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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.
May
6
comment How can one write about illegal deeds without getting into trouble?
... and you are charged with robbery but are found not guilty, but then later the police get new evidence, they can come back and say, in the course of the robbery you threatened the teller with a gun, that's a separate crime from the robbery itself, and so you could then be charged with that crime. In fact prosecutors today often "hold back" some charges just to cover this possibility.
May
6
comment How can one write about illegal deeds without getting into trouble?
@Aerovistae Bear in mind that "double jeopardy" is an American legal principle. Britain repealed their double jeopardy law about 10 years ago, and many countries have no such law. And even in the U.S., the protection is very weak. The courts have ruled that you can't be tried twice for the same offense, but you can be tried for other offenses related to the same event. Ever notice how when someone is charged with a major crime, they often say "10 counts of robbery, 3 counts of assault, and 2 counts of kidnapping" or some such? Each of those is a separate crime. So if, say, you rob a bank, ...
May
6
comment Real cities & placing fictional cities
BTW You know New York is on the EAST coast, not the west, right? Maybe you're thinking it's the west coast of the Atlantic Ocean? But no one in the U.S. calls it that. We think of it as the east coast of the country. If you way "the west coast", Americans understand that to mean California, Oregon, and Washington.
May
6
comment Real cities & placing fictional cities
If you're going to have a map, then presumably you have to have a specific location. Without knowing the details of your story, I can't say whether it's a good idea to have a map or not. If the specific location of this city matters, like if it's important to the story that it's so many miles to New York and so many miles to Baltimore and so forth, maybe because the characters are regularly travelling to other cities and you need to keep travel times consistent and realistic, then there's no avoiding it. But if you're adding a fictional city to a real country, as I say, I'd keep it vague.
May
6
comment How to «show» an irrelevant detail without expressively «tell»?
... where, say, a crucial clue is that the victim had two daughters and not just the one that everyone knows, and then on the cover we see a room with a photograph hanging on the wall picturing a man with two young ladies. But wow, how would you make clear that this is a picture of the victim and not some other character in the story, etc? And even if you did it well, I think many readers would consider that "out of bounds" for a fair mystery.
May
6
comment How to «show» an irrelevant detail without expressively «tell»?
Conveying information through a cover illustration is tricky. The cover is more a marketing tool than a part of the story. Readers don't normally expect a cover to convey information relevant to the plot. Different editions of a book often change the cover. Every now and then I come across a book where the cover is 100% marketing, like the cover picture is a sexy, barely-dressed woman, and the story turns out to have no female characters. All that said, I suppose it would be pretty cleaver to have a crucial clue to understanding the story in the cover picture. Like write a mystery novel ...
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.