TV Tropes Org

Forums

Writer's Block:
Random Questions Thread
search forum titles
google site search
Total posts: [10,938]  1  2
3
 4  5  6  7  8 ... 438

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

 51 Madrugada, Mon, 4th Apr '11 10:15:11 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Just make sure that there are legitimate reasons for the dead person to have A) had the information in the first place, and B) written it down in their diary/journal/whatever; and for the living people to have access to the journal/diary/whatever.

As a device it's both handy and reliable. It fails when there's no reason for it to be in play. For instance, a scientist working on some super-project is going to have lab notes, preliminary equations, drawings and schematics and so on. They will legitimately exist. But who would legitimately come into possession of them is going to rely in what his work set-up was; if he was working for a corporation, those notes probably belong to the corporation — his family, friends, and lab assistants would have no claim to them. If he's working solo, they'd be part of his estate and unless he specifically left them to someone in his will, the would simply be something that his heirs could dispose of any way they chose.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 52 Mr AHR, Mon, 4th Apr '11 11:27:10 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
From a medical standpoint, what is the more complicated body part to heal or replace?

  • An eyeball
  • An achille's tendon
  • A heart

Because I have someone who can replace a heart, and replace a tendon, but not an eyeball, and I want to know if that's plausible.

Heck, just a link to the human body's build in laymans terms would be helpful.

edited 4th Apr '11 11:36:10 AM by MrAHR

 53 Madrugada, Mon, 4th Apr '11 1:15:44 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Healing and replacing present two very different sets of problems. And for Healing, it's going to vary wildly depending on what sort of damage you're dealing with.

For healing, the heart would be in general more difficult, since there's no way to rest or immobilize it to allow it to heal up. It's a big chunk of muscle that's in continuous, vigorous motion. In general, a muscle that's been injured won't heal much if it's still being used at the pre-injury level.

For replacement, at current medical technology levels, the eye itself is impossible to effectively replace. We simply don't have the ability to tie a camera to the optic nerve in a way that the brain can make use of the incoming data. The lens and the cornea can both be replaced, but not the whole eye.

edited 4th Apr '11 1:17:07 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!
 54 Madrugada, Mon, 4th Apr '11 1:35:05 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Going way back to cityofmist at post 23: there's a number of inscriptions from sundials here. Another one that isn't listed there, but which I saw on a custom sundial was "Take heed and see ye nothing do in vain; No minute gone comes ever back again."
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 55 cityofmist, Tue, 5th Apr '11 11:23:42 AM from Meanwhile City
turning and turning
[up]Thanks. I'll have a look at those.

I have a medical question: I have a character who gets stabbed (a 17-year-old girl, if that's important). Since I hav eno medical knowledge whatsoever, I now have a list of questions about that:

  • If a knife enters just at the bottom of the ribcage, angled up towards the heart, how likely is it that the injury is entirely non-fatal?

  • I need the character to stay conscious for five to ten minutes after getting stabbed; is that probable/plausible?

  • It would take her friends about twenty to thirty minutes to get her any proper medical attention. How long would it be before she'd wake up in hospital, what kind of physical state would she be in then, and how long would it be before she's up, about and in reasonably good health again?

Any help appreciated.
Scepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.
- Clarence Darrow
 56 Mr AHR, Tue, 5th Apr '11 11:24:51 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
I'm gonna take a stab at very likely to be fatal. Mostly because while it might miss the heart, it prolly won't miss all the vessels leading away from the heart.

[up][up][up]thank ye kindly.

edited 5th Apr '11 11:28:53 AM by MrAHR

 57 cityofmist, Tue, 5th Apr '11 12:04:43 PM from Meanwhile City
turning and turning
Dammit! Okay, I need her to get stabbed somewhere in the thorax area and, as aforementioned, stay conscious for a short time. Where's possible?
Scepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.
- Clarence Darrow
 58 Morven, Tue, 5th Apr '11 12:56:25 PM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Lungs (through the ribs or under them) — that'd be bad but not necessarily fatal if her companions knew to seal a sucking chest wound to enable breathing.
A brighter future for a darker age.
"If a knife enters just at the bottom of the ribcage, angled up towards the heart, how likely is it that the injury is entirely non-fatal?

I need the character to stay conscious for five to ten minutes after getting stabbed; is that probable/plausible?

It would take her friends about twenty to thirty minutes to get her any proper medical attention. How long would it be before she'd wake up in hospital, what kind of physical state would she be in then, and how long would it be before she's up, about and in reasonably good health again?"

She'd have a very high chance of dying, but not guaranteed. It could miss her heart/major blood vessels, but she'd have to be extremely lucky. (I heard of a real-life 3 year old who survived having her throat slit to the point of her windpipe being severed, simply because her head fell in the right way to close the wound. This is more plausible-sounding than that was.)

Even if she died, she'd have a pretty good chance of surviving & staying conscious for a couple of minutes. Heart injury isn't an instant death, the way head injury can be. For example, when my father used to hunt deer, he said a head shot was instant death, but with a chest shot they might take a couple of steps.

She'd probably be heavily sedated in-hospital to lower her metabolic requirements and control pain. Plus, she'd have a risk of brain injury from lack of blood flow/oxygen, which might result in coma. Ballpark might be somewhere from several hours to a day or two, more if she had a serious brain injury.

Recuperation would likely take months. She'd spend a fairly short amount of time in acute care, then be transferred to longer-term care in a different hospital ward (or maybe another hospital) and then finally go home and be taking it easy for a long time.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
 60 Mr AHR, Tue, 5th Apr '11 4:10:20 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Well, keep in mind that even if something is very possible, such as your throat-slitting story, that doesn't mean it's advisable to do it in a story.

edited 5th Apr '11 4:10:42 PM by MrAHR

 61 Morven, Tue, 5th Apr '11 5:02:06 PM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Reality Is Unrealistic — sometimes things that can and have actually happened in the real world are still unbelievable-sounding and implausible-sounding to your readers.
A brighter future for a darker age.
 62 Leradny, Tue, 5th Apr '11 5:17:35 PM from Alameda, CA
Ah yes. People have higher standards for probability with fiction, if it's not fantasy or sci fi. And sometimes even when it is.

 63 Mr AHR, Tue, 5th Apr '11 5:26:49 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Or as How NOT to write a novel puts it: Why your job is harder than God's.
 64 chihuahua 0, Tue, 5th Apr '11 5:52:28 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Didn't we have a Medical Questions thread?

 65 d Roy, Tue, 5th Apr '11 8:08:55 PM Relationship Status: Hounds of love are hunting
Sorry for derailing but I have a child psychology related question.

Is it possible for a particularly traumatic childhood memory to overshadow everything else happened during that ages, like how a kid who saw his parents die can't remember any happier details from his childhood?

Indecisive Goldfish
I think it is possible. It also depends a bit on the temperament of the child and how he was treated after the incident.

>_> Not on the same scale, but I recall bullies from my childhood really easily... I even remember some of their last names better than my former friends.' But I also have a very grudgy nature.
 67 d Roy, Tue, 5th Apr '11 9:26:52 PM Relationship Status: Hounds of love are hunting
[up]...I don't remember either. I must not have had much friends....

About the temperment...what if he was very, VERY attached to the parents and his guardians, also traumatized by the loss, pretty much neglects him because he reminds them of their loss?

 68 Mr AHR, Wed, 6th Apr '11 2:39:44 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Sounds like nostalgia only in rev. Completely possible, I say.
 69 d Roy, Wed, 6th Apr '11 5:41:08 AM Relationship Status: Hounds of love are hunting
[up] Uhr, you mean nostaligia in reverse? I don't know what does that supposed to mean...

Further question: Would it be plausible for the kid to feel responsible for his parents' death if they were killed while doing what he asked them to do? Would that might lead to the kid developing devastatingly low self-esteem? If there is, what's the psychological term for it?

What I want to write is that after the incident, the kid feels really down about himself; he hangs out with friends, sometimes make a playfully snarky comments about stupidity around him, but when it comes to anything nice, like getting recognition for good things he did, like actively engaging in community service, he believes that he doesn't deserve them. He spends most of his adolescence looking for his place in the world, something that might make him feel worthwhile.

When he enters middle school, he starts to play baseball and becomes pretty good with it and he practices his ass off, getting quite recognition. Then he broke his arm and became unable to play baseball for the rest of his life. It was that point that he started to believe that nothing good supposed to happen to him anyway.

Is this plausible? Also, should I move this to a separate thread?

edited 6th Apr '11 5:59:20 AM by dRoy

 70 Random Chaos, Wed, 6th Apr '11 6:41:34 AM from My own little world
No Dragon Power
Is this good for a first contact from a new villain?

"Hello Kimberly. I am sure you were alarmed when I was suddenly involved in your life. Rest assured; you were not the primary focus of my intentions. What I am up to is bigger then you are prepared to understand."
With the power of a dragon I can make up for my inability to spill.
 71 d Roy, Wed, 6th Apr '11 7:28:54 AM Relationship Status: Hounds of love are hunting
Truly random question: Do you get this reference?

  • N: I don't like sleeping. You know what they say, sleep is a brother of death.

 72 Madrugada, Wed, 6th Apr '11 7:47:35 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
dRoy
(1) Would it be plausible for the kid to feel responsible for his parents' death if they were killed while doing what he asked them to do? (2) Would that might lead to the kid developing devastatingly low self-esteem? (3) If there is, what's the psychological term for it?

(1) Absolutely yes, kids can be astoundingly capable of taking the blame for something for (what adults would consider) the slightest reason. (2) Very plausibly. (3) I'm sorry, I don't have an answer to that last one.

edited 6th Apr '11 7:47:42 AM 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!
 73 Silent Reverence, Wed, 6th Apr '11 8:41:53 AM from 3 tiles right 1 tile up
adopting kitteh
Random Chaos: Sounds a little bit overdone for me. Might be good if the villain is not addressing the Kimberly in person but speaking via a telephone, videoconference or other direct-but-remote system. Also, the tone sounds kinda burly, so I wouldn't personally use it unless the villain already had strong familiarity with Kimberly's major environment (college? workplace?) just not with her personally.

d Roy: I think, but I don't know how many people remember it if true, that Sleep and Death are siblings in some mythologies — I'm going to bet Greek or Roman. However, I'd expect to base it o a more recent use of the metaphor, perhaps by a better-known author (Shakespeare?) or in a better-known setting (like DCU-style gods?) in which case dunno... So I don't really get it.

edited 6th Apr '11 8:45:36 AM by SilentReverence

 74 cityofmist, Wed, 6th Apr '11 9:09:30 AM from Meanwhile City
turning and turning
In Greek mythology, Thanatos (death) is Hypnos' (sleep) twin brother.

Also, sorry to go back so far, but how does one seal a sucking chest wound to enable breathing?

edited 6th Apr '11 9:11:38 AM by cityofmist

Scepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.
- Clarence Darrow
 75 Random Chaos, Wed, 6th Apr '11 10:09:07 AM from My own little world
No Dragon Power
"the tone sounds kinda burly"

Any recommissions for fixing that? Oh and BTW it's an E-mail.

edited 6th Apr '11 10:10:02 AM by RandomChaos

With the power of a dragon I can make up for my inability to spill.
Total posts: 10,938
 1  2
3
 4  5  6  7  8 ... 438


TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy