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Random Questions Thread:

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.

Please don't use this thread for open-ended questions that are likely to inspire/require extended conversation, or discussion. Make a dedicated thread for it, or use the most appropriate of the special interest threads linked below. Thank you.

Now, for any questions involving particular fields, here are the links to the appropriate threads, mostly at OTC, but also from Yack Fest and Troper Coven:

edited 8th May '14 2:40:56 PM by dRoy

 6826 Madrugada, Tue, 19th Feb '13 2:47:39 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Wish I could help you out, peasant, but I have no information on that, barring old Agatha Christie novels, where the police are as convenient or distant as the plot requires.

edited 19th Feb '13 2:48:04 PM by Madrugada

'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 6827 Morwen Edhelwen, Tue, 19th Feb '13 5:59:25 PM from Sydney, Australia
Tolkien freak
Can someone answer my question?
The road goes ever on. -Tolkien
 6828 Marq FJA, Tue, 19th Feb '13 6:01:19 PM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
@Morwen: Flirting would be one. Making sexually suggestive/vulgar comments is another.
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 6829 Noaqiyeum, Wed, 20th Feb '13 9:15:41 AM from across the gulf of space Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
nobody knows
Are sneezing and other reflexes suppressed during sleep paralysis?
"I'm an odd person that likes to write odd people." - JHM
Insert witty title here
Emyd's mother is a researcher for a prestigious magical academy. She has been living in a magically underdeveloped world for years, doing research there. He returns to said world after having been gone for about ten years. He wants to learn magic at the academy BUT I need a reason for him to stay at the magically underdeveloped world.

If it helps, by the time of Emyd's arrival, things had become UNSTABLE in said world. He know he can't do much to protect his mother, though.

edited 20th Feb '13 12:36:53 PM by risingdreamer

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker
 6831 fishsicles, Wed, 20th Feb '13 5:29:50 PM from Down The Curtain Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
An Ex-Troper
Back with more death-by-airlock questions; if someone were knocked unconscious with a heavy object before being Thrown Out the Airlock, would the wound look like anything other than a typical bruise? If so, how? (The body, on a tether to fool the failsafe, is not found for several hours.)
Not nearly a good enough singer for the Choir Invisible, and the Basement Room With A Synth Invisible is much less prestigious.
 6832 Masterofchaos, Wed, 20th Feb '13 6:26:27 PM Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
Best idol
If they were hit with a heavy object, most likely, their head would be split open. (and it would probably will be worse when they hit the ground after getting thrown out.)
 6833 fishsicles, Wed, 20th Feb '13 8:36:09 PM from Down The Curtain Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
An Ex-Troper
Well, it is less "hitting the ground" and more "floating around the outside of the Generation Ship for a few hours".

Under the assumption it does split the victim's head, I assume an open wound in a hard vacuum would have unfortunate results?
Not nearly a good enough singer for the Choir Invisible, and the Basement Room With A Synth Invisible is much less prestigious.
Shadowed Philosopher
It would probably split the scalp and bleed like the dickens, and blood would get all over wherever it happened to be outside. Other than that, though, there's no need to assume that the wound would be anything special.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
 6835 Noaqiyeum, Thu, 21st Feb '13 7:37:04 AM from across the gulf of space Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
nobody knows
I think an open wound in hard vacuum would cause the victim to quickly bleed out. Bodily fluids would evaporate or vaporise as well. The corpse would probably dehydrate.
"I'm an odd person that likes to write odd people." - JHM
Shadowed Philosopher
I don't think you'd ordinarily bleed out from a scalp wound; they bleed a lot, but aren't directly connected to any major arteries/veins. The pressure differential of hard vacuum shouldn't affect that; however, it's also true that in vacuum there'd be no oxygen to trigger blood clotting. Of course, the victim would die of asphyxiation and their heart would stop within a few minutes, and I don't think without blood flow that a single wound not connected to a major artery actually could keep bleeding for hours.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
From the consensus here, I think it is reasonable to conclude that the realities of the scenario is sufficiently "not well understood" by the average person that it would be safe for you to take some artistic liberties to what works best for you so long as it's described adequately convincingly.

edited 21st Feb '13 10:39:28 AM by peasant

 
 6838 Loni Jay, Fri, 22nd Feb '13 4:50:12 AM from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Kind of late, but - I'm a vet student, and yeah, veterinarians do post-mortems and stuff to find out how animals died.
Be not afraid...
Dapper Gentleman
This is more of a legal or logistical question than an in-universe detail, but:

I've never gone into any great detail here on Writers' Block about the novel I'm currently writing (except for using a character from it in one of the CDT's). This is largely because I fully intend to submit it for publication once it's done, and I'm not certain about the legal issues. Obviously, publishers would much prefer if I hadn't actually put parts of the novel up online prior to submitting it to them, but is discussion of things such as title, premise, characters, plot, and themes a generally acceptable practice? I've never had fiction published in a fully professional (read: commercial) manner, so I'm a bit uncertain about matters of etiquette and protocol such as this one.

Incidentally, part of the reason I ask is that I intend to start doing a 30-day writing meme on my Tumblr, and doing so would entail fairly intensive discussion of my current projects.
"And every life is a special story of its own." —The Stargazer, Mass Effect 3
 6840 Crystal Glacia, Fri, 22nd Feb '13 7:30:43 PM from Cedarpointland
patience, young padawan
I'm pretty sure you can talk about it, but not actually include text beyond small quotes.
Dapper Gentleman
Ah. That's pretty much what I suspected. The only actual quote I've posted is in the "Favorite lines from your own writing" thread, and even that will probably be modified a little in future drafts. Well then, without further ado, I'll start that writing meme on my Tumblr! And probably post my concept in Post your Concept, while I'm at it.

I think this was one of those times in which I'm pretty sure I understand something, but needed to hear it from someone else to be completely validated. So many thanks.
"And every life is a special story of its own." —The Stargazer, Mass Effect 3
Okay, so exposure to tabacco smoke and other harmful fumes can cause cancer, correct? If one was exposed to chemical fumes at a young age, would it be likely for them to develop cancer at a later point? (like several years?)

 6843 Noaqiyeum, Sat, 23rd Feb '13 6:55:41 PM from across the gulf of space Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
nobody knows
[up] Yes, that's quite plausible.

Bump for this question, since it's not clear whether I'll have to do my own research or if it was just overlooked. :P

edited 23rd Feb '13 6:57:03 PM by Noaqiyeum

"I'm an odd person that likes to write odd people." - JHM
 6844 Killer Clowns, Sun, 24th Feb '13 8:21:13 AM from the Midwest
Easily entertained
What would be the name for a phobia regarding pregnancy and pregnant women in general?
 6845 Septimus Heap, Sun, 24th Feb '13 8:24:52 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
Tokophobia is fear of pregnancy. Not sure what your requested phobia would be named.

 6846 Killer Clowns, Sun, 24th Feb '13 8:26:41 AM from the Midwest
Easily entertained
[up]Looking it up, that actually fits well enough. Thanks!
 6847 GAP, Sun, 24th Feb '13 10:28:27 AM Relationship Status:
Formerly G.G.
What would be a good deconstruction of Equivalent Exchange? Or what points can I use to show that Equivalent Exchange is not an absolute law?
"I can't write about myself in my own newspaper. It would have to be done by some third party. "
 6848 Noaqiyeum, Sun, 24th Feb '13 10:39:04 AM from across the gulf of space Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
nobody knows
What do you mean by that?
"I'm an odd person that likes to write odd people." - JHM
 6849 GAP, Sun, 24th Feb '13 10:46:28 AM Relationship Status:
Formerly G.G.
I mean what would be a good way to say that you don't always get everything or equal to thing that you sacrifice?
"I can't write about myself in my own newspaper. It would have to be done by some third party. "
 6850 Tera Chimera, Sun, 24th Feb '13 12:29:03 PM from somewhere out there
Cool Celtic Composition
Ask who or what defines what "equal" is. Or claim that worth, and therefore equality of worth, is relative. You would probably have a pound of gold rather than a loaf of bread, but for a starving man, it would be the other way around.
"The Uncertainty Principle isn't about uncertainty and it isn't a principle; other than that, it's perfectly named." — David Van Baak
Total posts: 11,152
 1 ... 269 270 271 272 273
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275 276 277 278 279 ... 447


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