All Questions

2
votes
2answers
713 views

Best way to Write a Table of Contents for Awkward Pagination

I have a piccadilly journal that I use for taking notes on self-taught subjects and I have an awkward structure for pagination and page structure: Page numbers only exist on the right hand side of ...
1
vote
2answers
264 views

Why is this ‘loved’ italicized?

I’m interested in italics in novels. Italic writings in novels have a wide variety of feelings, for example surprise, delight, anger, irony, humor, etc. However, consulting reference books, I only ...
1
vote
3answers
178 views

Does this convey that I recommend the anthology I'm reviewing?

Here's a snipped-up version of a review of an anthology I wrote a while back (full original review here). Most of the stories were pretty good, a few were superb, and there were a few poor ones. For ...
1
vote
5answers
332 views

Complimenting on solid structure with no major flaws

When reviewing fiction, there's a certain quality that's very important to me, which I can best describe as being "solid." By which I mean: the story is well thought-out, well constructed; it flows ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Do I need to write a bibliography?

I made a program and wrote a paper on how it works. I do not quote anything, I just talk about my program. Do I still need to write a bibliography?
2
votes
3answers
20k views

Citing multiple quotes from a single novel

I'm writing an analytical essay (for school) about a novel. I need to cite some quotes (for support), that comes from that novel. I know that the MLA style citation goes as follows: "Quote goes here"...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

What are some strategies for developing basic writing skills? Beginning Writing (again)

I have a friend who is going back to college after a decade, and is quickly finding out that his/her writing skills are not up to snuff. He/she writes in a style suited more for Facebook than ...
27
votes
4answers
6k views

Pitfalls of writing a main character of different gender to the author, specifically first-person perspective?

This is my first question on here, so bear with me, if you will. My question is in two-parts: a) When writing in first-person, is it wise to choose a main character of a different gender to yourself ...
5
votes
6answers
5k views

How do you make your characters likable?

Though I disagree that characters need to be likeable for a story to be good, I certainly do not think it hurts - nice people in stories serve as redeeming factors and give the occasional "tingle down ...
6
votes
1answer
10k views

Is there an accepted format for comedy sketch writing?

I have been doing Google searches for examples or teleplays to download that may offer insight for sketch comedy writing. Is there a specific format that those in the industry follow or is simply the ...
10
votes
6answers
5k views

Is P.S. (Post Script) still useful in the age of email?

"Post script is usually written when a writer forgets to write something on the main body of the letter and wants to add on to what he had written on the letter." But in this age of email and word ...
2
votes
5answers
90 views

Quoting text from a country with different internationalization.

I'm writing my doctoral dissertation here in the United States, and quoting some text from an English-language paper written in Germany. In Germany, the convention for writing numbers is to use a ...
4
votes
2answers
548 views

How can one get better at copywriting?

Since copy is such a key part of a startup's website, many business people would like to learn to be good copywriters personally. Such a person would need to be a good persuasive writer, and able to ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Good report making software

I am reaching the final stage of my academic project work. Usual practice is to use Microsoft Office/OpenOffice/LibreOffice for preparing the final project report. As I am inclined towards FOSS I am ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

Does Wiktionary supply what writers need in an online dictionary?

There are actually Wiktionaries for many languages and the English Wiktionary also defines and translates words of many other languages. But ignoring these other languages, have you tried the English ...
3
votes
4answers
196 views

Is this clearly expressed: “The real power is information”

I want to say that information is the real power in the world. I want to say it in one clean (short) sentence. Is the following good enough? (My mother language isn't English.) The real power is ...
4
votes
4answers
104 views

Is it a Good or Bad thing to use 'I' Regularly in Magazine Articles?

Do readers want to read articles where the author refers to themselves and their experiences, or would they prefer the author to leave themselves out of the article? When I say 'readers' I'm ...
0
votes
1answer
270 views

What are some possible reasons of why my readers preferred this “writing” over the others two? [closed]

Recently, I wrote the following stuff for a photo web comic I created inspired in "a softer world.": To break up and stay friends means to throw away a possession and turn it into something ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Preventing genre-savvy second-guessing in murder mysteries

In a murder mystery, most of the story is generally focused on figuring out who the murderer is; in "Fair-Play" mysteries, it's assumed the murderer is a significant character in the book, and the fun ...
5
votes
2answers
888 views

plagiarism vs. reference?

I just finished reading the annotated edition of Lolita, and Nabokov hid references to other works of literature everywhere. Lately I've also been considering ways to work in lyrics and other oblique ...
6
votes
3answers
311 views

Online technical writing classes

anyone aware of or can recommend online training courses for technical writers to improve your technical writing skills? I'm looking for courses that provide video or audio lectures, and teachers ...
22
votes
9answers
8k views

What breaks suspension of disbelief?

So much of Sci-Fi and Fantasy requires the viewer (or reader) to suspend their disbelief: The speed of light can be circumvented, magic works, vampires are real (and may or may not sparkle), etc. ...
0
votes
1answer
928 views

English writers IDE [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a special software for writers? What IDE's do writers typically write in? I'm aware of Microsoft Word, but surely that is not something that a professional writer ...
12
votes
4answers
740 views

How do you avoid the problem of all the characters in your story sounding the same?

There's a common flaw that I can easily detect in amateur writing, (and of course my own) which essentially boils down to all the characters "sounding the same", dialogue-wise anyway. Trying to ...
3
votes
4answers
969 views

Can I use “We” to refer to me and the reader?

I am writing my thesis and in many cases I want to take the reader through an example. For example: Besides the advanced composition rules, it is also important to have a set of basic rules to ...
6
votes
1answer
740 views

Is an overview clearer when outlined with bullet points, or when written in paragraphs?

I am writing a short piece for a technical audience. In essence I have three main points, each with sub-points. A few of the sub-points themselves have sub-points. I cannot help but find it clearer ...
6
votes
10answers
999 views

What's a good title to a presentations' table of contents?

This is a professional presentation, I'm looking for a good title for the ToC page (some humor allowed). What I have so far is "What am I going to talk about", which frankly kind of sucks. Your ...
6
votes
4answers
854 views

Which goes first: summary, background or justification?

I am trying to write a long expository piece and cannot figure out which information should come first. Here are three candidates: A summary/abstract lists the main points, without necessarily ...
6
votes
5answers
10k views

How to explain something mid sentence

I'm writing a review for a fiction book and I'm using a lot of terminology that is specific to the book and I feel that it has to be given some context and explanation. Otherwise any reader would be ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

What Types of Jobs can a Writer find?

as you all realize the term 'Writer' is very broad and general. So my quick question is: I'm trying to help my young aspiring writer friend find a job in PA, but the term writer is really general. ...
5
votes
6answers
510 views

Does this feel like natural English?

Although I'm pretty confident in my English, I'm not a native English speaker. I need to write a short introduction for a symposium; I'd like to know if you think this paragraph feels like 'natural' ...
2
votes
3answers
766 views

Help me rewrite this sentence [closed]

I would like help re-writing this sentence. I would like the overall tone of the language kept intact, and I would like it to be as concise, eloquent and well written as possible. In the event you ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the ingredients for a good book review?

I've recently started writing book reviews. I am doing this for numerous reasons, most importantly perhaps is to be able to express in a clear and concise manner. English is not my first language and ...
-2
votes
1answer
232 views

How many words (or lines) are long enough to make someone think about his life but short enough to hook lazy readers? [closed]

OK, I know that it depends of what it is written. But I believe that human brain responds to a certain amount of words in different ways. Based on that, how many words (or lines) you think are long ...
7
votes
6answers
967 views

How to attract the average reader to an “intellectual” novel?

For instance, If I write a novel which has the following: “The universe goes through a gradual transition from one condition, to a different condition, without any abrupt changes.” ...
11
votes
9answers
385 views

Will my readers feel like they are reading a children's storybook if there are illustrations in my novel?

I'm writing a novel. I also have good drawing skills. I would like to add illustrations of the setting, locations, and characters. I may include 8 or 10 illustrations (the novel is approximately 200 ...
6
votes
2answers
377 views

Voice of the author changes with the pov a good idea?

I have been writing an action/adventure novel and am having a tough time deciding whether the voice of the writer should undergo a slight/moderate but not a complete change with the point of view ...
8
votes
7answers
7k views

In what order should I describe a setting?

For instance I'm describing the park of an art museum in a foggy day. I'm not sure if I should start with the fog, wind, grass, threes, walking paths, buildings, stairs or something else. Is there a ...
7
votes
3answers
263 views

Can I ePublish my out-of-print history book?

Can I assume that the rights to my history book Frontier Theatre (Sono Nis 1983) reverted wholly back to me when the book went out of print around 1992? The contract was a standard pre-digital ...
9
votes
4answers
694 views

New digital ways of presenting a novel in 2011?

The traditional way of presenting a novel is in a book. I know about e-books too. Do you know another digital ways of presenting a novel? For instance, a blog, a twitter novel or something like the ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

What needs to be included in a corporate style guide?

What kinds of things need to be included in a corporate style guide that can't already be found in S&W, AP, Chicago Style, etc?
5
votes
4answers
549 views

Writing a bibliography

In the formats I've seen for writing a bibliography, the author is always put first, and then the title. Are there some bibliographies where the title is put before the author?
5
votes
5answers
484 views

Is a novel less credible if the dialogues are too perfect?

I always find myself trying to make dialogues perfect. For example, the perfect advice, the perfect punch line, the perfect joke or irony. OR maybe if the characters talk continuously without stopping,...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I create my own deadline?

I'm very responsible when I'm writing a tech book or article under contract. I have a deadline, my editor is expecting my work, and I turn it in on time. Sometimes I put it off a bit, but I pride ...
32
votes
3answers
2k views

Explicitly correcting yourself while writing - how appropriate is it ?

Like so: He worries – well, not worries, but laments a little – that he senses people don't read Henry James anymore (sentence source: Monkey See, NPR Blogs ) I've used this style myself ...
4
votes
2answers
605 views

LaTex + version control writing package

This should be probably cross-posted to tex.stackexchange.com. However, since my question is more oriented towards writers who also have a firm grasp of technology, I'm posting it here in hopes of ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I avoid legal repercussions for writing a story based on events in my life?

How do I avoid legal repercussions for writing a story based on events in my life? Mainly, I have experienced events that I would like to share with the world. These events are somewhat disturbing ...
4
votes
11answers
453 views

Is it possible that my short novel will be boring to my readers because it only has two characters and the location doesn't change?

In my story, there are two characters: a schoolgirl and a strange person with a creepy mask who gives her a tour in an art museum at night. Well, actually there is a third character; the boyfriend of ...
11
votes
6answers
250 views

Avoiding foot&note disease

In his answer to Our note in footnote of a book, Malvolio writes: I hate numbered foot-notes personally, they're very distracting Which I agree with, but his recommendation, to use endnotes, I ...
6
votes
1answer
355 views

How to avoid getting confused while adding symbols within symbols (novel writing)?

For instance, I'm writing a novel where the main character is wandering in a city which represents his wife (symbol number one), but then the places he visits within the city also represent the bad ...

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