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

6951 MrAHR8th Mar 2013 03:02:15 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Yes. context:

College girl doesn't have boyfriend, mom, in a good natured but old fashioned overbearing way, tries to get her to talk to a boy at a family reunion, with someone who's distantly related and is a "cousin" of hers (would prolly be a third cousin, actually). Obviously squick for the girl, they live in modern day US, so I would need a set of standards that are not all...US-y.

edited 8th Mar '13 3:03:30 PM by MrAHR

6952 MarqFJA8th Mar 2013 03:28:28 PM from Saudi Arabia , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Europe would be a good place to start. Also, consider this from Kissing Cousins:

A great many cultures today accept it, including a majority of the industrialized world. Much of the modern U.S.A. considers it completely taboo, so Hilarity Ensues at the very mention of it. (...) Despite the taboo, cousin marriages are legal in about half the states in the U.S.A., though not as much in the backwoods areas and more in the modern industrialized states, the opposite of what one might expect from hearing all those jokes. Legal or not, these marriages are still not very common due to the lingering cultural taboo.
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
6953 MrAHR8th Mar 2013 03:42:58 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Ah, cool. Thanks. That'll be a great help.
6954 Masterofchaos8th Mar 2013 04:34:36 PM , Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
Cute spider? Cute Spider
Ok, so I've mentioned before I'm making a character who has a mental disorder (IPD-Immature Personality Disorder), but I'm worried about not showing it accurately. Does anyone have any tips?

edited 8th Mar '13 4:34:52 PM by Masterofchaos

[up]Unless you've literally got a college degree in the appropriate area, it's a good idea to not explicitly mention the disorder by name, and just let readers in the know piece it together. That gives you some leeway to screw up without worrying about angry letters.
"A rational enemy is better than a foolish friend." -Arab proverb
[up][up] On the plus side, as far as I'm aware, Immature Personality Disorder isn't one of the "main" personality disorders (e.g. in contrast to antisocial, borderline, narcissistic, etc). Meaning, the condition in all likelihood is probably neither well understood nor its criteria strictly defined.

For my question:

On a scale of 0 to 10 (with 10 being for a complete knob), how pretentious would it come across for a teenaged character to use headphones (and to listen to music) as a way to distract herself from her troubles, fears and thoughts?

And would it be off-putting (e.g. too emo) or would it be something relatable for the average reader?

edited 8th Mar '13 5:31:55 PM by peasant

6957 montmorencey8th Mar 2013 06:35:54 PM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
It's sort of emo, but teenagers usually are. There's nothing wrong with it per se, if you ask me. And if you don't have your character Wangst all the time about the cruelty of having parents and the dark and troubled present of not being the most popular kid in town...it's perfectly safe. And likely very relatable, if you don't over do it. I'm no longer a teenager, but heck, I still do that a lot.

PS: Wiki Words aren't reliably working for me...see...[[Wangst Wangst]]. What am I doing wrong?

edited 8th Mar '13 6:38:30 PM by montmorencey

Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
Try [[{{Wangst}} Wangst]] to get Wangst. And before you ask, it's [=[[{{Wangst}} Wangst]]=] to cancel out wikiwording.

If you want to practice/experiment, do it here.

edited 8th Mar '13 6:52:30 PM by KillerClowns

"A rational enemy is better than a foolish friend." -Arab proverb
Double { and } for single-word entries.
You will not go to space today.
6960 montmorencey8th Mar 2013 06:58:29 PM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
Right-ho, thank you guys.
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
[up][up][up][up] Thanks for the input. I'll try to bear that in mind and balance it out.

That said, funny you should mention parents since the scene/story in question does start with her Wangsting about them - namely how her parents walked out on her when she was five and her sole other relative, her grandfather, wouldn't even acknowledge her existence until AFTER he died.

edited 9th Mar '13 2:31:48 AM by peasant

6962 montmorencey9th Mar 2013 02:45:09 AM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
I think parental abandonment is a perfectly legitimate reason for angst. I was talking more along the lines of 'wahhh, my parents imposed a curfew, and they don't like my drug-addicted, motorcycle driving boyfriend and nobody could ever possibly understand me because I'm so tortured by my homework!'. Like, you know. The usual teenage mantra.
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
6963 MarqFJA9th Mar 2013 04:59:00 AM from Saudi Arabia , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
@Masterofchaos: You could simply go to the local psychologist/psychiatrist and ask them that... I think. We don't have any psychologists/psychiatrists around here (or at least, none that would bother setting aside time for non-patient stuff, and I still don't trust their quality anyway), so I can't speak from experience, but logically they should be the ones who know this best.
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
What genre of music genre comes to mind for a band named The Black Mages?

edited 10th Mar '13 5:52:11 AM by peasant

6965 MrAHR10th Mar 2013 05:50:32 AM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Folk Metal.
Lol. Completely forgot they were real. Okay, here's another one... what about "Ocarina & The Times"? Trying to think of video game inspired band names for my story as sort of shout outs.

edited 10th Mar '13 5:58:23 AM by peasant

6968 MrAHR10th Mar 2013 05:58:40 AM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Since I know it's a video game reference, it sounds like a fandom based band that would make fan-parody music.
6969 montmorencey10th Mar 2013 08:15:32 AM from the quaint town of Grimm, Bismarck and Gauss
Ocarina & The Times sound like pop-rock to me.
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.
So... I'm not fluent with Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe, is this grammatically correct?: Thou who enter this place shall be curseth with the Mark of Chosen, binding thy soul to the world after death.

edited 10th Mar '13 8:27:35 AM by sunember123

6971 ArsThaumaturgis10th Mar 2013 09:43:55 AM , Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
I'm no expert, and stand for correction, but I think that "curseth" should probably be "cursed", perhaps (I'm very uncertain about this) with an accent over the 'e'; the pronunciation would be "curse-ed" (to rhyme with "accursed").

edited 10th Mar '13 9:44:20 AM by ArsThaumaturgis

A Door to the Mists: Traversal, exploration, puzzles, and combat in a high-fantasy setting
6972 Noaqiyeum10th Mar 2013 09:57:50 AM from out of the Silent Planet , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
Typically, thou and thy imply informality, intimacy, or familiarity. There was a period when they were just the generic second-person form of you and yours, though, so at least there's that excuse.

Shall should be made shalt to match.

Ars is correct about 'curseth'- it's present tense, not past.

edited 10th Mar '13 9:58:53 AM by Noaqiyeum

If you come across

a Beast, a Troll, or a Giant

do not run or call for help

but stand still and stay silent.

It might go away.
6973 GameSpazzer10th Mar 2013 11:53:23 AM from Against! The! Wall!
The Beta Male
Would a really, really large plant of some kind give off/take in heat from all the chemical reactions and make the surroundings really warm/freezing cold?

Pokémon Alchemist

6974 Madrugada10th Mar 2013 12:32:48 PM , Relationship Status: In season
^^ Quick and dirty rule of thumb for when to use the -eth (ith) ending on a verb: If you would end it is -s or -es in modern English, you can probably use -eth, thus:

I (curse) curse them.

He (curses) curseth them.

She (curses) curseth them.

Joe (curses) curseth them.

They (curse) curse them.

We (curse) curse them.

Or say/saith: I (say) say. He (says) saith. Thus (says) saith the Lord...

See the pattern?

edited 10th Mar '13 12:33:31 PM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
@Game Spazzer: A large enough tree would create shade, cooling the area around it a little. Other than that, I haven't seen any tree fit your need.

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