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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Acceptable and unacceptable number shifts in writing [closed]

Many writing handbooks say unnecessary number shifts should be avoided. But are all number shifts bad? What about the following? Glass harps haven’t entirely disappeared, though. You can still find ...
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6answers
5k views

Should a narrator ever describe things based on a character's view instead of facts?

There is something I find myself doing often while writing, and I don't even know what to call it, but I would like to know if its good practice. It happens when I'm writing from a third-person ...
11
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9answers
383 views

How can I make a non-linear timeline less confusing?

My story is broken into 8 sections. Sections 1 and 2 take place simultaneously, in two different worlds. The other 6 continue in a linear fashion (switching back & forth between the two worlds as ...
26
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2answers
3k views

How to make readers know that my work has used a hidden constraint?

According to this wikipedia article, Constrained writing is a literary technique in which the writer is bound by some condition that forbids certain things or imposes a pattern. The same link also ...
34
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10answers
9k views

My story is written in English, but is set in my home country. What language should I use for the dialogue?

I'm an amateur writer from the Philippines. I am writing a novelette for an international writing contest. My story is written in English, but is set here, in my country, with my POV character being ...
6
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4answers
348 views

'Ellipsis' - what do they convey and how to use them aptly in a Novel?

In the writing practises guides, it is usually mentioned that use of ellipsis is a bad practice. But I have come across certain usages in professional writing. To give an example; In the novel Eat ...
11
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6answers
3k views

Are paired adjectives bad style?

I have the habit of using paired adjectives in my writing: The noise from the engine lulled her with its slow and monotonous rythim ... ... the lights on the ceiling filled the room in a soft ...
7
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2answers
1k views

How do we edit a novel that's written by several people?

Two other friends and I have been writing a fan fiction and we basically write a chapter each one after another every week. Now that we're nearing the end of the project, we've noticed that the ...
2
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1answer
60 views

Writing effectively under very brief constraints

I recently noticed a trend to a few of my questions. I am attracted to writing in places with extreme brevity. This makes sense to me on a personal level. I've always been attracted to one-liners and ...
3
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3answers
426 views

What is the best way to simulate grief?

I am new to the art of writing and have been wondering if there is a way to introduce the grief of loss(character dies) in my story, inturn while making the reader feel the grief. Is there a good ...
3
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3answers
127 views

Always sounding idiomatic as a non-native English speaker

A lot of people use Google's n-gram to see if something is idiomatic, but for a lot of non-native English speakers even that doesn't really help, so what would you suggest non-native speakers to do so ...
0
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3answers
106 views

How do I introduce this character?

I am writing a story these days and I want to introduce a character who is similar to a king. This character is introduced with heavy announcements by his minions who scream out words of admiration ...
12
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4answers
4k views

Is using an 'empty' metaphor considered bad style?

I just had this sentence off my head: A crown of fire spread through the country consuming everything on its way. What I mean by empty metaphor is a metaphor that doesn't really have any meaning ...
7
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1answer
109 views

The English language, if England had a dictatorship

European dictatorships left a profound cultural footprint in the local culture, to the point that a certain vocabulary, a certain manner of writing, and even a certain manner of speaking is evocative ...
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4answers
1k views

How to know you are over-explaining and oversimplifying a subject?

Recently, I started writing articles about different subjects I learn on my own (programming, logic ...etc). While writing, I have this tendency to overexplain, I know that readers are smart, but I ...
19
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10answers
2k views

Is it possible to narrate a novel in a faux-historical style without alienating the reader?

One thing that often annoys me in historical fiction or fantasy books is the dissonance between the writing style and the events and historical period described in the book. The writing is usually ...
4
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4answers
400 views

How to expand on scenes?

I guess you can call this a writing style, but whenever I do creative writing I write very concise. Which can be good as I don’t want scenes to drag on, but most of the time I feel I wrap up my scenes ...
7
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5answers
3k views

What are the words that were used during Shakespeare's time that are seldom used nowadays?

I would like to write a Shakespearean poem that reads and sounds like a poem written during that time period. However, I don't know where I can find an exhaustive list of words that were used during ...
4
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1answer
127 views

When should you use extra long sentences, never?

I often see world-renowned thinkers and writers, such as Nietszche and Herman Melville, write extremely long sentences. When I was in high school, people said sentences should be as short as possible, ...
2
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2answers
236 views

Writing a Story From The End

There is a writing technique where a writer would imagine in her mind's eye where her story should end and will write it 'backwards'. Writing the end and then writing the chapters leading to end, so ...
3
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2answers
192 views

Does the 'writing-style' change when book gets translated into another language?

I am studying the writing style of Leo Tolstoy by reading an English translation of Anna Karenina. As a general rule, do translations affect the original style? In what ways?
41
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14answers
12k views

Do hard to pronounce names break immersion?

I have a character in my book named Jiolluav (with the correct accent, Zholl-you-of or /ʒōl-'yoo-äv/), and I've written my entire "novel" (it's a work in progress) using this name. When I asked a ...
6
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2answers
176 views

Historical Present in English?

As a historian, I at times get my fingers on Latin texts. Latin has a rather peculiar use of past and present tenses: Usually, texts are written in Imperfect, which is the 'simple past', with things ...
8
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4answers
395 views

Tips and tricks to describe more

I'm careful with the phrasing of this question as it is dangerously close to be opinion based. Everyone has their preference regarding the amount of description they expect to find in a work of ...
2
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2answers
102 views

Advice on how to beat word repetition in dialogue [duplicate]

Long story short: I default to simple words like "Said" in dialogue much too often. I'm hesitant to abuse the thesaurus due to advice I've been given, as well. Slightly longer version: When I'm ...
2
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4answers
131 views

Replacing adverbs

I understand the reasons so many people have dislike for adverbs in writing, but I'm struggling with how to find a real balance. For example, these adverbs can die: "He ran quickly" is easily ...
2
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3answers
218 views

Is this an oxymoron, and what would be the purpose of making seemingly illogical statements in writing? [closed]

Here's a piece of writing I came up with: The rolling billows rocked the mighty galleon cradling it madly as if it were but a mere child. There are many seeming contradictions: When we think "...
2
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4answers
874 views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of copying writing styles?

I come from a non-native English speaking country and, from my own analysis, I will say I have an intermediate level English fluency (IELTS score 7). Some of the articles on my blog were chosen by an ...
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2answers
268 views

Is sentence in English with long subject bad?

I heard from someone that in English, sentences with a long subject are considered confusing and hard to read. Is it true? An example for such a sentence: ...(Some statements about how ...
0
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2answers
211 views

Is it redundant to use “billowing winds” and “petulant waves” in the same sentence? [closed]

"The ship sailed through the billowing winds and the petulant waves." Is it redundant? Because, if I say billowing, the reader would probably think petulant waves is too redundant. What do you think?
5
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4answers
407 views

Can my characters interact with my narrator? (and vice versa)

I know that this idea is not totally 'revolutionary' as this type of narration has been used in Breakfast of champions, for example. But, Unlike Vonnegut, I want the 'Narrator talks to the characters ...
1
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2answers
113 views

Varying POV and tense

My novel is written in the third person. When changing POV between different scenes (or chapters), is it OK if the parts for different POV characters use different tenses: some - the past tense, and ...
2
votes
5answers
335 views

How do I make my book longer?

I have a writing tendency where I get straight to the point, especially when I already have an amazing storyline. The ending goes especially quick. I need to figure out how to move the story along, in ...
6
votes
4answers
125 views

Is using too many different metres and rhyming schemes bad?

I have been working on a poem for some time now. It is divided into various "Parts" and it will be a long one when completed. Due to the very nature of what I am writing, I just let my thoughts and ...
5
votes
3answers
129 views

How to write in a more conversational tone?

I come from an academic background. Writing has always been an easy thing to me, but almost all of my practice outside of poetry has been in academic writing. I'll find myself writing in the way ...
5
votes
3answers
219 views

Different ways to emphasize

My previous question was "Are paragraph spacing used for emphasis?" and that got me thinking even deeper about emphasizing. I'd like to emphasize to create tension and make the reader continue ...
6
votes
2answers
179 views

How to determine which details are important enough to be mentioned in a text-based roleplay?

I have recently joined a real-time chat-based roleplay group. Most of the people seem to be sticking to 100 to 250 words when it comes to making their posts, but sometimes I get overly descriptive and ...
2
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1answer
97 views

How to write a good application? [closed]

I recently wrote an application to get into a different program for high school. Now I feel like I could have done better with being more formal and get my message across that this program is suitable ...
4
votes
1answer
319 views

Where to put a description of software tools used in a thesis?

At the moment I'm writing my master-thesis in the area of information systems. Because I developed some code to demonstrate my approach, I also mention some software tools in my proof-of-concept ...
6
votes
2answers
158 views

How to Write about Events the 1st-person Protagonist Hasn't Witnessed?

I’ve written a few stories now just at home, however I haven’t seemed to crack one thing. I always write in 1st person as I enjoy the intimacy between protagonist and reader, however what if I wanted ...
7
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6answers
2k views

Writing a crying scene

Writing a crying scene makes me accidentally do repetitions like "the tears which were on her face broke down into a slithering stream..." and then putting the word tears again and again. What ...
6
votes
5answers
356 views

Using big words without sounding like a thesaurus junkie

I have a problem; my natural writing style is very high-brow. It often utilizes complex, flowery language. Much of the time, however, I find that it gives the impression that I am but taking a simple ...
3
votes
2answers
608 views

Writing last name of a person in an essay

I am writing a research paper where it talks a great deal about a particular individual. I have already introduced the full name in the essay, should I address him by his last name after there on ...
1
vote
4answers
346 views

Any recommendations on books to assist with prose/style?

I’m currently in my third edit of my novel and focusing on particular scenes. One particular scene I am happy with the beats and the structure, but I am struggling to capture the tension and the ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

How to stylize notes/book-passages being read inside my story?

In course of joining a friend of mine during her NaNoWriMo escapades, I tried myself at actually writing a story set in a world I'm building. I've found there are certain rules when writing a novel. ...
2
votes
2answers
263 views

How to combat “uneven writing density”?

I'm not sure if I would "officially" classify as a discovery writer, but I usually write very freely. I get a bunch of ideas, write them down and try to put them together to create a compelling story. ...
8
votes
4answers
930 views

Is writing solely about writing a plot?

I often hear that a writer should not write something that is not tightly linked to the plot. "If you can narrate it without it, drop it from your story" - that's what I see. However, is it really ...
1
vote
3answers
352 views

Setting The Correct Tone

So, I've written a horror story and everybody says that it is indeed good but they also point out that while my premise is terrific, my narrative voice does not go with horror. That it reads "too soft ...
4
votes
3answers
211 views

Portraying the Brutality of War

I'm writing what might be described as a gas-lamp fantasy novel set in a realm similar to the Durrani Empire. Part of the main character's backstory is his experience growing up the son of a ...
2
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1answer
441 views

What is the best way to transition from one scene to another completely different scene when writing a story?

To put it into perspective, separating a scene that involves two completely different characters and two completely different settings.

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