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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 ...

19
votes
6answers
4k views

How to give cartography information in a fantasy setting without being too precise?

I'm writing a fantasy story set in an imaginary world. For the first time, I'm giving geographical information and... I don't really know how to give it, actually. My alpha reader told me it was hard ...
1
vote
5answers
112 views

Everything I write ends up being a rhyming poem, or lyrics maybe

I have been writing for awhile and decided to write a memoir, except I can’t seem to write anything but poetry. However, I don’t know for sure if poetry is the proper term. My work uses cuss words, &...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

Is head-hopping always bad?

The general consensus nowadays seems to be that being in the head of more than one character is bad. We should be "on the shoulders" or "in the head" of one character, and one character only, if not ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

How to simulate someone talking with a full mouth?

If, for example, someone said : "How are you today?", how would you go about "translating" this into sounding like they were talking with a full-mouth? Like, phonetically.
0
votes
0answers
52 views

What is an “active writing style”?

The preface of Introduction to Algorithms mentions that In this, the third edition, we have once again updated the entire book. The changes cover a broad spectrum, including new chapters, revised ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Expressing shock a character feels - is the F word appropriate?

I have a character who has been under stress, both at home and at work. His business is struggling and he was negotiating a complex contract and had the complication of members of the families of the ...
10
votes
9answers
262 views

Should a non-native writer try to use complex English words?

I am a non-native English user and whenever I write something is it better that I use simple words or some rare and seldomly used words? I mean native-speakers should surely understand basic English ...
56
votes
4answers
10k views

What kind of protagonist or writing style is Jack Sparrow?

I want to ask about a certain style on how to present a character. I know Jack Sparrow is from a movie (and I've only watched the movies too) but I want to integrate in my writing how he was presented ...
12
votes
4answers
905 views

Misdirection for suspense/plot twists - what's acceptable and what's dishonest?

Note: I'm primarily asking this question because while Surtsey, the original asker of the question didn't actually ask a thing (and instead copy-pasted an excerpt of a novel) I believe it's a ...
0
votes
0answers
105 views

Difficulty understanding Writing Prompt [migrated]

I do not understand what the person means by ampliative and reductive aspects and conditions for transparency and embodiment? I looked up the definitions but I don't understand what their context ...
1
vote
5answers
144 views

How can I state what is written on a sign?

Is it okay to write: "Shop Name", read a sign hanging above the shop. Should I use italics for the shop name or use any other type of formatting? I wasn't sure how to do this. This is for fiction.
3
votes
2answers
51 views

Should an academic paper contain all text at the same structuring depth?

I'm not sure whether or not this is standard practice, but I've been taught that between two different-level headings, there shouldn't be any text. For example, the following would not be permitted (...
2
votes
3answers
51 views

Post scriptum in my soft diary

I write what happens to me every day as my diary. I don't write them on paper, but I typeset them in a word-processing system (soft diary), so I can simply edit them and add/remove anything at any ...
5
votes
3answers
141 views

Translating worldbuilding into an interesting opening

I've once heard there are 2 types of writers, and I am definitively an architect. I can write down a few hundred pages of worldbuilding and characters, but I scrap most of my stories after the first ...
4
votes
4answers
97 views

Are characters' internal thoughts written in past or present tense?

Is there a general rule for past vs. present tense for a character's internal thoughts? Direct thoughts in present, while indirect thoughts in past? I'm thinking specifically of 1st person here. I ...
3
votes
5answers
300 views

Ordinary writing or Prose: how to make it immersive?

As a beginner, I have a frequent problem when writing: I know what I want to write, but I fail to put it in good sentences that reflect my thoughts. Often, this appears in dialogues when I try to ...
6
votes
6answers
478 views

Third Person POV: What level of telling is acceptable for character motivation?

The novel I'm writing is third-person limited POV in style. This means that the narration's coverage is limited to what the POV character can observe, think, feel, while others' thoughts, feelings, ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I establish my story's setting in the first chapter?

In the first chapter of my trilogy's first act introduces the protagonist, other major players in the series and the series' setting. The bulk of my trilogy takes place in a city that has been ravaged ...
4
votes
2answers
89 views

How to decide between usage of a paragraph and a dialogue?

While writing a novel which is a story told of what happened in the past, I am facing two different ways to present information. For an e.g., I can write the story in the following two different ...
2
votes
4answers
277 views

How do I know, how to limit the details?

While writing a novel, which is a drama, how do I manage the amount of trivial details or trivial information, that I want to give to help the readers visualize the scene but given the details have no ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

Comparing writing style and clarity of instructional language [closed]

Background: I am comparing a historic set of procedural instructions for the same action see mini-corpus below (1770-now). I have noticed that almost all are in the active voice but the older ones ...
3
votes
4answers
141 views

Do I have to keep saying “_____ thought,”after I put italics?

Every time a character is thinking something is it necessary to put “_____thought,” if there is italics, so shouldnt they already know that’s what the character was thinking not the narrator speaking?
5
votes
1answer
31 views

Confusion about scientific writing tenses

I am writing a study for my second academic degree. As usual it has research questions and objectives. My confusion lies in the tenses for these two. The research questions have been answered and the ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Dialogue in First Person Fiction (Detective Mystery) [closed]

Karl is my detective protagonist. His girlfriend, Jenna, is with him. He is hospitalized, and his boss, Rob Tucker, shows up for a visit. Which example of dialogue is correct? In true first person, ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Capital letters in copy-written material

I am presuming this is a style question, and that it has a name. I presume there is a place to learn about it, such as 'Elements of Style' however I don't know what it is called, if anything, which ...
6
votes
3answers
234 views

Where can I find information on how different genres are conventionally written?

I'm having a very hard time finding a list and examples of stylistic subgenre conventions. To be specific: how genre writing impacts things like sentence length, dialogue, the tone of adjectives, ...
7
votes
4answers
104 views

Are there any rules to follow about the narrator mixing past and present tense in writing?

I'm editing a short story that's been written in the past tense, however at some points I slip up and use a lot of present tense to describe some scenes. Thing is, it's happened often enough that I've ...
5
votes
6answers
210 views

How can I stop overusing “I” in my writing?

I won't edit this question, so you can see how much I use it. The current count is 3 times. I've been told that the solution is to revise, revise, revise, but is there a particular strategy for ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

What font is this [closed]

I like the font used on the picture above because it's easy on the eyes. Can somebody help me determine the font name used?
3
votes
5answers
155 views

To what extent can a first person narrative tell someone else's story?

I've recently been working on some stories written in the first person from the point of view of what, in the grand scheme of things, would be called minor characters. Examples include a junior bridge ...
10
votes
2answers
191 views

Colloquial speech in pre-modern setting

Following this question, I'm struggling with writing the speech of pre-modern (in my case - 5th century) noble-born children between themselves. Characters who are well-educated, would not be making ...
6
votes
3answers
162 views

First Chapters protocol

I am a first time novelist with writing experience. I have an idea for my novel that begins with an important scene which actually plays out in the middle of the novel. Should I write this as a ...
12
votes
4answers
198 views

Is it a flaw if a book is readable, flows well, and gets the point across, BUT you can tell that the author is a non-native?

Even though English is not my first language, I have completed writing a fiction book in English. I have been in the US for over 40 years and I believe that I have a good command of the language. (...
5
votes
5answers
250 views

“Too modern” words

In a story set in a fantasy version of 5th century Persia, I've been told by a beta reader that a boy wouldn't call his father "dad", (would use "father" instead), wouldn't say "no spoilers", etc. I ...
4
votes
5answers
200 views

Dead as a point-of-view, how can you write first person narrative if that person is dead?

In short I'd like to write a story from the point-of-view of a character who ultimately dies within the narrative without the story being either A. a ghost story or B. a life/after-life retrospective ...
4
votes
2answers
111 views

How should one write a thesis statement for a paper with many points?

I have always been taught to write essays in the same format: First paragraph – Introduction including a thesis statement Second to fourth paragraph – Body with details supporting/rejecting/...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Mentioning quickly repeated events in first person?

When writing in first person, is it better to mention as little repetition of events as possible? Or can it improve writing in some cases to have a character duplicate previous events and have them ...
5
votes
2answers
79 views

What are the guidelines for writing a poem (or poetry) of witness?

I was given a writing assignment to write a poem of witness, where it describes writing about an issue in society. I'm a bit unsure of how to proceed because the assignment doesn't describe much ...
3
votes
3answers
143 views

Finding My Own Voice [duplicate]

It struck me today that one method of becoming a great writer could be to copy the style of one or more published authors. A bit like standing on the shoulders of giants. I was therefore going to ask ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

How do I describe drugging? [closed]

I’m supposed to write a scene where someone drugs her husband for sexual purposes. But I don’t happen to know how that works. Does she slip drugs into his food or drink? What would be the condition of ...
24
votes
9answers
5k views

Does everything have to be accurate?

Do I have to make everything apply to logic, physics, science, etc? The Harry Potter series has been a major hit, and it is nowhere near to being scientifically possible. But I've noticed that I can'...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Why would a novelist choose to use the present tense?

I'm currently reading The Crossing Place by Ellie Griffiths and a couple of pages in I realised that the entire book is in the present tense. She sits on the sofa instead of She sat on the sofa ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Avoiding Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy

Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy is when the audience is put off by the incredibly dark nature of a fictional work and won't care what happens next, lose interest or want all the characters to die off....
6
votes
2answers
116 views

How to present an alternative without being negative about the other option? [closed]

Good day, I have the following sentence: Nowadays to reach the mass audience, you don't have to rely on traditional media. Instead, you can embrace social networks such as live video streams. ...
4
votes
6answers
178 views

Can I assign actions to broad concepts?

Whenever I write, I run into the problem where I have to assign human actions to subjects that, when I contemplate about it, cannot realistically perform those actions. A teacher told me years ago ...
4
votes
2answers
194 views

Is there too much imagery in the intro of this article?

I'm writing an article which is part of an IGCSE English question paper. In the paper, you're basically given two passages (or sometimes more) with a common theme (but not necessarily in the same form ...
18
votes
9answers
5k views

Is it ok to reference something modern to give the reader a better idea of what something looks like if the book is set in the Middle Ages?

This is a random example but would it be bad if I said something like this when the book is set in a historical setting: “Edwards sword was black and shiny like a brand new car” is it not ok? Should I ...
9
votes
2answers
72 views

Is there a definition for formatting plain text documents like they are on TLDP.org?

Is there a formal specification for authoring plain text documents like they (mostly) are on http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/text/? If so, what is it called? Where is it documented? I'm looking for a ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

The importance of a premise sentence or two premise sentences

I hope my question is not off the site's topics. When writing one or two premise sentences for a story, may the premise sentences be in the first POV or third POV, or either POV may be used? Do the ...
6
votes
2answers
272 views

Scene switching and how to do it?

So I am writing a story that is in my head for millions of years already and it is finally progressing. I like how things going for a first draft and I am pretty happy to get things going. But lately ...