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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18
votes
7answers
109k views

Must every piece of speech get its own paragraph?

I've had a few people read pieces of narrative writing I've done, and they seem to take issue with the fact that I sometimes put a piece of speech inline with the rest of a non-dialogue paragraph, ...
3
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3answers
229 views

How do I add technical exposition in my fiction novel?

I have written a fiction novel about an adolescent who commits suicide. The story explores the childhood abuse from her father that pushed her to suicide, what she and her mother have done to try to ...
4
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
72 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....
25
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2answers
29k views

What are widely-used UK-English style guides?

In the UK, what are the equivalents to Chicago Manual of Style, the Associated Press style guide, Yahoo, APA, MLA, etc? Most importantly, what are their intended audiences? (AP is used for journalists,...
12
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9answers
4k views

How to deceive the MC

My protagonist is finally meeting with the big boss of a mafia. At least, he thinks he is. The boss actually sends someone to pretend to be him. I'm writing from the protagonist's (limited) POV. If I ...
0
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3answers
200 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 ...
1
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3answers
143 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, ...
13
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2answers
7k views

How to show, not tell, a character has an accent in the narrative?

India has a diverse range of languages and accents. Moreover, people from different parts of the country have different accents of speaking the same language as well. For example, a person from ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Ways to show someone is whispering without using "he whispered"

I've seen a lot of advice that says you should scrap all non-'said' dialogue tags. I can see the value of this, but I'm not sure how to make it work in every instance. It's pretty easy to show things ...
2
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3answers
94 views

Least confusing way to structure 2 plot lines merging when one starts several years before the other

My story has two POV characters, Delilah and Jack, who start separate and meet ~ 1/4 of the way though. Delilah's story starts several years before the Jack's and is the entire reason he even has a ...
4
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3answers
233 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 ...
0
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3answers
105 views

How "subjective" is "good-readability"?

How "subjective" is "good-readability"? Are there quality studies that can explain this? I'm confused about that I perceive that different people seem to have different preferences ...
3
votes
3answers
27k views

How should I write "shush" in a narrative?

I said shshshsh! I know I could say shush, but there are times when I really have to say shshshshsh. What would be the best way of writing this. Maybe Shhhhhh?
3
votes
4answers
109 views

How do you make superpowers interesting in a written medium?

Superhuman powers, with the exception of psionic abilities like telepathy, are primarily an element of visual spectacle. This is primarily why fiction with people with some form of superhuman ...
29
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13answers
6k views

Could I reach the level of good writing style as non-native language speaker?

I currently write in Russian, but I think of switching to English to gain more audience and to play with both languages and linguistics. So could I ever reach the level of native English writers and ...
2
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Should I indent when I write just a short sentence?

I'm writing a curriculum vitae and in Special skills section I wrote as the following: 8- Special skills I have the following skills: C++ Objective-C Should I indent "I have the following skills" ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Can section headings be questions for APA format?

I would want my first heading to be "What is Lyme disease '.' '?'" , Im not sure if it would be considered a question or a sentence . I want this paragraph to inform the reader what the ...
0
votes
2answers
182 views

Fault in writers logic and how avoid?

So yeah I have seen a situation where what the writer has put makes sense, but after thinking it through there are clear faults in the logic they used. Here's my example A small team is advancing ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

How to write scenes of negotiation? [closed]

I'm looking for general tips on writing a negotiation scene, and would be interested in some example novels/short stories in which there are scenes of negotiation (preferably light-hearted but any ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Does Simple Writing Lead to Passive Reading? [closed]

a quick question here about non-fiction writing styles: It is said that the German philosopher Immanuel Kant intentionally wrote in a difficult and opaque style so as to force his readers to pay ...
1
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0answers
47 views

How do you format a song when it's part of a larger spoken piece?

I'm editing a children's book which includes songs. I usually format the songs as a block quote in a slightly smaller type size and centred on the longest line. However, I've just come to a song that ...
6
votes
6answers
25k 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.
1
vote
5answers
158 views

How to avoid "character said" when there is a group of people talking?

I am at a certain part in my book where a group of six people travel and talk with each other. I would like to make them all talk, as that would be what would happen in real life but I can't really ...
0
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2answers
134 views

Does Blake Snyder's Save the Cat only apply to a story as a whole?

I'm curious to know if it can apply to an episode, volume, season, or an individual book of a trilogy. If it does apply, how do you apply those individual episodes into a whole story whilst following ...
0
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4answers
2k views

Should the opening of a short story mirror the ending?

When I was in school, my English teacher told me that a short story's beginning should mirror its ending, or at least the conclusion should in some way parallel the starting point of the story; but I ...
2
votes
3answers
157 views

How best to write an anxious character?

A character is shy, anxious, anti-social, nervous, etc. So, when speaking, she often pauses or makes noises like “uhm”, err”, “uhh”, etc. I’m asking a couple questions: What would be the best way to ...
0
votes
0answers
431 views

Indianisation of "Thank You, M'am" written by Langston Hughes

Thank You, M'am To Indianise the story, along with the name of the character & place, the story has to be adapted in an Indian context and style. Both style and context are critical here. Langston ...
2
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4answers
189 views

Overuse of commas?

I've noticed I have a thing for commas, but I don't know if it's a big enough deal. I do try to sparse my longer sentences, but it leaves these lingering ones with probably an overuse of commas? I ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

Can rhetorical final drafts come only from rhetorical rough drafts?

In order to end up with a finished work, in which there are parallelism and all kinds of other rhetorical devices, do you need to do anything to prepare for it in your rough draft, or can you add this ...
0
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0answers
15 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
44 views

Referring to one of the coauthors--should I simply use his or her name?

For example, Wang and Zimmermann are writing a research paper together. In their paper, they want to refer to Zimmermann's previous work (possibly with other coauthors). Should they write "In the ...
1
vote
3answers
136 views

How to communicate characters' inner states?

This is a huge question, parts of which have been answered on this site. However, this is one of the biggest challenges writers face, and so I think the question's relevancy matches the amount of work ...
15
votes
14answers
7k views

How can I Switch Protagonists Between Books?

Disclaimer: I am not intending on doing this. It is just a question I thought was fascinating and might be useful to other writers. Here's the scenario. You're writing a series of novels. After the ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Can I mix different writing styles within a single work?

My editor uses the Chicago Manual Of Style and has told me that even with names ending 's' to show possession, it is still necessary to use 's. I really hate that. Is it acceptable to pick and choose ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Correct punctuation for showing a character's confusion

I'm trying to show that the narration (third person limited) is being interrupted by the character's thought process, and I'm not sure what punctuation is best for this situation. So far, I've tried ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

International English Style Guide?

For writers who are self-publishing to Amazon (especially for a global or US & UK audience) is there a style guide for "international" English? Or must one commit fully to either an ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How to write great movie review?

What should we write in a movie review?
-1
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2answers
100 views

What are the possible driving factors of betrayal scenes?

I've been having a hard time thinking about a good way to create a betrayal scene without forcing it. Even if I somehow wrote the scene, I just can't feel the emotions behind the betrayal; the sadness,...
3
votes
3answers
166 views

Does an omniscient narrator have to be objective?

When writing a story narrated in the third person, I often find passages in my text where the narrator's opinions seem to conflate with the opinions of the character the narration is following: ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

What is a format for writing Introduction part for a economics/finance paper?

I read a couple of papers in economics and finance areas. I saw that in the different papers they used different styles. Is there any outline for writing an introduction with easy-to-follow ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

How to avoid overdoing deconstructive tendencies in writing?

The Issue I'm a person who likes to take things apart to see how they work, and someone who likes to poke holes in ideas. As a result, it's not surprising that I've always been drawn to a writing ...
32
votes
4answers
17k views

Dashes vs. Commas vs. parentheses?

Occasionally I write sentences containing subparts with extra information. I never know how to block off this information from the rest of the sentence. Three ways I have seen are dashes, commas, and ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Is there any such thing as a Thriller/Action Stream-of-Consciousness writing style?

Is there any such thing as a Thriller/Action Stream-of-Consciousness writing style? Would that be considered to be essentially a normal writing style. If not, how will this be done? (Structurally ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

How do I write in a sophisticated manner (though not convoluted)?

I would like my writing to be sophisticated, but find it difficult. I think this is since I have trouble understanding sophisticated passages. So no matter how well I know grammar, I can never arrange ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Do I use a comma before "and" in a list? (Canada)

I was wondering if I should use a comma before "and" in a list. Example: I like Science, Math and Writing. or I like Science, Math, and Writing. I heard that the first one is more ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Is "small-c conservative" or "capital-T Truth" redundant?

In English speech, it's perfectly normal to refer to the capitalization of a term to clarify if it's a proper noun or not—"The party's new approach is small-c conservative", because the ...
3
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

What type of rhetorical figure is this?

What type of figure of speech/rhetorical figure are the following: “You are dearer to me than myself, as you yourself can see.” (Bob Dylan) “Them I will forget, but you I’ll remember always.” (Bob ...

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