36

Does the reader need to know the rules to understand the story? For example, is there any point where a character "bluffs" and the reader must understand the rules to recognize that he is making the "wrong" play? My advice is to consider how the game "fits" into the story, and treat it as a meta narrative device presented in the way it is meant to be ...


21

The question largely depends on whether the game and its particular rules are important to the story or not. Take, for example, Quidditch, from the Harry Potter series. The game constitutes a major story element in the first six books, and the key to a plot coupon in the seventh. So much story-time is devoted to it, that the readers need to understand what'...


20

My question is, for the sake of satisfying reader interest, would it be worthwhile writing an appendix summarising certain inessential worldbuilding entities that's entirely optional for a reader to peruse? It can be worthwhile. Some readers are "hungry" after a story ends, and will devour any appendix you provide. It can be argued that since you have that ...


14

It sounds like the word you are looking for is "appendix": supplementary material at the end of a book, article, document, or other text, usually of an explanatory, statistical, or bibliographic nature. source As the definition implies, it is best to be placed at the end of the book. EDIT: Thanks @Lew for another good term, "addendum": something ...


13

A "dictionary" for your fantasy language should never be needed by the reader. If the reader has to learn a language, or flip back and forth to a dictionary, the flow of the reading is broken every time, reading becomes too much "work", and chances are the reader would drop your book. Thus, every time a line in your constructed language appears in your ...


8

After about fifteen minutes research, I couldn't find an authoritative answer for this. I suspect there's a good reason for this, however: At counts in the tens of thousands, the answer doesn't make much difference. For example, you have a 50,000 word book (by raw body text count). Let's say the work has 100 headings, averaging 6 words each. Even ...


8

This is called your setting Setting is a very real part of any book, and especially of fantasy novels, as they take place in an unfamiliar setting, and therefore require more explanation. Setting is more than merely the backdrop for the story though. Through its rules, you can create circumstances you normally couldn't (ie, magic and the like), often ...


8

The best appendix is one the reader never needs to use. The same thing applies to footnotes. They're there for people who want the exact reference. They shouldn't have material that you need to understand the story (or even the scientific paper). They're bonus features. But yes, include it. People who want to use this language or just know more do not ...


7

To add a bullet point to Liquid's excellent list: Creating an appendix permanently locks your worldbuilding As long as your worldbuilding only exists in your mind and your notes, you are free to change and adjust it however much you need to. As soon as you publish it it becomes locked in stone, and altering it will come with costs in reader confusion and ...


5

I would check with your department on the standard structure of a thesis. Typically these questions are addressed in the relative documentation. If your thesis includes a methods section, then, by all means, list your software tools there, including how you used them, and make sure you conclude each mention with a correct (and lasting) reference in the ...


4

It sounds like you want to introduce your readers to one of your inspirations (since you said this person is connected to one of the characters in your book). This is sometimes done in a preface, as opposed to in the backmatter, and can help "set the stage" for the work that follows. An author's preface of a page or two is fairly common, though of course ...


4

That is probably up to an editor or publisher. If by "short" you mean a few paragraphs that won't cost them printing any extra pages, it is possible they will not object. But they are profit driven and this biography does not serve the story or earn them anything, so if it is also going to cost them money, they may refuse to include it.


4

An appendix such as a glossary, a geographic map, or a timeline is especially helpful when you have a collection of work in the same world. In the ideal, it is a quick way for a reader to see the relationship between works. Although each of your works can stand alone, it may be helpful for an avid follower of your world to know how things fit together. If ...


3

[Freely quoting from Office Support. The following text is entirely from the link provided. I do not think I have anything to add to it.] Microsoft Word does not support multiple heading-numbering schemes in a single document or master document. When you work with documents that contain both chapter headings and appendix headings, the headings must not use ...


3

As the others have said, the details are not important. Readers will want to know whether this is a game of skill (chess), of chance (most dice games), or of bluffing (poker). It will probably be all of these, but what is the most important? Characters may disagree. Most beginners believe poker to be a game of chance, while experienced players know that ...


3

Half a page is not that much, unless you have a very strict limit in term of page number. Since the results are important to back up your findings, it's probably a good idea to show them in the main part, where they are most relevant. Having it in your main part would let you reference the table directly, that could be a pro. Of course you don't have to ...


2

This really depends on the conventions in your academic field, and you haven't told us what that field is. Have you read papers that have similar bunches of statistical tests? If so, I'd follow their practice. One thing to note, though, is that the practices for theses/dissertations might be different than those for papers in academic journals because a ...


2

Sometimes the department (or school of graduate studies at you institution) will have a very specific set of style guidelines for theses -- check there first. After that, go to your institution's library and have a look at previous theses in your discipline. If there is no specific guidance there, refer to the style guides for the journals in your ...


2

I have a technique I call the "Scruffy Nerf Herder Test". If I'm using something totally not real, I need to make sure that the context in the dialog makes the meaning of the word perfectly clear. The name of course comes from the dialog between Princess Leia and Han Solo in Star Wars where Leia hurls the line "Why you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy ...


1

Where I did my PhD there were no relevant guidelines; such a level of detail in submission guidelines is uncommon in the UK. I stuck to my usual rule of academic writing: be clear and help the reader. Each main piece of code was a section (in one code-appendix) with a descriptive title that appeared in the ToC: Appendix A Analysis source code A.1 Peak ...


1

Iain M Banks "The Player Of Games" is the gold standard for me on this question. The game and its rules are the focus of the whole story, but only as much info as is needed to follow the plot is given to the reader.


1

Unless understanding the rules is crucial to the story it is probably best not to try to explain them comprehensively in one big chunk as this sort of info-dump tends no to make very entertaining reading. Of course it's not impossible to do this, having a conversation where one character is explaining the rules to another could work but you should probably ...


1

I agree with all of the other answers: you should only explain rules if it helps telling the story. But I would like to add a suggestion: if you ever happen to explain the rules in-story, you could explain them in un unreliable manner, from your characters' POV. Some examples include: a young boy, who is struggling to survive in a tough world, learns the ...


1

On page 70 of the MLA Handbook (8th ed.), it says: Words designating the divisions of a work are also not italicized or put in quotation marks, nor are they capitalized when used in the text ("The author says in her preface . . .," "In canto 32 Ariosto writes . . ."). preface                     chapter 2 introduction               ...


1

If you need to do this, you should create an in-universe book within your book. People have mentioned Tolkien: I've seen copies of his books with beautifiul maps at the beginning or end (always in a fake olde-worlde style to give the idea that they are genuine Middle Earth artefacts.) Douglas Adams's real book The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy isn't a ...


1

I just looked through my non-fiction book contract from an academic publisher, and it says "approximately 70,000 words in length" and then says in parentheses that this would make for a 280 page book. The only other relevant detail was that the publisher would handle the index (they did the table of contents as well), which means that AncientToaster's answer ...


1

I work at a small company doing R&D work on electrochemical process development (electropolishing, electroplating, etc.), and do a lot of writing as part of the job. A lot of projects require regular submission of reports, usually either monthly or quarterly. These reports are usually relatively short, running 6-20 pages or so. In some cases, we have a ...


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