675 reputation
35
bio website
location
age
visits member for 3 years, 2 months
seen Apr 17 at 7:30

Mar
6
comment Do you have to be good at grammar to get published?
@C.A.McCann -- it wouldn't shock me if Kafka had a number of organic brain dysfunctions.
Mar
6
comment Do you have to be good at grammar to get published?
Thanks for the catch. Orthography (spelling) is essentially arbitrary; it's a convention to make it easier to render the language on paper. Compare it to penmanship. By contrast, vocabulary and grammar together are the language. If you cannot choose the words or you cannot string them together, by definition, you cannot write.
Feb
8
comment Can a mock-magazine with fictitious content count legally as fan fiction?
@NeilFein -- I refer you to the case of Dr. Seuss v. Penguin Books, which I am totally not making up. The author of The Cat NOT in the Hat! mimicked the style of a Dr. Seuss book while retelling the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the book was a satire, not a parody, because the book did not poke fun at or ridicule Dr. Seuss or his works. Instead, it merely used the Seuss style to tell a story of the murder.
Jul
13
comment Anybody know anything about examiner.com?
Sad panda is sad.
Jul
8
comment Audio version of copyrighted written material
@sjl -- plus, breaking the law to promulgate a Bible (at least in the context of a just sovereign) might be working at cross-purposes.
Jul
8
comment Audio version of copyrighted written material
@RolandTaylor - if we are going to start hand-waving away bits of the Bible, can we get sodomy back? Your cites have different ways of squinting their eyes at the facts, but that's all they're doing. If you honestly think the Bible is inerrant, let me ask you, oh, how did Judas die? Did he hang himself, as in Matthew, or did he just detonate like a grenade, as per Acts?
Jul
8
comment Audio version of copyrighted written material
@sjl: I did not know that. I did some Googling; at least one close variation on the KJV was considered a "derivative work" and -- although it wasn't clear whether this was tested in court or just the publisher's lawyer's opinion -- therefore separately copyrightable. A spoken version of the book would be even more "derived" and less a "copy". If it were me, and I had no business interests in the UK, I would just go ahead and publish. If Her Majesty's Stationery Office sends me a C&D, so be it, but I think it about as likely as getting complaints from the Original Author.
Jul
7
comment Audio version of copyrighted written material
@RolandTaylor -- If you're into the science of the Bible, read 1 Kings 7:23, where the value for pi is 3.
Jun
21
comment Is it worth spending money on a subsidy publisher?
This. Vanity publishing is a scam. Print-on-demand like Lulu does everything a vanity publisher could do, with zero up-front costs.
May
6
comment Books to improve writing skills
@RalphGallagher -- I'm not complaining that Brown is shallow, but that he's bad. To use an analogy: I happily eat at In-n-Out Burger. It isn't great cuisine, the ambiance is sterile, and it's pretty fatty; but it tastes good, it's cheap, and it's fresh. I don't eat at McDonald's, because it tastes like crap. I don't object to thriller writers. Right now, I'm re-reading a novel by Stephen Hunter, a pulp writer if there ever was one. I don't read Brown because his prose sucks. YMMV, of course.
May
6
comment Books to improve writing skills
@RalphGallagher -- I'm not sure what your point is. Yes, Brown is trying to make money by writing shitty books and succeeding at it. You or I could either try that or go down to the bus station and offer $20 hand-jobs in the men's room, and the latter would be more dignified, more useful to society, and more likely to actually show a profit.
Apr
24
comment Potential confusion: referring to home planet as “Earth”
"Trim" means to cut stuff out. "Tighten" means to change text to be more specific and more evocative.
Apr
23
comment How to refer to character of focus in a story
"looking back over a paragraph and realizing you've used a word like 'looked' 5 times." If that was deliberate, Matt is a genius. Yes, repetition used deliberately and well produces a poetic effect; used accidentally or poorly, it can be exasperating.
Apr
23
comment How to refer to character of focus in a story
@mattlohkamp -- you must hate Tennyson and Browning with their "Theirs nots" and "Half a leagues" and "I love thees" repeated over and over and over ...
Apr
20
comment Explicitly correcting yourself while writing - how appropriate is it ?
Metanoi runs deep; into your life it will creep.
Apr
18
comment Do writers use highlighting to clarify ideas in their work in progress?
The former -- where the book was just over-stuffed, there were too many character, too many scenes -- is achingly common. Fantasy, as a genre, is probably the worst offender (I'm looking at you, JRR! You too, JK!) but lots of other authors (Tolstoy) are almost as bad. I know I sound like Emperor Joseph in Amadeus saying "Too many notes" but I'm a more careful reader than most and it enrages me when the extra care is not exercised in appreciating the subtleties of language or characterization but wasted trying to remember who took that horse to Gimblethorpe five chapters ago.
Apr
18
comment Do writers use highlighting to clarify ideas in their work in progress?
@JSBangs -- I'm not saying you're wrong, but I am saying that I've seen a lot more books where the author forgot that I, the reader, am not studying his book, I'm not taking notes or committing it to memory than books where the author forgot something important about the plot, timeline, or characters. In fact, I can only think of one example of the latter: in Catch-22, arguably the most complicated successful American novel, Heller twice mentions "the Splendid Atabrine Insurrection" but forgets to include the actual scene. (cont.)
Apr
18
comment Do Novels follow a 3 Act/2 Plot Point structure like most Movie Scripts?
@jae -- my opinion? Are you sure? I thought I got that from Wikipedia...
Apr
17
comment Do Novels follow a 3 Act/2 Plot Point structure like most Movie Scripts?
@jae -- that's why most jazz sucks. Only a truly phenomenal talent can produce art of any value without introspection, practice, reflection. When the milieu of some popular art form encourages improvisation, most of the result is unbearable.
Apr
15
comment Our note in footnote of a book
So you have notes that appeared in the original quote, notes that appeared in your Russian version, and notes that you want to add in your English translation? I think the innermost notes should be marked as from Ivanov (if Ivanov were the original author), your Russian notes unmarked, and your latest additions marked "translator's note" (even though you are your own translator).