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Old 2011-04-09, 11:15   Link #4761
felix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Question : Does anyone know of a guide to writing fiction? What is the difference between regular fiction and light novels? I realise that I completely suck at writing anything else but critical essays.
You understand that’s Japanese only, right? A lot of differences are in the style and they are japanese culture differences (in a manner of speaking). Aside from the language other characteristics include the target audience, illustrations, and the way they usually end up to the consumers. They're length is also a factor, if by regular fiction you are thinking more modest story telling. I’m no expert, but I do believe the western equivalent is a graphic novel.

Quote:
Does anyone know of a guide to writing fiction?
There is no guide; aside from basic terminology, grammer, and writing style conventions. The best guide is to just write, read, get feedback, or simply reflect on your writing yourself and self-improve.

Anyway, here’s a simple common sense list:
  • think of a cool story gimmick
  • think of a cool character (or a few)
  • think of a basic ending
  • make a basic plan
  • do some research
  • write
  • write
  • re-vise plan
  • write
  • etc.
Anyway, yeah, writing more is the only way to learn to write better.
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Old 2011-04-09, 14:51   Link #4762
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Question : ...I realise that I completely suck at writing anything else but critical essays.
So you've noticed, eh?

Creative fiction requires a different set of skills from just simply writing. In a way, essay-writing is much easier: it's mostly about chaining together a series of abstract thoughts into a coherent narrative. The deciding factor between a good or a bad essay, to me at least, is quite simply, knowledge.

Fiction writing, on the other hand, requires a little bit more than just knowledge. It's also about insight and, perhaps just as important, empathy. The ability to visualise an image in your mind's eye, then turning the abstract into something concrete that others can "see" through the words you use.

If you think about it, artists approach their craft in a similar fashion. Writers bring a thought to life by putting pen to paper the way painters turn imagination into reality by putting brush to canvas. In that sense, it's sometimes curious that there doesn't seem to be a "standard" way to teach creative writing the way painting or drawing is typically taught.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Question : Does anyone know of a guide to writing fiction?
I was recommended Stephen King's On Writing.

For a quick and dirty summary:

Six rules for writing a bestseller (Guardian)
Quote:
The job boils down to two things: paying attention to how the real people around you behave and then telling the truth about what you see.
Excerpts from On Writing
Quote:
In truth, I've found that any day's routine interruptions and distractions don't much hurt a work in progress and may actually help it in some ways. It is, after all, the dab of grit that seeps into an oyster's shell that makes the pearl, not pearl-making seminars with other oysters.
And I find this to be extremely true:
Quote:
The scariest moment is always just before you start.

Finally, I believe there are at least two published novelists among AnimeSuki forum members, BBOvenGuy and John Smith. If you're truly interested, it can't hurt to drop them a message.
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Old 2011-04-10, 00:48   Link #4763
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
So you've noticed, eh?

Creative fiction requires a different set of skills from just simply writing. In a way, essay-writing is much easier: it's mostly about chaining together a series of abstract thoughts into a coherent narrative. The deciding factor between a good or a bad essay, to me at least, is quite simply, knowledge.
I am lost Ed. By the idea of "abstract thoughts", does it mean in the sense of just plain "ideas" surrounding a central one, or multiple summaries of different themes chained together in a story flow?

Quote:
Fiction writing, on the other hand, requires a little bit more than just knowledge. It's also about insight and, perhaps just as important, empathy. The ability to visualise an image in your mind's eye, then turning the abstract into something concrete that others can "see" through the words you use.
It is often quoted that "a picture says a thousand words", so therefore a series of moving image depicting events, even at 32 FPS would result in tens of thousands of words. With this long a text, shouldn't there be some sort of way to stop it from turning into TL;DR?
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
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Old 2011-04-10, 02:16   Link #4764
felix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
It is often quoted that "a picture says a thousand words"
It’s a metaphor, don’t take it literally.
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Old 2011-04-10, 02:55   Link #4765
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I am lost Ed. By the idea of "abstract thoughts", does it mean in the sense of just plain "ideas" surrounding a central one, or multiple summaries of different themes chained together in a story flow?
Here's an example of the abstract: the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics.

While I'm sure that quantum physicists and engineers would giggle like little girls, slinging esoteric equations at each other till the cows come home in earnest debates over their pet topic, for the most part, the rest of the world would be left confused at best, and irritated at worst by the condescending attitude of scientists talking down to ignorant plebians.

Or, someone could come up with a "concrete" metaphor, like Schrodinger's cat, to illustrate the paradoxes and strangeness of quantum behaviour in ways that even a child could comprehend.

In similar ways, abstract ideas like "human rights", "freedom of speech", "gender identity" are just that: concepts with no shape or form. An individual could perhaps relate to these on an intellectual level but, on a gut level, none of them would mean anything personal unless he can relate them to concrete events he observes happening on a day-to-day basis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
With this long a text, shouldn't there be some sort of way to stop it from turning into TL;DR?
Stephen King:
Quote:
Mostly when I think of pacing, I go back to Elmore Leonard, who explained it so perfectly by saying he just left out the boring parts.

This suggest cutting to speed the pace, and that's what most of us end up having to do (kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler's heart, kill your darlings)...

I got a scribbled comment that changed the way I rewrote my fiction once and forever. Jotted below the machine-generated signature of the editor was this mot: "Not bad, but PUFFY. You need to revise for length. Formula: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%. Good luck."
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Old 2011-04-10, 08:15   Link #4766
Masuzu
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hello, i just wanted to ask

...

how do i...

...equip my signature?

yeah, i know, it's just, i uploaded one but, when i post it's just...not there?

i would appreciate the help
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Old 2011-04-10, 08:21   Link #4767
felix
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In Signature Edit. Write [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] in the signature box.

Oh and, your signature won’t show on your old posts.
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Old 2011-04-10, 23:04   Link #4768
Raiga
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I remember hearing before that the Associated Press style book recommends using the spelling that comes first alphabetically when a word has two valid spellings (like octopi vs. octopuses). However I've completely forgotten where I heard this, be it from a teacher, an article, or Google, and now I can't find any confirmation for this alleged fact. Does anybody have any idea?
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Old 2011-04-11, 04:11   Link #4769
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiga View Post
I remember hearing before that the Associated Press style book recommends using the spelling that comes first alphabetically when a word has two valid spellings (like octopi vs. octopuses). However I've completely forgotten where I heard this, be it from a teacher, an article, or Google, and now I can't find any confirmation for this alleged fact. Does anybody have any idea?
Is it from a library book or a monthly writing journal?

Besides, you do understand that the term "grammar nazi" and the Third Reich salute still can be used against the critics right?
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-04-11, 04:42   Link #4770
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiga View Post
I remember hearing before that the Associated Press style book recommends using the spelling that comes first alphabetically when a word has two valid spellings (like octopi vs. octopuses). However I've completely forgotten where I heard this, be it from a teacher, an article, or Google, and now I can't find any confirmation for this alleged fact. Does anybody have any idea?
It's an intriguing question, made more so because I have a professional interest in the answer. My immediate thought was to simply point you to the AP Stylebook Online, but quickly realised that it's a no-brainer — you'd probably have already googled it.

So I checked with a senior copyeditor, and he has no recollection of ever coming across such a "rule". That said, we work with a different set of house rules, and he concedes that it's possible that he just hasn't chanced upon it, despite 30 years of journalistic experience.

Our style-guide entry for "plurals" is pretty long, though it's not as comprehensive and decisive as I would like it to be. With reference to the specific example you brought up — octopuses or octopi — this is the section that applies:

Quote:
LATIN ENDINGS: Many Latin words have been absorbed into the language and some are given anglicised plurals. Individual entries cover the most common examples, but generally:
  • Words ending in 'us' change 'us' to 'i': alumnus, alumni, but syllabus, syllabuses.
  • Words ending in 'a' add an 'e': alumna, alumnae.
  • Words ending in 'on' change and add an 'a': phenomenon, phenomena.
Many words ending in 'um' have now been anglicised. Use 's' instead of 'a': memorandums, stadiums, referendums, curriculums.
As usual, there is a caveat in the section stating: "For questions not covered here or by individual entries, consult the New Oxford Dictionary of English for the most common version."

So I did, and found this:
Quote:
The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses. However, the word octopus comes from Greek and the Greek plural form octopodes is still occasionally used. The plural form octopi, formed according to rules for some Latin plurals, is incorrect.
If you're a linguist, or are feeling masochistic, you can check out the long explanation at Wikitionary as to why "octopi" is wrong.


Long story short, I highly suspect the "rule" you remember may be myth. It's hard to imagine a bunch of crusty old journalists fiercely proud of their language skills coming up with such an arbitrary rule that could result in a mistake.
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Old 2011-04-11, 05:08   Link #4771
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Long story short, I highly suspect the "rule" you remember may be myth. It's hard to imagine a bunch of crusty old journalists fiercely proud of their language skills coming up with such an arbitrary rule that could result in a mistake.
They got sick of holding down the "Shift" key just to type the open/closed inverted commas everytime a politician bowdlerises or invents a new word, thus they simply go along with what we know today as "Fedspeak" - the condensed term for "political jargon that makes little or no sense".
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-04-11, 10:36   Link #4772
Raiga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
It's an intriguing question, made more so because I have a professional interest in the answer. My immediate thought was to simply point you to the AP Stylebook Online, but quickly realised that it's a no-brainer — you'd probably have already googled it.

So I checked with a senior copyeditor, and he has no recollection of ever coming across such a "rule". That said, we work with a different set of house rules, and he concedes that it's possible that he just hasn't chanced upon it, despite 30 years of journalistic experience.

Our style-guide entry for "plurals" is pretty long, though it's not as comprehensive and decisive as I would like it to be. With reference to the specific example you brought up — octopuses or octopi — this is the section that applies:



As usual, there is a caveat in the section stating: "For questions not covered here or by individual entries, consult the New Oxford Dictionary of English for the most common version."

So I did, and found this:


If you're a linguist, or are feeling masochistic, you can check out the long explanation at Wikitionary as to why "octopi" is wrong.


Long story short, I highly suspect the "rule" you remember may be myth. It's hard to imagine a bunch of crusty old journalists fiercely proud of their language skills coming up with such an arbitrary rule that could result in a mistake.
Thanks for the detailed response. ^^

Yeah octopus may not have been the best example... cactus may have been better, since I think it went through Latin from Greek first, and Wiktionary lists both "cacti" and "cactuses" without any caveats. There are other words that from what I could find seem to have two generally accepted spellings, first that comes to mind being advisor/adviser.

I figured the "rule" seemed reasonable enough-- definitely arbitrary, of course-- in terms of being a way to ensure consistency without having to compile a massive list of recommendations for every single word that has a debatable spelling. But I guess judging by the results it's probably a myth.
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Old 2011-04-11, 12:00   Link #4773
TinyRedLeaf
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Originally Posted by Raiga View Post
There are other words that from what I could find seem to have two generally accepted spellings, first that comes to mind being advisor/adviser.
I was going to reserve my 3,000th post (give or take a deleted contribution) for a project I had in mind since last December, but since you brought it up:

Adviser is the more commonly accepted British spelling, while advisor is more commonly found in America. Similarly, it's usually protester in Britain, and protestor in America. Ditto for artefact versus artifact.

Those are just some of the less commonly known differences between British and American spellings. The more usual ones that people notice are the s'es and the z's (for example, criticise versus criticize), the single l's versus the double ll's (instil and instill, travelling compared to traveling), and the ou's versus the o's (colour as opposed to color).


All the annoying fuss arising from a nasty dispute over a silly bit of tea. Well, it keeps me employed, so I shouldn't complain.

Still, as someone who is now hypersensitivised to such differences, I can't help but wince when I see American spelling instead of the British norm. It's quite possibly the same reaction Chinese who studied traditional script get when they attempt to read communist-mandated simplified script: It feels like watching someone butcher the language with a hacksaw.
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Old 2011-04-11, 20:26   Link #4774
Raiga
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I've read different explanations for the advisor/adviser thing and different statistics, some of which made it seem like merely a significant but not overwhelming majority of one spelling over the other in the two countries, but I'll take your word for it.

As for American spelling vs. British "norm"... I mean so far as I know the standardization of English spelling is rather new, and as recent as two hundred years ago you could get away will spelling things willy-nilly so long as it could be pronounced the same way. Webster first standardized American English, dunno who did it for British, but while we definitely owe Britain the original language I'd hesitate to call one "right" or the "norm" over the other-- just British English and American English.
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Old 2011-04-13, 22:57   Link #4775
risingstar3110
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I have some problem with Window 7. It was not a problem until recently so I don't know what did i change to make it like this...

The screen resolution is recommended to be 1920 x 1080. And every time i drop it down to 1600 x 900, the whole screen is narrowed down with the surrounding area becomes all black. In another words, when lower my resolution, the window screen does not scale itself up to fit the monitor screen.

I can keep 1920 x 1080 of course. But if i play a game with 1600 x 900 setting, then the same thing happens in game
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Old 2011-04-14, 02:09   Link #4776
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Quote:
Originally Posted by risingstar3110 View Post
I have some problem with Window 7. It was not a problem until recently so I don't know what did i change to make it like this...

The screen resolution is recommended to be 1920 x 1080. And every time i drop it down to 1600 x 900, the whole screen is narrowed down with the surrounding area becomes all black. In another words, when lower my resolution, the window screen does not scale itself up to fit the monitor screen.

I can keep 1920 x 1080 of course. But if i play a game with 1600 x 900 setting, then the same thing happens in game
Not certain, I had the problem when my parents installed win7 that I couldn't get the resolution up to what the screen size is. It would fit but too enlarged because I hadn't upped the display mode's hertz mode.
If you lower that down then the other resolution should fit.

I forgot where to find it, it should be in the same menu but under advanced or something.
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Old 2011-04-14, 02:11   Link #4777
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by risingstar3110 View Post
I have some problem with Window 7. It was not a problem until recently so I don't know what did i change to make it like this...

The screen resolution is recommended to be 1920 x 1080. And every time i drop it down to 1600 x 900, the whole screen is narrowed down with the surrounding area becomes all black. In another words, when lower my resolution, the window screen does not scale itself up to fit the monitor screen.

I can keep 1920 x 1080 of course. But if i play a game with 1600 x 900 setting, then the same thing happens in game
Aspect ratio problem I think. You probably need to try other resolution ratios and post what does work and what doesn't......

If it is the solution Karuma suggested, it is the refresh rate. Default is 75hz, but I think you can increase it under right click > screen resolution > advanced > monitor tab.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-04-14, 12:46   Link #4778
risingstar3110
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The refresh rate options for me only either 59hz or 60 hz. So i went for more research and it mentioned that maybe the problem lie on the monitor (and need driver update or something). But my monitor is Benq T2200 and it seems the "driver update" for this does not exist.....

Then it turn to the possibility of my graphic card NVIDIA, but once again couldn't find the scaling option they mentioned. Reupdated but it does not work. Stuck there also

Basically, i kinda give up for the moment =/
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Old 2011-04-16, 06:57   Link #4779
Masuzu
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i wanted to ask:

do light novels ever get released in english?

you know, like an anime eventually gets an english dub, something like that
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Old 2011-04-16, 08:47   Link #4780
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Box View Post
i wanted to ask:

do light novels ever get released in english?

you know, like an anime eventually gets an english dub, something like that
Yes they do. If it's good it comes over to America where it is translated by a certain company (mostly viz media) and then sold. I own some as a matter of fact.
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