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21 votes

How to write a character who's better than you at sounding professional and doublespeak

Take full advantage of your ability to revise. Take a long time thinking about and drawing up his dialog. That he comes up with it on the fly makes him better than you, but you can probably do it ...
Mary's user avatar
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13 votes
Accepted

Is it better for me to add more advanced words into my book, or is it better to use easy words that any average English-speaker can understand?

You can use simple language, if you want a good example read passages from the Harry Potter series. It is written for children, but enjoyed by tens of millions of adults as well. (Except, as Steven ...
Amadeus's user avatar
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11 votes

Is using diverse verbs on action beats to tag speech frowned upon?

I think the first example is much easier to read. As a reader, I should be focused on the dialog itself, not trying to decipher the tags. For example, reading 'Josh conjectured' took me out of the ...
MikeS's user avatar
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10 votes

Is it better for me to add more advanced words into my book, or is it better to use easy words that any average English-speaker can understand?

You don't have to use complicated words. Clearly, the text that you write will be "simpler", in the sense that you won't be using a rich vocabulary to write a good story, but this doesn't ...
veryverde's user avatar
  • 1,108
9 votes

Is it better for me to add more advanced words into my book, or is it better to use easy words that any average English-speaker can understand?

Here is the opening paragraph of The Old Man and the Sea, considered one of the great works of US literature: He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-...
profane-tmesis.info's user avatar
8 votes

How to write a character who's better than you at sounding professional and doublespeak

The politician thing of never saying what they mean, never answering questions directly and lying without a flinch. Consider the reverse: Politician's always say what they mean, always answer ...
hszmv's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

How Should We Implement the Given-before-New Principle in Fiction?

The two examples you give aren't equivalent. They tell different stories. In your first example, we look on the scene from outside. The narrator is a witness that observes what happens. In your second ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 8,667
6 votes

How can I recognize and take constructive criticism?

There are stories that aren't written for the majority of people but for a small(er) subset of them. Not everyone likes steampunk, for example, and there are niches beside the larger mainstream genres ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 8,667
6 votes

How can I write in a very high and sophisticated style, not being pompous, but showing empathy?

Empathy has nothing to do with style. Empathy is the ability – and willingness – to recognize, comprehend and feel in yourself a kind of echo of the emotions, thoughts, motives and personality traits ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 8,667
6 votes

How should I format a surprise scene change such that it reads coherently but is still a surprise?

That's brilliant and I think it works perfectly once you format it as continuous text (without the blank line between paragraphs) and add a scene break:      “No that’s… it’s different when it’s a ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 8,667
5 votes

How exactly are you supposed to write a paragraph that contains a consistent theme throughout?

Of course that paragraph has one single consistent theme: How the character, Eith, realizes that he is in danger of being hit by an artillery shell and how this realization induces him to plan how to ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 8,667
5 votes

How should I format a surprise scene change such that it reads coherently but is still a surprise?

It looks pretty good already. If you want to be more explicit: “It’s not a matter of trust, Eleanor!” Lord Ashwater cried exasperatedly, grabbing his wife by the upper ar— Sam interrupted Catherine's ...
Amadeus's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

How to write a drunk person's train of logic?

I need to have a quite long and wild string of thoughts leading to their choice Why does it need to be long and wild? A drunk person doesn’t think of their reasoning as wild, and even if an external ...
Spagirl's user avatar
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4 votes

How to write a character who's better than you at sounding professional and doublespeak

Sounding Professional is profession specific. A lawyer doesn't talk the same way as an engineer and a doctor doesn't talk like a politician, when they are speaking in their professional capacity. To ...
EDL's user avatar
  • 12.4k
4 votes

Is it better for me to add more advanced words into my book, or is it better to use easy words that any average English-speaker can understand?

Who are your target audience? If you are writing for the average person and want them to understand you and enjoy your book, you need to keep your language simple. If you write for readers with an ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 8,667
4 votes
Accepted

How do I fit the scene ideas to the plot?

You can do either of two things: write an episodic narrative or write a plot-driven narrative. If you choose an episodic narrative, coherence between the disparate scenes is not important. Focus on ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 8,667
3 votes

How Should We Implement the Given-before-New Principle in Fiction?

We Shouldn't "How should we implement the Given-Before-New Principle in Fiction?" We shouldn't. There are lots of rules of "proper English" that don't apply to Fiction. (e.g. ...
codeMonkey's user avatar
  • 1,950
3 votes

How Should We Implement the Given-before-New Principle in Fiction?

James sat in his favourite chair, pondering the nature of his existence. Shadows darkened his features. After a short while, David entered the room with a discourteous thud. As you write it, "...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
3 votes

How to write a character who's better than you at sounding professional and doublespeak

What an exciting character! I believe it can be well showcased in the moments when his wishes contradict the group. Regardless if it is about which path to take or which restaurant to pick, he'll have ...
vspmis's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
Accepted

How to organize writing of short, concise, meaningful sentences?

While I haven’t found many of the sentences in the Tao Te Ching to be easy to grasp, that is probably beyond the point. Series of short sentences will always sound choppy. You can mitigate the choppy ...
EDL's user avatar
  • 12.4k
3 votes
Accepted

How do I make my writing flow?

I think EDL is absolutely right. Reading a lot, and reading critically , will definitely help. I think, for me at least, the key to flow is figuring out the timing. For example: (Quick)They went ...
user60320's user avatar
3 votes

How do I introduce my readers to new words as gracefully as possible?

First, people understand words by context, not by definition. Do not demand that readers memorize definitions, that is a sure fire way to make them put down your story. Instead, you introduce these in ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
2 votes

Is it better to create a new word, or add anew connotation to an already existing word? Does it matter?

It is better not to create either. He let out a single huff, half amused. Use the language as is. Invented words are for invented things that need names. Invented towns, invented religions, invented ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
2 votes

How does one write a paper "in character?" I don't know how to begin

I'd personally love writing something like that Anways, you're gonna have to do a lot of research. Maybe read some biographies and (if you can) watch the Oppenheimer movie. You need to learn what he's ...
WriterFromEarth's user avatar
2 votes

Is using diverse verbs on action beats to tag speech frowned upon?

Oh, please, don't be purple. Using overly flowery words distracts from the content and from the story. "Said" (and pretty much also "asked" and "replied" or "...
Divizna's user avatar
  • 3,403
2 votes

Is using diverse verbs on action beats to tag speech frowned upon?

MikeS gives the correct answer. It is case-by-case. I agree with his edit: a nice balance of tags and action, never repeating. I offer a frame challenge: there is more to it than just tagging dialog ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
2 votes

How can I recognize and take constructive criticism?

I think you don't understand the author's job. The author of a story imagines the situation, the scenes, the characters, and their personalities, and does the engineering to turn this into a coherent ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
2 votes
Accepted

Which Is Clearer: 'Being pressed' or 'Pressed'?

In this case, 'pressed against the wall' is more concise and direct. 'Being pressed against the wall', however, has a more nuanced tone and suggests a more continuous state of being pressed against ...
koala4040's user avatar
  • 106
2 votes

Which Is Clearer: 'Being pressed' or 'Pressed'?

While "Being pressed" is grammatically correct, I would never use it over the other option. The use of "Being" is awkward and adds just nothing to the sentence. In fact, it gets in ...
ShadowOfHassen's user avatar
2 votes

Is it better for me to add more advanced words into my book, or is it better to use easy words that any average English-speaker can understand?

I’ve always found King’s take on vocabulary in On Writing to be memorable and clear. For context, this is an excerpt from a larger section where he discusses his writing toolbox (aka the skills to get ...
GammaGames's user avatar

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