5,007 reputation
1333
bio website jsbangs.com
location United States
age 31
visits member for 3 years, 5 months
seen Jan 10 at 16:02

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


Jun
28
comment Need Help Understanding the Meaning of Certain Topics in a Writing Contest
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about understanding an English sentence, rather than about writing style and techniques.
Jun
15
comment Is the following allowed under the ungrammatical exceptions in fiction?
Who ever told you that your first example was wrong? It absolutely is not wrong, and is in many ways better than your second example.
Jun
11
comment Wait for the results of writing contest or try other means
"How can I tell whether an agent is legit" would be a very good question for Writers.se :).
Jun
11
comment Book Plot Sugestions
Hi, Lizzy. Unfortunately, this sort of open-ended plot question isn't really what we do here. There are lots of other sites where you could ask stuff like this, but we want questions to have a single focus and an objective answer.
May
27
comment How best to format a novel written in Markdown
@Mussri, yep, your experimentation should be valid universally. In fact, I may put my own templates up someplace public, since they should be usable for nearly everyone.
May
25
comment Is dialogue in a novel necessary, or just padding?
Short answer: dialogue is completely necessary, since dialogue reads completely differently from summary.
May
15
comment How many words in 350 pages typed and double spaced?
@Jed, there are lots of examples of long first epic fantasy novels, for sure. But I wouldn't want the OP to think that he should try to send in a 300K monster on his first shot.
May
14
comment How many words in 350 pages typed and double spaced?
You've correctly identified the wordcount for epic works from established authors. However, I've been told many times that first books should generally shoot for about 100K words, and that anything over 120K is a hard sell.
Apr
11
comment Can a self publishing author use a Pen name/Pseudonym?
The name an your Amazon account should be your real name. However, you can put anything you want as the "author name". Amazon will show the author name to people on the site, but it'll write the checks to you.
Mar
29
comment Is it acceptable practice to use contractions in a fictional first person narrative for children?
@LaurenIpsum, in spoken language children learn to say the contracted don't before they say do not. I was never aware of this convention with early reader books, but I suspect that it's in place more to avoid having to teach the apostrophe at that young age.
Mar
27
comment Is it acceptable practice to use contractions in a fictional first person narrative for children?
I'm curious: what made you think you shouldn't use contractions? The only writing styles which don't use contractions are extremely formal styles such as academic non-fiction. All fiction writing uses contractions extensively.
Feb
13
comment Is it true that men (in general) can't write female first-person?
I've written first-person stories with female narrators. A pregnant female narrator to boot. It's not that hard.
Jan
31
comment My Ex husband's wife self published a non fiction book naming my kids in the story
IANAL, but unless the work is actually slanderous, there's no legal recourse against somebody else using your children's names.
Jan
20
comment How to tell a story with the least amount of writing?
@Aerovistae, the phrase le mot juste has been borrowed into English. It doesn't necessarily indicate bilingualism. (Though Lauren would have to tell you if she actually is bilingual.)
Jan
20
comment How to tell a story with the least amount of writing?
I hate to be an ass, but if you don't like writing, maybe you shouldn't try to be a writer.
Jan
9
comment Punctuation-Quote or Quote-Punctuation?
@SF. And rightly so. I hope you weren't offering this as a reason to keep the question open.
Dec
19
comment Can I self-publish, and how much would it cost?
Borders and the other big box booksellers are generally unwilling to take indie press or self-published books, and there's basically nothing that you can do about it. There is no self-publishing service that can really get you into those stores, and any service claiming otherwise is probably a scam.
Dec
16
comment Is it a bad writing practice to start sentences with a verb?
@Mussri, correcting "sentences" to "phrases" makes your statement less accurate, not more, unless you're using "phrase" in a non-standard way. There are noun phrases (which begin with a noun), but also verb phrases (which begin with a verb) and prepositional phrases (which begin with a preposition), and many other types to boot. Your clarification that English is SVO is correct, but that leaves out a lot of things, especially the fact that the S does not have to be a noun.
Nov
19
comment What does active voice mean?
@Satanicpuppy I really wish we could put to death the notion that the passive voice is "wishy-washy" or "weak". Sometimes the passive voice is exactly what you need, and generations of newbie writers have been led astray by the false idea that you should avoid the passive for some reason.
Oct
27
comment Adding Detail/“Filling” the story
Related: writers.stackexchange.com/questions/1044/… writers.stackexchange.com/questions/3637/how-to-create-space/…