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

7251 Sidewinder15th Apr 2013 01:50:48 PM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Sneaky Bastard
Could you field strip a bolt action rifle without the use of any major tools. How long would it take to do it. The rifle of late 19th century make, but no specific model.
Shadowed Philosopher
Well, from the etymology "field strip" I'd guess so.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
7253 MarqFJA15th Apr 2013 04:17:24 PM from Saudi Arabia , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Was "field stripping" a thing back then, though?
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
7254 SabresEdge15th Apr 2013 04:48:54 PM from the bookshelves
You should be able to. Late 19th-century bolt action rifles on the Mauser line were mostly designed to be disassembled and cleaned out without any special tools; as I understand it, the bolt is detachable immediately.
So we made a thoroughfare for Freedom and her train:
Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main.
@ Marq FJA

"I think he means grammatically, in which case... I only question the surname's construction. If the root is "Sidor", then it should be "Sidorova", as there is no "-v(a)" suffix for patronymics or surnames."

Sorry about misspelling it, but thanks, and what about Pavelov(na), is it an actual Russian name?
7256 Sidewinder16th Apr 2013 03:08:29 AM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Sneaky Bastard
Found a video of someone stripping a Mosin–Nagant using only an old sock and a piece of wood (should make for amusing Noodle Implements). My problem was I saw a video of a gunsmith using a huge, specialized wrench to do his work, but apparently that fell outside the scope of 'field' stripping.
7257 MarqFJA16th Apr 2013 06:41:52 AM from Saudi Arabia , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
[up][up] "Pavelovna" is a patronym simply means "daughter of Pavel", which fits the standard Russian name structure of "given name + patronymic + family name". You can make a patronym out of any Russian name, by adding "-ovitch" (or "-evitch" for names ending in -y or a soft consonant) for sons and "-ovna" (or -evna, if it ends in -y or a soft consonant) for daughters. See here for more info.
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
Do you guys write a rough draft of how you want a chapter of a story to go like, THEN polish it until it shines?
7259 MarqFJA16th Apr 2013 10:02:51 AM from Saudi Arabia , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
That would be one good approach, yes.
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
7260 CrystalGlacia16th Apr 2013 10:23:33 AM from Cedarpointland
wait what
That seems to be the accepted approach.
We've got a solve for that.
7261 Night16th Apr 2013 01:12:34 PM from Jaburo , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
The future of warfare in UC.
I don't really do drafting.
Nous restons ici.
I'll show you real magic.
I don't do it, but that sounds like a pretty good idea.
7263 DeMarquis17th Apr 2013 05:01:41 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
The first thing I write is what I believe at the time to be the perfect, final draft of a scene, only later it turns out that it was only a really bad preliminary draft...
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong
Do you guys conciously develop a theme for your stories or worlds, or do you let come naturally?
Let it come naturally.
I'll show you real magic.
Does anyone know any Eastern European countries that are currently under civil war or were until recently? Wikipedia doesn't really offer any clear answer.
Well, according to this wiki article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Europe#21st_century the latest conflict would be the unrest in Kosovo, though that's not exactly a civil war.
7268 SabresEdge17th Apr 2013 07:08:08 PM from the bookshelves
Former Yugoslavia. "Civil War" is one way to put it, though "general clusterfuck" is also acceptable.
So we made a thoroughfare for Freedom and her train:
Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main.
I'll show you real magic.
Kosovo, Yugoslavia, both sounds useful for my research. Thanks.
If you're still interested, consider looking up this Wikipedia article. Depends on how intensive a war you're looking for, the insurgencies there could meet your needs; the most infamous of the conflicts probably being Chechnya.
7271 ArsThaumaturgis19th Apr 2013 09:59:18 AM , Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
I'd like to check that I have the right name for something.

I'm describing a piece of jewellery, a large, heavy item of more-or-less solid construction that rests on the shoulders, sweeps down the chest and, to a lesser extent, down the back. I imagine that it would be put on and taken off by lifting over the head. It's similar to items that I seem to recall seeing in ancient Egyptian dress, similar to these; some of these "ancient Egyptian aegises" look as thought they may be something like what I'm after, but the angles presented leave me uncertain.

The best name that my searching has thus far turned up is "gorget". I'm more familiar with the term being applied to a piece of armour, and the closest ornamental items that I've found to what I'm describing look pretty much like fancy versions of the armour, which leaves me rather uncertain of using it for the item that I'm describing.

Does anyone have a better word for this, or confirmation that "gorget" applied properly here, please?
7272 Madrugada19th Apr 2013 10:50:30 AM , Relationship Status: In season
No, gorget really doesn't fit what you're describing; originally it was a collar that did not extend down onto the chest, then it became a collar with a plate or plates that did extend onto the chest, and now, it's most often used (outside of a historical context) to refer to only the decorative plate — the collar is gone.

You could use the Egyptian term, "usekh", or the Byzantine term "superhumeral". This is a clear image of an Imperial Byzantine superhumeral -- the collar that drapes down over the woman's shoulders and chest. It extends down over her back the same way.

edited 19th Apr '13 10:51:57 AM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
7273 MarqFJA19th Apr 2013 04:02:39 PM from Saudi Arabia , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
What Elemental Powers would be appropiate as natural affinities for magic-using vampires? And which would probably be completely off-limits for being anathema to the vampire condition? For example, how would it make sense for a vampire warlock to wield fire-elemental spells, if the setting's vampires suffer from a mystical vulnerability to fire?
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
7274 KillerClowns19th Apr 2013 04:05:09 PM from the Midwest , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
Try Indivisible! It's awesome.
[up]Water and ice seem logical and can be conveniently paired: water for its connection to blood, and ice because Evil Is Deathly Cold.

As for a vampire warlock wielding an element to which vampires are vulnerable: if the vulnerability is merely practical and scientific (e.g. dried corpses burn fast), it actually makes a great deal of sense to learn to use magic that can help you incinerate the competition. But if the vulnerability stems from a metaphysical or mystical source (e.g. fire is related to the dreaded sun), then it stands to reason a vampric warlock would struggle to wield such, or do so only in a corrupted form.

edited 19th Apr '13 4:10:06 PM by KillerClowns

7275 ArsThaumaturgis19th Apr 2013 04:29:49 PM , Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
[up][up][up] Ah, thank you. I was afraid that it was something like that, and am a little concerned about those names meaning little to readers (the Egyptian name especially). I'll think on it, but I may end up simply describing the thing and having done with it.

Thank you for the help! ^_^

[up][up], [up] Actually, I'd be inclined to give vampires difficulty in learning water-magic, given the traditional trouble that such creatures could have in crossing running water.

They might, however, use it as Killer Clowns suggests, in corrupted form: they have power over stagnant water, and vampire mages can force running water to stagnate, both in order to harm others (via disease or drought) and in order to allow them to cross.

(Of course, your vampires may not have the "crossing running water" weakness, but I still think that pure, vital running water seems ill-suited to vampires.)

As to affinities, I'd suggest earth (death, stagnancy, the grave), and perhaps echo Killer Clowns in suggesting "cold". The corrupted water magic suggested above might work by forcing water magic to behave as earth magic, twisting it away from its true nature.

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