5,082 reputation
1334
bio website jsbangs.com
location United States
age 32
visits member for 3 years, 9 months
seen Aug 5 at 12:30

I have a degree in Linguistics, but I work as a programmer. Most of my expertise about English is self-taught, plus lots of random trivia I've acquired here and there.

This is my favorite EL&U comment ever:

This isn't really a question about English so much as a question about hugs. Source


Jan
11
answered If you get an advance do you ever have to give it back?
Jan
9
comment Do most novels not get published?
There is clearly a very large element of chance in the publication of any particular novel. Once you've written a professional-quality novel, if you're a new author you still have a 90% chance of getting rejected, and getting into that other 10% is largely a matter of luck. We agree on this. However, the point I tried to make in my answer is that if you just keep writing, you'll eventually write something that hits the right place at the right time. Persistence wins out over probability.
Jan
8
comment Do most novels not get published?
On the Survival of Rats in the Slush Pile is interesting but too pessimistic. He tries to argue from the fact that there is some element of chance in getting published to the conclusion that getting published is all chance.
Jan
7
answered Do most novels not get published?
Jan
7
answered Do multimedia-objects work well in electronical publishings of fictional writing?
Jan
7
answered How much should I describe things or persons, that are not important for the story?
Jan
7
comment How much should I describe things or persons, that are not important for the story?
The maxim "Omit Needless Words" usually refers to your prose, not to the description itself.
Jan
5
comment Writers Communities?
AbsoluteWrite is an excellent resource.
Jan
4
comment Writing 19th century upperclass English dialog
Also, not to be a nag, but Austen is from the tail end of the 18th century, and her dialog is pretty different from what I think of as typical 19th century dialogue, as found in e.g. Dickens or Oscar Wilde.
Jan
4
comment Writing 19th century upperclass English dialog
@Joel, because writing critiques are explicitly off-topic on this site.
Dec
27
comment How do you map out your storyline?
@bobo, I pretty much made it up myself, although I was inspired by similar systems I had seen several other people use.
Dec
24
comment What are some examples of modern original plots?
@jae, who says there are only 12 notes? Many non-Western music theories use more or less than 12 notes.
Dec
21
answered How many liberties can one take with syntax and grammar rules when writing poetry?
Dec
21
comment What are good places to post your work where it will be read by others?
@Ralph, that depends on where you post it. Forums that are password-protected and require registration (such as the OWW and Critters) are generally not regarded as exhausting your electronic rights, especially since the owners of those sites explicitly disavow any rights claims.
Dec
21
comment What are good places to post your work where it will be read by others?
+1 for the Online Writing Workshops, which are excellent.
Dec
21
answered How long should it take to write 100k words?
Dec
20
awarded  Editor
Dec
20
revised What are some regular contests unpublished short story authors might enter?
added info about who it's for
Dec
20
answered What are some regular contests unpublished short story authors might enter?
Dec
14
answered How much leeway can be expected from an editor regarding my preference for nonstandard punctuation?