Laurel
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I accidentally added a character, and then forgot to write them in for the rest of the series
36 votes

Reading your description, I came to this conclusion: without changing the plot, Autumn can be replaced by an object, a token of friendship that’s an actual token. You’re right that something needs to ...

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How do I translate the uncertainty and suspense of a dice-based RPG into a story adaptation?
22 votes

I tried to do the same thing: Wrote some code to download the campaign chat log, then some more to parse it, then even more to make a rudimentary visual novel program. I spent hours trying to edit out ...

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What pronouns should I use for a character with no gender?
19 votes

To go over your options: Good: The pronoun they/them is the pronoun that most real-world English-speaking people adopt when they don’t go by he or she (see The Trevor Project and Nonbinary Wiki’s ...

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Can non-English-speaking characters use wordplay specific to English?
19 votes

Yes, non-English-speaking characters can use English wordplay. For example, none of the people in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar are really speaking English, yet there is no problem that there are puns, ...

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Writing style before Elements of Style
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17 votes

Here are some books that should help. Where it makes sense, I'm trying to include the date and place of publication, a description, and a quote for context. (Not all of the information in these books ...

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Is using first person in academic/technical essays always bad?
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16 votes

This depends on your style guide and potentially your teacher/school/boss/etc.'s guidelines. If your teacher (for example) says to avoid using the first person you may be able to negotiate to change ...

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When quoting, must I also copy hyphens used to divide words that continue on the next line?
Accepted answer
14 votes

Except in poetry, which retains its line breaks even when put on a single line, it doesn't make sense to retain a line end hyphen elsewhere on the line. It just wouldn't make sense and it would look ...

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

A concordance lists every word used in a work (or across a series of works) alphabetically, so the link Concordance of Shakespeare's complete works from OpenSourceShakespeare will be helpful. Clicking ...

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British / American language mishmash
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10 votes

I'm a native speaker of American English and my reaction to various British expressions can vary considerably on the expression: There are some words and expressions that don't sound British, at ...

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Can someone publish a story that happened to you?
7 votes

Assuming you are in the US... Copyright will likely protect this author's expression of the facts. This means that you cannot copy phrases from the book (for example), but you can write a different ...

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How do I copyright my own series?
Accepted answer
6 votes

You don't need to register for copyright; works are protected automatically. (Do note that "[p]rotection does not, however, extend to the title[*] or general theme [...], the general idea or name ...

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Is there a more modern version of "Acme", as a common, generic company name?
5 votes

The current trend in fiction is to depict parodies of specific existing companies and products (with parodies of Walmart being the Walmart of such parodies, I suppose). This is done by changing a ...

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How do I change the person a character addresses in a screenplay?
Accepted answer
4 votes

What you have seems to be the common way to do it: a slight indent and then "to addressee" in parentheses. There may be other details there too, like "(to camera, in French)". That'...

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Do Open Source Novels Exist?
Accepted answer
4 votes

Yes, there are some open source novels. Some of the projects are being sold for money, so I guess they're not truly open source for this reason. Some of these projects aren't looking to be published ...

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Are there any websites that show you the popularity and regional use of words?
4 votes

I recommend The Corpus of Contemporary American English (and for BrE its sister the British National Corpus). It's a very powerful tool, supporting wildcards, part of speech tagging, grouping by lemma ...

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Writing last name of a person in an essay
4 votes

One website citing the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (New York: MLA, 1988) 46-47 says that you should use just the last name after the first time (with some exceptions): In general, ...

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Spell out numbers before times, days, months?
3 votes

This depends on your style guide. If you're following APA, all of your examples look good to me. My reasoning: I bought nine apples: The number is under 10 and no special rules apply. We need 5 mL ...

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How can garden path sentences be used (and misused)?
3 votes

Prose In regular prose? I don't think I've ever seen it done. It would be par for the course for absurd dialogue, like what's in Alice in Wonderland. (I thought there were some garden path sentences ...

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How do I accurately write a prologue, which also works as a character introduction chapter?
3 votes

This is a paragraph telling us how one character feels about the other. Convert it into something showing that instead, and everything else will fall into place. Namely, set up a situation with your ...

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Know a personal name’s pronunciation but not its spelling
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3 votes

The style guide for Transcribe.com recommends putting "[phonetic]" next to names the transcriber doesn't know how to spell. I think that would work here too (paralleling "[sic]"). ...

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How late is too late to describe a character?
3 votes

For many people, the story plays out like a movie in their head as they read. If you don't "cast" a face into the role quickly, they'll have already filled it with their own imagination. ...

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How can I confirm that my book title isn't already taken?
3 votes

You can use a Google Books advanced search to find book titles that contain specific words (or search in Google Books for a phrase with intitle:"search terms"). There are a lot of books that ...

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What source is this citation referencing?
Accepted answer
3 votes

What you are looking for is page 285, which says: Adam, Charles and Tannery, Paul (eds), Oeuvres de Descartes, 2nd edn (Paris: Vrin, 1974-86). (This is abbreviated AT in the endnotes.)

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If the narrator of the story is a pet, can I still add some philosophical stuff into its narration?
Accepted answer
3 votes

Having an animal philosophize is not a problem. What you do need to be mindful is not the how but the why. It can't be your two cents—it must be your character's. Why is your character thinking such ...

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What are the rules for beginning a block quotation halfway into a quoted sentence?
Accepted answer
3 votes

Here's the best explanation of whether you need brackets, from the CMOS website: The brackets are obligatory only if the capitalization is part of the subject under discussion, which is rare ...

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Best practice for academic writing: write and cite or write first?
3 votes

If you don't keep track of your citations as you write, you will forget where you found the information. It will only get worse as you get further along and are using more and more citations (often ...

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How may a book and movie be one?
Accepted answer
3 votes

This is definitely done and it's called novelization. Many of the movies you've seen may have one (sometimes more) even though you're probably not aware of it. Series also may have novelizations. (The ...

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Are your submissions to the writer's guild protected from unwanted readers?
Accepted answer
2 votes

This is answered by their section Registration Details: Access to copies of Deposited Work: Because the deposited material cannot be returned to the writer without defeating the purpose of ...

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Is emailing an original idea to oneself using Gmail a foolproof way to timestamp it?
2 votes

Email can provide a good enough timestamp for the file, proving that you were (or rather your account was) in possession of it at that time, assuming that you can still log into the account to see ...

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What are the symbols that passes time called?
Accepted answer
2 votes

Wikipedia indicates that there are several names for the symbols placed between sections: "dinkus, space break symbol, paragraph separator, paragraph divider, horizontal divider, thought break, ...

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