1,582 reputation
427
bio website jedoliver.com
location Chico, CA
age 37
visits member for 2 years, 7 months
seen Sep 6 at 22:36

I live in California. I write. I game. I cook. And I'm a Dad.

I'm a journalist by trade, and I've worked for one of the the local papers and a now defunct business journal. I've also worked as a typesetter, a graphic artist and was the production manager for an international trade magazine, so I have a pretty good grasp of the printing industry.

In 2007, I quit my job to be a stay-at-home-father. One thing that I promised myself when I made that decision is that I would use my down time to start writing again. Five years and three kids later, and it looks like I can finally fulfill that promise.

Other "accomplishments" of mine:

  • In Kindergarten I wrote a sentence about raccoons that used the words 'nocturnal' and 'diurnal' correctly without any help from anyone.

  • In the fourth grade, I wrote Doctor Who fan fiction.

  • In the eighth grade, I got published for the first time. My short story "The Day the Earth was Disintegrated" was published by The National Junior High School Writer. I got extra credit in my English class and that Friday the whole class got pizza. Somewhat ironically, the only pizza they bought was 'supreme', which I detest, and therefore did not have any pizza.

  • In high school I was the senior editor of the school paper and the yearbook chief.

  • In college I was the first (and perhaps only) student who, as my major changed, went from the Business Manager of the school newspaper, to the Art Director to the Senior Editor.

  • During the 2008 presidential campaign, my observations were frequently read on air during "The Cafferty File" on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer".

  • To Be Determined


Jun
28
comment Need Help Understanding the Meaning of Certain Topics in a Writing Contest
@NeilFein Out of curiosity I found the contest. It is for the Oxford University Press's 2014 Karachi Literature Festival and it is for 2,000-word short stories written by Pakistanis in English. It's a facebook page and there isn't a lot of information there but there is a comments section where questions are being answered by the sponsors.
Jun
10
comment Free stock photos for ebook cover
The use of stock photos for cover design, IMHO, is more on-topic at GraphicDesign.SE. While questions asking for lists of resources are generally off-topic, questions on where to find free/low-cost stock images and the copyright implications of using derivatives (i.e. manipulations) of those images have been asked and answered there.
May
14
comment How many words in 350 pages typed and double spaced?
@JSBձոգչ While it is true that most first works probably shouldn't be too much north of 100k in the traditional publishing world, I have also heard tales of first epic fantasy novels that clocked in at 200k and no one batted an eye. At any rate the question is "How long should an epic first novel be?" and not "How long should an epic first novel be and still get published?"
May
13
comment How many words in 350 pages typed and double spaced?
My understanding is that there is no industry standard definition of an 'epic' novel, but IMHO it's going to be several hundred thousand words, especially for an epic fantasy novel. 100,000 words is a good round number but that's only about as long as Huckleberry Finn. Compare that to epic fantasy novels and series such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy which clocks in at about 450,000 or your average Game of Thrones book which is about 350,000. Even Harry Potter clocks in at just over 1 million words for the series or about 150k per book with Order of the Phoenix the longest at 257k.
May
13
comment How many words in 350 pages typed and double spaced?
If it's 12-pt Courier double spaced with 1-inch margins (standard manuscript format)‌​, then it's about 250 words per page. Doing maths that comes out to about 87,500 words, which is a good length but hardly 'epic'. That's a little longer than Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (84,799 words) and a little less than The Hobbit (95,022 words) and 1984 (88,942). Source
May
6
comment Does writing in a certain mood change how a writer writes?
Related: CogSci.stackexchange.com, a beta site where (according to the faq) "If you have questions about ... Cognitive science, Psychology (e.g., cognitive, social, developmental, biological, applied, clinical, organizational, etc.), Psychiatry, Neuroscience and neurobiology ... then you're in the right place to ask your question." And while I believe that cross-posts are discouraged, if this particular question does not get the kind of answer you're looking for, you might want to consider asking it over there.
May
2
comment How to come up with a good title?
@NeilFein while this question is subjective, I believe that it falls into "good" subjective as opposed to "bad" subjective as posited in this old chestnut. The answers are likely to have long answers that have been thought out, based on experience, backed up with references, and constructed in a fair and impartial tone. In fact I believe that making it too much more specific would actually diminish its quality and usefulness significantly; it's the slight vagueness that allows it to be applied to a variety of cases.
Apr
19
comment How do I create a book on iBookstore without having a Mac?
Hi @porton. I have edited this question to better fit our guidelines - Questions in writers.SE are expected to be about writing, after all. Please feel free to rollback or change these edits if you don't agree with them.
Apr
19
comment How do I create a book on iBookstore without having a Mac?
I read that as Mac only too. If that's true that's gonna cost me 10% of ebooks market share when I go to publish. Hmm. I wonder if I can get a cheap iMac off craigslist/ebay? -OR- maybe I can just use that cash to focus on the other 90% of the market that DON'T force me to use a specific machine to upload my stuff to them. A move like that makes sense for developing apps when you're the 600-lb gorilla. Dumb when you're the roaring mouse. Focus on Amazon/B&N/Google/Kobo instead. Don't bother working with those who don't want your business if you don't use their stuff.
Apr
9
comment 1st person story, but the main character will die in the end and some of the story needs to be told after his death. How to solve this problem?
I've seen #1 effectively used in a video game, actually. The main character dies protecting his family at the end of the final mission (well, the next to final mission) and the game is finished by playing as his son five years in the future for the epilogue/resolution/revenge chapter, plus any unfinished "side mission" business you may have left outstanding. (Which made that part kind of odd, really - "Hey, you know that broken wagon you asked my dad to fix for you like 5 years ago? Well, I got you covered. Hope you didn't mind waiting by the side of the road in the desert all that time.)
Mar
13
comment singular or plural for index entries
In that case I may need more information. Which manual of style are you using? Chicago? MLA? CSE? Turabian? I know CMoS has an extensive set of guidelines for proper and preferred formatting for indexes. Whether or not they cover plurals, I don't know. Of course, that will only help you in Chicago style - but it is a comprehensive style guide for indexes (the plural of the word meaning alphabetical list, and not the word indicative of numerical expressions, which is still indices).
Mar
13
comment singular or plural for index entries
Why not just: Markov chain(s): 20, 30... [or alternatively Markov chain (s): 20, 30... - note the space before the (s)]
Mar
11
comment How to use parentheses
Related: Do parentheses inhibit clarity? writers.stackexchange.com/questions/5654/…
Feb
24
comment How to Create Barcode from ISBN Number
Please clarify: Do you need to now how to generate ISBN barcodes in order to use them on books you intend to have published OR do you need to generate the barcodes and then find an economical way to apply them to a certain number of already published physical books?
Jun
6
comment What purpose does it serve to obscure the title of a TV show?
It is not a literary device; it is an artifact of the electronic version you're reading. It is likely a poorly OCR'ed scanned version. The original version of the books uses the original MAS*H, available to see at the Amazon preview on page 18, here: amazon.com/Perks-Being-Wallflower-Stephen-Chbosky/dp/0671027344/….
Jun
3
comment How do I determine if a paper has been plagiarized?
@Standback I vote for "on topic". A proper answer could provide advice on avoiding "accidental" or otherwise unintentional or misconceived plagiarism (improperly citing a source or using a phrase that appears in another written work. And as a professor (if the OP is indeed a professor), one of his jobs is critiquing the writings of others, and part of that critique is ensuring the proper use of citations and ensuring that all uncited written work is original content.
May
28
comment Citing the same source several times
In MLA, my understanding is that you cite the name and abbreviated title ... [Microsoft blah blah blah blah blah ("2010 paper name"). In addition, Microsoft more blah blah blah ("2010 other paper name").] OR [Blah blah blah blah blah (Microsoft, "2010 paper name"). In addition, more blah blah blah (Microsoft, "2010 other paper name").]
May
25
comment How to leverage social proof?
+1 for the "fetch me a bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza" reference. Also for being helpful and correct.
May
20
comment Self publishing: Do I still need to follow the arbitrary word count limits?
I thought about adding a blurb about charging less for a shorter work but then I realized that implied that length and not quality of content should be the driving force behind price. And while I know the feeling of being shortchanged by an overpriced and remarkably short e-book and a self-published novel, I still think that readers are more interested in the quality of the ride than how long it is. I'd much rather pay more for 40,000 words of awesome than 60,000 of dreck. Provide a good enough story and you can charge what you like; to charge less implies your work isn't as good.
May
18
comment What is the proper way to add Creative Commons licensing information to a book?
Village, could you please confirm that the work you source is in fact under a CC-BY-SA license and not under one of the NC or ND designations? (There are different types of CC licenses which have different rules on use. The link you provide is for a CC-BY-SA which is one of the least restrictive and I'd just like to verify that before answering.)