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Q&A

Posts tagged style

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Q&A What is the correct way to mark a section as a translation?

I am often in the situation where I would like to cite a source in another language, and as such include my own translation alongside the quotation. I have been told that translation is a form of ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Moshi‭  ·  last activity 3d ago by Mithical‭

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Q&A singular or plural for index entries

I am in the final stages of writing a book and currently I am preparing the index. Are there any rules whether index entries should be listed in singular or plural? Currently I have Markov chains...

2 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by jochen‭  ·  last activity 2mo ago by Herem1956‭

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Q&A Choosing between your Mother Tongue and another language

OK, I know I was warned, but what can I do? I had this question for a very long time. I have decided where to write (platform like computer or notepad), I am in the middle of deciding my way of wri...

2 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by rptwsthi‭  ·  last activity 4mo ago by Mithical‭

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Q&A Alternative to Strunk & White?

I have to confess that I find Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" to be a very tedious read. Can anyone recommend an alternative title that covers similar ground?

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Craig Schwarze‭  ·  last activity 9mo ago by Monica Cellio‭

Question style grammar
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Q&A How can I shorten a piece of writing without losing its original essence?

I need to know how to make my writing more brief without maring its original meaning and message. I have been struggling with that for a while, and still cannot do that. It simply seems to me that ...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Stacy‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Q&A block-quotation narrative with dialogue

Over on the Judaism site, I summarized a narrative text in a block quotation. Because the narrative is well-known, I expected many people to skip the block quotation; therefore, I did not want it t...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by msh210‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A What can a novel do that film and TV cannot?

I have enjoyed writing prose for years and have a few short stories penned. I would like to build up to a novel but believe I have identified a potential weakness in my storytelling. My style is g...

5 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Smeato‭  ·  edited 3y ago by Canina‭

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Q&A Does DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) Apply to Documentation?

In programming, it's usually accepted that DRY code is better code in most situations. Does this principle also apply to documentation? I'm asking about the documentation output, not necessarily ...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Scribblemacher‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Lundin‭

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Q&A Syntax summaries use brackets for optional elements; how do I represent literal brackets in a way readers will understand?

In our documentation of SQL functions and statements, we include a BNF-style syntax summary. As is conventional, we indicate optional elements in square brackets, like this: CREATE [IF NOT EXISTS]...

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

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Q&A How to structure a sentence containing long code examples?

In the context of a technical manual, I need to write instructions guiding users through several standard manipulations. When providing examples of these manipulations, I have written a short sente...

4 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Dave Jones‭  ·  edited 3y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Q&A In end user documentation, should screenshots come before or after the text that references them?

The end user documentation I'm writing makes use of screenshots (and partial screenshots) to show the user what I'm referring to in procedural instructions or conceptual explanations of the softwar...

2 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by Matthew Rodatus‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Q&A Maintaining distance

I am working on a novel inspired by the Shahnameh - a Persian epic poem by Abul-Qâsem Ferdowsi. The Shahnameh (the title means "The Book of Kings") is structured as a series of interconnected tales...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Galastel‭  ·  edited 4y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Q&A How could the disregard for both plot and dialogue tell the story?

I want people to understand what I write, but I do not want to use conventions such as plot or dialogue to tell a story. Without a plot I have been criticized of not having written a story, but s...

4 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by cælvm‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A What are good ways to improve as a writer other than writing courses?

As a novice writer to improve my writing I have taken one online course. I want to ask, what are good ways to improve as a writer other than writing courses?

6 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by codeNewbie‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A Punctuation assistance with complicated list of titles during a formal greeting

I'm working on a scene in a high-fantasy setting where the main characters greet each other for the first time. Part of the greeting is also a definition of what each of the characters mean to each...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by PeteMcRepeat‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Monica Cellio‭

Question style punctuation
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Q&A Can I conceal an antihero's insanity - and should I?

I have an idea for an anti-heroic sci-fi character whose character arc runs from spoilt rich girl, to a refugee in the rubble of human civilisation after an alien invasion, to crewmember and then c...

6 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Monty Wild‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A Character and world building in less than 2000 words

Is it possible to build a new character and/or world in a science fiction under a tight word limit? What aspects should be covered and what avoided? Also are there some similar previous examples to...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Abdul Rehman‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A How does someone write a moving Declaration of Independence?

Context: I'm among a growing number of people who are becoming dissatisfied with Stack Exchange. In some ways (not all, but some), Stack Exchange's behaviour is analogous to "curation without rep...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by becky82‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by DPT‭

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Q&A How to ensure that neurotic or annoying characters don't get tiring in the long run

A is a special snowflake, though for all the wrong reasons. You see, he was born with a special ability that allowed him to see premonitions of his and his loved ones' future in the form of still i...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Mephistopheles‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Amadeus‭

Question style characters
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Q&A Non-sense question about plot structures

Suppose then you have an story in your mind. Then, to write down this finite series of events, you have to translate your imagination into the paper. This process isn't trivial, of course and plot ...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by M.N.Raia‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A The excessive use of 'and'

The word 'and' is an indispensable conjoining tool in any form and discipline of writing. Although, a repetition of the word can make a paragraph too tedious to read, and it only lengthens a senten...

5 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Chagat Nahn‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by Mark Baker‭

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Q&A How to write a nice frame challenge?

When answering questions on Stack Exchange, some of us challenge the assumptions of the author. These frame challenges can often be quite popular answers. This popularity, however, can simply be a ...

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

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Q&A How can I make a non-linear timeline less confusing?

My story is broken into 8 sections. Sections 1 and 2 take place simultaneously, in two different worlds. The other 6 continue in a linear fashion (switching back & forth between the two worlds ...

5 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Correct punctuation for showing a character's confusion

I'm trying to show that the narration (third person limited) is being interrupted by the character's thought process, and I'm not sure what punctuation is best for this situation. So far, I've tri...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is there something "wrong" with my writing? How do I improve it? [closed]

So I usually use stackexchange as a last resort, but I'm completely stumped. If this question is inappropriate here, I will gladly delete it. None of my teachers say that anything is wrong with my...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Carlos Cienfuegos‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A How do you show, through your narration, a hard and uncaring world?

As I've already mentioned, I'm working on a sci-fi novel. One of the main feelings that I wanted to represent when I started is the sense of a vast, empty, artificial world, mostly cold and uncar...

8 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Liquid‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Should fiction mention song names and iPods?

In my novel, the protagonist is depressed. In the story which is in my mind... The autumn leaves were falling as I was sitting alone and Gary Jules' "Mad World" was ringing in my iPod. The s...

4 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by codeNewbie‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Do hard to pronounce names break immersion?

I have a character in my book named Jiolluav (with the correct accent, Zholl-you-of or /ʒōl-'yoo-äv/), and I've written my entire "novel" (it's a work in progress) using this name. When I asked a f...

8 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Anoplexian - Reinstate Monica‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is it possible to narrate a novel in a faux-historical style without alienating the reader?

One thing that often annoys me in historical fiction or fantasy books is the dissonance between the writing style and the events and historical period described in the book. The writing is usually ...

6 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by PoorYorick‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Doubt about the difference between a "Beat" and a "Event"

My main source of research about storytelling/screenwriting/how-to-write-a-book manual is [1]. But, the definition of "beat" given by [1] maybe can causing me some confusion. In [1] we have a def...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by M.N.Raia‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Varying POV and tense

My novel is written in the third person. When changing POV between different scenes (or chapters), is it OK if the parts for different POV characters use different tenses: some - the past tense, an...

1 answer  ·  posted 5y ago by John Cooper‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

Question style tenses pov
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Q&A Can you use a semicolon to connect fragments that are one item in a vertical list?

I'm trying to write a numbered vertical list. The items are not complete sentences. Can you use a semicolon to connect two fragments that are one item? Receive guests; entertain guests Or, sho...

1 answer  ·  posted 5y ago by happycrabapples‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A What do sentences look like in a rough draft before they are combined into a cumulative sentence?

I am unwilling to draft without editing as I go because I worry I won't be able to translate my thoughts into cumulative sentences. For instance let's take the sentence: "He walked to the store, an...

4 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by g.arbia777‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Indent dialogue to make text look less blocky

I am writing a story but I am trying to indent the dialog because right now it looks like a chunk of text. My text is Then a figure under the box moved behind Professor to which John yelled “P...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Dan‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is it plausible for a narrator to "hear" and describe sounds which would normally be out of earshot?

Found myself in a bit of a logical pickle in regard to the below piece: The number nine growled sleepily from around the corner that morning, the night’s virgin snow crunching beneath its multi...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Yavor Voynov‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Acronyms in Technical Writing

I can't find a standard, is the most common use to have the abbreviation followed by the defintion? Example NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization

4 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Rachel‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to work in a piece of information that no MC knows, when writing in 3PLtd?

In my story, there is a group of four characters that are called upon a classic macguffin hunt. The characters know that the macguffin is important, but they do not know all the details as why it ...

5 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by cobaltduck‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Classical Style vs. Modern Innovation

For some time now, the matter of classical versus modern writing has weighed heavily in the discussion of my mind-congress. Here is my thought: given the sheer reverence that is given to classical ...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by th0nk-‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Can this sentence have the same detail and yet be simple to comprehend? [closed]

While inside the weatherbeaten maternity hut lit by a single candle, out of the dark shadow of its mother's womb, the most unusual child ever seen in the village was delivered; and while the...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Nirav‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

Question fiction style clarity
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Q&A Should capitalization be used for emphasis for a character's tone?

Capitalization in a text has been something heavily debated in the writing community due to its nature as being preference based, and finding a hard set answer is fairly difficult. However, should ...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Kyle Li‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is alliteration distracting and not very valuable/interesting for the reader?

I tend to use alliteration a lot. This is an example from a story I'm writing: "Let me get this straight," Aru said, sliding on her dress. She always felt frosty after failed fornication. "Yo...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Alexandro Chen‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Should I italicize neologisms created by communities?

For example, should I italicize words like neg and kino? Words created by the pick-up artists/seduction community? (I'm writing a novel where I use these words.)

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by alex‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is there any stylistic reason to avoid the word "got"?

I was taught around the age of 10 to always avoid the word "got". I was told that it's always possible to rephrase a sentence so as to not use it. I followed this advice fairly unthinkingly, but no...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Ben Parsons‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

Question style
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Q&A Writing in English, from the viewpoint of a non-English-speaking character, how can I convey a language very similar to the character's own?

To provide a little background, I'm writing a novel set in a fantasy world, within which there are multiple languages. I'm applying the rule that any speech the viewpoint character (I'm using subj...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by TheTermiteSociety‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Script-style conversations in a book

How good is it to use script-style conversations in stories? New Hampshire, 2144, Beside a sign at Bulgart st. James: Please, Robert, I don't have time to discuss this. You must hand ove...

4 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by SovereignSun‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

Question style
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Q&A How to Explain the Pronunciation of a Conlang Within the Text of the Novel

In novels which contain a constructed language (conlang), there are areas where the rules of pronunciation can be specified. These areas have the disadvantage of either being before the story and r...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by Thomas Myron‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Turning normal phrases into gerund phrases: What's the effect in the reader?

For example, what's the difference between: She closed her eyes and thought about her life. He was so confident and handsome women circled him like vultures. And this: Closing her ey...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by alex‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A How can I keep my writing from being perceived as "too complicated"

This is from a piece I wrote a couple of years back: The sky seemed like a big, large pool of grey smoke. The weather was cool, moist. A fresh, earthy smell hung on the air. I peered throu...

6 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Soha Farhin Pine‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

Question editing style
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Q&A Attributing a single source in a blog post

Let's say you're writing a blog post based on a single source, like a podcast. You use several quotes from the podcast for the post. Is it necessary to cite the single podcast source every time yo...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Paula Last‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

Question style blog ap-style
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Q&A Can I switch from past tense to present tense in an epilogue?

I have written my entire novel thus far in past tense. However, I feel like my final chapter/epilogue would work better in present tense. I want to give the reader the sense that everything s/he ha...

4 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Coffie‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭