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Q&A

Posts tagged word-choice

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Q&A Should writers shun cognate stems that share roots, because readers take longer to process these stems? [closed]

Question 1 Here I am asking about merely reading and writing. Do human readers take longer to distinguish between stems (and bases) that share the same root, even if merely picoseconds? For exa...

0 answers  ·  posted 6mo ago by TextKit‭  ·  closed 6mo ago by Canina‭

Question word-choice
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Q&A How can I make a character sound condescending?

In one chapter, the PoV character meets up with her sister. Her sister is supposed to be fairly stuck-up and thinks she's a complete lowlife, so she talks down to her the whole time. I have the Po...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Canina‭

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Q&A Are there any websites that show you the popularity and regional use of words?

There are some words and phrases in my manuscript that I think are used in America. However, a beta reader tells me my character sounds British. Are there any online sources I can use to check the ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by writersam‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Q&A How much detail is too much?

I've read a few amateur stories online and sometimes the author will include so much detail that the reader gets a little bored or distracted and forgets what the actual story is talking about. How...

5 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by M. McGarry‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Canina‭

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Q&A Is there any popular wisdom on the word "seem"?

I've just started noticing this word a lot in books. Something about it rubs me the wrong way. For example, I read a book where the following happened I stumbled to the ground and hit my head. ...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by klippy‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Q&A Is there a convention about the use of Old English in Hymns? Is it wrong to modernise the words?

Although most hymns were written in earlier centuries, I notice that modern-day collections of them tend to keep the use of old English in them. For example: Use of Begger instead of the more mo...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by fluffykittycute‭  ·  edited 3y ago by Monica Cellio‭

Question word-choice song
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Q&A How to use professional jargon when writing fiction?

The military, the medical professions, police, etc. - they have their professional jargon. One noteworthy characteristic of this jargon is the extensive use of abbreviations. Those abbreviations ar...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Galastel‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Q&A Tiptoe or tiphoof? Adjusting words to better fit fantasy races

English is a language invented by humans, for humans. Which means some words don't fit well when you're writing about characters who aren't human. For example: Suppose I write "The demon tiptoed a...

6 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Should I use the terms "people" "person" "man" and "woman" in fantasy setting?

So I'm writing a story and the setting is that there are two worlds: the world of humans and the world of (insert species name here). Now I'm wondering if it's okay to use the terms/words "people,...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by zaizen14‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A A question about Past Participle vs Simple Past in a novel

The novel is in past tense and the character is recounting things that happened before the novel began. Should I be using the past participle? Everything I read says that using the word "had" is a ...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by rb304288‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Moving away from a gender-based analysis

I'm writing a short essay on gender undercurrents of conversations, i.e. how do different people approach communication and problem-solving in their relationships. One way to phrase this is in term...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Buddhapus‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Saying "The" too frequently

Well, I finally managed to put pen to paper and start writing my first couple paragraphs. I have an issue though. I noticed that the word "the" comes up often. Well actually it was pointed out t...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by ggiaquin16‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question word-choice
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Q&A How to: descriptive writing

I've been writing for a while now, and everyday I feel I'm getting more serious about it. But the quality of my fiction stories are straightforward and blah. I notice I'm not using enough descript...

1 answer  ·  posted 5y ago by A.N.M‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Suffixing words with -ness, -ish, -like, and others

Background In a huge amount of the books I read the author has coined a little term to help them describe something, or an onomatopoeia. Like: Kindish (adding -ish to the end of a existing word)...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Daniel Cann‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Would it be possible to write a novel without using the word "The"?

In the novel I am writing, the story is told present tense and first person. The themes of the story present some unique points to the style, but something I have noticed as a write the first few c...

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Uncle Tres‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question word-choice
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Q&A How to make a mimicking character believable

In my novel, there is a antagonistic character named Numbers who reacts in a similar manner to those he is talking to, even freakishly so. Because of this he is easily able to become a powerful cha...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Uncle Tres‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question style word-choice
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Q&A How to describe a diverse set of characters without falling into purple prose or exoticism?

In my setting, a city was founded by people from all over the world, and developed in almost complete isolation (long version here). The story in itself starts several generations after the foundat...

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Babika Babaka‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Does the word erection have a neutral tone with its non-sexual definition?

I want to write: Our higher-profile projects include the delivery and erection of large exhibition stands for --company name-- at --redacted-- Championship; The emphasis is only to highlight ...

1 answer  ·  posted 8y ago by Dom‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Indicating a word choice you're unsure of

I've often had situations where I'm unsure of the correct word to be used, either when writing or proofreading. How can this sense be indicated in writing? Someone mentioned adding a question mark ...

4 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by wzub‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A When to use pronouns, and when to repeat yourself?

This is a quote from one of my favorite movies: "There are nearly thirteen million people in the world. None of those people is an extra. They're all the leads of their own stories." - Synecdoc...

1 answer  ·  posted 9y ago by Alexandro Chen‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question word-choice
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Q&A What's a word for a person who took a very rough story and made it into a book?

I have written a book. Well, actually, my mother-in-law told the story of her experiences as a German forced laborer in the Soviet Union after World War II. This was given in German and recorded ...

2 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Cyberherbalist‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Swearing - Censor, allude, or include?

I was reading this thread, but it didn't quite the answer a question I had about creative writing and whether profanity should be used or not, in a way that is best for creative storytelling. Here...

2 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Singular1ty‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Does writing in a certain mood change how a writer writes?

I'm not sure if this is right for this part of Stackexchange, but since there is no psychology section, here we go: I'm currently writing the same short story several times with the intention of c...

2 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Throsby‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Placing similes at the beginning and at the end of a sentence

Would the following sentences have different effects on the reader? He washed his hands thoroughly, like a surgeon after an operation. Like a surgeon after an operation, he washed his hand...

2 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Alexandro Chen‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A think, I think, I don't think

I use "think", "I think" and "I don't think" in my writing a lot. Can you suggest a few ways to reduce it and few alternative ways of saying the same thing? Look at the below sentences I have writ...

2 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by user43286‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question word-choice
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Q&A How to have a character be nameless for the first few paragraphs of a book?

Let me first explain what is going in in the beginning of the story: My main character belongs to a tribal culture that requires their children pass a rite of passage to earn their name. So I'm ki...

1 answer  ·  posted 10y ago by Lokiie1984‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A A cross-[What] kind of romance?

In the scientific taxonomy of Living Things, you have: Life Domain Kingdom Phylum Class etc. down to Species, and maybe thence to Breed. If I were talking about my neighbor's dog who is half ...

3 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by Lauren Ipsum‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Correct word for "Pulling some one into work, with continuous effort"?

Please consider the below excerpt. 'How long is your break?' I shouted. A group of labourers sat under the banyan tree near the main campus building. 'It's two-thirty, lunch ended an hour ago' ...

3 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by Hanu‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Word Choice: When something negative happens that changes your perspective for the better [closed]

Examples: 1.Today I got in a car accident, but I now value life more. 2. Today, I stubbed my toe, but looked down and found my wife's wedding ring we thought was lost. This concept is called the b...

1 answer  ·  posted 10y ago by Brian Dant‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question word-choice
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Q&A Is it typical to add variation to the words used for a character's name to keep it spicy?

A friend has asked me to read through a chapter of his story and give my opinion. Lets say he has two main characters Mr John de Havilland and Mrs Sally de Havilland. I've noticed that the author...

3 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by JW.‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A What are the 'header' lines/meta information in a formal letter called?

When writing a letter there is often meta information about the correspondence before the actual content of the letter. For example, in bold below:- Address,Town,City,Postcode 23rd July 20...

2 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by rgvcorley‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question word-choice letter
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Q&A How can I search for words by meaning/definition?

Where can I search for words using descriptive sentences? For example, now I'm looking for a word meaning "to purify (by hand) a quantity of grain and take away anything that isn't good grain." Ho...

2 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by Mussri‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A When to use the character's name and when to use she/he?

This is the first short story where I'm using actual names for the characters. Here is a sample: "Sorry for the question," Jun said. "But why don' you have friends?" Ling glanced at him, t...

1 answer  ·  posted 11y ago by Alexandro Chen‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Problems with constructing a complex sentence with many ideas in it

I am trying to write a sentence that tells the reader that the works displayed that they are about to see will bring them back and forth between the real and virtual realms, in a figurative manner....

1 answer  ·  posted 11y ago by xenon‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question word-choice
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Q&A When is it correct to capitalize terms/phrases in a personal statement?

I'm writing a personal statement for graduate admissions, and I've a query regarding the use of capitalization in the midst of sentences. For example, is it correct/expected to capitalize the names...

1 answer  ·  posted 11y ago by TCSGrad‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is concurrent first person / third person usage absolutely unacceptable?

Background: My understanding about first person / third person is this: choose a voice and maintain it throughout the piece. However, when writing marketing-type information, I find myself switchi...

1 answer  ·  posted 11y ago by Brian Dant‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A "In the" vs "At the" [closed]

I am not sure which one is correct: In the beginning of the book or At the beginning of the book As in the sentence: In the beginning of the book Marco describes his early life.

2 answers  ·  posted 12y ago by Andriy Drozdyuk‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question word-choice
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Q&A A flower's head or heart?

I’m currently writing a story and one of my characters is a butterfly. In one of the scenes, she manages to run away from a bunch of hungry lizards and hides into a flower; let’s say a Zinnia. Wh...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by vanity‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is the sentence "Love not self - love no one" easily understandable to an English reader?

This question is not about syntactical correctness. I do not care about that. The only thing I care about is to be understood properly. That's why I'm asking it here and not ELL. The meaning of se...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by rus9384‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Using real words from a foreign culture feels like 'Calling a rabbit a "smeerp"'

I'm working on a novel, that's set in pre-Islamic Persia, in the same general way that The Lord of the Rings is set in Britain. (Meaning, it's set in a world all its own, but there's this source of...

5 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Galastel‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to determine which details are important enough to be mentioned in a text-based roleplay?

I have recently joined a real-time chat-based roleplay group. Most of the people seem to be sticking to 100 to 250 words when it comes to making their posts, but sometimes I get overly descriptive ...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by Maiko Chikyu‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Should a non-native writer try to use complex English words?

I am a non-native English user and whenever I write something is it better that I use simple words or some rare and seldomly used words? I mean native-speakers should surely understand basic Englis...

4 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by SovereignSun‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question style word-choice
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Q&A 'Filling' up a school setting without making a bunch of new characters?

In a school setting, what is a way to allude that a school is full of students, without making new characters or overusing pre-existing ones? A school is the main setting of a book. The main and s...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by sonics29‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A If I'm writing in US English, am I not allowed to use the metric system?

For example, can I say this if my book is written in US English (in non-dialog): The car was going at least 140 kilometers per hour! Or should I convert them to miles or what have you? It's ...

5 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Klara Raškaj‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question word-choice
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Q&A Sending an email to follow up with the client about a project deadline [closed]

We are waiting on a document for a project from the client to complete. If we don't get it in 2 days we'll be unable to proceed until we do. When and how do you follow up with the client? Give a t...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by annett‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to confidently attract the other party to your side?

I have the following sentence: Once they realize they have no chance of defeating you, they'll end up joining you. I feel this sentence may come across as a bit "cocky" because I would want t...

1 answer  ·  posted 5y ago by John‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to link two sentences? [closed]

I have the following sentences: Anyone can use stock footage. and Only you know how to use it correctly. I am wondering if it makes sense to combine them as such Anyone can use st...

1 answer  ·  posted 5y ago by John‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Pretty flowers with clunky Latin names

I am writing a fantasy novel set in the Middle East. For multiple reasons related to both plot and atmosphere, I'm using flowers and flowering trees a lot in both descriptions and dialogue. Trouble...

3 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Galastel‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Am I describing a zombie?

I introduced a young person (called Raven) who the main character was friends with in my story; Raven is an excellent student who the main character is also teaching music to. The story is the resu...

5 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Edmund Frost‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Do you have to write in the tone of ordinary speech?

Must writing always be done in the tone/style of ordinary contemporary speech? For example, some people might say that the conjunction "for" is archaic and should not be used in modern prose, but ...

3 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by g.arbia777‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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