Reputation
5,463
Next tag badge:
49/100 score
28/20 answers
Badges
2 14
Newest
 fiction
Impact
~152k people reached

  • 0 posts edited
  • 0 helpful flags
  • 169 votes cast
Apr
15
comment Using a foreign language that uses a different written alphabet
I see you say that it's just two words. But I'd add that including a lot of text in a foreign language -- whether given in the original alphabet or transliterated -- just makes it harder for the reader who does not know that language to follow the story. I've seen this done at times, someone has a French character regularly making statements in French or whatever -- and as I don't speak French it's just annoying. I'm missing chunks of the story. For an exclamation, it's probably obvious in context it's an exclamation, that's probably all the reader needs to know.
Apr
14
comment How to write romance without falling into cliché?
... robot that looks like the most beautiful women I've ever seen but because she's a robot, she's do exactly what I want! I bet lots of men find that an appealing fantasy. A romance with a robot that looks like a person of the opposite sex can appeal to many. A romance with a robot that looks like a metal box ... I doubt it would have much appeal. To some, sure. But not to many. Note that stories of romance with aliens just about always involve aliens that look just like people except for the pointy ears or blue skin or whatever, not tentacled monsters.
Apr
14
comment How to write romance without falling into cliché?
I'll have to look for some actual statistics. RE in love with a robot: I didn't say that people can't relate to a romance where those involved are not exactly like them. The question is how the reader views it. I've never said, "I can't relate because the hero is short and I'm tall" or "because the heroine is black and I've never had a black girlfriend". But there is very little fiction about romances between people and animals, because most people find that idea distasteful. People and robots is, I think, mixed. Some find the idea distasteful, some find it appealing -- like, yeah, a ...
Apr
14
answered How to write romance without falling into cliché?
Apr
14
comment How to write romance without falling into cliché?
Side note: I don't think "boy meets boy" "inspires some of the most popular fiction". It is now an established sub-genre. Few heterosexuals are interested in reading about homosexual romances. Most find them somewhere between grossly immoral and unpleasant. Even those who find them totally unobjectionable don't relate to them.
Apr
10
comment How political can an author's note be, would the following fly?
It's not clear what your question is. An author's note attached to what? A political essay? A novel set in South Africa and about politics? A novel set in South Africa and having nothing to do with politics? A novel having nothing to do with South Africa? A recipe for lasagna on a cooking website? Etc. Whether a political comment is appropriate depends, I would think, very much on the context.
Apr
9
comment Using expletives in an essay
Here's an example where it's apparently done for humorous effect: al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/01/…
Apr
9
comment Using expletives in an essay
Frankly I'd just use a different quote: the nature of the quote is that it is crude, and yeah, you could clean it up, but why? Without having seen the rest of your essay I can't say if this quote is so tellingly relevant that you really don't want to give it up, or if you just thought it was clever and it fits. "Crap" is not an obscenity but is also crude and, I don't think, appropriate for an academic paper. If you really like this quote for whatever reason, a solution sometimes used is to replace the vulgar word with "[expletive deleted]", in brackets like that, or some use parentheses....
Apr
9
answered Using expletives in an essay
Apr
9
comment Filter Words in Dialog
@sf Yes. I've occasionally read a story or seen a movie that took one joke that was indeed funny ... and then stretched it out to 250 pages, so there was either 249 pages of build-up to a one-line joke, or a one-line joke repeated 250 times. Either way, the humor value is pretty much lost.
Apr
9
comment A grand scheme or destiny in literature
Well, I'd think the fact that it is debated means that there are elements that appear to be random and elements that appear to have purpose. If it was unquestionably one or the other, it wouldn't be debated. Of course people may see patterns to events that are really random, because our minds try to seek out a pattern. Or people may think that events are random when they really have a purpose, because they don't have the perspective to see the big picture. The latter being, by the way, an element in many fiction stories: at the end the writer ties many seemingly random events together.
Apr
8
answered What exactly is “fair comment?”
Apr
8
comment What exactly is “fair comment?”
... would agree that a game where sometimes the umpire said it was worth 3 points and other times it was worth 4 points would make for a very unfair and confusing game. Even if you believed that the game would be better if it was 4 points, you probably would prefer it to be 3 than for it to be up to the umpire's whim at the moment. Of course courts are not 100% consistent. Sometimes a judge thinks a precedent is misguided enough that he tries to establish a contrary precedent. Etc.
Apr
8
comment What exactly is “fair comment?”
@what Hmm, I think that overstates the case a bit. In the U.S. and U.K., anyway, courts try very hard to be consistent. That is why they talk so much about "precedent". If another judge in a similar case ruled a certain way, the judge tries to lean toward giving a similar ruling. The idea is that often consistency and predictability is more important than the details of what would make a good rule. Like, suppose someone said that he thought football would be improved if field goals were worth 4 points instead of 3. I'm sure people could give good arguments either way. But I think most ...
Apr
8
comment A grand scheme or destiny in literature
BTW whether real life is a series of random events or if it has an ultimate purpose is, of course, a profound philosophical/religious question that people have been debating for millennia.
Apr
8
comment A grand scheme or destiny in literature
... things happen that don't lead anywhere. Such stories tend to not be the avante garde thrilling experiments their authors intend, but rather to simply be boring, because ... things happen that don't lead anywhere.
Apr
8
comment A grand scheme or destiny in literature
I think a better example might be a story in which a husband tries to save his wife from a kidnapper and then on the way he gets low on gas so he stops to refill the tank and while he's at the convenience store he buys a candy bar and then he gets back in the car to continue chasing the kidnapper and ... the bit about stopping for gas never comes up again and has no relevance to how the story ends. We expect everything in a story to be relevant to the plot, or a deliberate red herring. Now and then somebody gets the idea that he will right a more "realistic" story where all sorts of random ...
Apr
8
answered Filter Words in Dialog
Apr
8
comment The extent of obscure references
RE the Harry Potter comment: Yes. A fallacy that I see all the time is the assumption that because I and all my friends think this way or do this thing, that that means that everybody does. Don't assume that everyone in the world knows the lyrics to your favorite pop song, or shares your political beliefs, etc. Than given that, you have to decide how broad or narrow an audience you want to appeal to. And neither a broad nor a narrow audience is necessarily "better", any more than it's meaningful to argue whether a novel is "better" than a poem.
Apr
8
answered The extent of obscure references