Random Questions Thread:

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Hello, fellow writers! Got any question that you can't find answer from Google or Wikipedia, but you don't think it needs a separate thread for? You came to the right place!

Don't be shy, and just ask away. The nice folks here, writers and non-writers, experts and non-experts, will do their best to help you.

The folder below contains links for special interest threads, mostly at OTC, but also from Yack Fest and Troper Coven.

    Special Interest Threads 

Also take a look at Useful Notes on various topics. They can be pretty useful.

Now, bring on the questions, baby!

edited 16th Feb '15 12:47:26 PM by dRoy

6751 KillerClowns5th Feb 2013 04:14:59 PM from MN House District 5 , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
If it helps, no British school would ever have one of those.

To the contrary — one of my relatives in England, a teacher, actually runs an after-school Magic: The Gathering club. Then again, he's out in a quaint village. Maybe they just don't give a fuck out there.

edited 5th Feb '13 4:16:53 PM by KillerClowns

"A wise enemy is better than a foolish friend" -Arab Proverb
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." -Terence
6752 UmLovely5th Feb 2013 04:23:14 PM from 2814 , Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
The Darkness Grows
What's a good language for magic?

edited 5th Feb '13 4:23:37 PM by UmLovely

6753 Noaqiyeum5th Feb 2013 04:27:40 PM from the October Country , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
6754 MorwenEdhelwen5th Feb 2013 05:17:54 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
@Loni: I went to a private school too, but we never had anything like that.
The road goes ever on.
6755 TeraChimera5th Feb 2013 07:28:16 PM from somewhere out there
Cool Celtic Composition
You have a respected, if not particularly noteworthy or famous, archaeologist. How many peer-reviewed journals could he be expected to be published in during a period of ten years or so?
"The Uncertainty Principle isn't about uncertainty and it isn't a principle; other than that, it's perfectly named." — David Van Baak
6756 dRoy5th Feb 2013 08:48:47 PM from The Happy Place , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Perpetually clueless
Would "We are the relics of the bygone era." be good Arc Words (or whatever you call it) for a story that deals with individuals trying to adjust to the rapidly changing world?

edited 5th Feb '13 8:49:09 PM by dRoy

Mother of god...You turned one of the hardest and best Champions into an absolute joke. - Zelenal
Seeking for Light
[up][up] How many peer-reviewed journals for archaeologists are there? Not trying to be flippant, but that makes a big difference; the number of articles published in x amount of time and the number of different journals published in are highly field-dependent. I would recommend finding several real-life archaeologists in your character's area of study and looking at their publishing history.

[up] Sounds fine to me.
6758 MorwenEdhelwen6th Feb 2013 08:10:47 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
Anyone here familiar with rural Southwest Alaska? I need a beta reader to check the cultural accuracy of something I'm doing.

edited 6th Feb '13 8:26:19 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
6759 nrjxll6th Feb 2013 08:41:24 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
I need some Chinese and Japanese newspapers with an English webpage.
6760 Noaqiyeum6th Feb 2013 08:44:46 PM from the October Country , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
For China, here are the websites for People's Daily and Chinadaily.
6761 CrystalGlacia6th Feb 2013 09:03:23 PM from Cedarpointland
even your stupid hoodie can't protect you
And for Japan, there's the Yomiyuri and Nikkei, two of the five big newspapers of Japan.
I heard you like exceptions, so I put some exceptions in your exceptions
6762 nrjxll6th Feb 2013 09:15:15 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
6763 MorwenEdhelwen7th Feb 2013 12:19:34 AM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
Can someone please help me out? I'm afraid I'm writing something with more holes than Swiss cheese...
The road goes ever on.
6764 GameSpazzer7th Feb 2013 12:42:13 AM from Against! The! Wall!
The Beta Male
I could try, although it's nearly three in the morning, and my brain is full of fuck.

Pokémon Alchemist

6765 SabresEdge7th Feb 2013 12:50:55 AM from a defense-in-depth
Show an affirming flame
I can't vouch on the differences between different parts of Alaska, but Jean Craighead George's Julie of the Wolves trilogy, especially the second book Julie, goes into some detail. That's with more Eskimo-populated places, though.
6766 MorwenEdhelwen7th Feb 2013 01:04:25 AM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
@Game Spazzer: I could send it to you later.

@Sabre's Edge: My protagonist is half-Eskimo and Aleut, but she's half-Yup'ik rather than Inupiaq like Julie.

Speaking of that, is there a specific name for a storm like a nor'easter when it's not happening in the Northern US? I thought of nor'wester, but that refers to something else. Or can ''nor'easter" be a generic term?

edited 7th Feb '13 2:33:39 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
Seeking for Light
Nor'easter is a specific type of storm that only happens in the Eastern US. A quick gander at Wikipedia suggests the term "extratropical cyclone" for storms with some similarities to nor'easters but which are not specific to a given geographic region.

edited 7th Feb '13 8:00:46 AM by Nocturna

Insert witty title here
Character is from a Squishy Wizard Witch Species. Because her parents and then her foster parents died to protect her, she's a bit of a Broken Bird some hang ups about being protected.

I don't know how nor why she would join her kingdom's forces to protect people. She would probably have to use her magic for it, but...

Any thoughts?
Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker
6769 MorwenEdhelwen7th Feb 2013 02:34:08 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
[up][up] What about "nor'wester"?
The road goes ever on.
6770 MrMallard7th Feb 2013 03:10:22 PM from Australia, mate
As rare as dolphin's teeth
[up][up]4 people who loved her very much died to protect her. She feels she has to give that back.
And I can't think of one thing in this whole wide blessed world
That's more dangerous and frightening than you when you get bored
Seeking for Light
[up][up] If you want to make up that term and use it, go for it. I'd recommend checking that such storms can actually have wind from the northwest in the region you're thinking of, though. (Nor'easters are called that because the wind blows from the northeast.)
Insert witty title here
For something else... What would lead a Visionary Villain to try to create an organization with the sole purpose of being an opposition to the rest of the world, so people wouldn't fight against each other?

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker
6773 MorwenEdhelwen7th Feb 2013 09:41:42 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
@Noctuna: I've seen the term "northwester" before.

EDITED: I actually discovered that a similar storm in Alaska is a "burga."

edited 7th Feb '13 9:58:43 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
6774 GAP7th Feb 2013 11:18:52 PM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
Formerly G.G.
When you developing a character in a story, do you have to go one rigid path or can the character develop in any number of ways? Lets you have a character who is particularity arrogant yet you don't want him broken in any way, what can you do to still keep him arrogant yet developed?
"Why do flowers bloom knowing they are destined to wither? Their time of beauty is so short-lived."
6775 SabresEdge8th Feb 2013 01:13:04 AM from a defense-in-depth
Show an affirming flame
Have him actually gain the skills to bear out his arrogance; conversely, over a longer period of time, decrease his vocal arrogance. That way, an observant reader would notice that the character in question is learning to talk the talk in proportion to his ability to walk the walk, without having to do anything like admitting he was in the wrong. Character development by omission, essentially.

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