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  • 0 posts edited
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  • 170 votes cast
Jul
29
comment How can I stress a certain word in a medium that doesn't allow for font embellishments?
This isn't bad enough for a down vote, but I don't think CAPS does it. It's commonly considered as shouting and that's not the same as emphasis. The connotation is completely different.
Jul
15
comment How to deal with a story that 95% of it takes place in a different language country and the protagonist speaks in it?
+1 in general, but especially for the bit about someone who speaks French understanding something before they were supposed to be able to.
Jul
14
comment What to do with cliched metaphors?
If you use a cliché, then avoid it. If your characters do, then it probably makes sense. The reason they're clichés is precisely because people do use them. In your example, I agree with the other comments that it's not really a cliché, but that it may not really fit the situation either.
Jul
14
comment How to decide whether a story is worth writing?
Yeah. Long ago, I went to see Zabriskie Point (a fair B movie) in a theater. At the end, just before everybody left, someone called out, "Boy meets girl in dessert." and cracked up the entire audience.
Jul
14
comment How to decide whether a story is worth writing?
Have you ever watched the Hallmark or Lifetime TV channels? Or read a romance novel? There's tons of stuff that people enjoy and pay good money for which doesn't answer life's greatest questions. Also, when you do write these things, the practice will improve your writing so that when you do have something "important" to say, you will be that much more able to say it effectively.
Jul
8
comment How rough should a rough draft be
@MichaelB - if you're using a computer, that's what hypertext as invented for. If you have Linux, check out zim zim-wiki.org/index.html. If not, check out Scrivener. It has been discussed extensively in this community.
Jul
8
comment How rough should a rough draft be
I think that the main point of a first draft is to map your territory. Get down the big pieces and how you want them connected. See how the whole thing feels and and what works overall. Later you can go back and refine it, but then you have a whole thing to look at and the perspective that gives you. It's also important to just let your creative ideas flow. When you switch into analytical mode to improve things, it stops that flow. It's a right brain/left brain thing.
May
13
comment How can I make believable motivations for antagonists?
Aside from all the detailed answers, I think much of it just boils down to finding incidents and people in your own life or whom you have read about who exhibit some or all of the qualities you are going for. Then you have "organic" examples to examine to see how they think and feel. It's a variant on "write what you know".
May
13
comment How do you decide whether to use the infinitive or -ing version of a verb?
Saying someone started to avoid, feels somewhat analytical to me, a bit distanced from the actual activity. Started avoiding describes an action the person is taking. While they both say the same thing, they convey a very different feeling and perspective - at least to me.
May
13
comment Can your current work of fiction be influenced by a sequel?
Great answer. I especially like your point that the story has to come from the character and not the other way around.
May
13
comment What are the reasons behind Writer's block?
If you or your writing (even for a short while) don't have a clear purpose, then the writing doesn't have a soul (or you just can't get in touch with it). And, for fiction especially, it can't just be an idea. It has to feel important and you have to feel passionate about it and relate to it personally. That kind of connection is hard to maintain. It comes and goes based on everything else happening in your life and can be blocked by all the technical issues of writing too.
Apr
8
comment How to balance for readers who are not technologically literate
For another example, check out Silicon Valley (HBO). They throw jargon around so fast, I have trouble just parsing it (although most of it sounds plausible) and it doesn't stop the show from being hilarious. Although their target audience must be pretty tech savvy to start with, It's the personalities of the characters and their interactions that make it work.
Mar
24
comment How do I create the rest of the story when I only know the ending?
Echoing the above: Why do you know the ending? How did it get to be important enough to you to want to write about it? If it's really just a prolog to something you want to write later, then maybe that's what it should be. If you examine how you got here, then that may present some clues as to how to get your reader to the same place as well.
Feb
11
comment Omitting pronouns and possessive adjectives in fiction
Your initial phrases all seem fine as is. That's generally how (English speaking) people talk and think. It's just good to vary sentences so they don't all start with a pronoun - especially the same one. E.G. I did this. I did that... Once we know who's talking or doing something, that can often just be assumed or added later in the sentence if necessary.
Feb
11
comment How do sci-fi stories hold up if their premise or details become discredited?
+1 for noting that it's really about the characters and human nature - how would "we" respond to those events and circumstances (as we relate to the characters)?
Feb
11
comment How do sci-fi stories hold up if their premise or details become discredited?
When I saw the first Star Wars movie in a theater, I was slapping my hands on my thighs and trying not laugh out loud. The reason was that so many things were blatantly impossible, but worked perfectly in the story. It actually added to my enjoyment! As noted, Lucas didn't explain anything - at least not until the second three movies that many wish had never been made. What doesn't hold up for me in very old scifi are the lack of depth of characters and the outdated world views of the authors. That makes them harder to relate to now.
Jan
27
comment Getting My Rights Back
I saw Richard Stallman give a talk a year or two ago and one of the things he advocated was a copyright that expires in 5 years. He used an example almost identical to your situation as part of the justification.
Dec
9
comment Should I use ellipses or em dashes to denote pauses in speech?
I'm no grammarian, but it would make more sense to me if the pause is placed before the sentences in question rather than in the middle: I flipped open its latch and peered inside... A gold tooth? (same with the dash - whichever works batter.)
Oct
22
comment How to release a heavy revision to a series without upsetting readers?
@what, if nothing else changed, that would be correct, but what if the author actually learned something in the interval between editions and now sees a much clearer way to proceed even though the details may not have changed? In college, I took a number of "bad" classes because they were taught by grad students with no real experience using the subject in the real world or in teaching. If one of them wrote a book ...
Oct
1
comment In Flare, how can we make atomic change groups in review?
I know nothing about your specific issues, but maybe it's time to consider another tool. Just as one example, some people use git to manage documents (other than programs), and it allows all sorts of flexibility for handling revisions. I'm sure there are other tools as well. It also might be possible to combine more than one tool - do fine grain in git and then put the changes back into flare as one change, etc.