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Apr
29
comment Do I risk losing reader if I put too many religious/anti-religious views?
@ghoppe I do agree that this is not the right place for an in-depth discussion of these issues. That may be the only point we agree on. :-) This thread started with me trying to address a grammar issue -- the etymology, use, and meaning of the word "Christianism" -- and we got off track.
Apr
29
comment Multiple POV novel - introducing rules of magic
@PaulA.Clayton Oh, sorry, the way your post was worded I just jumped to the conclusion that you were the OP, didn't think to check. Rather than edit my post, let me just leave this comment to say, Please interpret in light of this clarification.
Apr
29
comment Multiple POV novel - introducing rules of magic
... different perspectives, who all the groups are in the context of your story, etc. I think you have at that point pretty much forced yourself to explain the different perspectives on the rules as each new character narrator is introduced. Maybe you could have a statement of the rules once at the beginning, and then as each character is introduced he discusses his perspective or interpretation. That could actually be an interesting premise -- like Roshomon or Hoodwinked, if you are familiar with those.
Apr
29
comment Multiple POV novel - introducing rules of magic
Okay, that's a significant clarification to your question. You might add something about that to the question. But all that said, it sounds like you CAN'T just give the rules once up front. Unless you have a long list of "here are the rules from the perspective of a necromancer, now here are the rules from the perspective of a witch, now here are the rules from the perspective of a sorcerer", etc. That sounds like it would be REALLY tedious, especially as at that point you wouldn't have introduced any of the characters yet, so you'd also have to be explaining just why they all have ...
Apr
29
comment Does copyright law let me publish my detailed notes of someone else's speech?
If you think about it, what you are asking is what reporters do every day. They attend a speech by a politician or a celebrity and then write a news story reporting what the speaker said. I've never heard of someone suing a reporter for copyright violation for reporting on a speech. Maybe for libel if they radically misquote the speech, but not copyright violation.
Apr
29
comment Does copyright law let me publish my detailed notes of someone else's speech?
I don't have a long list of relevant court cases off the top of my head so I can't cite a specific precedent on that, but this isn't an idea I just made up -- I don't claim any copyright on it! -- you can find this in many discussions of copyright.
Apr
29
comment Does copyright law let me publish my detailed notes of someone else's speech?
@ochado Okay, maybe that particular court case wasn't the best example. But the same principle applies: an idea is not protected by copyright, just the words used to express that idea. If someone writes an editorial in which he says that he thinks the U.S. should send military aid to Ukraine (just to pick something at random), he has a copyright in the specific words he used. But he does not have a copyright in the idea of sending military aid to Ukraine. He can't sue everyone else who suggests aiding Ukraine for copyright violation, as long as they do not use the same words.
Apr
28
comment Structuring and audience in non-fiction
I think a book SHOULD be linearly dependent. But unfortunately reality may not be.
Apr
27
comment online database of clever phrases
@tave Read Shakespeare's plays: They're full of clichés. It's amazing how that man took all those clichés and managed to string them together to make a coherent story.
Apr
27
comment Ethics of incorporating a supplier's technical documentation into one's own documentation?
Yes. If S's documentation comes with a licensing agreement that allows such re-use, than of course it's fine. If you contact them and they give you permission, it's fine. Otherwise, this is not just unethical but totally illegal and S could drag M to court. Citing a source is protection against charges of plagiarism, but NOT against copyright violation. The law views copyright violation as a form of stealing. You can't defend yourself from a theft charge by saying, "But I wrote the name of the person I stole the car from on the bumper!"
Apr
27
comment How to convey newlines in tweeted poetry, if at all?
Hmm, I've seen it done with and without spaces. I have no idea which is more common. It probably is more readable with spaces.
Apr
27
comment How to convey newlines in tweeted poetry, if at all?
It's only "subjective" if there is no established convention and people start discussing what they think the convention ought to be. I don't think it's appropriate to close a question when the close criteria only apply if the answer is "no".
Apr
27
comment Does copyright law let me publish my detailed notes of someone else's speech?
... listing names in alphabetical order is so obvious that it cannot be copyrighted.
Apr
27
comment Does copyright law let me publish my detailed notes of someone else's speech?
The "threshold of originality" criteria does NOT mean that you cannot retell someone else's story in your own words. What it means is that you cannot copyright words that are so close to a bare statement of facts that anyone relating those facts would almost have to use the same words. There was a big case on this a few years back where the court ruled that a telephone company cannot copyright a phone book. A person's name and telephone number are bare facts and you cannot copyright facts. The court then said that while a particular arrangement of facts can be copyrighted, the idea of ...
Apr
27
comment What's the best text editor for a technical reference manual?
I don't know anything about BBEdit. But Notepad++ is not a good choice for writing a book or article. I use it every day to edit programs and HTML pages, but it has no features to lay out pages, insert images, use alternate styles for different blocks of text, etc. Notepad++ is a programmer's editor, not a word processing product.
Apr
27
comment Do I risk losing reader if I put too many religious/anti-religious views?
@ghoppe (a) "Forced to participate in gay marriage": Surely you have heard of bakers and photographers being sued and in some cases run out of business because they did not want to participate in a gay marriage. (b) I didn't mean that choice of lightbulbs etc was a religious issue, just that liberals have created all sorts of laws regulating all sorts of behavior. (c) RE "access to a safe abortion" Yes, slave owners were outraged when Northerners denied them access to cheap slaves by putting restrictions on the slave trade.
Apr
23
comment How can a specific (current) event be made timeless?
... that the reader's own opinions about politics, power, justice, friendship and so on can decidedly color how they interpret the characters. Points for Shakespeare.
Apr
23
comment How can a specific (current) event be made timeless?
Fascinating. I've always seen Caesar as the villain and Brutus as the hero. Caesar is a demagogue trying to destroy a free society and turn it into a dictatorship with himself at the head, and Brutus is his friend who loves the man but hates what he is doing to the nation. "If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his. If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: --Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more." Apparently Shakespeare made both men real enough ...
Apr
23
comment Should I use ellipses in narration?
One small quibble: I think a "dramatic pause" ellipsis is perfectly valid in non-fiction, at least in non-fiction where presentation of opinion is appropriate. For example, I wouldn't be surprised to see a political editorial that concluded, "In this dispute, Senator Jones has clearly shown honesty and integrity. Senator Brown ... has not." In a sense this follows the rule about "narrative": such an editorial would be understood to be the narrative of the writer, and not a purely objective report of events.
Apr
17
comment How to name the characters of your story?
Yes. If the characters from the Rothnule race are named Chip, Lar, Blum, and Arbumorpholomerillion -- that screams for an explanation. And it's not just length. How about Chip, Lar, Blum, and Xzyrg?