309 reputation
25
bio website sourceforge.net/projects/…
location Northeast
age
visits member for 2 years, 11 months
seen yesterday

Long time Linux user (currently kubuntu). Use Windows 98, and 7 when I have to. Programmed in many languages, currently using bash and awk for most things. Learning Python.

Have one project on sourceforge:

Duplex printing emulator for non-duplex printers (Linux)


Nov
14
comment Can a book be written without an antagonist?
It is hard to imagine a story without some "conflict". It's like physics where there needs to be a polarity or energy gradient for any work to be done. In music, there are tone poems and ambient music compositions - relatively conflict free, but they may rely on using the non-logical part of the brain to "appreciate" them whereas language definitely engages logical processes.
Oct
16
comment How should I organize my journal as plain-text files?
Tiddlywiki is cool. Never heard of it before. Thanks. Doesn't meet OPs requirements, but might be a great solution anyway.
Oct
16
comment How should I organize my journal as plain-text files?
At the risk of ignoring your precondition of plain text, I think HTML 3 or 4 is here to stay regardless of how they improve it and it allows you some things like bold, italic, and underline which are nice at times. As for layout, I prefer small files that I can set to read only once they're done. It's really easy to mass change or delete things by accident, so small files = limited liability. You didn't specify your OS, but on Linux, tools like find, grep, and recoll can make it relatively easy to find things across many files. Along the same lines, I use subdirectories to split files further.
Sep
27
comment What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?
@JohnM.Landsberg Not likely. If you don't make mistakes, then you aren't risking enough. Although this one was just not thinking enough about it first.
Sep
26
revised What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?
Rewrote based on feedback/down-vote
Sep
26
comment What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?
@JohnM.Landsberg OK. I overstepped, but the link for types of phrases is still useful.
Sep
25
comment Is extraneous language appropriate in academic writing?
Sometimes, phrases like this are the result of writing ideas in the order you think of them - which is great for capturing them to start with, but they should only remain in a finished work when they are the simplest and clearest way to express a concept.
Sep
25
comment Is extraneous language appropriate in academic writing?
I added an answer to the question you referred to above. Prepositional (and other) phrases have their uses, but should be used sparingly in an academic context where ideas are often complicated enough without using complicated sentences to express them.
Sep
25
answered What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?
Sep
25
comment What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?
When people are talking, they often say something to get the other person's attention, to gain momentum, or to organize their thoughts before jumping in to the main statement. Generally, you might find it useful to have some of these in a draft - just to let the thoughts get onto "paper", but most should be edited out of written material because they don't add anything. They're just a header. In less formal writing, they can be used to convey personality, mood, or style, so they're not all bad.
Sep
25
comment Overusing “the” and “I”
The way I was taught is that using I too many times draws attention away from what you're saying to you. It becomes look what I know or look what I did instead of just conveying the information and it gets boring very quickly. Once it's known who the actor is in the topic, it doesn't need to be repeated unless it clarifies something.
Sep
25
comment Overusing “the” and “I”
@Jay No idea technically, but "the Russias" means to me that it's a more formal designation of something commonly agreed upon. Not just any Russias, but the Russias - the ones that everybody knows and agrees are Russias.
Sep
11
comment Changing the way one addresses a character in a dialogue to create variation
Mostly unrelated to the question, but, it all reads pretty smoothly except "Should I feel happy or guilty because of this?". The "I" coming out of nowhere - at least in this excerpt - was very jarring. It's a switch of POV one sentence long.
Sep
4
comment Can Readers Relate to a Book without Humans?
Just as a side note, it can also be effective to use an "alien" which is unknown or even possibly unknowable as a part of a story - like whatever created the monoliths in 2001 (at least in the movie version). Obviously, this would be an unlikely candidate for a main character.
Sep
4
comment Is it possible to establish a relation between word count and page count?
Unless you're publishing it yourself, the publisher will almost undoubtedly reformat your manuscript - which can significantly alter the page count. Some electronic formats may even set up pages on the fly depending on screen size, etc. Nothing, except an editor ;) will change your word count.
Aug
27
comment Stupid Villain rather than Dark Lord
Another angle: The most dangerous force in the universe is love without wisdom. It might not make for a good fantasy plot - or certainly might take more work, but when people are motivated by love, but don't understand or can't accept what would really help in a situation, they can be almost unstoppable forces of destruction.
Aug
13
comment Does a character have to define himself to be engaging?
This advice really makes sense. Real people, even the most pedestrian ones, are complicated and mostly unknown. Without at least some of that, a character is not going to feel convincing/real.
Aug
13
comment Does this passage break the rules of telling and not showing?
The content itself seems fine, but using inconsistent tenses in the sentences wasn't. Also, it's a little hard to "understand" something when you're already writing/speaking about it. "Understood" might be better. These things made me want to stop reading even though the content was fine.
Aug
6
comment Any documentaries or other inspirational movies about creative writing?
The Magic of Belle Isle is primarily a love story, but it also deals with writing and inspiration.
Jul
9
comment Avoid blending Fantasy and Sci Fi
@Tannalein That's a good point and does seem true for most of what I've read. Where do you put something like Dune (the whole series of books) in that sort of analysis?