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This tag should be used for questions about common terminology related to the craft writing or how terminology is handled in writing. Do not use this tag to ask about terminology of specific topics that are not related to the craft of writing. In these cases you might want to check out ...

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7answers
3k views

Are there any general rules or guidelines for using newly coined word(s) or neologism?

Recently, I came across one beautiful word 'Wynorrific', defined on Urban dictionary: Something being both beautiful and terrible at the same time. [The word "awesome" has lost its meaning on ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

What is a term for groups of stanzas within a poem?

Many free verse poems have "sections" or "divisions" within them that may be numbered or set off by a group of three marks. I'm wondering if there's a term for these sections. In some poems, the ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

What's the name of the trope that means fae can't cross over unless a human crosses over first?

There's a trope I remember, having a denizen of the fae realm only be able to cross over to the human world once a human has first crossed over to their world. Though I remember seeing it multiple ...
6
votes
1answer
316 views

What is “Buying Back My Book”?

I have read on a few different author blogs, as well as some answers here I think, references to the author needing to "buy back" rights to their books. Having not yet explored all these options, ...
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3answers
136 views

Is there a term for a narrative where you are speaking to the reader?

I know that a first-person narrative is written from the point of view of the narrator, relaying events from their own point of view using the first person (i.e. I or we, etc). Is there a name/term ...
3
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2answers
87 views

Is there a name for a narrative that involves parallel exposition of the characters' backstories?

One of the hallmark features of the television show Lost was the way in which each character's backstory was rendered. The narrative started out in present day and depicted characters making certain ...
4
votes
3answers
788 views

How Can You Use “In Medias Res” To Beautify Your Amazing Masterpiece? [closed]

How do you write out the second build up without killing the essence of the masterpiece? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Medias Res?
4
votes
2answers
117 views

What is the opposite of self-publishing?

Once, when your book was "published", it was clear that you meant that it had been reviewed and accepted by a publisher and was now being distributed through book stores. Today, when you talk about ...
3
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0answers
111 views

Is there a term for 'The Secret Garden' and similar works? [closed]

For some time now I've been curious about how to classify a small group of literary works. They include The Secret Garden, Polyanna, and to a lesser extent Anne of Green Gables. I'm sure there are ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

What's the term used to describe a twist which is badly written because the twist is based on information not yet available to audience? [closed]

Context: In my question How did Olaf know?, I asked about a twist in the TV series A Series of Unfortunate Events, adapted from a book series of the same name. My understanding: Twists, whether good (...
6
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4answers
18 views

What is the difference between “accurate” information in a document and “believable” information?

As part of some research I am doing on measuring documentation quality, I have come across the terms "accurate" and "believable" as two separate dimensions of information quality. But the differences ...
6
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4answers
18 views

Alternatives better to the binary “0b…” format?

In our documentation, we write binary numbers like this: 1010 But we write hexadecimal numbers like this: 0xABAB Now, according to the GCC compiler conventions: Numbers are normally written in ...
2
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3answers
6 views

Terminology question - “if-else” or “if/else”?

Are they "if-else statements" or are they "if/else statements"? I'm partial to the latter, but I can see the logic of the former - both "if" and "else" are acting as a unit modifier for the noun "...
6
votes
5answers
14 views

Bridging the gap between colloquial usage and technical meaning of terms

Frequently, at least in the software world, it seems that terms get assigned a meaning over time that is more general than the original definition. REST is a good example of this. While REST refers ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is an arena-driven story?

There is an answer here from FraEnrico which is the cause for my question: What is the difference between character-driven stories and plot-driven stories?. Here he explains a bit of what an "arena ...
12
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7answers
5k views

What is the difference between character-driven stories and plot-driven stories?

I have googled this question several times but I'm just not clear on the answers I'm getting. For example, I know that screenplays/plays/books such as A Streetcar Named Desire, Enough Said, The Spare ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

How to draw the line between expository and argumentative writing?

I read many articles on-line, but cannot understand where to draw the line between expository and argumentative writing. According to many articles, expository writing presents information. ...
0
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1answer
49 views

Types of written discourses

The last few days I tried to find an overview of the types of writings one could pursue. Thereby not meaning styles of writing or guides on how to structure a text, but more a classification based on ...
4
votes
1answer
39 views

Separator character for terminology and definitions section?

If I write a section of terminology and definitions in academic writing, which is the correct unicode character for the "-"? Is it the dash or is it a hyphen? For example CPU - Central Processing ...
13
votes
4answers
418 views

What other kinds of writers are there besides plotters and pantsers?

In a comment to an answer of mine Mark Baker has suggested that the common, dichotomous view of writers as either "plotters" or "pantsers" or something of both might not be complete and that there are ...
6
votes
4answers
375 views

Is 'temping' a culture-specific term?

I have a character working in a short-term temporary position in an organisation and refer to her doing the work using the usual UK word, 'temping'. Will this be understood by readers in the US and ...
6
votes
2answers
359 views

What is subtext?

In this question about creating subtext, Where in the writing process do you work in subtext?, the question of what the word subtext means was raised. This question is to address this issue. Of ...
3
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1answer
209 views

Using “Earth words” in a futuristic, fictional setting

As a writer of primarily science fiction, I've often struggled with finding a happy medium between making the prose/dialogue relatable for readers and avoiding using too many "Earth words" as I've ...
2
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2answers
108 views

What is the “acid test” for a nonfiction anthology?

I'm asking this on Writing.SE because I'm doing a short presentation on "What is an anthology," and I'm not sure how to answer the question "Why is X an anthology and Y is not?" Merriam Webster ...
0
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2answers
116 views

Is there a term for a fiction piece that goes after the prologue but before the epilogue?

I'm writing a long non-fiction text that describes a fictional setting. I came up with a fiction piece for that setting, to include as further illustration. I decided it would work best if I split ...
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2answers
101 views

What is the significance of the owl with respect to writing?

I've seen 'owl' mentioned many times in the context of writing. Some libraries have an 'owl's nest', some universities have writing workshops by the same name. If you google 'owl writing' you will ...
2
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4answers
284 views

Term for stereotype stories

Is there any term to describe stories where the "evil" characters are extremely evil, and the good characters are extremely good?
1
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1answer
36 views

Taxonomy of understanding: term [closed]

Years ago I encountered a term to describe the way verbs are used taxonomically in college syllabi to suggest different levels of comprehension. The hierarchy, in order of increasing sophistication of ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Graphical presentation method nomenclature

I'm part of a technical documentation team where I'm suggesting the document designers different methods for graphical presentation. Each time I need to talk about a method I have to look around and ...
0
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1answer
70 views

What are the correct terms regarding (this literary) technique?

An example comes from a cartoon where there is a woman talking to her boyfriend. There's a "cloud" that comes from her mouth, and the text inside reads: "You're so handsome." But there is another ...
3
votes
2answers
115 views

Is it correct to use acronyms in a bio or should I omit it?

In writing a bio in a technical context, like an author blurb in a publication, should I use acronyms or spell them out? Always? Depending on the context? For example: Degrees: BS, MS, PhD, MCC ...
4
votes
1answer
244 views

What is this 'pretend dialogue' technique called

There's a style that is popular on blogs, and takes the form of a dialogue between the reader and the author, where the author provides both sides of the argument, like a ventriloquist. Often there's ...
0
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1answer
127 views

What term describes the language used in comparing the ideas of different authors?

I teach a course preparing students for college-level writing. In one writing task, the students need to read a passage written by one author, listen to an audio recording by another (who disagrees), ...
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1answer
1k views

Does a thematic quote qualify as an allusion?

I am writing a paper on "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" and I need to include an allusion in my introduction paragraph. Can my allusion be a direct quote from Nelson Mandela that ...
10
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2answers
361 views

What are First Drafts, Second Drafts, etc.?

I've been reading a few questions on this site, and I've seen the terms First, Second or Third Drafts. What does this refer to actually? And could someone give a clear detail of what they are, and why ...
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2answers
450 views

What does one call author blurbs at the bottom of journalistic articles?

Sometimes journalistic articles have a brief about-the-author sort of blurb at the end, frequently italicized, of a general form resembling: J. Random Hacker is a dog groomer for the United States ...
2
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4answers
591 views

What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?

I find that my students are using a lot of these phrases at the beginning of their sentences: First... First of all... To begin with... All in all... The other reason is that... Above all... At last ...
16
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6answers
2k views

What is the term for an accessible character that knows nothing?

In a lot of books, movies, or TV shows, there will be a character that knows little to nothing about the subject at hand. Most cop shows and medical shows will have someone who doesn't know very ...
17
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14answers
1k views

Is it okay to call the reader's target audience stupid?

I'm a tech genre author, and have already published one book on Android development. However, this book was focused more on the developer of the apps, than the user. Now I'm working on my second book,...
4
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2answers
53 views

Source for literary terms?

The other day my wife, who went to quite a good school, told me that her literature teacher had taught her class abbreviations of terms which they were then asked to write in the margins of their ...
6
votes
4answers
221 views

Less universe-specific synonyms for “squib”?

I write primarily fantasy; recently, it's been brought to my attention that I use the terms "muggle" and "squib" informally fairly often in roleplay. If I were to publish something, I'd not want to ...
16
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7answers
7k views

What is a discovery writer?

From an answer to this question: How do I successfully structure a long fiction piece? I think I can infer the meaning from the usage but some elaboration would be helpful.
8
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2answers
1k views

How do you introduce terms?

There's a few different styles for technical (academic) papers. Which is the preferred style to introducing new technical terms? For example, here is a paragraph I have that I don't like, because I ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Defining Terms: To Capitalize or Not To Capitalize?

Let's say that I defined a new term in my writing, such as (yes, it's second-person): You spot a Holo-Reader—a long, silver metal tube that records holograms in three dimensions for later playback. ...
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1answer
83 views

What is the term for written expressions that lead to “reading between the lines?”

What is the term for something that is inferred, but not explicitly written within the text?
13
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3answers
146 views

Where can subject matter experts volunteer to work on proofing the technical details in fiction?

I am not a writer (yet!), but I have been working in the computer field for over 10 years and would love to put in some time volunteering my services as a subject matter expert (SME) for programming ...
23
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1answer
911 views

Pantsing a story?

I heard a writer talking about pantsing a story. What does that mean?