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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4 votes
7 answers
787 views

Is it considered faulty language to use Spivak pronouns in an essay?

High school level essay to be exact, but I'd like to also know if Spivak pronouns could be used in papers or publications. Should I just rephrase everything using the one pronoun or singular they? I'm ...
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

How can I make a case for toning down the "rah rah" marketing tone around technical content?

Summary Starting from the position that -- with modern web delivery -- the line between technical communication and marketing content is fading (as all the content is available to business and ...
0 votes
1 answer
22 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
15 views

I want to improve my communication skills and leadership skills? Or, I want to improve my communication and leadership skills? Which one is better? [closed]

Even though the first question is correct, it seems a bit redundant. Does the second question convey the same meaning as the first one?
0 votes
0 answers
29 views

Which line is better and why? [closed]

I have assigned to do a farewell write-up for my college seniors. However, I am stuck at writing a line which conveys how our college seniors acted as mentors in our daily life. Which is better? When ...
1 vote
2 answers
116 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
72 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
110 views

Should an 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
187 views

What are the grammatical and stylistic alternatives to avoid overusing pronouns?

Recently, I've developed a habit of writing he/she/him/her and overusing the character's name at the beginning of sentences. For example: Pandora ran through the snow, following the coughs to a small ...
0 votes
5 answers
607 views

Script-style conversations in a book

How good is it to use script-style conversations in stories? New Hampshire, 2144, Beside a sign at Bulgart st. James: Please, Robert, I don't have time to discuss this. You must hand over ...
7 votes
5 answers
279 views

Trudy said - or - said Trudy?

Hope someone can tell me if there are any "rules" about placement of the verb 'said.' As any avid reader knows, 'said' regularly appears before and after the subject who is speaking. Is ...
0 votes
0 answers
45 views

Pluralising abbreviations ending in S [migrated]

From general Googling, I understand it is correct to add an 's' (lower case) if pluralising abbreviations ending in 'S' and this makes sense. However, I am surprised to have so far found no instances ...
1 vote
0 answers
37 views

Is this an exchange for novelists, poets, lyricists, and writers of all kinds? [migrated]

I am new to Stack Exchange, and do not wish to step on any toes or offend anyone. I searched for a group specific to poetry and song-writing, as this is my forté. I am an aspiring novelist as well, so ...
2 votes
3 answers
41 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 ...
3 votes
5 answers
13k views

Dot after figure title?

Whether there should be a dot after a figure title (in a scientific book)? Note that I have figures numbered like "Figure 1. ..."
0 votes
0 answers
33 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
378 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
151 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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
233 views

How can I steer myself away from using pronouns too often as I write in 3rd person?

I noticed that I use "she", "he", and "they" - and a lot of sentences also begin with the aforementioned pronouns. How can I steer away from doing this so often as I ...
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. ...
3 votes
2 answers
133 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 "...
4 votes
2 answers
202 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
1k 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
20 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
59 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
76 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 vote
1 answer
116 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
115 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
31 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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
825 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
33 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
39 views

Punctuating consecutive usage of "and"

What should a transcriptionist do if the speakers utters, "You need to accept the consequences and deal with the problem and focus more on growth." Be informed that transcription ...
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 ...
218 votes
26 answers
29k views

The "Rules" of Writing

There are a lot of axioms that get tossed around in creative writing courses, books on writing, and of course, the Internet. Often, these little gems are explained to new writers as though they were ...
13 votes
5 answers
29k views

How to avoid using "he/she/it" repetitively in action

I'm writing a zombie apocalypse genre book (yes, I know it's a heavily used and abused writing genre, but I'm writing it in my way, a way I believe is a good way). Anyway, I caught myself writing &...
0 votes
0 answers
68 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.
9 votes
7 answers
55k views

How to convey (screaming) hysterics in dialogue

It happens to most if not all of us. Something extremely emotional happens to us and we're just hysterical. Logic doesn't work. You contemplate punching a wall because that will help . . . somehow. ...
8 votes
1 answer
850 views

How to cut down on using too many pronouns (he, she, his etc.) while writing paragraphs (fiction)

I'm a relatively new writer and decided I would try and write something for fun. For the most part I have been finding it alright, however, I am really having trouble with repetitive sentences with ...
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Other than trademarked names, should recipe ingredients in a cookbook be capitalized?

Re: editing a cookbook Other than trademarked names, should ingredients in the recipe lists be capitalized? Thank you in advance.
1 vote
3 answers
175 views

What is the typical mood and style of light novels?

My friend has asked me to give feedback on a light novel that he's writing, and I've been clueless on how to proceed. I'm an avid reader of non-fiction, and although I don't read much fiction anymore, ...
-1 votes
1 answer
61 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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
58 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
56 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
46 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 ...
4 votes
5 answers
2k views

How can I stress a certain word in a medium that doesn't allow for font embellishments?

Many of us probably encountered it before on a social media like Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section of a major website. You've decided what you want to say, but you want to stress a ...
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-...
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 ...
-1 votes
2 answers
62 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
130 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 ...
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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