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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5answers
218 views

Does each writer have a unique writing style?

I admire the writing style of many other writers and I try to emulate them, but most of the time it doesn't turn out how I want it to. Is this because it's not uniquely my own style, but rather ...
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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 ...
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2answers
245 views

Modernized dialogue in fantasy - stylistically untrue or clever genre subversion?

I find myself using words like "kiddo", "bullshit" and "badass" in the more comedic side of dialogue/thoughts in my fantasy novel. At first it was simply me not paying attention, and not caring as I ...
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8answers
2k views

What are good ways to improve as a writer other than writing courses?

As a novice writer to improve my writing I have taken one online course. I want to ask, what are good ways to improve as a writer other than writing courses?
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4answers
216 views

In which language does the Russian mafiosi speak in my English novel?

In my novel, the MC goes to a Russian mafia in Moscow. Now before the MC character introduces herself as an English speaking person, will the Russian character start the conversation in Russian or as ...
4
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1answer
168 views

How do I compensate for lack of knowledge about foreign accents and takling styles?

In my novel, Matt goes to the club in Moscow and starts walking towards a Russian mafia. I have written the following line; Christoff was sitting in the club balcony with his acquaintances. As ...
6
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1answer
108 views

Is there a good resource on all different formatting and writing styles throughout history?

I noticed writers in the past used a different format, in terms of punctuation, indentation, quotations, spacing, and paragraph length, and the format can be different from author to author and from ...
12
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8answers
1k views

How do I sound like Thanos when I write?

This is really a dumb question but as a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I have watched Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame so many times. One of the most interesting things that popped ...
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4answers
315 views

How can I Include a verbatim passage in my fiction without plagiarizing it?

In my novel, the MC goes to a resort and at the resort, they offer two types of Buddhist meditations. Those meditations are from another book and I cannot fiddle with the meditation steps without ...
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2answers
289 views

Job description for my employment reference

I've canceled my job to move on. Now I was asked how I want my Job description for my employment reference. My first draft was one full page... This is too much. Now I've reduced the long version to ...
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1answer
100 views

What's the name of this type of "literary work"?

Character1: dialogue Character2: *action* Character1: ... Character1: dialogue In the context of fanfiction, they're sometimes referred to as drabbles. But the official definition of drabbles is 100-...
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4answers
4k views

Is it bad style if the personal first person narrator of a story dies during said story?

Right now I'm writing a novel in which I use the changing perspectives of two main characters with limited information each to slowly unveil the whole plot to the reader. Both use the past tense and ...
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2answers
6k views

How should I quote American English speakers in a British English essay?

I am working on a formal essay where I have to quote a few American English speakers, but my essay is written in British English. Should I change terms like color to colour?
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3answers
822 views

How to avoid unconsciously copying the style of my favorite writer?

I've been reading and writing for a long time. Last year, I was introduced to Haruki Murakami. I don't know if it's case for every writer trying to figure out their voice, but for me, once I read ...
4
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3answers
2k views

How to copy an author's style?

I can't remember where I had read it, but somewhere in Christopher Hitchens' catalog of essays is him saying that good authors usually begin by copying a better one, and then developing from there. He ...
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4answers
5k views

Has anyone ever written a novel or short story composed of only dialogue? [closed]

The participants describe everything needed for the story to continue, within the conversation. The environment, the emotions, everything. The reader gets to "see" it all through their words. Has it ...
5
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4answers
166 views

1st person addressing a narrator

I'm writing a story in first person, but with a third person narrator for the secondary character. I was wondering if there were any books or stories to research how the first person character could ...
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2answers
350 views

What's a moment that's more impactful on a reread called?

I've met a few of these but the most recent instance was two characters discussing buying a third character a drink when they all got home, on the first reading this is a simple moment of comradery ...
6
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2answers
119 views

In scientific writing, what is the protocol for shortening nouns?

I often see place or species names shortened in scientific journal articles and would like to know what the correct protocol is. Can I shorten "Gough Island" to just "Gough"? Or "leatherback turtle" ...
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3answers
2k views

Is it stylistically sound to use onomatopoeic words?

I'm writing a non-comedic fantasy novel, and I find myself using onomatopoeic words, like "SLAM!" and "TWISH" (for the shooting of arrows). To my knowledge, onomatopoeic words are almost only used in ...
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4answers
464 views

How do I apply Hemingway's dialogue techniques to my own writing?

I open Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises at random (chapter 9). 'I haven't seen you since I've been back,' Brett said. 'No.' 'How are you, Jake?' 'Fine.' Brett looked at me. 'I say,' she said, ...
6
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2answers
232 views

How should I present a resort brochure in my general fiction?

In my story the protagonist goes to live in a health resort. The receptionist presents her with a brochure of activities. At the moment I have written like this in a word document; After patiently ...
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1answer
123 views

Are there stylistic overlaps between novels and comic books? [closed]

I am going to quote from a novel that in my opinion shows many stylistic overlaps of novels and comic books: The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey. I am holding that novel in my hand now. The use of a lot of ...
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14answers
10k views

What can a novel do that film and TV cannot?

I have enjoyed writing prose for years and have a few short stories penned. I would like to build up to a novel but believe I have identified a potential weakness in my storytelling. My style is ...
3
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6answers
263 views

Can I use spoken English at some places over 'technically accurate English' in a general fiction?

I have written my novel as a 'first person singular' and in past tense. There are lot of times in it where I have written it as I will say it while speaking. I have used phrases which have implied ...
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4answers
1k views

Will writing actual numbers instead of writing them with letters affect readership?

This question sounds similar to this but I am asking something different. It is said that Stephen Hawking removed all the formulas except one because with each use of a formula the readers of book ...
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5answers
917 views

Should fiction mention song names and iPods?

In my novel, the protagonist is depressed. In the story which is in my mind... The autumn leaves were falling as I was sitting alone and Gary Jules' "Mad World" was ringing in my iPod. The ...
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5answers
2k views

How to write a nice frame challenge?

When answering questions on Stack Exchange, some of us challenge the assumptions of the author. These frame challenges can often be quite popular answers. This popularity, however, can simply be a ...
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1answer
216 views

Should we avoid "nonsensical" or "unclear" metaphors?

Should we avoid "nonsensical" or "unclear" metaphors? I am not sure if this is a case of "nonsensical" or "unclear" metaphor, but sometimes you have certain phrases that doesn't seem to be suited for ...
11
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2answers
111 views

Should I write in a style that is more conducive to a situation I am describing or write it the way I normally write?

I am writing a short story that describes a dream that I had as a child. I wrote a first rough draft and had my girlfriend read it to give me some feedback. One thing she criticized is my writing ...
11
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7answers
2k views

Is it advisable to add a location heads-up when a scene changes in a novel?

In my novel, I have a scene at home which changes to scene at the office which is completely different. I have written it in a way that in a line or two the reader will understand the scene is changed ...
13
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7answers
4k views

Is it okay to have a sequel start immediately after the end of the first book?

The sequel to my first book is supposed to start immediately after the end of the first book. Zero time gap. Situation: At the end of book one a missing family member has finally joined the family. ...
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6answers
2k views

How to build suspense or so to establish and justify xenophobia of characters in the eyes of the reader? [closed]

I am asking this as a general thing, be it a race that is never seen but heard about (which is fairly easy,) but much more so for a race that the reader becomes well acquainted with, especially one ...
12
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9answers
2k views

How do you show, through your narration, a hard and uncaring world?

As I've already mentioned, I'm working on a sci-fi novel. One of the main feelings that I wanted to represent when I started is the sense of a vast, empty, artificial world, mostly cold and uncaring ...
3
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3answers
157 views

How do I indicate a superfan review vs a social-criticism essay?

I occasionally write short essays about classic films, and have been thinking about converting them into video essay for YouTube. What I observe are 2 very different types of essay – I'm not sure ...
6
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6answers
3k views

How can I add depth to my story or how do I determine if my story already has depth?

I am new to writing. I wrote a lot when I was a kid and teen. I wrote my first book at 6 and then again in high school. I was also in journalism. After high school, life happened. I took an almost 20 ...
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0answers
41 views

Introducing new terms (Acronyms and quoted) [closed]

If I were to introduce a quote in my article say special economic zones (SEZ). Was the previous sentence incorrect or should it be Special Economic Zones (SEZ). Does the fact that it's a known term ...
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 ...
21
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7answers
3k views

How do you earn the reader's trust?

Recently, I have stumbled upon a problem. After releasing an issue, I think that I failed to earn the trust of my readers. My analysis is that they did not have enough faith in me to make the "...
11
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4answers
1k views

What are the components of a legend (in the sense of a tale, not a figure legend)?

I'm compiling in-world legends for my built world, and would like them to feel like established legends from our own human experience. What should I keep in mind while writing these legends? What ...
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4answers
485 views

Is there something "wrong" with my writing? How do I improve it? [closed]

So I usually use stackexchange as a last resort, but I'm completely stumped. If this question is inappropriate here, I will gladly delete it. None of my teachers say that anything is wrong with my ...
2
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2answers
273 views

How should I write a VN using John Truby's 22 steps?

I am writing a mystery with multiple endings using John Truby's 22 steps. Originally I thought that I could do it like so: The playable character is not the hero but still has a narrative drive. There ...
0
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3answers
107 views

At what point does an interesting analogy become a distraction?

I've written a book. My question is if it is in bad {taste, karma, policy} to use an analogy that is disrupting to the reader's stream of consciousness. The quote in question is this: Like a ...
3
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1answer
111 views

Can you use a semicolon to connect fragments that are one item in a vertical list?

I'm trying to write a numbered vertical list. The items are not complete sentences. Can you use a semicolon to connect two fragments that are one item? Receive guests; entertain guests Or, should ...
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8answers
2k views

How is simplicity better than precision and clarity in prose?

Many recommend the Hemingway app, which pushes simplicity and the lowest possible reading level. Where I live, an illiterate person is defined as any person who reads below a grade nine level. The ...
12
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3answers
1k views

How to handle characters who are more educated than the author?

This is inspired by a few things that have been breaking my immersion when reading Worm. The main protagonist is a teen, and most chapters are first-person POV, so grammatical casualness fits. I don'...
6
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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 ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Why do most style guides miss out the 'degrees' when reporting temperature?

In the UK, the Guardian style guide and the BBC style guide say to report temperatures as "25C" or "90F", with no degree symbol. The NYT style guide says to "Avoid the degree symbol and the ...
8
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1answer
299 views

Plain language with long required phrases

I am trying to create documentation for an application, and it's for end users who use keyboard (not mouse) and a screen reader. Some of our conventions require us to always use the full phrase as ...
2
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1answer
83 views

Vague vs Specific: When to provide motivation details for action in a story?

I'm reading Wired for Story, by Lisa Cron, where she writes the following about being vague or omitting information that the reader does not know: ...being vague is never a good idea... ...Like most ...

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