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Jun
29
comment technical subjects - non-fiction vs fiction
Ditto. I had a textbook for a computer science class in college once that had a bunch of little "Sally gets her first job as a software developer" stories. They were mind-bogglingly stupid. Full of "Oh, Sally said, as a software developer I get to meet so many interesting people!" sort of lines. At the time I thought to myself, What, is the author of this textbook a frustrated novelist? Maybe there are textbook writers out there who do something like this well, and the stories really add to the book. But I don't recall seeing one.
Jun
29
comment How do you get paid for getting your book published?
As I understand it, usually a writer contacts a publisher with a proposal for a book, and if the publisher is interested they'll contact the writer to actually write the book. But I was once contacted by a publisher who asked if I would be interested in writing a book that they wanted written. I guess they thought I was competent to write it based on things I had written in the past. I presume that happens more often with people who are actually well-known authors.
Jun
29
comment How do you get paid for getting your book published?
It is rare for POD books to be sold in bookstores, but it happens. The writer gets a much smaller royalty because the middle-man has to get a cut, and POD books are usually non-returnable. One of my POD books sells a few copies per year in a bookstore.
Jun
25
comment Should I completely eliminate passive voice
Yes. Just because there are lots of times when X is bad, doesn't mean that it's ALWAYS bad. IN GENERAL you shouldn't poke someone in the eye. But my eye doctor pokes me in the eye with some fancy gadget every time I visit him as part of the examination for a medical condition I have. It is rarely wise to take "always" and "never" rules literally.
Jun
17
comment Is there a format I can save my poems in that will make the publisher unable to copy and paste?
You have LEGAL protection. Anything you write is automatically protected by copyright, and if someone steals your work you can sue them.
Jun
17
comment How to properly cite a source in your footnotes?
Ah. Quotes like that, well, I haven't done a study, but I think they tend to use a very abbreviated citation immediately after the quote. Like, "No state would remain stable if its citizens believed they ought to cease from all exertion except feastings and drinkings and the vigorous pursuits of their amours. -- Plato, Epistle VII." Usually quotes like that don't include a page number or publisher, etc, just author and title. You certainly could give a full, formal footnote, but it's not normally expected.
Jun
16
comment Punctuation-Quote or Quote-Punctuation?
I'm an American, but whenever it's up to me, i.e. I don't have an editor imposing a style, I use British style, because I think it just makes more sense and is easier to read. (Let me emphasize that this is not an endorsement of Limey culture in general, just this one particular convention. :-)
Jun
8
comment online database of clever phrases
What do you mean, then, when you say that you are looking for "clever phrases", but not "clever quotes"? If someone said or wrote a phrase or sentence, and it's clever, we call it a "quote". Or are you thinking perhaps of phrases too short to be considered a quote, just brief figures of speech or idioms?
May
19
comment What “formats” are there for eBooks?
Hmm, that web page is debatable. What is the definition of "e-book format"? I don't think most people would call an MS Word doc file or a plain text file an "e-book format". The author of that page seems to consider any format that can be used to store text on a computer an "e-book format".
May
18
comment How do I cite an unnamed lecture that took place somewhere in Dade County and was published on YouTube?
... PhD for publication in a scholarly journal must meet more rigorous standards than a paper by a high school student.
May
18
comment How do I cite an unnamed lecture that took place somewhere in Dade County and was published on YouTube?
... In a case like this, a serious researcher would try to find the original source. It's always better to get the original source when possible, because this let's you verify that the quote is not fabricated or taken out of context. (Easier, of course, to alter or fake a printed quote than a video, but a video clip can certainly be out of context, or altered or completely staged.) But if you can't do that -- maybe because the original source no longer exists, or you are unable to track it down -- it is certainly acceptable in scholarly circles to say "as quoted in". Also, a paper by a ...
May
18
comment How do I cite an unnamed lecture that took place somewhere in Dade County and was published on YouTube?
Well, it's an overstatement to say that "YouTube is not a citable source". I made my post above without watching the video -- I was thinking the OP meant that this was a video taken of a contemporary lecture and posted on YouTube, in which case citing YouTube would be fine. If I used a quote from a speech that I found in the New York Times, I would cite the New York Times as the source. If I was quoting from a speech that I saw on CNN, I would cite CNN. The speech here presumably pre-dates YouTube and there is no indication where the footage came from. (Unless I missed something.) Etc. ...
May
15
comment What exactly is the “five (consecutive) word” plagiarism rule?
RE changing one or two words: Yes. If you said "My nation, right or wrong" and presented that as an original quote, I don't think you'd get away with it. But change enough words and at some point you cross the line out of plagiarism. Like I doubt you'd get in trouble for, "I love my nation, even though it has flaws."
May
15
comment How fast do traditionally-published books sell after they have been published?
I don't have any statistics, but it must surely vary between books. I bet many more copies of the Iliad were sold in 2014 than were sold the year it was published. A textbook publisher once told me that textbooks tend to sell slowly at first but can produce steady sales for many years. Your statement might well be true of most light novels. Etc.
May
15
comment How to show characters learning something in a non-boring way?
@AnnaM I've read many novels that include made-up words, especially fantasy and science fiction novels where the writer invents words for things that exist in this world but not in ours. I was thinking once that it would be amusing to write a story where, over the course of the book, you gradually introduce made-up words one at a time, so that the reader barely notices. And then make the last sentence of the book consist entirely of made-up words, so someone who read the last sentence without reading the rest of the book would have no idea what it meant.
May
15
comment Do publishers really need to translate between UK and US English?
Just to be technical, while a prostitute is said to be "soliciting", I have never heard a prostitute called a "solicitor". Bu then, I don't claim to have a lot of experience with prostitutes. :-0
May
15
comment Are there words that are “stronger” than others? If so, why?
@XosMel You want to be a writer and you don't think playing with words is fun?!
May
13
comment “Empty-space” vs “three-dot” scene break
I'd say: When you can control the layout, I'd use white space for "small breaks" and "" for "large breaks". If you can't control the layout, I'd use "".
May
11
comment Dream analysis research
@LaurenIpsum True, most Americans know that 1600 Pennsylvania Ave is the White House. But then, most Americans know that 555 is a fake phone exchange. So why does the first seem like a glaring stand-out and the second, not so much? If I used the address of a vacant lot as a fake address, would people who lived in that town and knew it was a vacant lot find that glaring, or would they brush it off?
May
11
comment Dream analysis research
Two years later: In case someone writing a book or screenplay where they need a fake IP address is reading this: There actually are several blocks of IP addresses reserved for examples in documentation, that I presume could be used for fake IP addresses in works of fiction: 192.0.2.x, 198.51.100.x, and 203.0,113.x.