Questions tagged [style]

This tag should be used for questions that deal with a consistent style in your writing, such as when asking about typical ways to introduce a certain aspect to your reader by showing-telling or if you are concerned that your readers might feel that a change in the point of view might be perceived as inconcsistency.

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2 answers
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What is a word that would best fit in this sentence?

The Harlem Renaissance has changed America in a ________ way. I'm trying to make the sentence sound professional. Here is what I had at first: The Harlem Renaissance has changed America in a great way....
1 vote
1 answer
40 views

Which English writer community website to give the free feedback on a writing content?

I'm interested in becoming an associate ghostwriter/semi-writer as part of freelance work. So, I want to find a group of English writers (online community) to review a writing content and give me the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
55 views

How to have emotional range whilst maintaining a consistent tone/mood/atmosphere?

I know that a good way of enriching your writing is to include a range of emotions, obviously following a flow, and making sure it makes sense overall, not just cycling through them just to check them ...
1 vote
2 answers
86 views

Can you include action or non-dialogue in a paragraph that begins with dialogue?

Example: “An isotope is determined by an atom’s number of neutrons,” she read to herself. “How many neutrons does uranium-235?” She looked down at her periodic table, searching for uranium. She ...
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0 votes
1 answer
67 views

Can I tell after already showing?

When writing fiction, I try to adhere to the rule of showing rather than telling. That said, is it ok to tell after already showing? For example, I have a character already shown to be insecure. Is it ...
0 votes
2 answers
66 views

How do I find the right audience for my book?

I wrote a book about two years ago with almost no prior planning or outlining done before the writing. I've since matured more and figured out that the audience for my book changes from chapter to ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
51 views

How to describe types of hum a character uses to convey their thoughts and opinions

I have a character who struggles to put his thoughts, feelings and opinions into words - he finds words somewhat too contained and specifically defined to adequately convey what he wants to say. He ...
2 votes
2 answers
93 views

How to describe someone whose eyes sparkle mischievously?

I've been told that I'm telling instead of showing when I say my characters' eyes sparkle 'mischievously.' How do you describe something like that? I've been looking it up and trying different tricks ...
2 votes
3 answers
66 views

What is good introductory book to learn scientific academic writing and publishing process?

I would like some help to find a good reference or textbook that covers the following points regarding scientific academic writing : What are the types of different publications and explaining their ...
0 votes
0 answers
34 views

Best Order of Semantic Parts in a Clause for Clarity

It is not that I want all my writing to be so easily understood, but in some writing of mine, perhaps, I want to be as easily understood as possible, such as in certain kinds of fiction, which I plan ...
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4 votes
2 answers
381 views

Is there a balance on being subtle?

I love literature that leaves clues that readers can connect or makes them discuss their own theorys/interpretations. I'm making my own, but how do I make one. Like, looking deeper in the words per se ...
2 votes
4 answers
158 views

Would it be too presumptuous of any established author to write a novel in the hope that it be made into a film?

Before I start, let me clarify that this is not a dilemma I am facing currently. It's just a question I had in mind for many established and aspiring authors. Many best selling novels get made into ...
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3 votes
2 answers
142 views

Using "etc." at the end of list introduced by "e.g."

According to the Strunk & White's The Elements of Style (p. 46) at the end of a list introduced by such as, for example, or any similar expression, etc. is incorrect. However, I have seen "...
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20 votes
5 answers
5k views

How to include deliberate inconsistencies without it seeming like lazy or bad writing?

I'm writing a thriller (scifi/supernatural) and have a race of characters who can bend reality. They've come to earth with the intent of purging humanity. They can do it, but they have limitations. ...
4 votes
2 answers
206 views

Does writing well in one language translate to writing well in other languages?

I have been trying to improve my writing skills. Most of what I write is in English. To what extent do you think that writing skills are cross-language? I am concerned about my time investment into ...
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Alternatives to raising eyebrows to show surprise

I’m trying to reduce the number of clichés in my manuscript, and I’ve found 11 instances of characters raising their eyebrows. A couple I don’t mind, but it feels like too many. What other actions can ...
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1 vote
0 answers
23 views

Would using poetry to represent a character's dreams be viable?

In a couple of my writing projects I have used poetry to represent the dreams of the POV character. That way some of the content of the dreams and hopefully some of the emotion/feeling of the dreams ...
1 vote
1 answer
120 views

What is it called when a sentence is seemingly contradictory, but has meaning?

What is it called when a sentence is seemingly contradictory, but has meaning that is understood? For example, I saw a coffee truck with free coffee, but it sucks, so I say: “I was too cheap and I got ...
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2 votes
2 answers
122 views

How do you make a place/situation seem brutal?

Up until around the early-through-mid 1800's (of the real world, for clarification), the rights of criminals, disabled people, and the poor were commonly ignored. As a result, the justice system was ...
1 vote
1 answer
25 views

Font sizes for bullet points

Is it necessary that in a bullet point list, the font size of the bullet points should be the same as the fonts in the introductory sentence of the bullet list? For example, in the following bullet ...
0 votes
0 answers
32 views

Style to convey strong statement

I just want to make a bold statement implying Design can be used to direct people's behavior. What is the best way to put it - 'Design can use to direct people.' or 'Design can be used to direct ...
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0 votes
1 answer
37 views

How to write a character that lost his passion , his purpose that he had for his goal after he achives it and how to revive his passion?

So that character is like any typical sports anime character who loved to play cricket a lot and fortunately was gifted and lucky enough to become a big name in world of cricket but with time during ...
3 votes
3 answers
837 views

Should ending punctuation be put before or after an ellipsis? Compare ?..., ...?, !... and ...!

Through reading some self-published novels, I have noticed some writers in their character dialogue put an exclamation mark or question mark before an ellipsis and sometimes after. However I am not ...
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0 votes
2 answers
56 views

Is it more difficult to unify the narrator after the story is written, than to juggle POVs into the narrator's world during writing?

A lot of my procrastination in writing my story is coming from anxiety over making the finished product come from one "head." I have perspectives from a couple first persons, and some 3P ...
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0 votes
0 answers
71 views

Can some please clarify the rules of stress for me?

I was having trouble determining which words are stresed. How do you tell the words that are stressed from the words that are unstressed? Thank you.
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2 votes
2 answers
69 views

How to write a biography without pronoun repetition?

My question is similar to this one, but I am not happy with the answer. Also, my style and sample example are very different. I am writing a biography and all the writing has become, ' he did this' '...
1 vote
1 answer
96 views

How do I avoid a clash in mood?

I'm planning a story that can be simplified into the 2 parts. One is a small town being invaded by monsters and the other about a group of humans having to do an act in order to get one of said ...
-1 votes
1 answer
63 views

Brevity with Prose Rhythm

Along with the book "The Elements of Style", many style guides often emphasize the value of concision, but either leave out a discussion of prose rhythm or say it is something to have in ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
62 views

Cautioning against, from, or about?

Is it proper to use any preposition to say "caution against" "caution about" or "caution from" in e.g. the sentence — The fact that the ... has happened before and could ...
2 votes
2 answers
57 views

Referring to an earlier defined phrase so that it's not taken literally

Say I define a phrase like 'pen' or '10 miles'. Then when I refer to these defined phrases inline in the text, how should I refer to them to let the reader know that I am referring to the defined ...
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0 votes
1 answer
47 views

Could a reference like "as I said before" sound odd when I actually wrote it?

I am writing a long explanation, and in many points I have either to recall something I wrote earlier or note that something will be explained later. I have the sensation that referring to the writing ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
68 views

Is an ellipsis after an em dash unusual?

In my writing, I’ve found that (in dialogue) I use the em dash to show a sudden break from dialogue, and I use an ellipsis for trailing off, often coupled with a pause. I’ve run into the situation ...
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19 votes
5 answers
4k views

How to Write Like a Little Kid

I'm writing a story with 3 POV's. One of which is a 6 year old girl. The problem is simply this: I'm neither a girl nor in first grade. In fact, I'm quite a bit older. The first problem I've more-or-...
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0 votes
0 answers
56 views

How do you emphasize a word or a few ones in dialogue? [duplicate]

I want to emphasize the words "Like ever" in the sentence below. Is this the correct way? We are celebrating one of my friend’s most important moments. Like ever.
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4 votes
2 answers
132 views

Dilating the beat

Consider the following sentences She did not feel the bullet going through her skull. vs She did not feel the 9mm NATO Parabellum lead bullet going through her skull. vs She did not feel the nine ...
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0 votes
0 answers
52 views

How to make a fight scene that is not bland? [duplicate]

I am a novice writer. Recently, I decided to write an action fantasy story but I just realized how bad I am when it comes to fighting scenes. I was struggling to create a good fighting scene that won'...
0 votes
2 answers
77 views

Need help with currencies and numbers/numerals in fiction

How would you write the following in fiction given that my style guide says write out numbers up to and including 99? From the till, she robbed six 50,000-won notes, two 10,000s and eight thousands. I ...
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0 votes
0 answers
31 views

Capitalising after punctuation within speech?

I've notices that Emily Bronte does not always capitalise in dialogue after exclamation marks or question marks, for example (light spoilers): "Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! ...
1 vote
1 answer
74 views

Share expert insights about a field without sounding arrogant or gaslight my audience

I've worked for a good number of years for a couple of big-tech companies (FAANG). I've seen just how efficient they are comparing to the rest of the IT industry. I plan to tweet/linkedin about these ...
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1 vote
1 answer
55 views

Is it problematic to transition from "I" to "we" when describing actions that took place as part of a team?

I am writing about my past job experience in a grant proposal. The proposal is in first person so I use "I" for most of it. At some point in the proposal, I describe a collaborative ...
-2 votes
1 answer
66 views

This, that, these, those [closed]

English is not my first language. I am writing a more or less formal text (nonfiction). When I am talking about something that I introduced in a previous paragraph or sentence, is it correct to always ...
9 votes
5 answers
3k views

When writing, should I describe a scream instead of having the character yell out "Ahhhh!"

Another writer was critiquing my story, and she mentioned that I should describe the scream and show the reaction of the character instead of having the character actually scream out "Ahhhh!"...
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0 votes
3 answers
167 views

What's the solution for "language being subjective" affecting readability? To write more concisely or what?

What's the solution for "language being subjective" affecting readability? To write more concisely or what? To me it seems like knowing how to make a "well understood" text seems ...
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3 votes
1 answer
42 views

Multi linear flow issue in blog writing

I sometimes write about my experiences and day-to-day thought processes. Usually what I get the issue with writing such texts is linearity. For example, I started writing a blog sometimes back about ...
4 votes
2 answers
585 views

Is it outlawed to start Chapter one with the villain and only mention the protagonist?

Chapter 1 takes place in 1953. A girl is kidnapped. She manages to write a note to her friend (they both go to school together but the boy has moved). The letter is destroyed. Her friend is the ...
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3 votes
3 answers
131 views

How does one go about describing subtle movements in characters actions?

I'm struggling with figuring out a way to describe subtle movements in a scene that wouldn't normally be picked up on if not shown. For example: A character is being put in a prison cell and another ...
0 votes
1 answer
67 views

Is it okay to have just two chapters of split time switchover alternating with the present?

Is it okay to have just two chapters of split time switchover alternating with the present (chapters)?. I.e. the second and fourth chapters portray the story of the protagonist's ancestors, which has ...
6 votes
1 answer
135 views

How to write in a way that makes it easier for an ESL reader to parse and understand?

This question recently began percolating in my mind after some conversations at work, and hopefully it's not been asked here before and is applicable to this site. After searching I wasn't able to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
88 views

Strong verbs for energy and clarity, or artistic use of all parts of speech for voice/style?

In not a few books I've read on style, the author pushes the use of strong verbs, as opposed to nominalizations, and certain kinds of adverbs and adjectives, to energize every sentence a writer writes....
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0 votes
3 answers
249 views

Why does Faulkner get a pass for purple prose?

I've been accused of purple prose for single words. People will go through my work with a fine-tooth comb and interrogate me. "Why this big word?" It feels like, if everyone doesn't ...
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