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bio website naught101.org
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Aug
1
comment How does one write a character smarter than oneself?
done: writers.stackexchange.com/questions/8538/…
Aug
1
comment How does one write a character smarter than oneself?
@LaurenIpsum: Er.. I think that would be making someone not funny. I should probably just ask the question...
Aug
1
comment How does one write a character smarter than oneself?
True. I come from a science and maths background, so you can limit the domain of my comment to those fields, if you like :) That said, academese is a widely recognised phenomenon, in most academic disciplines.
Aug
1
comment Is it worth switching to Dvorak?
Did you stick with it?
Aug
1
comment How does one write a character smarter than oneself?
Lots of smart people are terrible writers. Just read nearly any academic paper :)
Aug
1
comment How does one write a character smarter than oneself?
I would say even more difficult than making a character smart is making a character funny. Making someone smart could be as easy as giving them a good background and inside knowledge on the plot. I don't think you can make someone funny without showing it though. Is there a question for that yet?
Aug
1
comment Do most novels not get published?
It would probably be more true to say that the novels that are published are generally toward the top of the heap in terms of quality. There's tonnes that aren't anywhere near the top, and there are probably tens or hundreds of thousands of extremely high quality novels that will never be published.
Aug
1
comment How does one deal with world builder's syndrome?
@HNL: Like this? xkcd.com/657
Aug
1
comment Should I avoid modern words/phrases in fantasy writing?
@patrick: the line is fairly simple, to me: if it's part of what's actually happening, then you shouldn't use it. If it's part of the description of what's happening, then it's ok. In the question "rocketing" is just a verb that resonates in the right way ("moving fast") with the reader (presuming the reader is familiar with a society that might use that verb, which >95% of native english readers are), it's not anything to do with a rocket. Tamale and sushimi would be jarring, but then you wouldn't use them to describe something else, would you?
Aug
1
comment How to overcome the fact that I can't write?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
Aug
1
comment Is the following analogy effective and clear?
First sentence is spot on. The analogy could perhaps be softened, in some way, for example by using multiple insects (less specific than a moth), and emphasising the fleeting nature of the shadows. Or something.
Nov
21
comment Royalties - how to calculate author's take from the end-price?
Kate: could you clarify in the answer how much you would expect for ranges of net and list royalty percentages?
Oct
1
comment Tools for exploring and analysing document structure?
edited question to make it clearer that non-software visualisations are also welcome.
Oct
1
comment Is it okay to call the reader's target audience stupid?
If you do decide to call your audience's users stupid, you could do it much more compassionately: your users probably aren't stupid, but sometimes it helps to assume they are. I still disagree with this sentence though. I think it's far more important and useful to just emphasise the other point you mention: users do not think the way developers do.
Aug
23
comment How do I escape my own experience?
Thanks @NeilFein. I work on that one a bit :)
Aug
23
comment How do I escape my own experience?
It's surprising how well the imp works :D
Aug
23
comment How do I escape my own experience?
True. Now that you mention it, I've actually been writing for my supervisor/examiners - who I've been assuming know more than me. Good tip!
Aug
22
comment Are complex sentences uncommon or unwanted in English?
The only reason the last sentence in this answer is so readable is that it's just two shortish sentences, joined by 'and'.
Aug
22
comment Are complex sentences uncommon or unwanted in English?
"The proverbial German phenomenon of the verb-at-the-end about which droll tales of absentminded professors who would begin a sentence, ramble on for an entire lecture, and then finish up by rattling off a string of verbs by which their audience, for whom the stack had long since lost its coherence, would be totally nonplussed, are told, is an excellent example of linguistic recursion." - Douglas Hofstaeder, Goedel, Escher and Bach
Aug
22
comment Is this sentence ambiguous?
The ambiguity in the sentence is cool. But it could do with some punctuation, and "wanted to search for" is a bit odd (if you wanted to go looking for something, then why didn't you?). Maybe leave off "to search for", or make it "...the present we were searching for"?