4,281 reputation
112
bio website johansens.us
location Michigan
age
visits member for 1 year, 8 months
seen Aug 7 at 20:10

Aug
6
comment How could a criminal forget a crime?
I recall Watson warning Holmes about the dangers of drug abuse, but I forget the details. Been a while since I've read those stories.
Aug
6
awarded  Revival
Aug
5
comment How could a criminal forget a crime?
(Shrug) Not a question that will lead me to challenge you to a duel to the death. It seems to me that a brilliant detective would value his mind highly, and would want to keep it clear and functioning at peak efficiency. Hallucinogenic drugs would seem like the sort of thing a brilliant detective would have no desire to use. I suppose you could make a case that "a mind forever wandering" would try such drugs out of curiosity, but that's not how I recall it presented in the stories. Of course one must also consider that cocaine and heroin use were viewed differently back then. Whatever.
Aug
5
comment How could a criminal forget a crime?
Sure. And I thought it seemed out of character. Of course Holmes was supposed to be .. quirky.
Aug
5
answered How could a criminal forget a crime?
Aug
5
comment How could a criminal forget a crime?
Whether anyone really has committed a murder while sleep-walking, the idea doesn't seem obviously, blatantly impossible. By definition, fiction is not limited to things that you can prove really happened -- that's called "non-fiction". I'm pretty sure that no one has ever actually travelled to the planet Vulcan or survived a total nuclear war, but that doesn't mean you can't include such things in a fiction story.
Aug
4
answered Writing succintly. Does it matter?
Aug
4
comment How should changing the point of view be handled?
Don't rely on subtle clues, like, "Oh, the reader should realize that we're now talking from Sally's point of view because I'm talking about colors and Sally always pays attention to color." Make it 100% clear: Use the character's name or some other blatant identifier.
Aug
4
comment How should changing the point of view be handled?
I agree. Just be sure that the change in POV is clear. I think that in general the first sentence of each chapter should establish whose eyes we're seeing through. I've read stories where I was three pages in to a chapter before I finally realized, "Oh, this chapter is back in London, now I get it", or "Oh, this is a flashback", etc.
Aug
4
answered Handling an Inauthentic Character
Aug
1
answered Is it legal to use a parental advisory on a book?
Jul
25
comment Is writing even profitable
... for the past 30 years put together.
Jul
25
comment Is writing even profitable
I've published a handful of magazine articles and two books. My income from this has been small, but expenses are small too, so sure, I've made a profit. But if my goal was just to make money, I can confidently say that the opportunity cost was huge. I could have done much better by getting a part-time job at McDonalds and earning minimum wage for those hours. Never mind that I have on occasion done computer consulting work, which pays WAY better than writing. I'd have to add up the numbers, but I probably made more with one day of computer consulting than with all the writing I've done ...
Jul
24
comment How far does libel extend in writing?
... lawyers would still jump on you, but much less likely, and hard to see how they'd win. Making statements about a real person that don't involve illegal or scandalous behavior would make you a much smaller target. But anything you say COULD make someone mad enough to sue. Like I don't know, without researching the life of Mr Tebow, maybe he's a vegetarian and would object to being described as eating chicken. Or maybe he once publicly said that he hates chicken and would perceive your statement as saying he's a liar. Who knows?
Jul
24
comment How far does libel extend in writing?
IANAL, but as I understand libel law, if you say that a person did something illegal, that is "libel per se", automatically libelous if not true. If you say other things about a person, then they have to demonstrate harm. So if you said, "Tom Tebow was shooting up heroin in the bathroom", that's a crime, and so he'd have grounds for libel. But if you said, "Tom Tebow ate a chicken sandwich", that's not a crime. It's hard to see how the idea that he might eat chicken sandwiches could hurt Mr Tebow's reputation or cost him money. He wouldn't have much grounds for a suit. It's possible his ...
Jul
23
answered How far does libel extend in writing?
Jul
14
comment Managing genre and rating for a story
If users can add their own tags, I don't see how the problem can be solved without some major advance in computer technology. It requires the computer to understand the meaning in context of ANY possible word a user might type in. On top of that, there are endless value judgments. Like in your example, you say that "Children" and "Horror" can't go together. But what about the "Are you afraid of the dark?" series? And there's plenty of erotica targeted to teens. Maybe you don't approve of it and don't want it on your site, but it's certainly not inconceivable. Etc.
Jul
14
comment How do I distinguish what makes a masterpiece?
If the point of your question is, "How can I tell whether a book is boring or interesting?", why do you care about others' opinions? If you like the book, great; if not, too bad. If your question is, "How can I win a Nobel literature prize?", the only answer is, "write something that the Noble prize committee likes". If there was a formula, everybody would be doing it.
Jul
14
comment How do I distinguish what makes a masterpiece?
There are lots of books that all the teachers and English professors declare are great literature and that I find boring. I read once -- wish I could give the writer credit -- "The funny thing about Shakespeare is that all the professors and literary critics are always saying how great his writing is, but when you actually read it, it really is great."
Jul
14
answered How to show characters learning something in a non-boring way?