1,787 reputation
1312
bio website boredwithchurch.info
location South East England
age 51
visits member for 2 years, 7 months
seen Feb 17 at 14:26

25+ years in software development.

6 years on an HCI PhD.

20+ years married.

19 years a parent.

I can cope with anything.

Check out my short story


Jun
22
comment How do you determine if a plot device is too coincidental?
NO - this is how I identify whether events are random, or whether I can and have - for the reader - traced the causes through. My question is, at the point of this event, does the reader know why they have got there? If not, it is a co-incidence. I need to make sure that over the story as a whole, the co-incidence is explained.
Jun
22
comment Does my story beginning hook the reader? (dialogue + narration)?
@M.Na'el - actually I agree with this. Ruth may have said "a four three they said". And she probably said "nine-ish" as well, harder to use numbers for that.
Jun
20
comment Does my story beginning hook the reader? (dialogue + narration)?
Always remember that in normal speech, there is a lot of unspoken context, and a lot of abbreviation, and it doesn't make complete sense. If you can get that down, the reader will have to interpret the rest of the story to understand it.
Jun
18
comment A tricky serial semi-colon
@justkt - I think it falls between the two somewhat. It is about the appropriate way of writing this - a writing style question - while the focus is on a punctuation mark - a punctuation question. If we treat it as writing style "how can I show this list correctly and clearly", not what the rules strictly say, it works better here. For an answer about "what do the rules say we should do", EL&U would be better
Jun
18
comment My first act is lengthy. And I cannot shorten it. Any Suggestions?
And, as another example, Stephen Lawheads Byzantium (I think) was a bit of a slog, and a build up until the very last page. An awesome conclusion, but a long way to get there. Use the rules as a guide.
Jun
13
comment Is it possible that my short novel will be boring to my readers because it only has two characters and the location doesn't change?
"Waiting for Godot" has 2 characters, one scene, and very little action. It is also an exceptionally good play. It can be done, and can be phenomenal when it works.
Jun
13
comment How to improve the ending of this short story (final scene + flashback)
The problem is, I have tried to answer one of the questions. But the other two would require a lot more, and would make a single answer very long and disconnected. The questions are OK, but maybe making one question the main one, and the others subsiduary ones, for comment, would improve it. Or the flashbacks question could be entirely separate.
May
31
comment Will science fiction as a genre ever go the way of the western?
While people still wonder what if? I think there will be a place for some form of SF. As @sjl says, sub-genres (like the western in terms of historical novels) will change, but some forms of these will remain. When we stop asking what if? then the human race will be dead.
May
30
comment In a “learn to do X” book, should a section review come before the quiz / exercises or after?
+2 for the "don't hide" comment and the "Oh no, not another c# book". Unfortunately ( or not ) I can only vote up once.
May
30
comment What are “industry leading royalties”?
It probably means they are going to rip you off.
May
29
comment How can I deal with an overload of writing projects?
@Zolani13 Hope it helps. It would be very helpful to others if you could let us know how it goes.
May
26
comment Does this writing create emotion in the reader?
@Aerovistae But the point is that it often seems like the pits of Hell when you have just woken up. that is my point. Anyhow, it was not intended as finished idea, just a concept to pursue.
May
24
comment Is the opening of this story intriguing, “dark” and smooth?
Without doubt, trying to write in a non-native language is worthy of serious kudos. I have enough trouble in my native language.
May
24
comment Ways for main character to influence world following their death
@LaurenIpsum If I had been drinking coffee, I would have spat it over my screen. Says a follower of such a religion.
May
23
comment Ways for main character to influence world following their death
Having seen your responses to comments, and the IF mode you are looking for, option 2 would be my choice, where information or suggestions are left by the character, which can then be found as required (or not, if the reader makes bad decisions)
May
22
comment Using today's moral compass in fantasy
I suppose that this works if the focus of the story is the moral interaction. I read the OP as wanting to know how to interact with a morally depraved society (by modern standards) without this being the focus of the story. But a +1 for the importance of proper research into historical novels.
May
22
comment What are the legal implications and best practices for publishing screenshots of web sites in a book?
Cool. Of course, if anyone does refuse you permission to use a screenshot, that does not stop you mentioning the fact that they have done this (or at least that some places are clearly embarrassed by their live web site failings). That tells you a lot as well.
May
20
comment Self publishing: Do I still need to follow the arbitrary word count limits?
I think you need to price it appropriately - maybe slightly lower than a similar but longer novel. But it has to be your own strategy. If you think you can sell your book for £243, then do so. The problem of self-publishing is that you have to make these decisions for yourself. And live with the consequences.
May
18
comment Can you change a punctuation mark when referencing a passage from a text?
You would do better to quote in full, and then paraphrase if you need to bring out a specific interpretation. Then again, you might be able to use "to paraphrase Estragon ....", making it clear that you are reworking the passage.
May
11
comment How can you write less to say more?
One difference is that poor technical writing you sometimes have to read, to do your job. Poor fiction or non-fiction you can just chuck, usually.