ...

character-development  
asked by rometrache 2 votes
answered by storbror 6 votes

Is it true that the need for marketing/promoting one's books is a "myth"?

For indie fiction authors, is it true that if one simply writes and publishes regularly, one will begin to see sales (as Dean Wesley Smith proclaims), and that book marketing/promotion is actually ...

fiction self-publishing marketing  
asked by user394536 2 votes
answered by Jedediah 7 votes

Would having two time skips close together be weird?

There's a story idea I've been playing with for years now but I feel like I need to do two time skips one after the other which may be weird for readers. I have a prologue where she talks to her ...

structure prologues timelines  
asked by Audra 2 votes
answered by Anna A. Fitzgerald 2 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

How to separate scenes in a chapter?

I have multiple scenes in a chapter, sometimes from different POVs, or different locations/times. Now I would like to make it clear to the reader that they have left a scene and are entering a new ...

style  
asked by Shantnu Tiwari 9 votes
answered by Goodbye Stack Exchange 11 votes

What exactly is the "five (consecutive) word" plagiarism rule?

My understanding is that the toughest standard regarding plagiarism is the "five (consecutive) word" rule, which holds that, if there are five consecutive words identical to someone else's writing, ...

plagiarism  
asked by Tom Au 3 votes
answered by Jay 17 votes

Referencing figure in text - capitalize the word "Figure" or not? Why?

I see it quite a lot. It looks a bit like this: It can be seen in Figure 3 that... My gut feeling is that there is no reason to scream in the middle of a perfectly calm sentence. I would like to ...

style capitalization  
asked by jonalv 26 votes
answered by Ace 24 votes

If I'm writing in US English, am I not allowed to use the metric system?

For example, can I say this if my book is written in US English (in non-dialog): The car was going at least 140 kilometers per hour! Or should I convert them to miles or what have you? It's for ...

word-choice  
asked by Klara Raškaj 45 votes
answered by Zeiss Ikon 60 votes

What is the correct way to write a fractional number in a formal letter?

If I'm talking about a length of time in a cover letter, let's say 5.5 years, what would be the correct way to write this? five-and-a-half years 5-1/2 years 5.5 years

style business-writing time-depiction cover-letter numerals  
asked by bernk 10 votes
answered by Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum 9 votes

Should I use the words "pyromancy" and "necromancy" even if they don't mean what people think they do?

If you look up the exact definition for "pyromancy" or "necromancy" they refer to divination using fire and the dead, respectively. However, if you were to ask a layperson what those words mean, they ...

creative-writing fantasy word-choice  
asked by klippy 34 votes
answered by sesquipedalias 71 votes

Evil plans - how do you come up with interesting ones?

I just wrote a long way into a first draft for Nanowrimo before realizing my villain’s evil plan kinda wasn’t interesting at best (and at worst was something we’ve all seen a thousand times before). ...

creative-writing fantasy  
asked by DanB 32 votes
answered by motosubatsu 49 votes

Can you answer this question?

How do you suggest in a poem that the narrator has dementia or a mental illness?

How do you suggest in a poem that the narrator has dementia or a mental illness? I am thinking of using metaphors such as broken mirror and distorted reflections, but more specifically is there ...

creative-writing poetry  
asked by selinity 1 vote
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