TV Tropes Org

Forums

Writer's Block:
Random Questions Thread
search forum titles
google site search
Total posts: [10,847]  1  2  3  4  5
6
 7  8  9 10 11 ... 434

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

 126 animemetalhead, Sun, 10th Apr '11 2:04:12 AM from Ashwood Landing, ME
Runs on Awesomeness
[up]Eh... no, not really. Helicopter blades are rather fragile, and glass, while brittle, is still enough to damage them. And unless your pane of glass is larger than the helicopter, it's going to hit the frame, which will shred the rotor.

It's plausible, but that helicopter isn't going to fly again without a serious overhaul.
No one believes me when I say angels can turn their panties into guns.
 127 cityofmist, Sun, 10th Apr '11 2:51:36 AM from Meanwhile City
turning and turning
[up][up]Well, there's always murder. Also, if you've got mind control, that can have some really bad implications.
Scepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.
- Clarence Darrow
 128 Dec, Sun, 10th Apr '11 6:05:58 AM from The Dance Floor
Stayin' Alive
^^^ Possession (Perhaps demonic, perhaps as a way to resurrect someone/ use the posess-ee as a scapegoat), darker kinds of Blood Magic, torture, something involving children, creating chimeric abominations to guard stuff or kill people, smuggling slaves by turning them temporarily into frogs, remotely killing someone in the way with little evidence, etc. Most of it is going to come down to the usual criminal stuff, except done with magic. If you need something extremely devious, it might be good to look at the darker RL crimes and come up with ways to make them easier to pull off within your magic system.

How likely is it that a two year old would remember their last name or the first names of their parents?
Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit
Deviantart.
 129 d Roy, Sun, 10th Apr '11 6:23:24 AM Relationship Status: Hounds of love are hunting
[up] Whoa, thanks a bunch for the advice! Hmm, is there any method of research you can recommend, because all I can think about is just typing drug smuggling, serial murders and such in Google.

About your question, depends on his/her intelligence but not likely; after all, there aren't that many parents who tells their child about their last names when they are two years old; they would be satisfied with him/her calling them mama and papa, woudln't they?

 130 Dec, Sun, 10th Apr '11 7:08:26 AM from The Dance Floor
Stayin' Alive
^ Wikipedia is a pretty safe option, most of the time. Go to Wikipedia, play around with searching specific terms, and when you're done reading that article go to the bottom and click on the… err, I don't know what to call them. Headers? Categories? Its the stuff at the very, very bottom, that appear as bars you can click on and get a list of links to other things inside a wider topic. Usually they're titled something like "other topics in X", "X-ology" or "Types of X", and there might be more than one of them. Checking the stuff under See Also is also a good place to start.

Anyways, for example: Organized Crime. Article itself isn't too long, compared to some of the stuff on Wikipedia, but its connected to a shitload of other topics related to crime inside the article and under the See Also, and it probably would be worth looking into for you.

If you need other things to search: "cartel", "terrorism", "cult", "sociopath" or "psychopath" (not sure which term they're using for it currently), and "taboo". I didn't check to see what their articles looked like on Wikipedia, but I think those topics are far enough apart that you should be finding a lot of different stuff on all of them and be casting a really wide net. Not all of those are necessarily dark or criminal in themselves, but you can usually find a lot of things connected to them which are pretty bad in one way or another. Enjoy your Wiki Walk.
Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit
Deviantart.
 131 d Roy, Sun, 10th Apr '11 10:06:04 AM Relationship Status: Hounds of love are hunting
Is there any Slice of Life show with a Serial Killer wannabe (or actual one) who is also a Jerk with a Heart of Gold?

The movie Crimes and Misdeameanors had a hitman who had a couple of funny lines.

 133 risingdreams, Sun, 10th Apr '11 8:38:43 PM from Peixeiroland
Insert witty title here
I've been wanting to ask something for a while, but I was afraid of offending anyone. Plus, it's for a minor fandom.

 134 Crystal Glacia, Sun, 10th Apr '11 8:49:03 PM from Cedarpointland
patience, young padawan
[up] Well, what is it? Ask away.
Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.
 135 risingdreams, Sun, 10th Apr '11 8:50:52 PM from Peixeiroland
Insert witty title here
It's for something I was considering writing, for the Meine Liebe fandom. I know this is wrong, but I was trying to imagine the worse thing that could happen to the Ruritania the series is set. I've done some research, but...

Even thinking of writing this makes me feel awful. But the plotbunny refuses to die.

I need a drink
[up]I'd write it down regardless. Them plotbunnies are nasty critters. gotta get them out of your system before they start affecting other stories.

Heres a strange question. Would a District Attorney be able to be a superhero? I know that Attorneys are pretty popular jobs to be held by superheroes (just take Daredevil and She-Hulk for instance) but would it be logistically possible for a lawyer with that much responsibility to go around saving the world? I guess what I'm really asking is, are there any additional responsibilities a DA might have over an Attorney or Assistant DA?

edited 11th Apr '11 4:12:13 AM by AtomJames

Theres sex and death and human grime in monochrome for one thin dime and at least the trains all run on time but they dont go anywhere.
 137 d Roy, Mon, 11th Apr '11 4:46:06 AM Relationship Status: Hounds of love are hunting
If you become a really famous writer/film director, would you be able to get some discount from cities when you tell the authorities that you are exploring the city for research purposes? A silly question, really.

 138 Mr AHR, Mon, 11th Apr '11 4:46:51 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Discount? No. Able to get away with some really questionable research? Prolly. tongue
 139 Morven, Mon, 11th Apr '11 4:49:07 AM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Probably also get access to people the random person wouldn't get access to.
A brighter future for a darker age.
 140 Madrugada, Mon, 11th Apr '11 6:37:49 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Atom: The DA is running the whole department. He's primarily an administrator. The Assistant DAs would be the ones actually handling prosecuting the vast majority of cases. This means that if the DA has got a capable office staff and capable ADAs who are willing to keep him briefed on what's going on, work without a lot of oversight, and not take advantage of his absences to gun for his job, he's a better choice for superheroing than one of them.

edited 11th Apr '11 6:38:13 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!
I need a drink
I see. So if they are playing an administrative role, would there ever be instances when they would have to prosecute? Say if a case ever went before a grand jury? Also, how old are DA's on average? Maybe it's because of all the TV and movies that I've watched, but I've never really seen a young (late 20's-mid 30's) DA before.

edited 11th Apr '11 6:58:30 AM by AtomJames

Theres sex and death and human grime in monochrome for one thin dime and at least the trains all run on time but they dont go anywhere.
 142 Madrugada, Mon, 11th Apr '11 1:07:41 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
They can take an active role in the prosecution of a case, but that means that it's usually either one that they have a personal reason to proscecute in court, or it's extremely important/newsworthy. Here's my personal experience: In 1993, my mother was murdered, and the case was handled in court by an Assistant DA. Later, when (for numerous reasons) a retrial was required, the same man was the DA; but he chose to take the lead position on the trial team; he felt a personal need to see it all the way through to the end.

A DA is unlikely to be younger than his mid-thirties. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first, very simply, is that it's an upper-level-management position. Those don't go to kids fresh out of school.

The second is simple math: to get a law degree first you start with a Bachelor's degree. That can take as little as three years, but four is more normal, and taking five years to your Bachelor's is becoming more and more common. (Means you graduate at around 22 or so), then a JD (three more years of school, minimum, longer if the person isn't able to attend classes full-time or needs to repeat any classes, so they're generally at least 25 or 26 when they get their JD).

Then they have to pass the Bar Exam; in most states, it's only offered twice a year, (for example, in Illinois, it's offered on "the last consecutive Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July". And you must go to Chicago to take it.) And you have to file to take it well in advance (again, under Illinois rules, it's six months before you plan to take it.) This means that if our hypothetical lawyer graduated in May of 2010, the soonest he can take the Illinois Bar Exam is February of 2011 (He has to file the application by the end of July, 2010 to take it in February of 2011). Then he waits for the results; the February 2011 results are posted in early April of 2011. He's been out of school for nearly a full year — that makes his age 26 or 27, on average.

In Illinois, about 80% of people who take the Bar Exam pass on the first try. If he doesn't pass on the first try, though, he'll have to wait another year, because he don't find out that he's failed until after the deadline for applying for the next time it's given.

He also has to provide proof of a passing score on the MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination), an ethics test. That one is only offered three times a year, in March, August, and November. He can take the MPRE at any point while he's waiting to take the Bar exam, or even during his final six months or so of law school, so it probably won't cause any further delay.

So we've got a 27-year-old, newly-minted lawyer. Presumably, he's been working for a law firm that specialized in criminal law, or maybe he got really lucky and was working in an assistantship with the prosecutors office since he got out of school. So he's got some experience, and he's got the beginnings of professional relationships with the DA's staff. Now all he has to do is he has to convince the DA to hire him full time as a staff attorney, and rack up a few years more experience and get himself a good reputation. DA's are generally either appointed by the state's Attorney General or elected in an at-large election. Either way, he's not likely to get the DA position without at least four or five years as a staff attorney/Assistant DA under his belt.

That's why you aren't going to find many DAs under about 35.

'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
I need a drink
Thankyou for the information Mad, I realize these can't exactly be easy to answer. I think this may actually be the third time you've helped me out for a project. That being said, I think I'm going to demote the character from being a District Attorney to a very trusted Assistant DA.
Theres sex and death and human grime in monochrome for one thin dime and at least the trains all run on time but they dont go anywhere.
 144 Madrugada, Tue, 12th Apr '11 7:09:56 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
No huhu. I enjoy digging out facts and fitting them together.

If you want him to have the freedom to be a superhero, don't make him a DA at all and definitely don't make him an ADA. The ADAs are the ones who are usually actually in court — they don't have nearly the freedom to disappear at whim — if they're supposed to be in court at 9:00 am for a trial, they need to be there, or they face A) censure, B), getting fired, and/or C) disbarment if they don't show up too often.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
I need a drink
Well its just that, I built his whole superhero career on the fact that he was a lawyer and was already charged with protecting a city. Kinda as if he was already emotionally prepared for being a superhero. I just feel that if he is a DA than he is a) a little too old since most of the story revolves around him coming out of his retirement and b) I'm losing a possible homage to Clark Kent's relationship with his co-worker, albeit reversed the Lois Lane expy being a kluts and country girl and him being the city boy tough guy. Maybe I'm thinking to hard about this though.
Theres sex and death and human grime in monochrome for one thin dime and at least the trains all run on time but they dont go anywhere.
 146 Madrugada, Tue, 12th Apr '11 7:43:24 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Hmmm. That is a problem.... Does he have to be a full-fledged lawyer? Because if you want to, he could be on the DA's staff as a researcher or paralegal, or even, "still in law school, but working an assistantship".

dRoy in #129: Check out the Crime Library for true crime stories, then figure out how to stir your black magic into the mix. (Warning, the articles are long, very detailed, and some of them are extremely disturbing to read.)

edited 12th Apr '11 7:43:41 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!
I need a drink
I dunno, Paralegal sounds like a job you give a younger person. The ideal age I was hoping to get the character, Dean, into action by the time he's in his early-mid 30's.

I was also thinking that perhaps Dean is really good at time management? Lunch hours, days off, work day over etc. Would that fly?
Theres sex and death and human grime in monochrome for one thin dime and at least the trains all run on time but they dont go anywhere.
 148 Sidewinder, Tue, 12th Apr '11 11:52:03 AM Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Sneaky Bastard
I have a character who can turn matter into polystyrene. Thing is, the word that springs to my mind is that it's called styrofoam. I did some digging and found that styrofoam is a trademark, but a generic one. Because English is not my first language I'm not sure what name it usually goes by in everyday life.

Also, if styrofoam is used a general name, should it be capitalized?

 149 Crystal Glacia, Tue, 12th Apr '11 11:55:07 AM from Cedarpointland
patience, young padawan
It goes by styrofoam in English-speaking countries.

And, no, since it's generic (like bandaid), it does not have to be capitalized.
Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.
 150 animemetalhead, Tue, 12th Apr '11 11:55:36 AM from Ashwood Landing, ME
Runs on Awesomeness
[up]Most people just call it Styrofoam, but Mozilla's spell-checker is telling me it should be capitalized.

I don't know if there's any legal issues with calling it that in-story (Animorphs got away with Mustangs and Mc Donald's and stuff.)
No one believes me when I say angels can turn their panties into guns.
Total posts: 10,847
 1  2  3  4  5
6
 7  8  9 10 11 ... 434


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