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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31 views

pickup line spell-check [closed]

can you help spellcheck or paraphrase this Tinder pickup line please: "hi . are your photos on here of you or some kind of goddess? or perhaps that's synonymous 🤷‍♂️" thanks in advance and ...
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51 views

How to write about forceful laugh like laughter yoga

If I want to write about this image, how should I go about it? Here is what I wrote: The morning routine of the people didn’t seem to bother him. People were running round and round on the track; ...
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4answers
110 views

How should I go about writing a character that is a goth?

I have a character in my story who openly identifies as part of the goth subculture. I've taken pains to make sure they have a three-dimensional personality and aspects to their character beyond just ...
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2answers
50 views

Formatting new line options with actions and dialogue in fiction

I am getting confused about whether rules determine new paragraph positions or if it's sometimes arbitrary. Some choices seem clear cut, but in the sentence: 'I regarded...' it reads fine to me in ...
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0answers
21 views

Capitalize preposition in hyphenated adjective (in-service)

Are compound adjectives beginning with an adjective capitalized in a title? In my case, the article I'm writing contains an event called "in-service training," and I'm stumped on whether I ...
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3answers
199 views

Usage of comma vs dash

Which sentence works best in regards to ',' or '-'? If you don't, the track record will become diluted or If you don't - the track record will become diluted
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1answer
16 views

What Note / Bib citation style uses parenthesis around the publisher?

What citation style is this? C. van Hoeten, The Alien in Israelite Law (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1991). D. A. Hubbard, Beyond Futility (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1976), pp. 20-21. J. N. Sevenster, ...
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1answer
83 views

Is there a tradition/style of novel writing that is closer to screenwriting?

What I really like about screenplays is that a lot of them have minimal descriptions of objects or the environment. By contrast, novels usually have detailed descriptions that I have difficulty ...
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2answers
77 views

What are some strategies to integrate historical facts to a storyline?

What are several different ways to incorporate true facts into historical fiction without just giving a massive info dump? Whether big or little details, I want to inform the reader of facts without ...
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1answer
102 views

How to remove filter words from dialogue actions in first POV

While editing my story's first draft, I read a blog about filtering words. When it came to editing, I realised it's not that easy to remove those words when you are editing an action after a dialogue, ...
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2answers
113 views

Is it okay to write short adjacent story of a second lead in the main story?

I am writing a story of a slice of life of a teenager girl who seeks her forgotten past and run away from her forced marriage to follow her dreams. I want to add another story of her cousin and her ...
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3answers
2k views

How to write a hospital death scene without sentimentalism?

The cliché scene where a man dies on the hospital bed and ECG goes "beep beep beep" is seen by everyone in movies. The problem is that someone told me that I go too sentimental in scenes ...
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2answers
113 views

When should I end a sentence?

I like to write long sentences, but people complain that I move from thought to thought in the same sentence, and that it ought to be split into multiple sentences. Although I'd like to correct this ...
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3answers
964 views

Getting Prose to Flow

Some of the advice that I’ve heard on writing recommends reading my draft out loud, to hear any flaws that will grate on the reader’s ear. But once I have done this, what are the things in my draft ...
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3answers
102 views

Using “with” vs. “, her/his”

Mio smirked, her eyebrows drooped. Mio smirked with drooped eyebrows. Is there any difference between the two (semantically or stylistically speaking)? Or they are exactly the same?
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2answers
179 views

Are introductory phrases such as 'In walked the girl…' and 'Down the hill they went…' correct?

I'm helping to proofread a friend's novel manuscript and I cannot find the answer to this on Google. To me, it reads oddly, but I would like to know if there are any established rules for this. Also, ...
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4answers
1k views

I feel like my stories are too short considering the amount of action described. How can I extend them? [duplicate]

I have a story in my mind and put it onto paper. The contains a lot of content: characters appearance and personalities, plot, action. My issue is usually I end up having several pages while giving ...
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2answers
149 views

Internal thoughts or just narration?

I'm struggling with my thoughts about what I see as a dichotomy. Basically, I'm not sure when started, but emulating some novels I read, I started using mainly narration to describing the thoughts and ...
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4answers
194 views

Is it possible to write a serious story without any humour?

I'm planning out and (will hopefully be writing) a trilogy takes that takes itself pretty seriously and very dark while having a distinct absence of comedy. The reason is behind this choice that I ...
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3answers
2k views

Is it necessary to add “had” in past tense narration when it's clear we're talking about the past?

Example: Standing in front of the sliding glass door, he began to sweat. The last time he had stepped into a convenience store was a year ago. This is past tense narration. The bolded part is ...
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3answers
122 views

How to give the voice expression of shouting as well as rhetorical question

While writing dialogue, I came across this confusion. There are some moments when the characters are deep in their thoughts (past troubling thoughts), and something happens that makes them flip-out. ...
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1answer
81 views

Is there a style guide for non-fiction? [closed]

So, I'm writing a nonfiction book. But I'm confused about style, format, and citations. Is there a specific sources section that I have to do? Such as, "References," "Sources Cited,&...
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2answers
126 views

Should I use more transition words? [closed]

I just wrote a blog post, and then I went to publish it on our team blog. The Wordpress instance for the team has this "Yoast SEO" plugin. Among other things, it judges my writing style: I'...
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2answers
122 views

How do I write thought?

The question basically explains it all. How should I write thought? Should I use quotations? Italization? Or should I just leave it be? This question has been bugging me for a while and I decided ...
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1answer
55 views

Adverbs vs adverbial phrases [closed]

What's the difference between "adverbs" and "adverbial phrases"? Especially when they mean the same thing? (e.g. Do they give a different effect or focus?) Examples: She said, ...
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11answers
5k views

How do you write about the human condition when you don't understand humanity?

I was talking with some writers, and they were mentioning how writing is fundamentally about "the human condition, our take on it, what we see in our world and experience. All stories, no matter ...
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1answer
55 views

Should a edit notice be in plural when mentioning multiple document titles?

I'm sending a message to a group of people informing them of an edit to one of their documents now mentions a reference to multiple documents and their titles. There is a total of four documents with ...
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2answers
94 views

In a Novel, What is the Proper Way to Refer to a Group by Their Self-Styled Label?

In a novel, what is the proper way in US English to refer to a group by the character's self-styled label? For example: In a novel, assume a group of software coders are working on an extremely ...
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2answers
83 views

Hyphen, Comma or Brackets? What should I use?

Which would be the proper style for a scientific publication: It is required that a, b, and, depending on a and b, c is given. It is required that a, b, and - depending on a and b - c is given. It ...
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4answers
100 views

How exhaustive can I make an exposition?

Typically an exposition is a few sentences or paragraphs to clue the reader into the time and place, and maybe set a bit of the mood for the core of the story. However, I would like to dedicate 100 or ...
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2answers
91 views

Use of asyndeton in a list preceded by a colon?

Would the word and be omitted before the last item in either of these two sentences? Maximum tree-ring counts for species sampled are as follows: American beech (50), tuliptree (125), white ash (221),...
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2answers
86 views

For succinct, flowing prose: Which style guide is best?

The elements of style provide rules for writing succinct prose, saying that rhythm is important "all things being equal". I want to write succinct, flowing prose. So, how do I achieve these ...
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3answers
75 views

Can I have one Aristotelian comedy and another Aristotelian tragedy unfolding simultaneously in one book?

In my novel, I have two main protagonists, a father and son, who each have related but separate arcs developing in tandem. Each learns from the other over the course of their stories, culminating in ...
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3answers
84 views

Mixing prose and verse

I’m writing a novel and one of my characters speaks in poetic verse, should I format her dialogue differently to my characters who communicate in the traditional manner?
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1answer
99 views

What to do when you lose 20+ pages of story?

I was writing earlier today, and doing very well. I was 'in the zone', writing great, everything going well, writer's high, 40+ words per minute, everything seemed perfect. And then everything decided ...
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1answer
85 views

How to write a sequence of steps without constantly using phrases like “then” and “after which”?

I am given a task that required explanation of a procedure. The procedure (just an example) for making a banana shake would be as follows: Get 1 dozen bananas Get 1/2 a liter of milk Get 2 tbsp. ...
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8answers
2k views

Is italicizing parts of dialogue for emphasis ever appropriate?

Is it ever appropriate to use italics to emphasize parts of dialogue to show which words the speakers is putting emphasis on? I used to do this quite frequently, but I was told that this was a sign of ...
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2answers
72 views

Writing in Common Styles

How do I make my writing sound like a college textbook, a newspaper article, a scientific journal, a blog post, etc, professionally?
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1answer
111 views

Sophisticated Prose: Good or Bad? [closed]

Prose that was written in earlier times has more complex sentences than prose that is written today, sentences whose meaning is not so easy for modern readers to grasp, because their complexity ...
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0answers
60 views

Flow of Today's Recommended Style

I know I've already posted many questions about the rhythm and flow of prose, but now I am asking a sort of specific question about the principles of style in relation to such things. All the style ...
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0answers
99 views

Any resources for writing in Anglish?

"Anglish" is a variation on modern English that avoids or replaces all words that have non-Anglo-Saxon roots. I'm working on a story where I'll need to convert a lot of dialogue (just for a ...
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3answers
88 views

Could Abridged-Series-Style Comedy Fit a Fantasy Series?

Minus the obvious tropes like 4th-wall-breaking, pop culture references, or lampooning the source material that wouldn’t be usable in a serious novel, would you still be able to take a fantasy novel ...
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2answers
97 views

Is it acceptable to use hyphens to create a literary effect?

I am writing a personal statement for my college application, and I wanted to use particular words in the beginning of each paragraph that resonate with the main content of the paragraph. Excerpt: ...
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1answer
53 views

Modes of Prose Rhythm

Any good prose is bound to be pervaded by rhythm. But in my opinion, there are different modes of rhythm. There is, to coin a term, quasi-metrical rhythm, a kind of rhythm where similar groups of feet ...
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7answers
153 views

As a British writer writing a story set in America, should I write the narration in British or American English?

I asked this question on the English Language & Usage site but I thought it useful to ask here, too, since it is a writing issue. I'm writing a book that's primarily set in America; my protagonist ...
2
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1answer
56 views

Consistency related to use of comma before 'and'

I am writing in British English so do not use a comma before 'and' in a list. E.g The basket had oranges, apples and bananas. (In American English, there would be a comma before 'and') However, I ...
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2answers
80 views

Presenting a Character's Thoughts

Is this an acceptable introductory paragraph to a fictional character's memoir? I'm not sure if the first sentence should be in quotations or have its own line and be italicized.. How often do you get ...
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2answers
61 views

Using non-say dialogue tags

Since I took up writing as a hobby, I've learnt that it's recommended to only use "say" and "ask" as dialogue tags, and to skip even these if the attribution can be supplied in ...
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11answers
3k views

How can I make the story less predictable?

I'm working on my first novel. As I was going through the initial chapters, I felt that the story is quite simple and predictable (in the initial chapters) and picks up after 14 chapters are over. The ...
5
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2answers
330 views

Is it confusing for the reader to encounter in a novel the same language written with two different letters? Tamazight language as an example

I'm writing a fictional novel in English and I have a mythical character who speaks a combo of English-Tamazight (80% English). For those who don't know, it's the native language of all North African ...

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