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The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — it's the difference between a lightning bug and the lightning. — Mark Twain

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Dec
14
comment Is it a bad writing practice to start sentences with a verb?
@Mussri The assertion that "English phrases or sentences can only ever start with nouns or a suitable substitute." And perhaps clarify what "a suitable substitute" is. Do you think that david.smith's examples below are not English sentences?
Dec
14
comment Non-cheap ways to make villains evil?
@SF. "Most likely, he became a monster gradually and grew to like it." You write that book, I'll buy it.
Dec
14
comment Are music lyrics copyrighted?
@Mussri: I would say that something like "John sat listening to Josh Groban's L'Ora dell'Addio until he thought his heart would break from weeping" would be fine from a legal standpoint, but once you start quoting lyrics, you should get permission. But if you have any doubt, talk to a lawyer and find out about getting permission. If your use or reference is not insulting or defamatory, it shouldn't be difficult.
Dec
14
comment Is it a bad writing practice to start sentences with a verb?
@Mussri, can you cite a source for your assertion?
Dec
14
answered Are music lyrics copyrighted?
Dec
14
comment Non-cheap ways to make villains evil?
I guess this is one of those "Your Mileage May Vary" issues. :) That kind of villain pushes your buttons. The one without empathy pushes mine.
Dec
14
comment Non-cheap ways to make villains evil?
The ones who will do anything to save their skin... those are the ones I feel contempt for. I sort of want to wash my hands of them. I don't particularly care if they get their comeuppance or not; I just want them out of my hair. So yes, a good villain archetype, but not necessarily evil. There's a certain satisfaction in watching a powerful villain like Voldemort get properly Avada Kedavraed which you don't feel when seeing someone beg and bargain for his life.
Dec
13
answered Non-cheap ways to make villains evil?
Dec
13
comment Turning Checkered Squares into Settings
This is very interesting, but I think it veers on "discussion" more than "answerable question." Can you narrow this down to something more concrete and less brainstorming?
Dec
12
comment Differences in personal statements between American and UK universities?
ooh wait, new British slang! What does "flannel" mean in this context?
Dec
11
answered Converting Word pages to book pages, for novels?
Dec
6
comment Can you reprint screen shots of a game application or program without permission?
Then why not ask your publisher?
Dec
6
comment Can you reprint screen shots of a game application or program without permission?
What's the book about? Is it self-published or do you have a contract with a publisher?
Dec
6
revised How can I help a writing-phobic but competent student develop their writing?
added 20 characters in body
Dec
6
comment How can I help a writing-phobic but competent student develop their writing?
I was going to repeat it, but I thought it would be too far astray from Monica's original comment. And yeah, dragons are one of the things I nerd out on . :)
Dec
5
revised How can I help a writing-phobic but competent student develop their writing?
added 444 characters in body
Dec
5
comment How can I help a writing-phobic but competent student develop their writing?
I wonder: could you get the student to use a transcription program like Dragon, and use the resulting text as a place to start the essay/piece of writing?
Dec
5
answered How can I help a writing-phobic but competent student develop their writing?
Dec
3
comment Is it good style in fiction to write sentences as a flow of (disjointed) thoughts?
@JohnSmithers I like your title change.
Dec
2
comment figures and tables always on top of the page?
Yes, and for what it's worth, as a typesetter, I either put the images as close to the applicable text as possible, or they go where the client wants them (top, bottom, margin).